Garanti BBVA has set the goal of reducing its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 29 percent by 2025 and 71 percent by 2035. The announcement comes as part of the bank joining the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) Science-Based Targets (SBT), the most important environmental data platform in the world.
In 2012, Garanti BBVA implemented an environmental management system based on ISO14001 regulations, with which it aimed to achieve the highest level of environmental performance for all of its branches and buildings. In 2015, it published a Climate Change Action Plan for the first time. The plan included specific greenhouse gas emission goals for its financial activities and buildings. One of the issues the plan focuses on is the establishment of standards for environmental office with which Garanti BBVA aims to obtain 100 percent of the bank’s energy from renewable sources, where possible. In 2020, Garanti BBVA will obtain 90 million kWh of energy from renewable sources (the equivalent of the amount consumed in 30,000 homes), and will use this energy in 813 branches and 45 corporate offices. Five of the bank’s buildings are LEED certified, and rooftop solar paneling is also used at three points of service. With these measures, Garanti BBVA aims to be able to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 71 percent in 2020, reductions that were set for the year 2035.
Garanti BBVA CEO Recep Baştuğ recalled that the leadership and contributions of companies around the world is very necessary in the fight against climate change. “We are very much aware that every half of a degree that the planet’s average temperature increases will have severe consequences. We all suffer the effects of the increase in temperature,” he stressed. Scientists have presented multiple forecasts that show that if the increase in global temperature is not limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius from here to 2030, living conditions will be very different from today. Cities where millions of people currently live will no longer be habitable. For Baştuğ, “We are still in time to take measures to prevent this situation. Garanti BBVA has taken a step ahead in its contributions toward a sustainable financial situation and future, by setting a definitive goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”
According to the executive, in order to reach the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius, Garanti BBVA calculated its emission reduction target according to the methodology of the Science Based Targets Initiative. The year 2018 was used as a reference for the calculation. “Starting from this baseline, we reached the conclusion that we had to reduce our emissions by 71 percent between 2018 and 2035. However, as you know, the next 10 years are key to avoiding climate change. For this reason, we have set the goal of reducing the bulk of the 71 percent by the end of 2020. In other words, we want to achieve in one year what we hoped to do in 15,” he explained.
The Garanti BBVA CEO recalled that for the past 15 years, the bank has been a leader, and at the cutting edge of innovative measures related to sustainable finance, climate change and its effects. “We are very satisfied and proud of the fact that with the science-based target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, we have taken the biggest step forward possible in order to attain the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius. This makes us the first company in our country to take measures regarding the issue,” he maintained.