In 2023, BBVA achieved a groundbreaking milestone in sustainable business, setting a record annual figure of €70 billion. This remarkable achievement represents a 39 per cent increase from the previous year, displaying the bank's commitment to sustainability across diverse industries.
Carlos Torres Vila, Chair of BBVA, expressed his enthusiasm about this unprecedented accomplishment, stating, "This is a record figure, and it has grown faster than we had thought it would. It is twice the figure we had two years ago, more than five times what we had five years ago, and this upward trend is expected to continue. Sustainability has proven to be an immense growth opportunity."
The growth in sustainability initiatives is evident across various sectors. In corporates, the implementation of a robust strategy, including the creation of specialist teams and straightforward sustainable solutions, has led to a staggering 99 per cent increase. Retail banking witnessed a 43 per cent growth, fuelled by the introduction of customised digital solutions targeting the mass consumer market, particularly in the realm of savings. Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) experienced a commendable 20 per cent growth, with a focus on providing proactive advice tailored to specific sectors and seizing opportunities arising from the transition to sustainability.
BBVA has truly made strides in championing sustainable practices, successfully mobilising an impressive €206 billion in sustainable business between 2018 and 2023. With this achievement, the bank is on a promising path to meet its ambitious €300 billion target set for 2025. In 2023, a substantial 78 per cent of the total sustainable business was committed to climate action, highlighting BBVA's dedication to addressing pressing environmental concerns.
The remaining 22 per cent was directed towards fostering inclusive growth, encompassing initiatives like financing social mortgages, and supporting social infrastructure projects such as hospitals and schools. This also extends to offering vital support for vulnerable entrepreneurs, a cause that keeps BBVA actively engaged across all of South America.
These two key focal points – climate action and inclusive growth – epitomise BBVA's strategic commitment to guiding and supporting its customers in their journey towards a more sustainable world. The bank recognises the interconnectedness of environmental and social goals in creating lasting positive change.
Notably, the fourth quarter of 2023 witnessed BBVA achieve a new milestone by mobilising €21 billion in sustainable business. This figure, representing a remarkable 75 per cent growth compared to the same period the previous year, underscores BBVA's ongoing dedication to sustainability. The bank's tireless efforts and commitment to continuous improvement display its pivotal role in contributing to a global movement for a more sustainable and inclusive future.
BBVA's success story lies in its commitment to placing sustainability at the core of its business, making it a pivotal element among its six strategic priorities. The bank has undertaken the challenge of addressing three key issues: combating climate change, preserving natural capital, and promoting inclusive growth.
With a forward-thinking approach, BBVA has outlined two main objectives that underline its dedication to sustainability:
Championing New Businesses: BBVA aims to channel €300 billion into sustainable initiatives by 2025, aligning with its broader 2025 Objective. This commitment reflects the bank's proactive stance in driving positive change through sustainable business practices.
Achieving Net Zero Emissions: BBVA has set an ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. In addition to the decarbonisation targets already established for 2030 in sectors such as electricity, oil, and gas, automotive, steel, cement, coal, aviation, and shipping, the bank is extending its focus to include other sectors like aluminium, agriculture, commercial real estate, and residential.
Notably, BBVA's commitment to sustainability has earned it recognition as the most sustainable bank in Europe for the fourth consecutive year in 2023, as per the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – a global benchmark for sustainability. This acknowledgement reflects BBVA's ongoing efforts and success in aligning its business practices with environmental and social responsibility, contributing to a more sustainable and equitable future.