As the leader of sustainable banking in Turkey, in 2018 we invested in three rooftop solar power plants for our service points in several cities. By using the electricity produced by these power plants at our service points, we are setting an example for investors operating in this sector.
So far, we have introduced various distinctive and innovative practices for our customers in financial sustainability, including products and solutions, such as the first social bond issue based in developing countries, disabled-friendly banking and the first green loan in Turkey. We are extending the scope of our sustainability practices through environmentally-friendly applications at our buildings. These include the ISO14001 Environmental Management System with the most comprehensive application in Turkey, our LEED-certified Pendik Technology Campus and the WWF Green Building Certification that we received in 2014, and now, we are accelerating our work on solar power plants (SPP) investments, which has great potential, and yet not widely used in Turkey.
We support the energy sector by not only financing them, but also by investing in them for self-consumption at our buildings…
In 2018, we initiated our investments in the energy sector rapidly. Throughout the year, we completed three solar power plant investments and we used the electricity we produced from these plants. Thus, we aim to set an example to all investors, particularly to the service industry. With our investments in rooftop solar power plants, our Bodrum Branch (55 kW) and Sivas Call Centre (30 kW) have begun producing power. More recently, a rooftop solar power plant has been installed at Antalya Akdeniz Branch (8 kW).
Stating that solar power plant investments had become more attractive due to reduction in technological costs and the protection it provides to the consumers against price fluctuations, Ebru Dildar Edin, Executive Vice President of our bank, provided further information on the sustainability practices in the energy sector along with the new SPP investments: "So far, our total investments in renewable energy resources has approached USD 5 billion. In 2017, the solar, wind and hydroelectric power plants that Garanti BBVA has played a part in financing have helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.4 million ton CO2e. We also began to carry out pioneering projects as part of our own practices, along with our projects in finance. We no longer just support renewable energy projects through financing activities, but we also invest in them for our own use at our buildings. In 2015, we published our Climate Change Action Plan, which focuses on carbon pricing, reducing deforestation, management of water risks through climate change adaptation and establishing green office standards. As mentioned in our action plan, we also raise awareness among our employees through our green and environmentally friendly office practices. In 2017, we became the first bank in Turkey awarded with LEED Platinum Certification. Also, our Pendik Technology Campus which was opened this year, acquired LEED Gold Certificate. Currently, we have 3 LEED-certified buildings, and we continue our efforts for our other buildings to be certified. Furthermore, our Headquarters has been certified by WWF Turkey as Green Office since 2014. We aim to minimize the environmental impact due to our operations through increasing the number of our green buildings each year and ISO14001 Environmental Management System, which we implemented in all our buildings. Accordingly, we surpassed our 2020 goal of reducing our carbon emissions by asset size by 50%, compared to 2012, and have already achieved a 60% reduction as of 2017. We wish our practices to set an example to the whole finance sector".