One of the most important developments in the fourth quarter of 2015 in the area of responsible banking is the achievement of YSE’s goal of creating 10,000 jobs.
Yo Soy Empleo (I Am Employment), the initiative headed by BBVA, has succeeded in formalizing 10,000 contracts in two years. The sectors that benefited most were SMEs; self-employed workers received 1,250 grants; and younger workers received 40% of the aid. All the job contracts generated by the program have a duration of over one year, and 55% are permanent contracts. Additionally, 150 aid packages were granted for hiring people with disabilities. Training is a fundamental element, and 2,750 courses were given to 3,000 entrepreneurs. Hiring has been boosted through job intermediation –another of the areas YSE deals with– with 1,000 recruitment processes in 500 companies.
Financial Literacy Day was held for the first time on October 5 with the support of BBVA. Its aim is to raise awareness in society of the need for proper financial planning, to save and be well-informed in order to make the right financial decisions at any stage of life. This initiative was part of the Financial Literacy Plan (PEF in its Spanish initials) led by the Bank of Spain with the support of numerous institutions, including the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, and the main financial entities –among them BBVA– through organizations such as the Spanish Banking Association (AEB).
BBVA announced the local and regional winners for South America for the 2015 Camino al éxito (Road to Success) Awards. This training and financing program is aimed to contribute to the growth of SMEs in South America and hence to the development of Latin American societies. These small companies have been able to access interest-free financing of up to 250,000 dollars, and also feature as the faces in BBVA’s advertising campaign.
Products with a high social impact
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund recognized the BBVA Microfinance Foundation as one of 13 global private institutions that form part of the Private Sector Advisory Group. The UN has highlighted this institution for its activities in support of the eradication of poverty, decent work and gender equality.
For the second consecutive year, BBVA took part in two roadshows specialized in Socially Responsible Investment, organized by Societé Génerale and Exane BNP Paribas in Paris recently. The SRI Forum served as a meeting point between companies and investors, asset managers and ESG analysts, during which BBVA presented its priorities and strategic lines in responsible banking to the market.
Momentum Project held its Social Investment Day, the big event in the social entrepreneurship campaign, in which the program’s participants outlined their plans for growth at the BBVA Innovation Center. The 13 companies pitched their plans for growth –the result of months of hard work– to experts and potential investors.
The Impact Challenge Blue BBVA was a resounding success. This innovation event, conceived to encourage the young participants to find solutions to two challenges –one technological and another social– concluded with the selection of six projects. The winning project featured cooking workshops where older people showed young people how to cook more sophisticated dishes.
Education for society
Social entrepreneurship and education in values will take center stage in the 2016 Ruta BBVA, which takes participants around Spain and Mexico. The registration process requires all the candidates to present an idea for a social enterprise involving the collaborative economy, healthcare, new learning models (education) or environmental sustainability.
BBVA and the Latin American Foundation for Education, Science and Culture have signed a partnership agreement to continue working together on various initiatives in support of children. The agreement will be used to coordinate projects and activities jointly in 2015 and 2016 as well as exploit their resources and competencies. With this agreement, the company reinforces its commitment to educating citizens in order to promote social inclusion.
BBVA launched several initiatives that highlight the power of solidarity in sports. BBVA Colombia announced its support for an initiative linked to a scholarship program aimed at disadvantaged children who wish to embark on a career in sports. In Mexico, BBVA Bancomer took part in the ““El Balón de la Educación”” (The Education Ball) campaign, conceived to raise awareness of the importance of education. In Spain, BBVA sponsored several solidarity initiatives related to sports. The veteran climber Carlos Soria, with BBVA’s support, is sponsoring a school in a Nepali village, while Garbiñe Muguruza has put her racket at the service of UNICEF in a charity action in favor of education for children in Venezuela and Spain, to which BBVA has contributed 150,000 euros.
BBVA scored highest in the annual ranking compiled by the prestigious international consultants Great Place To Work of the best companies to work for. It is also in eighth place on the global list of the 25 best companies to work for in the world.
There was another repeat of Territorios Solidarios (Regional Solidarity), an initiative that each year is enthusiastically supported by BBVA employees. In this fourth year it sponsored 178 projects in Spain with donations of 1.65 million euros, benefiting 600,000 people.
Once again this year, BBVA held the BBVA Charity Run, and donated the money raised to the “Cáritas Multiplica” Social Cooperative. This project helps families with limited resources so they can obtain the food and hygiene products they need at affordable prices. This initiative is currently helping 713 people.
BBVA demonstrated its commitment to the fight against climate change with its endorsement for several declarations in the Paris Climate Summit (COP21).They include those made by the Spanish Green Growth Group, of which BBVA is a member, on the important role played by companies in achieving a more sustainable development; the European Financial Services Round Table (EFR), which highlights the undertaking of its associate international financial companies to reduce their carbon emissions and advise their customers in the transition to a more sustainable future; and the Alliance of Energy Efficiency Financing Institutions, which voices the unique position of the financial sector for channeling the funding of activities that promote energy efficiency.
The 10th BBVA Foundation Awards for Biodiversity Conservation were endowed with a total 580,000 euros and paid tribute to the people and institutions that are making progress in research in favor of nature.
Science and Culture
The Royal Spanish Mathematical Society (RSME) and the BBVA Foundation have teamed up to support mathematical research as being vital for the advancement of knowledge and progress on every front. Between them the two institutions have created the Vicent Caselles awards to honor the work of young mathematicians.
The BBVA Foundation and CERN also held a new series of conferences on the challenges and advances in particle physics. This partnership, which was signed in 2014, organizes conferences aimed at the general public, which are available on the website of the BBVA Foundation.
Lastly, the BBVA Foundation, the Spanish Association of Symphony Orchestras (AEOS) and Plena inclusión initiated “Mosaico de sonidos” (Mosaic of Sound), a program that transforms people with intellectual or development disabilities into composers and performers, using music to foster creativity, personal development and integration.