- Environmental commitment
The BBVA Group prioritizes sustainable development. As a financial institution, the Group’s activities have a significant impact on the environment: be it through its consumption of natural resources, e.g. management of its properties, use of paper, travel, etc. (direct impacts), or through the consequences for the environment of the products and services it provides, particularly those related to financing, asset management and management of its chain of suppliers (indirect impacts).
- Aims of the environmental policy
The objectives of the BBVA Group's environmental policy are as follows:
- Comply with prevailing environmental legislation where the BBVA Group operates
- Continually improve the identification and management of environmental risks in the Group’s financial and investment operations
- Develop environmentally-friendly financial products and services
- Eco-efficiency in the use of natural resources, setting and fulfilling objectives for improvement
- Manage direct impacts through an environmental management system based on standard ISO 14001
- Have a positive influence on the environmental behavior of stakeholders through communication and raising awareness of the importance of the environment as an additional input in business and human management practice
- Inform, raise awareness of, and train employees in environmental issues
- Provide support for sponsorship, voluntary work and environmental research
- Provide support for the main initiatives aimed at fighting and preventing climate change
The main international environmental commitments that the BBVA Group assumes are:
- United Nations Global Compact (since 2002): www.globalcompact.org
- UNEP- FI (since 1998): www.unepfi.org
- Equator Principles (since 2004): www.equator-principles.com
- Carbon Disclosure Project (since 2004): www.cdproject.net
- Principles for Responsible Investment (since 2008): www.unpri.org
- Environmental policy scope, governance and review
This environmental policy has worldwide scope and affects all the activities undertaken by the Group, i.e., the banks and subsidiaries in which BBVA has effective control. Until May 2011, the Corporate Responsibility and Reputation (CRR) Committee is responsible for coordinating the environmental policy and ensuring compliance with it through an environmental management system. Since that date, the corporate responsibility governance system makes great progress: the Group’s Management Committee begins to perform the function of the CRR Committee, submitting these matters to the Bank’s highest executive body. This same model will be replicated locally in all the major countries.
Within this new CRR governance framework, 2012 will see the setting up of the Eco-efficiency and Responsible Procurement Committee, which will become the main body in this area within the Group, responsible for supervising and updating the environmental policy, among other functions.
- Main environmental actions in 2011
The main environmental actions that the BBVA Group carried out in 2011 are as follows:
- Work within the framework of the 2008-2012 Global Eco-Efficiency Plan, aimed at minimizing the direct environmental impacts of the BBVA Group, and which has been allocated a budget of €19 million. The Plan will involve an annual saving of €1.5 million, as a result of efficient use of natural resources. The Plan’s goals per employee are as follows:
- A 20% reduction in CO2 emissions
- A 10% reduction in paper consumption
- A 7% reduction in water consumption
- A 2% reduction in energy consumption
- A 20% increase in the number of employees working in ISO 14001 certified buildings (26,000 employees)
- LEED Gold certification for the Group’s new headquarters in Madrid, Mexico and Paraguay (15,500 employees)
- Improved environmental risk management systems in project finance (Equator Principles) and in determining borrower’s credit profiles (Ecorating).
- Leadership in financing of renewable energy projects internationally.
- Support for major international initiatives to fight against climate change. In 2011, the BBVA Group subscribed the following international environmental initiatives: Investor CDP, CDP Water Disclosure Project and the 2ºC Challenge Communiqué.
- Development of ambitious environmental sponsorship programs, particularly through the BBVA Foundation. Worth noting are the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge awards in the Ecology, Conservation Biology and Climate Change categories, each provided with €400,000. Moreover, in 2010 the BBVA Foundation, in partnership with CSIC, implemented a scholarship program and a publication relating to the Malaspina 2010 expedition, which seeks to assess the impact of global change on the oceans and study their biodiversity.
- Launch of an internal communication plan within the framework of the 2008-2012 Global Eco-Efficiency Plan in order to raise environmental awareness among all BBVA Group employees.
- Social and environmental risk training for the Group’s risk analysts.
As of December 31, 2011, there are no items in the BBVA Group’s consolidated Financial Statements that warranted inclusion in the separate environmental information document set out in the Ministry of Economy Order dated October 8, 2001.