A story about sustainability that depicts a horizon greener than ever

Ese horizonte es también el de la Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA, que ya está jugando un papel en la sostenibilidad, ayudando directamente a los emprendedores a los que atiende para que adopten medidas más cuidadosas con el medio ambiente.

3 April 2019 // Julia Ortega
Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA

It seems logical to think that aside from the content, the way the message is delivered is what makes it unforgettable. This has been proven during the 10th year celebration of Madrid Autonomous University’s (UAM) Microfinanzas e Inclusión Financiera (Microfinance and Financial Inclusion) master’s degree. The line-up promised two central topics to be discussed: Green Finance and the role of banks in achieving environmental sustainability, but the session also made time for  multiple types of stories and experiences about sustainability.

With a more sentimental note, one of BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s Trustees, Claudio González-Vega, expressed that Madrid holds two of his passions: the master’s degree, where he is also a professor, and the Foundation. “Both have given me a rush of hope, that a better world is possible and that the youth have the power to make it happen”, he shared to the public, mostly students and alumni of the master’s program, who most probably associate his hopes to the classrooms at UAM.

Claudio González Vega, BBVAMF Trustee, during his address

Claudio González-Vega, BBVAMF Trustee, during his address in the session held at Casa América | Photo: Casa América

The hope which the professor referred to implies a commitment, an effort addressed by the global head of Responsible Business at BBVA, Antoni Ballabriga, who coined a term for the period we are living in: the era of responsibility. He shared how Green Finance is enabling another type of conversation  between banks and clients, one that focuses on values instead of transactions, “A different type of finance makes it possible to steer the discussion towards the future.”

This horizon, greener than ever, is the same landscape upheld by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, who, according to Ballabriga, “is already playing an active role in promoting sustainability, especially in countries like Colombia and Dominican Republic, directly supporting the entrepreneurs it serves, so they may adopt more respectful measures with the environment.”

BBVA Microfinance Foundation is already playing an active role in promoting sustainability, direcctly supporting the entrepreneurs it serves, so they may adopt more respectful measures with the environment.”

He also cited BBVA group executive chairman, Carlos Torres Vila, who reinforced sustainability alongside him, putting it under the spotlight during the latter’s first Shareholders General Meeting, “We aim to be the link between society and the future.”

The liaison between society and the future, was likened to a marital union by the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebeca Grynspan, who requested for “a renewal of vows in the battle against climate change.” Because according to her, the world has changed radically since the dawn of two agreements in 2015: the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change, “Right now, only this story exists.”

The Ibero-American General Secretary, during her speech in the session “Finanzas Verdes: el papel de la banca en la sostenibilidad medioambiental” | Photo: Casa América

Grynspan, who is able to convince even the most skeptic of all by pouring her “heart” to her speeches, talked about the long-term vision that has to reign over this era of responsibility and recalled former UN general secretary Ban Ki-moon’s words, “We can be the first generation that ends poverty and the last generation that avoids the worst effects of climate change.” But she declared herself an optimist, transmitting her disposition through the words of acknowledgement she addressed towards students seated in front of her, for believing that change is possible.

The Ibero-American General Secretary, who recently intervened in a session hosted by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation in the United Nations, also commended the Foundation’s effort, who, as she said, “is transforming the reality.”

One by one, the speakers agreed on the opportunity and the urgency to work for a future that is different and necessary, beyond data, numbers… UAM Foundation’s CEO, Fidel Rodríguez, said that, “this has to be a very powerful story to change the society.” And make History, with capital H.