Private initiative, committed to including ESG criteria as a driver of sustainable growth in Mexico
To promote sustainable growth in the country, BBVA Mexico, González Calvillo (GC), PwC Mexico and the UN Environment Program held the first edition of the ESG Summit Mexico, in which -with the participation of experts and guests from organizations such as S&P, BlackRock and the Mexican Sustainable Finance Council-, the main aspects that a company must know to include environmental, social and corporate governance criteria into its business model were addressed.
Speaking at the first edition of the ESG Summit, Eduardo Osuna, Vice President and CEO of BBVA Mexico, stated, “We seek to create an initiative that will serve as a turning point to continue with action in favor of decarbonizing the economy and accelerating social inclusion.”
“We seek to create an initiative that will serve as a turning point to continue with action in favor of decarbonizing the economy and accelerating social inclusion”
He also said that the bank wants to create a dynamic for the exchange of best sustainable practices to accelerate the implementation of sustainability at all levels and that it is fully inclusive and open to all economic agents seeking to accelerate sustainable growth. He then invited the heads of the most important and most active sustainability companies in Mexico to exchange experiences, join forces and generate trends that change society and improve the country.
Eduardo Osuna Osuna, Vice President and CEO of BBVA Mexico
Javier Rodríguez Soler, BBVA's Global Head of Sustainability, meanwhile, emphasized that decarbonization, energy security and inclusive growth will mark sustainability in 2023. He stressed that Mexico is a country with high potential in terms of sustainability, as nearshoring and natural resources (solar and lithium) provide a unique opportunity for the country. “For companies,” he added, "the transformation to sustainable production models requires investments in an uncertain environment, but also represents a business opportunity for those that see sustainability as a strategic priority that will help them to survive and progress.
The ambassador and former UN executive secretary for climate change, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, stressed that what is needed “is to undertake rapid, deep and, in most cases, immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions”. The priority tasks for private companies, he added, are to establish strategies, plans and programs with clearly defined goals and deadlines, to join peer coalitions or networks in healthy competition and lucid collaboration, and to collaborate with the government in the creation of a clear, reliable and predictable legal framework that creates the conditions for the transformation that must be achieved in a few years.
At the start of the summit, the “Implementation of sustainability in BBVA Mexico” panel explained that the financial institution is committed to promoting sustainable development, aware that the best way to do so is to support its customers: individuals, companies, institutions, government, and SMEs in making decisions based on environmental and social sustainability criteria. Through its Corporate and Investment Banking, BBVA Mexico has mobilized more than 160 billion pesos in more than 100 operations segmented into 38 bank loans, 44 bond issues and 23 operations, financing the entire value chain of customers and working capital loans.
On the retail side, the financial group has made available to its customers (individuals, individuals with business activities and SMEs) solutions for financing sustainable assets (solar panels, equipment, lighting), financing for hybrid and electric cars, and investment products for individuals and institutional customers that have reached more than 12 billion pesos. It should be noted that the more than 20 million customers who use the BBVA Mexico App have the Carbon Footprint Calculator at their disposal, which, in addition to showing a calculation of the footprint derived from the expenses recorded, provides recommendations to reduce it. Meanwhile, through various partnerships, the bank will continue to add more strategic clients in the consumer retail sector to bring energy efficiency products and services to its customers.
On a global scale, BBVA's 2025 sustainable business objective has three lines of action: the first, mobilize business by contributing to climate change and boosting inclusive growth by channeling €300 billion between 2018 and 2025. At the close of 2022, the figure reached €136 billion channeled. The second line is to integrate the environmental and social risks associated with the bank's activity to minimize potential direct and indirect negative impacts, and the third is to involve all stakeholders to collectively promote the financial sector's contribution to sustainable development.
In a global context where environmental and social challenges are more profound, current, and interrelated, Enrique González Calvillo, founding partner of GC, said that “the close economic ties between Mexico, the United States and Canada under NAFTA, and more recently the T-MEC, highlight the relevance of ESG in our country".
In terms of sustainable financing, Bernardo Reyes Retana, Corporate Finance and Capital Markets Partner at GC, explained that “companies and investors are avidly seeking financing through ESG-related products, and we have witnessed a booming market and demand in Mexico for green and sustainable bonds placed on the Mexican stock exchanges over the past three years, as well as a solid pipeline of transactions to be announced during 2023.”
The challenges that companies face in driving their ESG strategy and business success are very diverse, so “considering the importance of climate change, companies need to start mapping out a long-term plan to meet their ESG objectives. However, these efforts must be accompanied by ongoing discussions, regulations, infrastructure investments, and close collaboration between government and private industry for the benefit of business and society,” said Eduardo Reyes Bravo, Consulting Solutions Lead Partner at PwC Mexico.
Finally, on the topic of regulation, Adriana Rodríguez, ESG Solutions Partner at PwC Mexico, explained that “although we do not yet have a regulation in Mexico that obliges companies to comply with ESG practices, it is important to point out that many of the Mexican companies with operations in the country are already implementing actions to address these criteria, with the issues that most concern them being reporting, addressing social and environmental issues and fostering greater collaboration with tax entities.” She stressed that “the success of the aforementioned issues will reaffirm our position as a country committed to ESG.”
This first edition of the ESG Summit Mexico was attended by more than 200 guests, including 89 CEOs and owners of Mexico's leading companies, CFOs and ESG executives from leading companies in the market with more than 28 industries represented. The four organizing institutions, leaders and recognized in their fields, seek to generate a positive change in business models in Mexico, in which sustainable development is inspired and driven, benefiting everyone, and guaranteeing resources and social welfare for future generations.
Sergio Torres, Director of Strategy and Innovation for Digital Banking, Alejandro Cárdenas, General Manager of Corporate and Government Banking, Álvaro Vaqueiro, General Manager of Corporate and Investment Banking and Hugo Nájera, General Manager of Customer Solutions at BBVA Mexico, during their participation in the First ESG 2023 Summit.