Banco Sabadell is a founding signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking of the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), committing itself to strategically align its business with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
PRB report in the 2020 Non-Financial Disclosures Report (Annex 3).
Within the framework of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP25), held in Madrid, Banco Sabadell has joined the "Collective Commitment to Climate Action" of AEB, CECA and ICO, with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint on balance sheets.
To guarantee the individual and collective responsibility of each bank, progress in the implementation of this commitment is reported on a regular basis.
As an Institution committed to the goal of achieving a low-carbon economy, in November 2020, the Bank joined the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure) for the disclosure of risks and opportunities related to climate change in accordance with TCFD recommendations.
The Institution’s progress with regard to the TCFD recommendations is detailed in the Non-Financial Disclosures Report.
Banco Sabadell has joined the Spanish Observatory of Sustainable Financing (OFISO) as an expression of its firm resolve to support its customers in the process of transitioning towards a more sustainable economy.
This is a forum for discussion and information on sustainable financing for companies, financial institutions, investors, public administrations, advisors, rating and certification agencies, law firms and other agents of the financial industry to share ideas and promote best practices.
Within the framework of the Sustainable Finance Plan, Banco Sabadell strengthens its transparency in matters of sustainability with the launch of the label “Commitment to sustainability”.
This distinctive sign of the Bank’s commitment to sustainability applies to all communication and marketing of products and services with environmental and social content.
On social media #SabadellSustainabilityCommitment.
Climate and environmental commitment
In environmental matters, Banco Sabadell has deployed in recent years environmental initiatives on the Bank’s internal processes, in its facilities and in the following business segments: Individuals, Businesses, Corporate and Project Finance.
In recent years, the Bank has launched various sustainable financing solutions that cover the objectives most in demand by families. These include the Eco-Reforms Loan, aimed at the installation of renewable energy systems, efficient lighting and air conditioning and energy-efficient household appliances.
The ECO mortgage was also launched in 2020 –a mortgage loan with special prices for financing sustainable housing.
As regards mobility, individual customers have products available for financing or leasing electric vehicles under special terms and conditions.
In the business segment, the Bank continues to expand its range of environmentally sustainable financing products and to support companies in their ecological transition. Accordingly, we have introduced aspects related to the environment and social commitment into the conversation with our customers.
With regard to sustainable financing in businesses, some recent actions are noteworthy:
- Our customers can choose from a wide range of sustainable vehicles. Currently, 74% of our current fleet is made up of vehicles that pollute less than 120 grams per kilometre of CO2.
- Thanks to the launch of the sustainable POS system, more than 5,000 businesses have joined, accounting for 35% of new POS registrations. This service digitalises payment receipts and sends them daily in PDF format to the merchant, thus avoiding inefficient paper waste.
- We have contributed to increasing the lending capacity for SMEs and midcaps to finance investments that promote climate action under the framework of the Investment Plan for Europe.
Banco Sabadell has a Sustainability Bond Framework (SDG Framework), having already issued its first green bonds in 2020.
In addition to its own issues, Banco Sabadell acts as placement agent for green and sustainability bond issues in the capital markets, participating in both public and private issues.
Furthermore, and in response to the demand from Corporate & Investment Banking, governance was strengthened with the creation of its own division specialising in sustainability, which has defined two types of Sustainable Financing solutions:
- Financing with Sustainable Application (“SaF”), in which the use of the funds is the main criterion for determining their green, social or sustainable nature.
- Sustainability-related Financing ("SrF”) refers to any type of financing that incentivises the achievement of sustainability objectives, linking the transaction margin to the achievement of certain KPIs, such as, improvement of the customer’s ESG rating (with performance measured according to its reduction of CO2 emissions and/or wage gap reduction, among other factors).
Banco Sabadell began financing renewable energy projects in 1996. The Bank has developed great know-how in this type of projects, which has been implementing in all regions in which the Bank has offices. Therefore, there are currently specialised Project Finance teams in France, UK, US, Mexico and Latin America.
Although the Bank was very active during the first phase of renewable energies in Spain until 2014, it is from 2018 onwards that it has positioned itself as the sector leader in the Iberian Peninsula by number of operations and especially greenfields, which are projects for new plants that expand renewable generation capacity and help meet sustainability targets. This is because we were pioneers in merchant financing in the Iberian Peninsula, both with power purchase agreements (PPAs) and projects that sell energy to the market, which positioned the Institution as the most innovative bank and the entity that has carried out most operations in Iberia since 2018.
In addition to incorporating sustainability cross-cuttingly in the business model and strategy, with regard to environmental aspects, Banco Sabadell ensures the minimisation of its processes and facilities and is the pillar on which the environmental management system (EMS) implemented in 2006 is based, following the ISO 14001 global standard.
Also noteworthy is that the Bank has reduced its CO2 emissions from electricity consumption in Spain by more than 99% since 2014, choosing instead energy from renewable sources. In addition to implementing energy-efficiency measures each year in both its facilities and services, the Bank developed new projects such as self-generation of energy with photovoltaic panels at the corporate centre, the annual renewal of machines with those with better energy performance or actions to cut the use of paper and plastics.
One of the Institution’s corporate objectives is to increase diversity throughout the Group, in particular, increasing the number of women in management positions and reducing the pay gap. The Bank has also backed initiatives in favour of gender diversity, accrediting itself with the ‘Equality in the Workplace’ Seal of Distinction awarded by the Ministry of Equality and signing the commitment ‘More women, better companies’ to increase the number of women at management level. It has also joined the CEO for Diversity programme led by the CEOE and the Adecco Foundation and collaborates in the promotion of the interbank network ‘Women in Banking’.
Moreover, in 2020, SWING&Co (SWING, an acronym for "Sabadell Women Inspiration Group") was created a group open to all employees and which today comprises more than 350 people to discuss diversity more deeply, and groups such as the Women in the Northwest Forum, the Diversity Club and Extraordinary Women have also been organised in the regional offices to promote inclusive value and internal processes that encourage diversity.
Another of the Bank’s commitments to society is to support leading universities by awarding study grants and scholarships that contribute to greater opportunities in education, to promote young artistic talent and talent that works for the social sector, through awards and support programmes, and to contribute to excellence in research through grants to pre-doctoral students, supplementary to other scholarships.
As regards commitment to talent, the Bank has various programmes to attract young talent and quality employment, such as the Young Talent Programme and the Graduate Data Scientist Programme.
Through Sabadell Life, an internal portal consolidated since 2016 and with more than 11,500 users, the Bank and the employees themselves have the possibility of proposing solidarity and/or volunteer initiatives, and it is in this way that the most charitable employees, with their direct donations or through gamification dynamics (exchanging their prize for a donation) can collaborate with any of the causes that the portal promotes, together with Worldcoo, through the Actitud Solidaria (Caring Attitude) platform.
In addition, the Ethics Committee of the Fondo Sabadell Inversión Ética y Solidaria, IF, has earmarked aid from the fees received for various humanitarian projects, mostly focused on tackling risks of social exclusion, meeting basic needs and improving people’s living conditions.
The Bank has a large number of professionals (more than 600 in the last year) who have dedicated a large part of their time to volunteering. They have done so in various fields: fundraising, mentoring, financial education, support services and the Three Wise Men campaign.
As regards fundraising, they have taken part in charity campaigns in favour of various NGOs such as Save the Children, Caritas and Aldeas Infantiles.
In terms of mentoring, our employees collaborated with the Quiero Trabajo Foundation, the Impulsa Cultura Programme and in the fourth edition of #BValueTransforma, an initiative promoted by the Banco Sabadell Foundation and Ship2B.
Banco Sabadell, through its subsidiary Sogeviso, manages the social housing problems of vulnerable customers from the Bank’s foreclosures, in order to deal responsibly with situations of social exclusion and the loss of their primary residence.
Banco Sabadell channels its commitment to society mainly through the Banco Sabadell Private Foundation, with the aim of influencing progress and social welfare, collaborating with leading entities in the social sector and focusing on culture and talent.
Given the environment of the unexpected crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Banco Sabadell Foundation has collaborated with projects directly related to COVID-19, such as the solidarity camps, the prevalence study of the Parc Taulí Hospital, the collaboration with the B-Value programme and/or the social entrepreneurship project Reto Futuro (Future Challenge).
Moreover, the Foundation has been supporting young researchers for years with various awards and research grants.
In its commitment to scientific developments in the health field, the Foundation supports the IRB Barcelona challenge in its fight against cancer and collaborated with Celera’s artificial ventilators project, leading to the first artificial ventilator certified in Spain.
During the pandemic, Banco Sabadell has been by the side of its customers, responding with financial support measures for its customers and society as a whole.
This is why Sabadell Seguros joined the fund set up through the Spanish Business Association of Insurance (UNESPA) to protect healthcare workers fighting against COVID-19. UNESPA underwrites group life insurance and hospitalisation allowance insurance for 700,000 healthcare professionals.
The Bank mobilised more than 3,500 managers to proactively contact customers, offering payment holidays to those affected by the pandemic at the employment level, managing pension payments without visiting branches and supporting the most vulnerable groups.
In addition, pension payments for April 2020 and unemployment benefits for May 2020 were brought forward to alleviate the financial situation of customers, and a deferment of up to three months’ social rent was granted to families covered by the Social Housing Fund.
To the business community, measures were offered to mitigate the lack of liquidity due to the pandemic, such as the renewal of policies and the extension of various products already arranged. Likewise, through our ICO Support Plan, we managed applications for loans guaranteed by the State through the Spanish Official Credit Institute.