Banco do Brasil

Banco do Brasil

SECTIONS :  Sustainability Targets    Evaluation  •  Key Points  •  Overview

 

Company Activity

Established in 1971, Banco do Brasil (BB) is a prominent Latin American company that provides banking and other financial services. It offers retail and commercial banking as well as asset management, foreign exchange, insurance, and private pension services as well.  The bank also consists of a Fund Management segment that holds responsibility for operations relating to the purchase, sale, and custody of portfolios and securities. 

In addition, Banco do Brasil manages investments performed in the domestic capital market, with some activities in debt distribution/intermediation in primary and secondary markets. It is rated second in the Top 10 Brazilian Banking Institutions

Banco do Brasil uplifts values of ethics, customer centricity, efficiency, innovation, reliability, sense of ownership, and public spirit in the provision of their services. They also hold a mission to be the company which provides the best experience for their customers so as to promote society’s development in an innovative, efficient, and sustainable way. 

Company Sustainability Activity

Banco do Brasil has been practicing methods of sustainability and corporate social responsibility for over a decade and those practices have only improved over time. The company has adopted global trends of sustainability, stating that their organizational performance and evaluation goes beyond that of economic indicators. 

Banco do Brasil prioritizes their social dimensions, including the defense of human rights, the welfare and treatment of workers, promotion of inclusion/diversity, and most importantly, respect and preservation of the natural environment, especially that of local land, water, and biodiversity components.

The bank has also enacted their own Sustainability Plan entitled ‘Agenda 30 BB’ which exists as an instrument for the bank to improve and monitor its business/processes and its alignment with the UN’s 2030 Agenda. This plan is reviewed every two years to ensure efficient and transparent reporting of the company’s sustainability activities to its various stakeholders. 

The latest Agenda 30 BB (Sustainability Plan) was approved in February 2019 and was updated by taking into account the evaluation of national/international sustainability goals such as the SDGs. The new version of Banco do Brasil’s includes 50 actions and 86 indicators that aim to improve governance in sustainability, increase environmental/climate risk management, promote social and financial inclusion in the context of the ‘Green Economy’, and adopt more “sustainable projects and solutions” which include the increase of local community/environment management.  

Banco do Brasil takes a particular interest in the mitigation of climate change, so as to keep in line with the Brazilian government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by the year 2025 and 43% by 2030 (with 2005 emission levels as the baseline). 

Banco do Brasil is well aware of the importance and urgency of this issue and accordingly has engaged with governments, the private sector and society in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (through responsible investing and the support of eco-friendly initiatives). 

For nearly three decades, Banco do Brasil has participated in several forums/organisations in governmental and private spheres that advocate for the mitigation of climate change, including but not limited to: Caring for Climate – The Global Compact, the CDP, Companies for the Climate – EPC Platform, and Brazilian GHG Protocol Program

 
 

Highlights

  • Banco do Brasil has implemented a Sustainability Plan (now known as Agenda 30 BB) since 2005 to foster sustainable businesses and practices
  • A Board of Directors monitors socio-environmental performance and ongoing sustainability initiatives every six months
  • The Executive Sustainability Committee (Cesus) (composed of Vice-presidents and directors) was created in 2021 and is responsible for guiding the implementation of sustainability initiatives
  • They are recognised as the most sustainable bank in the world by the Global 100 ranking, from Corporate Knights, in 2021
  • They have increased investments in renewable energy, especially solar, in the last 2 years 
  • They have committed to responsible business and involvement in climate-related solutions since 2012 
 

Targets

Improved Sustainability Governance 

  • Align Banco do Brasil’s governance with best practices to reinforce the role of senior management in the sustainability strategy
  • Implement criteria to improve the effectiveness of the Board of Directors
  • Develop financial solutions and business models that foster the transition to a green and inclusive economy
  • Improve the management of socio environmental risk in the supply chain, credit granting, financing, own investments and the management of third party assets, also considering controversial issues

Increase in Sustainable Business Engagement

  • Promotion of Renewable Energy: R$ 15 billion balance until 2025
  • R$ 125 billion balance in Sustainable Agriculture by 2025
  • Promotion of entrepreneurship: 1 million entrepreneurs by 2025
  • R$ 20 billion in disbursements by 2020 for State and Municipal Efficiency

Increase in Responsible Investments 

  • Balance of R$ 20 billion in ESG funds by 2025 and ESG valuation for all assets under management applicable by 2022
  • R$ 30 billion in sustainable resources for BB and customers until 2030

Increase in ESG and Diversity/Inclusion Management 

  • Emissions of GHG: compensate (offset) 100% from 2021 and reduce 30% by 2030
  • 90% renewable energy by 2024
  • Leadership positions: 30% of women and 23% of black and mixed-race employees by 2025
  • R$ 1 billion invested through Fundação BB by 2030

Improvements of Socio-Environmental Impacts of Activities and Operations

  • Evaluate and measure socio environmental and economic impacts (externalities) generated by BB’s products, services and activities in order to maximize positive impacts and reduce negative impacts on environment and society 
  • Identify, by December 31, 2022, credit/financing operations aimed at reducing GHG emissions (low carbon products that avoid emissions) and quantify the avoided emissions and the revenue generated
  • Keep the coverage of the organizational climate survey higher than 80% by December 31, 2021

Progress

Improved Sustainability Governance

  • In 2020, a review of the composition of the Board of Directors was performed.
  • An adoption of more efficient Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices were carried out, allowing for actions and management risks/opportunities to be conducted more sustainably.
  • A Sustainable Loan Portfolio was completely reviewed and was independently assessed by an external consulting firm.
  • Sustainability operations obtained a majority “A” rating from the external firm, showcasing BB’s positive and transformational contribution to sustainable development and the transition to a low-carbon future.

Diversity and Inclusion

  • 42.3% of managers are female at BB, following an increase of 24.9% in 2020
  • These targets were outlined and highlighted in their “Female Leadership Program” 
  • Overall investments (time and resources) into the quality of life, health and safety of employees  

Energy/Climate Mitigation 

  • Inaugurated their first solar power plant in the distributed generation modality in March of 2020
  • A second plant was inaugurated in October of 2020 and another five are expected to start operating by the time 2021 ends 
  • These two projects have a combined capacity of 6 MW, therefore generating 15 GWh/ year and have the capacity to guarantee the supply of renewable energy to 141 branches of the institution and save R$ 53.7 million over the next 15 years
  • When all plants are in operation 3,150 tons of carbon dioxide will not be emitted each year, corresponding to the planting of approxiamately 21,000 trees
  • This year and in 2020 there was a 6.7% decrease in electricity consumption compared to 2019; this was equivalent to 38 million kWh

Water 

  • Management monitors actions around water usage to align with established sustainability targets, such as reducing overall water consumption 
  • To do this, inspections are carried out in the hydraulic installations that detect and flag causes of high consumption
  • Has shown a 15.9% reduction in water consumption compared to 2019 

Paper and Other Solid Waste 

  • 2018 goal to reduce printed documents by 50% by 2020 was reached and exceeded
  • Implemented Zero Paper program within headquarters and majority of branches which monitors the organization’s paper consumption 
  • The Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (PGRS) has been in place since 2015 and fosters internal waste-management initiatives, meeting the parameters of the National Solid Waste Policy (PNRS)
  • Changed the method of the collection and sustainable disposal of unserviceable goods in 2019 so that the process occurs continuously in all BB facilities 
  • 221,319 unserviceable goods were disposed of in an environmentally-appropriate manner and were recycled as wel
 

Certificates

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • BB remains a competitive, profitable, efficient and innovative bank
  • Participation of employees and Senior Management representatives have played an active role in the process of overcoming sustainability challenges
  • Devised the Sustainability Plan Agenda 30 BB 2021-2023 to align with society’s demands and global sustainable development objectives
  • Further, their 10 long-term sustainability commitments demonstrate decent, sustainable work being done in addition to economic growth objectives being attained 

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

  • Decrease of 54% in printed documents (with 2017 as the baseline)
  • Decrease in water consumption by 15.9% shows conscientious hydraulic monitoring 
  • Launch of the Zero Plastic initiative has succeeded in reducing the consumption of plastic material in BB processes, products, and operations 
  • 86.5% of all transactions this past year were performed via App and/or Internet, with a satisfaction rate of 81.2%

SDG 13: Climate Action

  • Founding members of the Climate Business Initiative (Empresas pelo Clima – EPC) and the Brazilian GHG Protocol Program, both aimed at reflecting on and proposing actions to combat climate change
  • Supports initiatives aimed at mitigation, such as the Low Carbon Agriculture Program (ABC)
  • Since 2010 BB has led the ABC initiative to finance sustainable agricultural production systems
    • Recognising their capacity to reduce or sequester greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote the preservation of biodiversity 
  • Further, responsible investments in low-carbon initiatives such as solar plants helps BB reduce emissions and fight other climate related issues 

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

  • Strong corporate and sustainability governance with operations obtaining “A” ratings from external firms 
  • Commitment to inclusion/diversity by having increased the percentage of women at all hierarchical levels, with the aim to strengthen gender equality even further in the future
  • Prioritises justice for the planet and exhibits clear dedications aligning with international sustainability objectives
 

Evaluation

Banco do Brasil’s commitment to sustainable practices and environmentally-conscious actions is admirable. The bank has been voted the Most Sustainable Bank in the World from Corporate Knights’ global ranking in 2021.

BB has initiated several programs to implement sustainability into their corporate life, such as their Agenda 30 BB which specifically outlines the company’s alignment with the UN SDGs. Further, the company describes clearly in their Annual Report their own specified targets and indicators for the SDGs for which they align. 

The company’s accountability and transparency is worth noting. BB is clearly devoted to other CSR initiatives, such as inclusion and diversity, as they have actively increased their female employees in leadership positions in the last two years. 

The company also stands out for its role in climate mitigation, as its two solar plant projects prove its commitment to increasing renewable forms of energy. However, as the 2020 Annual Report demonstrates, the company’s decrease in overall energy consumption may be more due to the pandemic and employees working remotely than actual concrete initiatives to reduce water, paper, electricity, etc. 

However, given the company’s long track record of awards and certifications such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (2012-2021) and Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED), it’s clear that sustainability is a top priority for Banco do Brasil.

The company has been rated a B

Analyst Outlook: Neutral 

Given that the nature/production of Banco do Brasil’s product (financial services) has little negative impact on the environment in general, BB is already a very sustainable company. However, Banco do Brasil takes a step further and produces a comprehensive sustainability report each year within their annual report that shows their progress in reaching their own suitability targets. 

The company also partners and invests in low-carbon and sustainable organisations/projects, as well as aligning itself with global benchmarks such as the UN SDGs. 

The energy-saving initiatives of the company are very impressive. However, the company will need to ensure they continue such low energy consumption beyond the remote-working stage in the COVID pandemic. 

Overall, Banco do Brasil’s sustainability reporting and practices are specific, clear, and thorough. Thus it’s fair to say they are deserving of a B rating. 

Key Points

  • Banco do Brasil’s CSR/ESG is ranked 94% (very high) compared with 19,242 other companies on CSR Hub
  • Banco do Brasil is the most sustainable Brazilian firm
  • Excellence of corporate governance practices certified by the bank’s adhesion to the Novo Mercado segment of the B3 – Brasil, Bolsa, Balcão (Brazilian Stock Exchange) since 2006
    • BB is the only Brazilian bank listed in this segment
  • Inclusion of low-carbon agriculture operations and solar plants recognised as nationally and globally innovative renewable energy solutions by BB
  • The Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHG) consists of the measurement and publication of BB’s GHG emissions and is is based on the GHG Protocol Program methodology which has been adapted to a Brazilian context by Fundação Getúlio Vargas’s (FGV) Center for Sustainability Studies
  • The inventory represents over 4,000 facilities nationwide in Brazil and accounts for GHG emissions from the Three Scopes
  • Portfolio credits the operations related to renewable energy investments and loans, energy efficiency, sustainable construction, transport, water, agriculture etc.
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