Annual Report 2014 BBVA Group Business areas Primary stakeholders


As a financial institution, BBVA has a significant influence on the environment through the consumption of natural resources and the emissions generated and, particularly, through the products and services it offers, especially those related to its funding, asset management and supply chain activities.

BBVA's commitment to the environment is reflected in its environmental policy, which is global in scope. BBVA has also adhered to the major international agreements in this area, such as the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Equator Principles, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Global Compact, the Green Bond Principles and the Carbon Disclosure Project. In 2015, BBVA also joined the Spanish Green Growth Group. ​

BBVA's commitment to the environment is reflected in its environmental policy and in its adherence to the main international agreements in this area


In 2013 we launched our second Global Eco-efficiency Plan (GEP), which set the following objectives per employee based on the consumption levels verified in 2012:

  • A 6% reduction in CO2 emissions.
  • A 3% reduction in paper consumption.
  • A 3% reduction in water consumption.
  • A 3% reduction in electricity usage.
  • 33% of people working in buildings and offices that have been awarded environmental certifications.

In addition, the plan included controls on the generation of waste such as paper, toner, electrical and electronic appliances and other dangerous waste. In 2015 we completed the Plan, far exceeding all the goals set. We have reduced electricity usage by 14%, water consumption by 23%, paper consumption by 43% and CO2 emissions by 16%, always with respect to 2012 figures. Likewise, the 33% objective set for employees working in buildings that have been awarded environmental certification has been reached.

BBVA has completed its second Global Eco-efficiency plan, far exceeding the goals set

BBVA Group. Main GEP indicators

  2015 2014 2013
People working in certified buildings(1) (2) (%) 33 18 17
CO2 emissions per person (t) 2.7 2.7 2.8
Paper consumption per person (t) 0.1 0.1 0.1
Water consumption per person (m3) 22.3 24 23.5
Electricity consumption per person (MWh) 6.4 6.4 6.5

Note: indicators calculated based on employees and external staff.
​(1) Including IS0 14001 and LEED certifications.
(2)  Including Torre Reforma and BBVA Bancomer Operational Center buildings in Mexico, which are currently in the process of certification.

BBVA contributes to environmental sustainability, especially through excellence in managing its buildings

For some years now, the Group has moved from traditional maintenance to an integrated and global management of its buildings, where environmental and efficiency aspects play a key role in the design of these new buildings. A total of 16 Group buildings in Spain, the United States and Latin America have been built according to the LEED certification standards of the U.S. Green Building Council. These include the new headquarters in Ciudad BBVA and the data processing center in Madrid. Likewise, the Torre Reforma and BBVA Bancomer Operational Center buildings in Mexico have highly advanced in the process of certification. Application of this standard has resulted in average energy savings of 33%.

At Ciudad BBVA, the Group's new headquarters in Madrid, the use of renewable energy has reduced electricity consumption significantly. The Group has installed 1,945 m2 of photovoltaic panels, which produce 750 MWh a year; nearly 600 m2 of solar thermal panels capable of producing 476 MWh a year; and a closed-loop geothermal system that captures the stable underground temperature, with 20 wells, each 100 meters deep, and with an installed capacity of 100 kW.

The new headquarters in Chile, recently completed, and Argentina, currently under construction, are also following the LEED standard, which will result in energy consumption savings of 30% compared with a building that does not take into account these criteria.

Refurbishment work is also being carried out in other Group buildings to improve their efficiency through the use of smart elevators and LED lights, the implementation of high-efficiency air conditioning equipment and the installation of photovoltaic and solar thermal panels in countries such as Colombia, Peru and Uruguay. 

As regards energy management system certification (ISO 50001), the certification has been maintained at the BBVA Campus in Madrid and certification has been awarded for Ciudad BBVA, a project where the already efficient facilities have been boosted by a control system that improves even further the efficiency of this large complex.

In line with BBVA's commitment to reducing the impact of buildings on the environment, in 2015 a total of 35 buildings and 60 bank branches were certified in accordance with the Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) in six countries.

An agreement was signed in Spain with the electric power company whereby all the electricity supplied to the network of branch offices and buildings in Spain will come from renewable sources. This will affect BBVA's 3,091 branch offices and 71 buildings in Spain and avoid the emission of 73,240 tons of CO2 a year.

In line with the plans already implemented and being executed, in 2016 we will launch a new GEP that will set new eco-efficiency commitments.

Appendix MA1 - Water consumption

Appendix MA2 - Paper consumption

Appendix MA3 - Energy consumption

Appendix MA4 - CO2 emissions

Appendix MA5 - Environmental certifications

Appendix MA6 - Waste management


Climate change and renewable energy funding 

Earlier this year, BBVA joined the Spanish Green Growth Group (GECV), a public-private partnership platform that brings together more than thirty Spanish companies and is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment. It aims to convey to society and to government agencies its vision of compatibility between the growth model and efficient use of natural resources. One of the major milestones of the GECV has been the presentation of the Barcelona Declaration within the framework of the 12th Expo, which includes ten recommendations to be included in all economic policies with the aim of responding to the sustainable development challenge.

In addition, this year BBVA signed up to the Carbon footprint, offsetting and CO2 absorption projects register of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, a voluntary register that encourages Spanish organizations to calculate and reduce their carbon footprint.

In March 2015, we once again participated in WWF's “Earth Hour” campaign, switching off the lights in more than 500 buildings in 158 cities of 10 countries in America and Europe.

On the occasion of the climate summit in Paris (COP21) BBVA endorsed several international support sector declarations, such as that by the European Financial Services Round Table (EFR) and the joint declaration of the Alliance of Energy Efficiency Financing Institutions promoted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and UNEP FI.

In 2015, BBVA strengthened its commitment to the fight against climate change through its support for several initiatives

It also gave its support to the “1 million commitments to climate” campaign launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment and the Biodiversity Foundation, among other organizations.

Beyond its support for these initiatives, BBVA is gradually integrating the risks and opportunities of climate change into its day-to-day management. This is set out in a study published by the international investment manager Boston Common Asset Management, which has prepared a ranking of 45 banks based on their control of climate risks. BBVA ranks fourth on this list and is the only Spanish institution mentioned in the study.

In particular, BBVA has been committed to the renewable energy sector. In 2015 we funded projects with a total installed capacity of 1,221 MW in this sector, 17% more than in 2014.

The transactions funded this year include the following projects:

  • Silver South solar photovoltaic farm. Located in Nevada, in the United States, it will be built on public land and boast a capacity of 250 MW. It will generate enough electricity to meet the needs of over 110,000 homes and avoid the emission of 150,000 tons of CO2 a year, equivalent to taking 30,000 cars off the road.
  • Cloosh Valley wind farm in Ireland. With a capacity of 108 MW, the farm will produce clean energy equivalent to the annual consumption of 62,500 homes, avoiding the emission of 120,720 tons of CO2 a year. The project will bring a benefit for the local economy estimated at €180m, of which 45 correspond to work carried out by local suppliers. The farm will create 90 jobs during its construction stage. 

BBVA is also active in the green and social bond market. In 2014, it signed the Green Bond Principles, a series of voluntary guidelines that set out the requirements for emission transparency and promote integrity in the development of the green bond market. This type of bonds have the same characteristics as traditional bonds and also offer environmental and social benefits. Capital markets play a key role in the funding of large infrastructures, and green and social bonds enable the channeling of large amounts of funds for projects which, due to their nature and scale, are highly capital-intensive. In 2015, the global volume of issuances of this type of bonds increased to €37,585m, with BBVA leading one of the most innovative deals on the market: the social bond issued by Kutxabank for funding public housing. It is the first social bond issued in Spain and enables the funding of loans for low-income individuals and families for accessing affordable housing. The design of its structure, led by BBVA in accordance with the Green Bond Principles, had the favorable opinion of the independent agency Sustainalytics. The issuance's execution was very well received by the market: €1 billion that attracted the interest of traditional and socially responsible institutional investors. BBVA's business areas are committed to providing advice for this type of funding for social and sustainable purposes.

For some years now we have been committed to funding the investments needed to mitigate global warming and make progress towards a low-carbon economy