CaixaBank has turned the fight against climate change into a basic pillar in its Socially Responsible Banking Plan. The company calculates its carbon footprint annually and, since 2013, offsets its corporate emissions through the Clean CO2 brand. The calculation and offset are part of the entity’s Carbon Neutral Project, which also contemplates emissions reductions and the purchase of renewable energy.
Up until last year, CaixaBank used to offset part of its emissions, but in 2018 the company took a step further in its commitment to the environment, and offset the total emissions calculated in 2017. Thanks to this, it became the first emissions neutral bank in the Ibex35. This year, in order to preserve its neutrality status, Caixabank offsets once more all the calculated GHG emissions generated with its activity during 2018, both in the central services and in the network of offices.
The total emissions offset for CaixaBank’s 2018 activity is 27,334 tons of CO2. The offset was made through the purchase of 27,284 carbon credits from an energy production project through livestock manure in Mexico, found in the Clean CO2 portfolio, as well as 50 tonnes of CO2 offset through the two forests located in Montserrat (Barcelona) and Ejulve (Teruel) that are CaixaBank’s own emission reduction projects registered in the “Carbon footprint registration, offset and absorption projects” promoted by the Ministry for Ecological Transition (MITECO).
CaixaBank’s own projects consist in the restoration of burnt land, Montserrat in July 2016 and Ejulve in 2009. In Montserrat, the action takes place on a plot of 11.1 hectares with the plantation of 4,500 trees of autochthonous species, where an absorption of 812 tons of CO2 is expected during the 40 years of permanence of the plantation. In Teruel, in the forest of Ejulve, an area of 4.9 hectares is reforested with the plantation of more than 2,400 native oak, moorhen, wild pine and black pine. Additionally, replanting actions with volunteers took place with the goal to help raise awareness firsthand.
The project pertaining to the Clean CO2 portfolio is called “Sonora AWMS GHG Mitigation Project MX05-B-03” and it consists on the installation of anaerobic digesters in the pig farms of the northwest of the country, in the state of Sonora. Anaerobic digesters are fed with swine effluents, and they capture and burn the resulting biogas to generate energy. This is a certified project under the VCS standard.
Thanks to this project, the quality of the soil and groundwater is improved with the control of manure. It also contributes to the economic and social development of the region through the creation of employment opportunities for the manufacture and maintenance of the facilities, a new source of revenue, green energy is provided, and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by not consuming fossil-fueled energy.
With this action, CaixaBank has obtained the Clean CO2 Certified Certificate and Seal, as an accreditation of its 2018 emissions neutrality.