As a partner in the Spanish Network of the United Nations’ Global Compact, BBVA works to promote sustainability and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). United Nations Day provides a time to recall the role companies play in peoples’ lives and the need for them to make a firm commitment to creating a better future.
October 24 is United Nations Day, which commemorates the entry into force of the United Nations Charter in 1945. Since it was first held in 1948, this day has been marked by meetings, debates, events and expositions about the UN’s goals and achievements. However, apart from acknowledging the work of the United Nations, the day provides an opportunity to reflect on what people and companies can do to achieve peace, human rights and development.
A network of responsible companies
Companies have a significant role to play in the search for the solutions the UN recommends to improve the world. These are expressed in the roadmap known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Companies committed to the ambitious goals of the SDGs join the Global Compact Network, whose role is to help the business community contribute to this new development agenda, whose horizon is 2030. In this way, companies have for the first time become key agents of sustainable development, putting them on the same level as governments.
The mission of the Global Compact Network is to promote business sustainability by having companies align their strategies and day-to-day operations, not only with the SDGs, but also with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, with labor laws, the environment and the fight against corruption.
The Spanish ecosystem
The United Nations Global Compact operates in Spain through the Spanish Network, a platform that has more than 2,500 members, with a varied profile. Some 10% are large corporations, 76% small and medium-sized enterprises, and 10% are from the third sector- unions, business associations and educational institutions. The Spanish Network was one of the first national platforms in the Global Compact and has the largest number of signatories. Its management model and organizational structure are regarded as among the most advanced in the Global Compact. Dynamic in nature, the Spanish Network carries out a series of activities to promote the 10 Principles of the Global Compact, which favor sustainable business and development.
BBVA is a partner in this great network and has made both corporate social responsibility and achieving the SDGs an essential part of the company’s DNA. The bank shares its experience and knowledge with the network, which enriches the other member companies and institutions. BBVA’s membership in the network implies that it shares the objectives of the UN Global Compact and commits itself to ethical management, based on the Compact’s 10 Principles.
One example is the Fundación Microfinanzas, created to promote sustainable and inclusive economic and social development by vulnerable entrepreneurs in Latin America. Currently, it attends nearly two million people and has been recognized by the United Nations for its contribution to achieving the SDGs, in particular an end to poverty and the empowerment of women.
BBVA also joins forces with other key actors in sustainable development through UN initiatives such as the UNEP Finance Initiative, a worldwide association of the United Nations Environment Programme and the finance sector. In addition, the bank subscribes to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), whose objective is to incorporate environmental, social and governmental factors into investment decisions.