BBVA creates unit to finance cleantech innovations

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By David Brooks

Carlos Torres Vila highlighted the role of new clean technologies in decarbonizing the economy. In a talk with Lei Zhang, CEO of Envision, the BBVA chairman pointed to the opportunity for exponential innovation growth in the green industrial revolution.

Envision is one of the world’s largest new energy technology companies. In Spain, the company will build a battery gigafactory in Cáceres in western Spain. The company develops cutting-edge green technology projects worldwide.

Carlos Torres Vila stated: “At BBVA, we believe in innovation as a driver for decarbonization.” In particular, he emphasized the value of innovation in developing more affordable clean technologies. In this sense, the BBVA chairman emphasized the importance of “being a technology company” in order to be competitive in the sustainability sector.

Onur Genç, CEO of BBVA, who spoke at the opening of this third BBVA Sustainability Forum, emphasized that banks play a crucial role in financing the decarbonization of the economy. In his opinion, banks are the catalysts that help their customers and society as a whole bring about orderly change. He also supported ambitious reforms and the right incentives to develop clean technologies for decarbonization, especially in the early stages.

The 3rd BBVA Sustainability Forum was attended by, among others, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, Chairman of Iberdrola; Patricia Espinosa, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and CEO of climate funds and hydrogen funds; Julia Reinaud, head of Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy fund in Europe; expert Juan Verde, adviser to the Biden administration on environmental issues; and other international leaders and prominent stakeholders in the field of sustainability.

Participants on behalf of BBVA also included Javier Rodríguez Soler, Global Head of Sustainability and CIB; Antonio Bravo, Global Head of Sustainability & CIB Strategy; Antoni Ballabriga, Global Head Sustainability Intelligence & Advocacy; and Peio Belausteguigoitia, CEO of BBVA in Spain.

The round tables addressed key topics such as the global and economic challenges of sustainability, the climate agenda from a US perspective and the power of innovation for decarbonization. Leading sustainability projects from Spanish and international companies and institutions were presented.

The event was the first to take place in Ciudad BBVA, the bank’s headquarters in Madrid, and was awarded a sustainability certification by Eventsost. This certificate recognizes the bank’s efforts to make the 3rd BBVA Sustainability Forum an environmentally friendly event.

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