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Sustainability and Responsible Banking

Sustainability and Responsible Banking

Image of Syukuro Manabe and James Hansen, BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Climate Change category goes, in this ninth edition, to climatologists Syukuro Manabe and James Hansen, separately responsible for constructing the first computational models with the power to simulate climate behavior. Decades ago, both men correctly predicted how much Earth’s temperature would rise due to increasing atmospheric CO2. The scores of models currently in use to chart climate evolution are “heirs” to those first developed by Manabe and Hansen.

There are over 200 coral species in the Mediterranean. They are not as spectacular and have not suffered in 2016 as much as the Australia’s battered Great Coral Reef, but they are essential to nurture marine life. Some live at depths of hundreds of meters and are seriously damaged. An research team funded by the BBVA Foundation studies how to heal them.

Everyone should have access to basic financial services by 2020. This goal, set by the World Bank, aims to combat the financial exclusion that impacts two billion people. Several organizations from the public and private sector, including BBVA Microfinance Foundation, have signed the Universal Financial Access 2020 (UFA), committing to meet this deadline.

Having a bank account is the first step to access basic financial services, such as loans or insurance, which help underprivileged families to receive essential services like water, electricity, housing, education or healthcare. It also allows small and medium sized businesses to grow, expand operations and improve risk management.

After the financial crisis of 2008, the role that banks need to play in society seems to have been finally clarified. The purpose – or the rationale – of a bank is currently defined in terms of service to citizens, the community or the specific groups with which it interacts (stakeholders).  In this new business model, principles are integrated into the bank’s strategy and grant consistency and unity to three fundamental concepts:  the purpose, the strategy and the corporate culture.  Today in the banking industry, the talk is not about what we want to be but how to become what we want to be. In other words: how to build a responsible culture.

For yet another year, on November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is being commemorated, and BBVA would like to resonate, among all those who are part of it, our involvement and commitment as citizens to manage to achieve a society free of gender-based violence, our support for women who suffer gender-based violence and anyone who may be in a possible abusive situation.

Francisco González, along with the Minister of Agriculture and Fishing, Food and the Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, presided the BVA Foundation Biodiversity Conservation Awards ceremony. The winners of the 11th edition of these awards were the Grupo para la Rehabilitación de la Fauna Autóctona y su Hábitat (GREFA), and the NGO Conservation Land Trust, and the communications professional Carlos de Hita.