BBVA believes in a different approach to banking based on principles-adjusted return. This commitment to set BBVA apart, combined with its brand vision “working for a better future for people”, has led to the definition of a “Responsible Business Plan” with three strategic priorities: transparent, clear and responsible (TCR) communication; education; and products with a high social impact, developed through social programs and support initiatives for different groups.
In the first quarter of 2014 BBVA was recognized as the best company in the world in online communication of corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability through its social media channels and profiles. This recognition by the consultancy firm Sustainly, which promotes the Social Media Sustainability Index, particularly highlights BBVA’s social media community and its interest in creating projects, campaigns and services for meeting the needs of society in general based on its profiles on the social media. Two projects in particular stand out: the response to the typhoon disaster in the Philippines through «BBVA Suma» and the «Yo Soy Empleo» (I am Employment) program.
BBVA Compass is one of the companies chosen by The Corporate Citizen, the magazine issued by the Carroll School of Management of Boston College in recognition of its high-quality information on sustainability.
Other highlights in the quarter are summarized below:
BBVA’s Responsible Business Committee has approved a methodology to implement the TCR Communication project at global level, analyzing the resources needed and its scope and implementation dates. Progress has been made with the information contained in the product leaflets in Spain and Mexico, which will be available for customers in 2014.
The «Adelante con tu Futuro» financial education program has launched a new workshop called “Stock Market Education” in Mexico, which aims to help people learn about the stock market and its impact on daily life. The skills developed in this workshop helps people see the stock market as just another savings or investment option.
Furthermore, BBVA Bancomer signed an agreement with INADEM (National Entrepreneur Institute) in México to support SMEs through «Adelante con tu Futuro». The agreement entails setting up credit and cash flow workshops for SMEs in Mexico, channeled through the INADEM. The workshops are designed for companies that need to better understand these concepts and seek to broaden their reach as businesses, whether they are already established or in the process of being created.
BBVA Bancomer presented the Economic Watch “Education trends in Mexico and the OECD, 1960-2010”, which points out the significant improvement in education and underscores the need to continue working to reduce the gap with more advanced economies.
Products with a high social impact
BBVA Bancomer won the 2013 Beyond Banking Award from the Inter-American Development Bank for the Responsible/Impact Investment category for the bank’s social efforts implemented through the «B+Educa» Investment Fund. The participants in this Mexican fund directly contribute 25% of the returns obtained to the «Por los que se quedan» integration grant program. The BBVA Bancomer Foundation received 81 million Mexican pesos (4.8 million euros) in 2013 from 28,202 participants in this fund for grants given to the children of émigrés who have finished Middle School.
To help people participate in the financial system, BBVA Continental in Peru has launched Efectivo Móvil program, which will allow users to send cash by using their smartphones and withdraw funds from any automatic teller without having to be a client or use a card. This is a technological innovation that will benefit over 4 million self-employed people.
Along the same lines, in Columbia BBVA rolled out the BBVA Tarjeta de Crédito Congelada, an initiative that provides low-income individuals with a special credit card.
As of March 31st, the «Yo Soy Empleo» initiative in Spain has helped 2,657 SMEs create 4,301 new jobs since the program was launched in February 2013, of which 70% were long-term contracts. The people who have found a job thanks to BBVA’s support had been unemployed for an average of 13 months.
To support entrepreneurs, BBVA has joined, as a founding partner, the two primary initiatives of the European Commission to promote innovation and leadership in the digital economy in Europe. The ‘Startup Europe Partnership’ was launched to provide support for entrepreneurs and their tech-projects, while the ‘European Digital Forum’ is the ‘think tank’ for entrepreneurs, politicians and lawmakers.
In the first quarter of 2014, the Women Entrepreneur Executive School, run by Garanti in Turkey, extended its activities to the city of Diyarbakir. Furthermore, Garanti has signed agreements with several institutions, such as Bosphorus University Business Angels Network or the Entrepreneurship Foundation, to support entrepreneurs and facilitate students’ access to information related to setting up business ventures.
Eco-efficiency. On March 29, 2014, the BBVA Group took part in the global “Earth Hour” campaign, switching off the lights of 554 buildings (127 corporate buildings and 427 branches) in 211 cities in 10 countries from America to Europe. This initiative is promoted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the most important nature conservation organizations in the world. It has become the biggest global event for the defense of nature.
“Ciudad BBVA” (BBVA City) in Madrid has received the ISO 14001 environmental certification, which recognizes the commitment to sustainability of the new corporate headquarters. They are designed to achieve the lowest possible environmental impact, with a reduction of consumption of natural resources and control of waste, dumping and carbon emissions.
ESG Risks. BBVA has granted loans totaling 150 million dollars to the subsidiaries of Enel Green Power (EGP) in Chile and Mexico to support renewable energy activity in Latin America. These loans have a maturity of five years and have been backed by their Italian parent company with two guarantees of 180 million dollars in favor of BBVA.
Science and culture. The BBVA Foundation, together with the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, have granted the 29th “Premios Francisco Giner de los Ríos a la Mejora de la Calidad Educativa” (Francisco Giner de los Ríos Awards for Educational Quality). These awards recognize the work of teachers who innovate in the area of teaching methodology. There are eight categories in all, covering the different educational levels, with total prize money of 129,000 euros.
BBVA in the Sustainability Indices
BBVA has a prominent position in the main sustainability indices at international level. The weightings as of March 31, 2014 were as follows:
- DJSI World 0.70
- DJSI Europe 1.50
- DJSI Eurozone 3.00
- MSCI World ESG Index 0.46
- MSCI World ex USA ESG Index 0.99
- MSCI Europe ESG Index 1.66
- MSCI EAFE ESG Index 1.10
- FTSE4Good Global 0.42
- FTSE4Good Global 100 0.71
- FTSE4Good Europe 1.01
- FTSE4Good Europe 50 1.73
- Euronext-Vigeo Europe 120 0.79
- Euronext-Vigeo Eurozone 120 0.82
- STOXX Global ESG Environmental Leaders 0.50
- STOXX Global ESG Social Leaders 0.49
- EURO STOXX ESG Leaders 50 1.90
- STOXX Europe ESG Leaders 50 1.91
- STOXX Global ESG Leaders 0.33