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Sustainability and Responsible Banking

Sustainability and Responsible Banking

José Manuel González-Páramo BBVA executive director during his presentation

The key for a financial institution to survive in such a rapidly changing environment is to abide by ethics, according to BBVA Executive Director José Manuel Gónzalez-Páramo. In a conference on Companies and Public Goods held by the University of Navarra’s Entrerprise and Humanism Institute, José Manuel González-Páramo emphasized that “ethics is the keystone of the banking sector”.

Australian economist Martin Ravallion has been distinguished with the BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Development Cooperation for revolutionizing the fight against poverty by creating reliable indicators to measure it. In 1991 he established at one dollar a day the minimum amount that a person needs to survive, which helped establish for the first time specific goals to eliminate extreme poverty globally. After the latest update, the international poverty line is set at US$1.90 a day.

Sustainable cities are those that, through using their own resources, are able to maintain considerable progress in all their discharges by minimizing the impact it may have on the environment. Cities such as Santiago de Chile, Montevideo and Bogota have launched initiatives in this direction.

The measurement of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and programs is acquiring an increasing relevance in companies. For the last four years, BBVA has been using the rsc2 methodology, proposed by McKinsey and developed in Spain with the Seres Foundation, to measure the social and financial impact of its actions in this field. The results of applying this methodology is revealing very valuable information to better manage these actions and contribute to them really being sustainable.

Rising life expectancy, longevity, is a relatively recent phenomenon dating from the 19th century. Until then, for nearly 60,000 years, the life expectancy of humanity remained relatively constant. There is some evidence that increased life expectancy is a permanent phenomenon, with the implications that this might have not only for pension systems, but also for the organization of societies themselves.

The world is currently facing the biggest forced migration crisis since the Second World War. Approximately 60 million people have had to leave their homes because of war, persecution or unstainable conditions in their home country. In the report “Obstacle Course To Europe: A Policy-Made Humanitarian Crisis At EU Borders”, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warns of the desperate situation of refugees arriving in Europe.

The Finish ecologist Ilkka Hanski has been awarded the BBVA Foundation Fronteras del Conocimiento (Frontiers of Knowledge) award for the Ecology and Biology of Conservation category. The jury recognized this scientist’s work in creating a new branch of ecology, known as metapopulation biology, combining field work with mathematical models to examine how habitat fragmentation by human actions affects species.