On September 25, 2015, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, representatives from 193 countries approved the Agenda 2030. Pivotal to the agenda, the UN defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets – which were announced during the signing ceremony – that address a broad range of issues, from extreme poverty to climate change, and promote both education quality and gender equality, peace or responsible consumption. To commemorate the occasion, BBVA lit up in blue (in homage to the United Nations) its flagship La Vela building in its corporate headquarters in Madrid.
More than a third of the global banking industry has signed the Principles for Responsible Banking, which this month celebrates its one-year anniversary. This milestone demonstrates the sector’s commitment to sustainability and aligning its business activity to the promises made in the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Today, international banks BBVA, BNP Paribas, ING, Société Générale and Standard Chartered (also known as ‘the Katowice Banks’) published a report on the application of the PACTA methodology, designed to steer their credit portfolios towards the objective of the Paris Climate Agreement. This report aims at helping banking peers to quickly understand and apply this methodology and thus publish comparable results.
The bank — which has committed to securing €100 billion in sustainable financing between 2018 and 2025 as part of its contribution in the fight against climate change — reached 40 percent of its sustainable financing target in June 2020. This figure includes transactions in green and social financing (62 percent of the total), social entrepreneurism and financial inclusion (13 percent), sustainable infrastructure and agribusiness (11 percent), and other sustainable sources (14 percent).
BBVA secures more than €40 billion in sustainable finance, supporting the fight against climate change. The bank — which has committed to securing €100 billion in sustainable financing between 2018 and 2025 as part of its contribution in the fight against climate change — reached 40 percent of its sustainable financing target in June 2020. This figure includes transactions in green and social financing (62 percent of the total), social entrepreneurism and financial inclusion (13 percent), sustainable infrastructure and agribusiness (11 percent), and other sustainable sources (14 percent).
Within the framework of its Global Eco-efficiency Plan 2016-2020, BBVA recently signed an agreement in Argentina to buy electricity from wind farms, a clean source of electricity that uses wind turbines to transform wind energy into electric power.
BBVA keeps making strides in its sustainability commitment. The bank, in coordination with Caixabank, has signed the first ever sustainable loan with a pharmaceutical company in Spain. The scheme is divided into three tranches: a long-term loan, a revolving line and a credit line for acquisitions, subject to a six-year maturity term.
Many institutions and world players have spearheaded initiatives that are pursuing a common goal: to emerge from the coronavirus crisis with a sustainable and green recovery. Manifestos, letters, commitments, institutional statements, and calls to action have proliferated as the impacts of the crisis have worsened. Many of these initiatives are supported by the European Union; its leaders have approved a historic agreement to address the deep recession caused by COVID-19. It’s the era of green partnerships, and BBVA is an active participant.
BBVA’s Turkish franchise has set the goal of reducing its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 29 percent by 2025 and 71 percent by 2035. The announcement comes as part of the bank joining the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) Science-Based Targets (SBT), the most important environmental data platform in the world.
The European Commission has published its taxonomy for sustainable finance, a classification instrument to help financial players and companies determine which activities qualify as sustainable. Investments in projects and activities that pursue the European Union’s environmental goals contribute to the transition towards a low carbon economy.
If there is one thing that characterizes women’s fight for equality, it’s that it’s a global, intergenerational cause. It knows no borders, beliefs, age or race. As conduits of wealth in societies, companies play a fundamental role in the pursuit of equality and in the implementation of policies and measures that guarantee the same rights for men and women.
In 1975, Spain abolished the legal authorization that all married women needed in order to be able to work, travel abroad, or own property. Six years prior, Banco de Bilbao had made history by launching a campaign targeting women. Using the slogan “A bank that’s concerned about us women?” the bank took steps to provide women with financial and business advisory services as well as helping them take control of certain banking transactions, without requiring the consent of a legal guardian.
BBVA is the first financial institution in Spain to distribute cards made of recycled plastic. This launch is part of the bank’s commitment to the fight against climate, and adopt initiatives that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. The new cards, which are currently in the early stages of production, will begin circulating in the month of May. They will initially be available for those holding BBVA accounts for young people (Cuenta Joven BBVA).
UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 sets out the need to foster sustainable and environmentally-responsible consumption and production patterns. Within the scope of this goal, one of the key strategies that countries need to embrace is the so-called “three Rs” approach: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, to ensure that waste generation and management is as sustainable as possible.
“Work in the Age of Data” is the 12th book in the collection published by BBVA to disseminate and discuss fundamental issues of our time. This series is part of the bank’s OpenMind project — a digital community that aims to generate and disseminate knowledge in an open and free manner.
The book, which addresses the effects of the digital revolution on the labor market, can be downloaded for free in Spanish and English in different electronic formats.
On September 25, 2015, global leaders adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to protect the planet, fight against, and attempt to eradicate poverty in order to build a more prosperous world for future generations. These goals were established as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has presented its report on private development financing. The study assessed more than 30 of the largest foundations in the OECD member countries and reveals that the BBVA Microfinance Foundation disbursed $1.2 billion in 2018. This represents 83 percent of the total of this kind of financing in Latin America, BBVAMF’s sole operating region. BBVAMF thus places first in the region and second globally, after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
BBVA is celebrating the World Day for Reducing CO2 Emissions by reaffirming its environmental policy to develop a more sustainable economy. BBVA has committed to be neutral in terms of CO2 emissions in 2020. As of January 1st, it has assigned an internal price for its emissions, thus incorporating this factor into decision-making processes, as BBVA Group Executive Chairman Carlos Torres Vila recently announced. This measure is part of BBVA’s broader effort to align its activity with the Paris Agreement and cut its direct and indirect emissions. BBVA will light its Madrid headquarters building in blue in commemoration of this international day.
Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the world’s main platform for environmental information, has included BBVA in its “category A-”, consisting of leading companies in the fight against climate change. The bank has improved its rating in the past three years and is now in the top category: Leadership (A).
The B20 – or “G20 for businesses” – is a forum of private international companies that provides recommendations to the G20 to address the most relevant challenges of the global economic and financial agenda. This year, Saudi Arabia will preside over the meeting. BBVA has played a very active role in the B20 since 2015, thanks to BBVA Executive Board Member José Manuel González-Páramo, who serves as Vice Chair of the Finance and Infrastructure Task Force.
The Spanish environmental company EDF Solar has installed 523 solar panels with a production capacity of 236.182 kWh/year at BBVA Group headquarters. As a result, the bank will reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere by 106 metric tonnes.
The Spanish capital gears up to host this year’s UN Climate Summit. Now in its 25th iteration, the annual conference will aim to approve programs to fight climate change and raise public awareness about the urgency of the challenge.
“What would we do without data?” journalist Susana Roza asked at the opening session of Oracle Day, an annual event that took place in Madrid this year. More than 1,200 participants came together to talk about the future of technology. A question, if turned on its head, has an easy answer: “What can we do with data?” The possibilities are endless, as the more than 30 participating organizations — of which BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) was one — were able to confirm.
Investor appetite for sustainable products has been growing exponentially in recent years. BBVA’s Global Head of Responsible Business, Antoni Ballabriga, revealed that “This year $350 million in sustainable bonds and corporate loans will be issued around the world, 30 percent more than last year, according to data from the Institute of International Finance (IIF).” During the ‘Sustainable finance in the face of environmental challenges’ forum, organized by Spain’s National Association of Economists (Consejo General de Economistas), Ballabriga stressed that “there is still a lot to be done” and “one of the current challenges is to incorporate this trend into the SME and consumer markets.”
More than 2,600 BBVA USA employees participated in the bank’s annual Week of Service during the week of Oct. 7. Employees across the bank’s footprint participated in 227 events, including Habitat for Humanity projects, food bank initiatives, community clean up efforts, and financial education workshops for individuals and small businesses. Their efforts generated more than 8,000 volunteer hours across the bank’s footprint.
The consequences of climate change are already so obvious, it is hard to deny the extreme situation the planet is facing a climate emergency situation. The growing number of natural disasters, outbreaks of forest fires, and the extinction of hundreds of species are some of the most alarming indications of a phenomenon that threatens the survival of the planet and with it, the human species.
Angélica Valbuen lives in Cundinamarca, Colombia. She is 39 years old, works in the fields. A situation that destines them to financial exclusion if it were not for the work of institutions like the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, which helps over 150,000 women in rural areas of Latin America.
In commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the approval of the 2030 Agenda, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), BBVA is joining the #Act4SDGs to help disseminate these United Nations goals. It is doing so in collaboration with the Spanish Global Compact Network, the largest global network on sustainability and corporate responsibility, which BBVA joined in 2002.
Garanti BBVA recently signed the world’s first gender loan with Turkish company Polat Energy. The $44 million loan will finance the construction of Turkey’s largest wind farm. The company’s performance will be annually assessed based on a series of gender criteria, and improvements in their performance will also enhance the terms of the loan.
Even though sustainable finance has been a fundamental issue in the social agenda for many years now, thanks to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, the world became aware of the environmental risks and economic impact resulting from the effects of climate change. However, it is not just society that is increasingly more aware. The financial industry is also contemplating climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as relevant factors to determine their investment strategy.
Although the concept of sustainable development was first used officially in the Bruntland Report, published in 1987, it wasn’t until the UN General Assembly held in 2015 when countries across the globe signed the UN 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development. A pivotal part of this agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of goals and specific sets of tasks defined by the UN to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Sustainability is a concept that we are hearing more and more frequently because it poses a growing concern for society as a whole – for both individuals and companies. Sustainability refers to satisfying current needs without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their needs, while striking a balance between economic growth, environmental protection, and social well-being. This is a guide to explain the most common acronyms we come across when talking about sustainable finance.
Three years ago, world leaders approved Agenda 2030, a global plan of action for sustainable development. This initiative aims to end poverty, reduce inequality, and combat climate change. Agenda 2030 has defined 17 high level sustainable development goals (SDGs) with 169 integrated and indivisible targets that address the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainability. To fulfill the SDGs, governments, the private sector, and society as a whole must unify efforts. Thus, the final SDG – number 17 – aims to revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. BBVA contributes to all the SDGs. But this one, more than the others, entails a direct commitment to the communities the bank serves and the industries where it does business.
BBVA’s Global Head of Responsible Business, Antoni Ballabriga, has been named co-chair of UNEP-FI Global Steering Committee. UNEP FI (United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative) is a global partnership established between the United Nations and the financial sector in 1992 to promote sustainable finance.