BBVA is a bank with a purpose: “To bring the age of opportunity to everyone.” A purpose that seeks to have a positive impact on the lives of people, companies and society as a whole. This way, BBVA’s commitment to sustainability is possibly one of the clearest ways to materialize this purpose and help its customers in this transition.
Customers, markets and society as a whole not only expect large companies to create value, but also expect them to contribute positively to society. Most importantly, that the economic developmental activity to which they contribute to be inclusive.
In 2019, BBVA carried out a process of strategic reflection to continue deepening its transformation and adapt to the major trends changing the world and the financial industry. It incorporated sustainability as one of its six strategic priorities, focusing on the fight against climate change and inclusive growth.
Accompanying customers in the energy transition in the face of climate change and focusing on inclusive growth are the group's two pillars in terms of sustainability.
Javier Rodríguez Soler, Global Head of Sustainability at BBVA: “One of BBVA's priorities is to help customers in the transition to a more sustainable future”
BBVA's drive for sustainable financing began in 2007 when it participated in the first issue of a green bond whose issuer was the European Investment Bank (hereinafter, EIB); a year later, the employee pension plan manager in Spain was the first in the market to sign the Principles for Responsible Investment.
In 2018, BBVA presented its 2025 Goal to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and the challenges arising from the Paris Climate Agreement. Since then, the Group has made progress in developing this priority, integrating sustainability across the board in management, internal processes and in their customer and other stakeholder relations.
On December 4, 2018, the Katowice Commitment was signed. BBVA joined ING, BNP Paribas, Société Générale, and Standard Chartered in a joint commitment to adjust their loan portfolios to the objectives set in the Paris Agreement against climate change. In an open letter addressed to world leaders and heads of state by those gathered at the 24th United Nations Climate Summit in Katowice (Poland), these institutions pledged to finance and design the financial services necessary to support clients in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
On September 22, 2019, together with 206 other banks, BBVA signed the Principles of Responsible Banking, a framework of 6 principles to help any bank align its strategy with the company's objectives, with more than $53 trillion in assets and that represents more than a third of the global banking system. The Principles of Responsible Banking are promoted by the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) with the aim of facing the challenges of sustainability and the climate emergency that today's society faces.
Also at said climate summit, held in New York at that time, BBVA joined the Collective Commitment to Climate Action. This initiative promoted by UNEP FI represents an important step towards working as a truly global coalition. According to the experts’ opinion back then, it was the most ambitious milestone in the financial sector with regard to climate. It was signed by 36 banks.
On April 21, 2021, BBVA became one of the 43 founding members of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). Banks in this international alliance commit to ensuring that all of their credit and investment portfolios are neutral in net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, in line with science and the most ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement. In addition, the direct impact of their activities must also be neutral - a goal that BBVA already achieved in 2020.
In July 2021, BBVA boosted it strategy when it elevated sustainability to the highest executive level of the organization and created the global Sustainability area, which is led by Javier Rodríguez Soler. In the words of Carlos Torres Vila, Chair of the Group, “This new global business area will give a decisive boost to our leadership in sustainability and to the strategic priority of helping our customers in their transition to a sustainable future.”
In November 2021, BBVA announced the objectives for the decarbonization of its loan portfolio in 2030 for CO2-intensive industries. These are intermediate targets with a view to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
On sustainable finance mobilization, BBVA has increased its goal two times up to €300 billion between 2018 and 2025. Until June 2023 the bank has already channeled €169 billion.
Finance in a sustainable transition
The fight against climate change is one of the biggest disruptions in history, with extraordinary economic consequences to which all the actors in our environment (governments, regulators, companies, consumers, and society in general) have to adapt to. Climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy have significant implications for the majority of productive sectors´ value chains, and may require significant investments in various industries. However, technological advances around energy efficiency, renewable energies, efficient mobility, and a circular economy are also a source of new opportunities.
Banking’s role is to universalize access to sustainable financial solutions
At BBVA we are aware that we have a crucial decade ahead of us (The Paris Agreement goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990) to make a transformation as a society in which banks play a key role in helping people, companies and institutions undertake the transition towards a greener and more inclusive world.
Aware of banking’s prominent role in the transition towards a sustainable future through its financing and advisory activities, BBVA has committed to gradually aligning its activity in accordance with the Paris Agreement´s objectives and to help clients with this transition.
For BBVA, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a priority, in which it can have a greater positive impact by taking advantage of banking’s multiplier effect, which is why it intends to accompany its clients with a dual focus on Climate Action and Inclusive Growth.
Included on the Group’s roadmap towards Climate Action is promoting energy efficiency, a circular economy, and the reduction of carbon intensity. In terms of Inclusive Growth, mobilizing investments towards inclusive infrastructures, promoting entrepreneurship, inclusion, and financial health are also among its objectives.
Transparency and commitment in the disclosure of non-financial information
BBVA announced its progress in its strategy against climate change with the publication of its sustainability policy and its first report on the risks and opportunities of climate change in accordance with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD) standards.
In November 2020, BBVA published its first TCFD report, highlighting the positive developments for incorporating climate risk into the management of all BBVA businesses, as well as its commitment to accompanying its clients towards a more sustainable future. The TCFD group's recommendations are promoted by the Financial Stability Board with the aim of guiding companies when managing and reporting on business risks and opportunities related to climate change. In March 2022 it updated the report with data as of December 2021.
Sustainability ratings measure a company's ESG performance and determine its presence in sustainability indices. Therefore, a company's position and permanence in these stock indices depends on the demonstration of continuous progress in sustainability issues and influences a company's eligibility in investment portfolios.
BBVA participates annually in the main sustainability analyses conducted by non-financial rating agencies. Based on the evaluations obtained through these analyses, companies are chosen to be part of the sustainability indices.
Some of the most popular indices are the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), FTSE4Good Global Index and the MSCI ESG Index. BBVA is the most sustainable bank in Europe for the third consecutive year according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2022, the global benchmark for sustainability. It obtained the second-highest score in the worldwide category of banks.
BBVA has been included, for the sixth consecutive year in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, in recognition of its commitment to creating trustworthy work environments in which the professional development and equal opportunities of all employees are guaranteed, regardless of their gender.
2025 Goal: BBVA triples its sustainable financing objective
In 2018, BBVA presented its 2025 Goal to progressively allign its activity with the Paris Agreement. In July 2021, the bank announced that it will channel €200 billion in sustainable financing until 2025. This represents a doubling of the 100 billion, the initial target first announced. “We want to contribute to the collective global effort against climate change and promote inclusive growth that leaves no one behind,” said BBVA Chair, Carlos Torres Vila. In October 2022, the bank tripled the initial amount up to €300 billion.
In sustainable financing, BBVA has reached 169 billion euros at the end of June 2023
BBVA’s 2025 Goal is based on three lines of action: finance, manage and engage.
- Financing: BBVA pledges to mobilize €300 billion in green finance, sustainable infrastructure, agribusiness, entrepreneurship and financial inclusion.
- Managing the environmental and social risks associated with the Bank's activity and their potential direct and indirect negative impacts.
- Engaging all stakeholders to collectively promote the financial sector's contribution to sustainable development.
Climate change and the transition toward a low-carbon economy have significant implications on the value chains of most production sectors, and may require significant investments in many industries. However, technological progress in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energies, efficient mobility, and the circular economy will continue to generate new opportunities for everyone.
In this context, BBVA has defined a set of values, principles and criteria included in the Group's Sustainability Policy in order to achieve sustained value creation for shareholders, employees, customers, and for society as a whole.
Climate action: BBVA's contribution to curbing global warming
As highlighted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase and are 50 percent higher than the 1990s level. Furthermore, global warming is causing permanent changes in the climate system, the consequences of which may be irreversible if urgent action is not taken now. According to SDG 13 of the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development, to limit warming to 1.5 °C, global CO2 emissions must decrease by 45 percent between 2010 and 2030, and reach zero around 2050.
In this context, BBVA has incorporated climate action as the first pillar that supports its sustainability strategy with the aim of mobilizing the appropriate resources to manage the challenge of climate change and address the SDGs related to it.
To understand the increase in temperatures and the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG), it is necessary to analyze the evolution of human productive activity. One of the factors that most contributes to global warming is the increase in GHG concentrations generated directly by human activity, especially by emissions derived from the production of fossil energy.
BBVA, net zero emissions by 2050
At the General Shareholders' Meeting held on April 20, 2021, BBVA Chairman Carlos Torres Vila, announced the institution's pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050.
BBVA has joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) as one of the 43 founding members. Banks in this international alliance commit to ensuring that all of their credit and investment portfolios are neutral in net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, in line with science and the most ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement. In addition, the direct impact of their activities must also be neutral - a goal that BBVA already achieved in 2020.
Through this alliance, each bank commits to setting intermediate decarbonization goals for 2030 in line with the goal of net zero emissions by 2050. By the end of this year - and after announcing that it will stop financing coal - BBVA will meet its targets in the most CO2-intensive sectors: oil, gas, automotive, steel, cement, and transport.
Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA Chair: “Sustainability is an essential part of our strategy, including the fight against climate change, which is one of the greatest disruptions humanity has faced”
BBVA to stop financing coal in the next few years
In March 2021, BBVA pledged to reduce its exposure to coal-related activities to zero, stopping the financing of companies in these activities before 2030 in developed countries and before 2040 in the rest of the countries in which it is present. This decision, which is included in the updated BBVA's Environmental and Social Framework, is in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) proposal. This aims to limit the rise in temperatures to a maximum of 1.5ºC and achieve the goal of a carbon neutral economy in 2050.
BBVA will stop financing clients whose coal-based activities represent more than 5% of their revenue. Companies exceeding this threshold will only be able to receive financing for renewable and sustainable energy projects. The definition of said threshold is in line with the criteria of the Science-Based Targets initiative, which proposes a methodological approach to set science-based decarbonization targets.
According to the IPCC, coal-based electricity generation must be reduced to near zero to achieve a net carbon-neutral economy by 2050
BBVA's Environmental and Social Framework establishes clear red lines in the financing of certain sectors with a greater potential for environmental and social impact, as well as those with greater exposure in the transition to a low-carbon economy: energy, mining, infrastructure, agribusiness, and defense industries.
Decarbonization targets in new sectors for 2030
In November 2021, BBVA announced the intermediate objectives for the decarbonization of its portfolio for four CO2-intensive industries. After committing in March to stop financing coal by 2030 in developed countries and by 2040 in the rest, the financial institution now announces that between 2020 and 2030 it will reduce the carbon intensity of its loan portfolio by 52% in electricity generation; 46% in automobile manufacturing; 23% in steel production; and 17% in cement production. The bank will focus its efforts on supporting its customers with financing, advice and innovative solutions in the joint effort to decarbonize.
BBVA backs green and clean hydrogen in Europe
BBVA joins the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, which aims to promote the extension and development of the use of green hydrogen for a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050. BBVA is the only Spanish bank in this alliance promoted by the European Commission. This alliance aims to make clean hydrogen (also known as green) accessible throughout the EU and promotes the establishment of a green hydrogen market that contributes to economic growth and job creation.
Risks associated with climate change
The magnitude of the effects that Earth's rising temperatures will cause is still unclear, which adds an additional degree of uncertainty. It is evident that the most rational response is to try to mitigate this increase in temperatures through the urgent adoption of predictable and credible global policies that are planned in their implementation.
In this process, BBVA has established a classification that divides its risks into: physical risks, which are direct consequences of climate change caused or fostered by extreme weather events and potential physical damage to the bank's assets in the long-term; and transition risks, which are those risks that are the result of the shift towards a low carbon economy (such as legislative changes, variation in consumption patterns, etc.) that entail the incorporation of climate change into the planification of business risks.
BBVA has included climate change in its annual risk assessment and has incorporated sustainability into its Risk Appetite Framework. To achieve this, it has developed an internal taxonomy of transition risks to classify sectors based on their sensitivity to transition risk, identifying metrics at the client level.
BBVA Group’s activity’s direct impact
Although banks are not large direct emitters of CO2 due to the activities they carry out compared to other sectors (1.02 percent of emissions in Europe, according to Eurostat), BBVA has set out to reduce the impact of its activity on the environment as part of its strategy to fight climate change and promote sustainable development. Through the Global Eco-efficiency Plan (PGE), and in line with the climate targets defined in its 2025 Goal, and in line with the objectives set out in its 2025 Commitment on climate change, BBVA has been carbon neutral since 2020 in relation to the direct environmental impacts of its operations and has announced that it will also be carbon neutral in relation to indirect impacts (its customers) in 2050.
BBVA meets goal to become carbon neutral in 2020
In tandem to reducing emissions, BBVA announced, within the framework of The UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25) in 2019, the incorporation of an internal price for CO2 emissions that also generates a positive impact on the local communities affected.
BBVA has offset its entire carbon footprint through carbon mitigation projects, which also benefited the local communities where they are developed. The bank offset more than 100,000 tons of CO2 during the year through seven projects developed in countries where it operates. This achievement represents another step towards aligning with the Paris Agreement and reducing direct and indirect emissions.
In Spain and Portugal, the Group also covers 100% of its energy needs with renewable power sources; in Mexico, the United States, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Turkey renewables already represent a substantial percentage, with renewables accounting for about 79% of the Groups' total energy bill. In addition, the Group has equipped its corporate buildings in Turkey, Uruguay and Spain with renewable self-consumption systems such as photovoltaic and solar thermal panels.
Moving towards 2025, BBVA will work to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 68% using 2015 as a baseline, targeting 70% of its energy consumption to come from renewable sources
Regardless of the impact that the Covid-19 crisis may have had on environmental indicators, the Group's environmental footprint presents very positive data compared to 2019, with 54% reductions of CO2 emissions (according to the market based method), 14% in electricity consumption, 5% in water consumption, and 32% in paper (all of them per person).
Corporate buildings' efficiency thanks to artificial intelligence and green algorithms
BBVA has renewed and expanded its Environmental Management Systems certifications based on the ISO 14001 Standard in Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, and Turkey. A total of 89 buildings and 1,034 branches now have this certification. In addition, the Group has 16 buildings and 10 offices with LEED certification of sustainable construction, which include the bank´s main headquarters in Spain, Mexico, the United States, Argentina, and Turkey. Four have received the highest certification category, LEED Platinum, which recognizes BBVA's effort to have the best environmental and energy standards in its buildings.
Reducing the environmental impact of its activity is one of BBVA's objectives in its strategy to fight climate change and promote sustainable development. With this objective in mind, the design and construction of the Group's corporate headquarters is also optimized, such as the BBVA HQ Madrid, which currently consumes between 15 percent and 25 percent less per year than when it was inaugurated in 2015, avoiding 1,800 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
During the construction of BBVA's current headquarters in Madrid, criteria was used to ensure its maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact, such as the use of recycled and sustainable materials, green areas and system that makes use of rainwater. In addition, 50,000 sensors were installed at Ciudad BBVA to collect data about the status of the facilities.
The Madrid complex uses energy and facility management software based on artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve energy efficiency. The tool connects to the building's control system and, using programmed mathematical algorithms for data processing, it can identify and diagnose issues in the facilities. Additionally, the photovoltaic installation has been doubled in order to make better use of natural resources.
With all these efficiency measures in place, BBVA HQ’s 2020 annual savings was equivalent to what 2,500 households consume in a whole year, 50 percent more than in 2019.
Measuring carbon footprints for individuals and companies
In addition to reducing its direct impact, BBVA also helps companies to find out the amount of greenhouse gases they emit into the atmosphere with their daily activities. To achieve this, BBVA developed One View, a pioneering tool that uses data analytics to calculate companies' carbon footprint. BBVA, the world's first bank to use data analytics to calculate companies' carbon footprint. In addition, since the end of July 2021, it became the first bank in Spain to offer this calculation to its private customers thanks to its digital capabilities and data analytics, in a service available on the BBVA Spain app.
BBVA, first bank in the world to use data analytics to calculate the carbon footprint of companies and their customers
To make this calculation, the movements that occur in the aggregate accounts of the company and individual customers related to electricity, gas or fuel expenses are studied. With this information, the BBVA Spain app converts the costs derived from energy consumption into tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere by the business activity.
In addition, the application allows the client to define an energy saving target for the next annual period and make comparisons with other companies. Using the parameters of the sector of activity (CNAE), the company's declared invoicing and the number of employees on staff, BBVA provides the customer with a view of how it performs (monthly expenditure percentile) with respect to companies very similar to it.
The economic recovery after the health crisis is a major challenge, one of the greatest challenges, also from a business point of view, ever faced by mankind, which will result in massive transfers of value between activities and sectors, which will take place at great speed.
BBVA understands sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development emerges as the guiding principle for long-term world development, while trying to achieve economic development, social development and environmental protection in a balanced manner.
In this scenario, sustainable finance is presented as an essential plan of action, an economic opportunity, and especially a way out of the Covid-19 economic crisis. The United Nations has calculated that a yearly investment between five to seven billion dollars is necessary to meet the SDGs, a roadmap in which banks play a crucial role. In BBVA´s Chairman Carlos Torres Vila´s words: “The future of banking lies in financing the future.”
Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA Chair: “The future of the bank rests in financing the future”
At March 2022’s close, BBVA has doubled its sustainable business in business banking and increased corporate and investment banking by 18%. Sustainable mobility financing for retail customers has increased by two and a half. Business generated for energy efficiency (green mortgages, solar panels and efficient household appliances for retail customers) increased fourfold. Certified sustainable construction multiplied its business by 3.4 times in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
With regard to the wholesale customer, BBVA has begun to integrate sustainability factors into its customer evaluations and financial programs. In sustainable lending, BBVA has been a pioneer and key driver, today making it one of the most active institutions globally and, in particular, in Spain.
Likewise, in 2007, BBVA became an advisor with extensive experience in the sustainable bond market, participating in the issuance of the first green bond by the European Investment Bank
Since 2018, BBVA has advanced in its objective of supporting its corporate clients in its sustainable financing strategies through an innovative industry-first sustainable transactional product framework.
The Group has developed a methodology that makes it possible to classify its clients' transactional banking operations as green, social or sustainable. This way, a social bond is issued if the projects to be financed are social; and a green bond is issued if they are projects related to natural resources and the environment. In order to acquire the green category, it's necessary that the financial product´s purpose promotes environmental sustainability and that it be qualified as such by an environmental consultant.
In parallel, BBVA Asset Management (BBVA AM) has launched a sustainability plan that will have its effects across the board. This plan aims to incorporate sustainability criteria into the investment process of all managed vehicles and is based on four pillars: commitment, exclusion, integration and impact strategy.
As a strategic priority for the institution, BBVA promotes sustainability in each of its operations and products. Currently, it has a catalog of sustainable alternatives for all its products in Spain and will continue on this path in the rest of the geographical areas in which it operates. This wide range of sustainable solutions aims to respond to society's demands and help its clients make better financial decisions while contributing to the environment.
BBVA wants to accompany its clients in adopting more sustainable habits that favor the reduction of emissions in a proactive way, betting on tools and solutions based on data that help them control their consumption.
Although the market for financial products linked to sustainability is relatively new, it's growing at an accelerated rate, allowing companies and sectors looking for ways to start or expand a sustainable trajectory, to access sustainable financing.
The second pillar of BBVA's sustainability strategy is inclusive growth. Greater financial inclusion has a positive impact on the living standards and sustained economic growth of countries. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), "Inclusive growth is economic growth that is distributed fairly across society and creates opportunities for all." Therefore, the fight against financial exclusion is consistent with BBVA's social commitment, as well as with its business objectives.
BBVA promotes access to finance for everyone through user-friendly digital solutions, especially in emerging markets. To date, 16.5 million people have participated in BBVA workshops and more than 32 million have accessed financial education content available via digital platforms. In the field of financial inclusion, BBVA has been able to make some substantial contributions thanks to the implementation of digital identification, big data and artificial intelligence technologies.
Between 2021 and 2025, BBVA and its foundations will allocate 550 million euros to social initiatives to support inclusive growth in the countries where it is present. “This is the most ambitious social plan we have launched to date,” said BBVA CEO Onur Genç.
This commitment to the BBVA community will be structured around three main focuses of action and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Reducing inequality and promoting entrepreneurship - SDG 8.
- Creating opportunities for all through education - SDG 4.
- Supporting research and culture - SDG 9.
Financial education at BBVA
BBVA has invested €91.4 million in financial education programs that have benefited 44.2 million people since 2008, when it launched its Global Financial Education Plan. In 2022, BBVA launched its new Global Financial Education Plan with the aim of training one million people by 2025. The bank's commitment to finance training is a long-standing one.
Data and sustainability: Data intelligence for the common good
Digitization is a driver of sustainable finance. In the field of financial inclusion, BBVA has been able to make some substantial contributions thanks to the implementation of digital identification, big data and artificial intelligence technologies.
Sustainability is also the backdrop for the group's most innovative activity. In 2019, BBVA introduced for the first time its "Sustainable AgroTech Challenge", a challenge for programmers signed up for the BBVA Hackathon organized by BBVA Mexico, proposed by the International Finance Corporation. In 2020, the BBVA Hackathon included ‘Green Challenge’, a sustainability challenge, for second year running, the purpose of the initiative being providing guidance, supporting and raising awareness among clients about their carbon footprint and how to improve it by boosting their energy efficiency. The Hackathon's 2020 edition was the world's first programming contest to take place in a 100 percent digital format.
Drawing inspiration from this competition, BBVA Peru's Talent & Culture and Engineering team developed its first 100 percent virtual Hackathon in: the 'Space Hackathon', focused on videogames, a meeting with which the bank tests the problem-solving capacity of young participants.
In the wholesale banking market, the combination of sustainability and innovation allowed BBVA to develop the first structured green bond using blockchain technology for Mapfre, a first-of-its-kind operation due to its dual sustainable and technological nature.
BBVA Open Innovation is the unit in charge of forging connections and partnerships with 'fintech' startups across the world, and spotting innovative solutions with potential for the bank to harness to deliver solutions that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. Thus, BBVA Open Innovation's Startup Acceleration Program also encompasses new initiatives and innovative projects with a firm focus on sustainability.Such was the case of Fundeen, a fintech that “allows individuals to invest in renewable energy projects” under the motto “Sustainable profitability, profitable sustainability”. Another startup, Creando Redes benefits from this same program, which helps companies factor in the available natural capital - i.e., the stock of natural resources in a territory - into their decisions.
BBVA Open Summit connects promoters, innovators and other voices of the fintech to discuss ways to reshape traditional banking and build the future of the financial industry. The Open Summit agenda tackles the most disruptive subjects to assess tomorrow's challenges, with a roster of specialists in areas such as machine learning, open banking or payments, and others where sustainability becomes of particular relevance.
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) has been recognized by the OECD as the leading foundation in contribution to development in Latin America, and the second in the world only after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to findings of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Foundation is the world's top contributor to gender equality.
As described in the report ‘Development finance for gender equality and women’s empowerment: A 2021 snapshot’, between 2018 and 2019, the BBVAMF, through its local branches in Latin America, devoted $595 million to address three basic issues affecting the most vulnerable women in the region: financial independence, self-esteem and a sense of belonging, and social integration.
In 2021, the BBVAMF supported 2,773,199 vulnerable entrepreneurs through solutions aimed at growing their business (through loans and other products) and strengthening their skills to access better opportunities. More than 8.3 million people have indirectly benefited from the support provided to these entrepreneurs. To date, it has disbursed a volume of €1.11 billion in microcredits and, between 2021 and 2025, has committed to deliver an additional €7 billion, to support a total of 4.5 million entrepreneurs.
Since its creation in 2007, it has paid out $16.9 billion in loans to low-income entrepreneurs through its branches.
Meanwhile, in 2021, the BBVAMF provided financial education to a total of 338,536 people.
The BBVAMF has strengthened its environmental sustainability strategy with initiatives that help strengthen the resilience of the entrepreneurs it serves, who also are more vulnerable to climate change risks. In addition, it integrates digitalization into its day-to-day work to transform financial services, thus promoting a more sustainable financial inclusion.
The BBVAMF offers a broad range of financial products and services (credit, savings, insurance, remittances, etc.), together with a comprehensive advisory service and continuous support to help those it works with build up their business skills and financial knowledge, essential tools to pull out of poverty.
The BBVAMF integrates digitization into its day-to-day routine to transform financial services, thus promoting a more sustainable financial inclusion
Some of its most relevant accomplishments include the implementation of a standardized and robust banking system across its entire footprint, automated documentary management, mobile apps for entrepreneurs as well as its advisors and agents and the strengthening of multichannel communications. In an environment where personal relationships are pivotal, delivering its customer services in a simpler and more cost-effective way (both in terms of time and money for the entrepreneur) becomes a crucial aspect. Also, this technological infrastructure is contributing to improving environmental sustainability.
The BBVAMF uses these infrastructures to incorporate data as a strategic asset, enabling it to efficiently implement its social impact measurement system and, above all, bring a better value proposition to the entrepreneurs it supports.
For its part, the BBVA Foundation has generated around its activity a network of experts that contribute a relevant social capital to BBVA's sustainability strategy. Thus, BBVA, through its foundation, has played a pioneering and essential role in supporting environmental research and initiatives launched both in Spain and on a global scale.
From their inception, the Frontiers of Knowledge Awards have become a seal of scientific excellence on a global scale, recognizing researchers that are at the cutting edge in the fight against global warming and the biodiversity crisis. The BBVA Foundation Awards to Biodiversity Conservation were established with the specific purpose of protecting biological diversity, recognizing initiatives aimed at protecting both Spain and Latin America's natural heritage, as well as environmentally-related awareness raising campaigns in Spain.
Also, since 2001, the foundation has promoted and supported research projects in environmental sciences through Scientific Research Team Fellowship programs and since 2014 with the Leonardo Grants.
In 2008, these research support programs were integrated into BBVA Foundation's Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, with the creation of two categories aimed at recognizing fundamental scientific contributions to address two of the greatest environmental challenges of our times: Climate Change and Conservation Ecology and Biology. From their inception, the Frontiers of Knowledge Awards have become a seal of scientific excellence on a global scale and the prelude to the Nobel Prizes.
Bearing in mind that the ecological challenges of our time have no borders, since 2017 the Biodiversity Conservation Awards have incorporated a global category to distinguish actions for the preservation of species, habitats and ecosystems anywhere on the planet.
Also, convinced that effectively taking on the environmental challenges requires disseminating information and raising awareness on a global scale, in 2019 the BBVA Foundation created the Biophilia Award for Environmental Communication to recognize the world's best environmental communicators.
BBVA stands with Ukraine
Since February 25, just one day after the outbreak of the invasion of Ukraine, BBVA has been in contact with the main social organizations with a presence in the conflict zone. To date, the bank has implemented a series of measures to help in a tragedy, which is especially affecting the most vulnerable population (women and children leaving Ukraine):
- In addition, BBVA has offered the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration 200 housing units for refugees. The homes will be able to house up to 800 people and are spread throughout Spain, but are mostly located in Catalonia, Valencia and Andalusia.
- BBVA has already made a donation of 1 million euros, split equally between UNICEF and UNHCR, to respond to the humanitarian emergency in Ukraine.
- BBVA has also launched a donation campaign among its customers and employees in Spain, which to date has already raised more than 2 million euros. The donations will go to support initiatives launched by UNICEF, UNHCR, the Red Cross and Doctors of the World.
- The financial institution has also set up free transfers from individuals to Ukraine.
- BBVA is also easing the financial inclusion of refugees with the Basic Payment Account. To open it, the only requirement will be the request for temporary protection for displaced persons. Without any additional documentation, they will be able to open an account and obtain a card free of charge, which will enable them to access basic banking services.
Social Responsibility against the Covid-19 crisis
As part of its ‘Social Response to COVID-19’ initiative BBVA devoted €35.7 million in 2020 to help society at large. The funds were primarily used to purchase medical equipment to support public health systems. In addition, the bank collaborated with a number of social organizations to support vulnerable groups and promoted research on the disease and its side effects through the BBVA Foundation.
More than 3.5 million people directly benefited from these initiatives, rolled out on top of the measures to support customers, including payment deferrals and government backed loans.
The European Union after the health crisis: Next-Gen EU
Approved in July 2020, Next-Gen EU is a Euro1.8 trillion plan launched by the EU to reset the bloc's economy after Covid-19 and keep making progress towards essential social objectives for the EU, such as climate transition. Without a doubt, the most ambitious recovery plan in history, consistent with the EU's climate goals.
Banks play a key role both helping the Next-Gen EU funds reach their final destination and multiplying their impact. Thus, these funds stand as an opportunity to remedy long-standing structural economic shortcomings, and to establish the foundations for solid and more inclusive growth in the long run, and promote the generation of businesses and administrations, besides driving the much needed transition towards a more sustainable economy.
which boasts its own manifesto and which was born with the purpose of helping consumers transition towards a sustainable life where food is the first medicine.
BBVA supports local producers (it has already collaborated with almost 80) and its quality products to promote economic, social and environmental balance. Also, at a time when society is demanding new consumption alternatives, BBVA is favoring the dissemination of an extremely relevant culinary knowledge both at a social, cultural and environmental level, through a set of easy recipes devised by the Roca brothers, global icons of high cuisine.
In this regard, and committed to promoting economic, social and environmental balance, BBVA and El Celler de Can Roca have embarked on a new project to deepen and document the importance of biodiversity, which is essential to ensure a sustainable and inclusive future. The initiative, called ‘Sowing the Future’, was created to promote reflection on the importance of preserving biodiversity and to warn about the extinction of natural resources. Through a documentary, it will inspire consumers to adopt responsible eating habits through quality, locally sourced, gastronomy that protects our health and our cultural heritage.
In addition, BBVA and El Celler de Can Roca have made progress in their joint commitment to sustainability, recycling and the circular economy with the ‘Ropa Recicla’ (Clothes Recycle) project, a step towards helping in the transition to a greener lifestyle as part of the 'Sustainable Gastronomy' project.