Garanti BBVA has signed the 100 percent Renewable Energy Agreement, according to which, in 2020, it will source the 90 million kWh it requires to power a total of 813 branches and 45 corporate buildings from renewable sources. This figure is equivalent to the consumption of 30,000 households.
The agreement will reduce about 45,000 tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to causing the death of over three million trees in one year. As a result of this initiative, Garanti BBVA will earn the right to all the carbon certificates of the Gold Standard category. The bank is the only Turkish financial institution that is also a founding member of the task force of the Principles for Responsible Banking, promoted by the UN Environment Programme – Finance Initiative.
Garanti BBVA CEO Recep Baştuğ explained that, to date and true to its commitment to raising awareness among its customers regarding the importance of sustainability, Garanti BBVA has developed 34 products and services linked to climate change and social inequality. “With this 100% Renewable Energy Agreement, we’re rolling up our sleeves even more to support sustainability. This agreement clearly shows that the sustainable economy is not only part of our corporate culture, but that it has been successfully integrated across our infrastructure as a whole. With this move toward 100 percent renewable energy, we’re convinced that we’re setting a new benchmark for the whole banking sector,” he said.
Baştuğ reminded that Garanti BBVA has been a pioneering bank in Turkey in sustainable finance for more than a decade. Since 2015, the bank only commits financial resources to support renewable energy projects, including wind farms. “We’re the leading bank in Turkey in wind power, with over $5 billion in funding and a market share of 28 percent of the installed wind farm capacity. We support projects in this field, offering diversified funds to devote resources to green projects,” said the executive.
The last one of them was the issue in December 2019 of a 5-year $50-million green bond, linked to the provisions set out in the Green Bond Principles. It has also implemented significant measures aimed at developing renewable energy and energy-efficient systems in the bank’s own buildings. “In recent years, we’ve invested in three solar power plants to meet our own power consumption needs. We’re the first Turkish bank to receive the LEED certificate from the U.S. Green Building Council, thanks to the green systems we’ve installed in our buildings. To raise awareness among our customer base regarding green and efficient constructions, in 2017 we started offering products such as our green mortgages or the green auto loan for hybrid or electric cars. As of today, we’ve already committed over TRY 35 billion in loans to support this kind of product”, stated Recep Baştuğ.
The BBVA Group remains committed to its Pledge 2025 and sustainability with some very remarkable figures. Speaking at Davos, Group executive chairman Carlos Torres Vila announced that in just two years (2018 and 2019) BBVA had already mobilized a total of €30 billion in funding for sustainable projects, almost one third of the €100 billion that the bank pledged to funnel to promote the development of renewable energies, sustainable infrastructures, social entrepreneurship initiatives and financial inclusion.