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The “green” revolution of the banks: CaixaBank leads the sustainable economy in Spain

In 2021, CaixaBank was the first Spanish bank to debut in the sustainable emissions market. In the first months of the year, it has already issued its second green bond to finance projects that contribute to environmental sustainability. The bank will channel funds to promote projects that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases or the prevention of pollution.

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Sustainable finance will shape the future of the global economy. In fact, the rating agency Moody’s pointed out that the global issuance of green and sustainable bonds (ESG) will reach $643.35 billion (€535.63 billion) this year. These bonds are used exclusively to finance sustainable projects and, in recent years, have been gaining a large market share. It is estimated that this increase is due to the interest of investors in responsible finance, and also to companies seeking to differentiate themselves from the competition with “green” projects that help to improve their reputation.

Following these forecasts, global issuance of green, social and sustainable bonds already reached a new record in the first quarter of 2021 with a volume of $255 billion. This figure represents a 320% growth compared to the first quarter of 2020 and a volume equivalent to 50% of the total mobilized during 2020.

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The market for green and sustainable bonds has grown by 320% in the first three months of 2021 compared to the first quarter of last year


Currently, fighting climate change, for example, is not only a challenge for society; it is also a challenge for financial institutions. For years, CaixaBank has been considered one of the financial institutions most committed to sustainability. Proof of this is that, according to the Dealogic and Refinitiv rankings, it is the leading bank in the issuance and placement of green, social and sustainable (ESG) bonds in the Spanish and Portuguese markets during the first quarter of 2021.

The bank has participated in the issuance of four green bonds and two sustainable bonds, for an amount of 6.75 billion euros. These issues include those of Iberdrola, Telefónica, EDP and the Community of Madrid.

In 2019, CaixaBank issued its first social bond, which contributed to the creation of more than 1,000 companies and 8,200 jobs


Since the approval of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) bond issuance framework in 2019, CaixaBank has made five own bond issues, worth $6 billion (€5 billion). In 2019, it issued its first social bond, which contributed to the creation of more than 1,000 companies and 8,200 jobs. A year later, it issued its first green bond to finance renewable energy projects and energy-efficient buildings. In addition, in 2020 it presented its second social bond to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

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In 2021, CaixaBank was the first Spanish bank to debut in the sustainable emissions market. In the first months of the year, it has already issued its second green bond to finance projects that contribute to environmental sustainability. The bank will channel funds to promote projects that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases or the prevention of pollution. All these investments make CaixaBank the European bank with the largest volume of ESG bonds issued in the euro market.

CaixaBank leads the issuance and placement of green, social and sustainable bonds

These initiatives have led the Dow Jones Sustainability Index to include CaixaBank among the best banks in the world in terms of sustainability. The bank, chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri and directed by Gonzalo Gortázar, has a Socially Responsible Banking Plan that includes five principles of action linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The bank supports environmentally-friendly projects that contribute to preventing and mitigating climate change, promoting the transition to a low-carbon economy and social development. In this regard, CaixaBank mobilized in 2020 more than 12 billion in sustainable financing, with more than $2.4 billion (€2 billion) formalized in green financing and more than 3 billion formalized in financing linked to ESG variables, especially those of an environmental nature, such as emissions reduction or energy efficiency.

CaixaBank ranked fifth in Europe and ninth worldwide in green loans in 2020


Finally, it participated in the issuance of eleven green, sustainable or social bonds, with a global amount of $8.9 billion (€7.4 billion). At the end of 2020, CaixaBank ranked fifth in Europe and ninth worldwide in green and sustainable loans in the League Tables Top Tier by volume, according to Refinitiv.

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In other words, financial institutions play a key role in the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda. By that year, the planet must be a safe, livable and sustainable home for all. Thanks to “green” financing, banks can help citizens and companies to achieve this global goal.

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(Featured image by geralt via Pixabay)

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First published in LA VANGUARDIA, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Olivia McCall is passionate about education, women and children’s rights, and the environment. A long-time investor, she covers news about the latest stocks (lately marijuana and tech), IPOs and indices, and is always on the lookout for socially responsible startups. She also writes about the food sector, and has a keen interest on cryptocurrencies.