Climate change is one of the main challenges facing our planet, with impacts on the physical environment, society and the economy. It is both a source of physical and transitional risks and of opportunities for countries, businesses and people.
The scientific community and organisations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) believe that only substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can limit global warming and reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.
In 2015, the Paris Agreement established a global action plan with the long-term objective of containing global warming below 2° C, or, if possible, 1.5° C.
In this context, BPI believes it is crucial to make the transition to a low-carbon economy that promotes sustainable development and is socially inclusive. This will require action by the public and private sectors and by society at large, through the development of long-term climate strategies aligned to the objectives of the Paris Agreement (COP21) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Financial institutions play a key role in implementing these objectives, both directly through their own operations and indirectly through their relationships with customers, subsidiaries, business partners and their value chain.
BPI pursues the goal of contributing to the transition to a low carbon economy by reducing the direct impact of its operations and by financing and investing in sustainable projects.
This commitment to the environment, which stems from the desire to take a proactive role in sustainable development, is also reflected in our policies, namely the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and the Social Responsibility Policy.
2. Lines of Action
2.1. To support viable projects compatible with a low carbon economy and solutions to tackle climate change
At BPI we consider that economic growth and emissions reduction are objectives that complement each other. Therefore, the transition to a low carbon economy also entails financial opportunities. To materialise these opportunities, it is necessary to offer viable solutions that meet the expectations and needs of Customers and other stakeholders. Some of the solutions implemented by BPI involved the financing of sustainable projects in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, infrastructure and agriculture.
- We will continue to identify new solutions to help Customers respond, through our products and services, to the risks and opportunities arising from climate change.
- We will work to accelerate investment and funding for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- We will support our Customers to move forward in a responsible transition to a low carbon economy.
- We will continue to provide socially responsible investment products.
2.2. To manage the risks arising from climate change
Social and environmental risks, including those related to climate change, can have financial impacts. Accordingly, we have been assessing how to manage social and environmental risks in the financing of projects and the gradual integration of environmental, social and governance criteria into financing and investment analyses.
- We will work to identify, manage and mitigate climate change related risks with a significant impact on our activity.
2.3. To minimise our carbon footprint
BPI's environmental commitment starts with the reduction of its contribution to climate change, by minimising the impact of its operations on the environment.
- We will continue to promote, among others, the reduction of energy, water, and paper consumption and waste.
- We will continue to improve our energy efficiency by minimising CO2 emissions.
- We will promote the development and spreading of technologies that are more friendly to the physical environment.
2.4. To collaborate with other organisations
The whole issue of climate change requires public-private collaboration and a multisectoral approach. At BPI, we regularly participate in working groups and associations dedicated to advancing environmental issues, including the Sustainable Financing Reflection Group, promoted by the Ministry for the Environment and Energy Transition.
- We will continue to work with other organisations and institutions, maintaining our participation in key associations and initiatives.
- We will contribute to generate and spread knowledge viewing the promotion of sustainable development.
- We will participate, where appropriate, in the development of firm, clear, and multisectoral regulatory responses that include the necessary investment objectives and address the economic, social and environmental aspects of the transition to a low carbon economy.
2.5 To communicate our progress in a transparent manner
Having accurate, relevant and timely information is essential for promoting action on climate change, in the same manner as this is fundamental to the proper functioning of the markets. Accordingly, BPI includes in its non-financial statement information about its main environment-related actions, such as the launch of green financial products.
3. Implementation and monitoring of the Policy
The Board of Directors is responsible for approving this Statement and for overseeing and monitoring the implementation of its provisions.
The Social Responsibility Committee has as its mission to mission to monitor and supervise BPI's conduct in relation to corporate responsibility issues, submitting to the Board of Directors any proposals it deems appropriate.
As concerns risk supervision, BPI's Risk Committee is responsible for supervising and analysing the Bank's information and control processes, including with regard to non-financial risks.
This Statement will be periodically reviewed and updated.
Statement Approved by the Board of Directors on 25 october 2019.