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Commitment 27 Mar 2024

96 percent of the electricity consumed by the BBVA Group is of renewable origin

In 2023, 96 percent of power consumption at BBVA Group facilities came from renewable sources, well above the 70 percent target set for 2025. In Spain, Portugal, Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico, Peru and Türkiye, 100 percent of the bank’s power usage comes from clean energy sources.

The bank also continues to make progress in reducing its environmental footprint to 44,985 tons of carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 2023. This is 15 percent less emissions than the 52,887 tons emitted in 2022. BBVA managed to reduce these emissions by 84 percent last year compared to 2015, well above the target of 68 percent set for 2025.

Furthermore, in line with the Global Eco-efficiency Plan, the Group's environmental footprint shows highly positive data with respect to the baseline year 2019. Targets were surpassed in all areas, with reductions of 16 percent in power usage, 18 percent in energy consumption overall, 26 percent in water consumption, 48 percent in paper and 50 percent in net waste (all figures per employee); and a 82 percent cut in Scope 1 and 2 emissions. In addition, the percentage of environmentally certified surface area reached 61 percent.

Global Eco-efficiency Plan

In 2021, BBVA established a Global Eco-efficiency Plan for the period 2021-2025, setting more ambitious targets aligned with its climate strategy, in order to promote the reduction of direct impacts and the achievement of Goal 2025. The achievement of these indicator targets has been possible thanks to the following four action vectors:

1. Consumption

BBVA implemented the following lines of action to lessen its environmental footprint:

  • Power usage: BBVA's strategy is focused on the use of renewable energy, as it is the most important lever to contribute to the decarbonization of the energy markets where the Group has a presence. The strategy consists of reaching Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) such as those already in place in Spain, Mexico, Türkiye and Argentina, as well as acquiring renewable energy certificates such as Guarantees of Origin in Spain and Portugal, or International Renewable Energy Certificates (iRECs) in Mexico, Türkiye, Peru, Colombia and Argentina. The bank is also committed to self-generation of renewable energy at its facilities, through the installation of photovoltaic and solar thermal panels, as is already happening in several of its subsidiaries in Spain, Türkiye, Argentina and Uruguay.
  • Implementation of energy saving measures in building management to monitor and reduce consumption.
  • Water conservation initiatives, such as gray water recycling systems and rainwater reuse for irrigation at the headquarters in Spain and Mexico, and the installation of dry urinals in some of the buildings in Spain.
  • Finally, digitization and print centralization measures to reduce paper consumption. In addition, paper is recycled or environmentally certified in most geographic areas (Spain, Mexico, Türkiye, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Portugal) to the extent of 73 percent by 2023.

2. Circular economy

Waste generation is becoming a serious global problem. Therefore, part of BBVA's contribution to sustainable development includes moving from linear consumption practices to circular consumption practices to reduce this impact through sustainable construction standards and the implementation of ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management Systems. In addition, the bank achieved Zero Waste to Landfill certification and Aenor's Zero Waste seal for Ciudad BBVA, the rest of corporate buildings in Madrid and the Opplus building in Malaga. To minimize the volume of waste sent to landfills, at its facilities the Group provides clearly delimited, signposted areas for accurate waste sorting in aid of subsequent recycling.

3. Construction and management of sustainable spaces

Another commitment of BBVA in its Global Eco-efficiency Plan is to ensure implementation of the best environmental and energy standards in its buildings. To meet this goal, the bank aims to achieve a large percentage of environmentally certified surface area. BBVA already has construction certifications in 19 buildings and 10 branches, including its headquarters in Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Türkiye. In addition, three buildings have received the highest category of certification, LEED Platinum. Furthermore, the bank has 8 WWF Green Office labels in Türkiye and 33 Edge in Peru. These certifications promote the reduction of the bank's environmental footprint and carbon emissions.

Regarding management certifications, BBVA has implemented the Environmental Management System based on the ISO 14,001:2015 Standard, which is certified every year by an independent body. This certification process monitors and evaluates the environmental performance of the operations of some of the bank's facilities. The system covers 92 buildings and 1,044 branches in the Group's main countries of operation. In 2023, BBVA in Portugal expanded its surface area certified under this management system, achieving certification of its headquarters in Lisbon (10,519 sq m). Finally, by the end of 2023, BBVA was the first bank in Spain to achieve environmental certification for its entire portfolio of own-use properties. The bank successfully audited a total of 30 buildings and 1,882 offices in Spain under the 50001 energy efficiency standard.

4. Carbon footprint

The carbon footprint and its reduction, one of the main goals established in Goal 2025, is an indicator that measures the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) that an organization emits into the atmosphere. It is measured in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). BBVA launched the following initiatives:

  • Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions: the reduction of emissions is driven by strategies to reduce energy consumption and sustainable construction, replace traditional fuel fleets with hybrid and electric fleets, enter into Power Purchase Agreements, and achieve renewable energy certificates such as Guarantees of Origin or International Renewable Energy Certifications (iRECs). In Spain, the entire fleet is made up of hybrid vehicles.
  • Scope 3 carbon dioxide emissions: BBVA is working on a range of measures to reduce carbon emissions:
    • Waste: By implementing certifications such as ISO 14.001:2015 and Zero Waste.
    • Employee travel: BBVA provides 348 recharging points for 100 percent electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) in the Group's buildings for its employees.
    • Business travel: the bank has begun to deploy an awareness-raising initiative to inform different areas of BBVA of their monthly footprint generated for this reason and to identify levers and alternatives to reduce emissions, thus promoting awareness among employees when planning their business trips.
    • Suppliers: in 2023 BBVA implemented a sustainability module in the supplier evaluation process. This includes, inter alia, the management and measurement of their environmental impact.

BBVA was recognized as the most sustainable bank in Europe for the fourth consecutive year according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2023, the global benchmark for sustainability. It obtained the highest score in the category of banks in the region (84 out of 100) and the third highest globally.