• Launched in 2019, the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) form the world’s most significant framework for sustainable banking, with around 300 signatory banks representing almost 50% of global banking assets.
• The signatory institutions have undertaken to strategically align their business strategies with global sustainability objectives, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Banco Sabadell joins the celebration on Thursday, 22 September, to mark the third anniversary of the launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which currently has around 300 signatory banks representing almost 50% of global banking assets. These principles form the first global reference framework that defines the role and responsibilities of the financial sector for a sustainable future.
Around 130 banking institutions from around the world, including Banco Sabadell, as founding signatory, signed the Principles for Responsible Banking in 2019, committing themselves to strategically align banking business with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. To that end, six common principles were established: alignment, impact, customers, stakeholders, governance & culture, and transparency & accountability, through which the institutions commit themselves to act in a sustainable manner and to report annually on their progress in each action area.
In the words of Elena Carrera, Sustainability Director at Banco Sabadell: “At Banco Sabadell we continue to work, with the other signatories, on developing sustainable financing, with a commitment to make a positive impact on society and on the planet, by providing our customers with access to funding for their transition and by channelling resources, to both mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as promoting the circular economy and fostering social development".
Banco Sabadell and its progress with the 6 principles
Banco Sabadell is aware that the financial sector has a key role in meeting the demands of society and the planet, and has placed its sustainability strategy as one of the core and priority pillars of its business plan in the short-, medium- and long-term.
As part of the celebration of the third anniversary of this commitment, Banco Sabadell:
- Continues to build on the alignment of its ESG strategy, by prioritising five SDGs and developing actions to tackle the other Goals, with the aim of accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and progressing towards an economy that fosters social development and is carbon neutral. To achieve these aims, it continues to build on its collaboration in the main national and international frameworks, and signs up to new initiatives, such as the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), with which it also reinforces its climate risk strategy.
- In terms of impact, the Bank has established Sabadell’s Commitment to Sustainability, the action framework that encompasses a forward-looking vision of the its environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments, in line with the SDGs and focused on four strategic pillars, namely, the Bank, its customers, investors and society. For each commitment, the framework details its objectives, the main levers for transformation and acceleration, and the progress achieved. On the other hand, the impact of ESG performance is captured by the Synthetic Sustainability Indicator (SSI) and is linked to employees’ variable remuneration as part of the Group’s objectives.
- As a key agent in driving its customers’ transition to a more sustainable economy, the Bank is mobilising €65 billion in sustainable financing between 2021 and 2025, with specific solutions in renewable energies, energy efficiency and sustainable mobility. To this end, it has specialised managers on hand and has rolled out a team of specialists in European Funds and Sustainability to reinforce training throughout the branch network. In addition, it has developed a broad range of end-to-end ESG solutions, for which it has established agreements with partners, and has a Business Hub platform delivering specific related webinars.
- It has also carried out a materiality analysis with the aim of listening more closely to its stakeholders and to adapt the strategy to the regulatory and market environment. In this respect, the Bank’s membership of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) – a commitment which involves aligning its lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner – addresses one of the priorities of the double materiality approach and applies to various stakeholders. On the other hand, the creation of the Sustainability Rating and Outreach Division reinforces interactions between the Bank and its various stakeholders, and strengthens the transparency of these communications.
- In terms of governance and objectives, the ESG governance structure has been strengthened by the creation of the Strategy and Sustainability Committee, a new committee that reports to the Board of Directors, tasked with defining, promoting and monitoring actions and policies related to the sustainability strategy. In addition, the Bank has a Sustainability Committee which monitors the Sustainable Finance Plan, and a Sustainability Division which reports to the CEO and is represented in the Management Committee. In addition, the Board of Directors has updated the Bank’s Sustainability Policy and has approved the policies related to Human Rights and Climate Risk, as well as updating its Code of Conduct and producing a new Equality Plan. In relation to employee training, the Bank has implemented mandatory training in sustainability and employees’ contribution to ESG performance, as measured by the Synthetic Sustainability Indicator (SSI), is linked to their variable remuneration.
- Lastly, in relation to transparency and accountability, the Bank has widened its communication in this regard with the launch of its ESG brand: “Sabadell’s Commitment to Sustainability”, with which it defines the objectives and actions for different stakeholders. As it moves forward with its commitments, the Bank has also increased the granularity of its annual Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting in relation to climate-related risks and opportunities, and has based the content of its Non-Financial Disclosures Report on reference frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
In this collective journey, and within the framework of its firm commitment to Sustainability, Banco Sabadell strengthens its ambition to meet the challenges of ESG, and continues to progress with application of the Principles for Responsible Banking, supporting and accelerating this important economic, environmental and social transformation.