Mustafa Tiftikcioglu, CEO of Garanti BBVA, told Business Review the lender’s strategy to help achieve Romania’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how it aims to encourage Romanians to make life choices durable.
By Anda Sebesi
What are the constituent elements of your sustainable development strategy and how do they translate into the projects you implement?
First, we need to recognize that sustainability is essential for every organization and no longer optional for businesses. It is a principle that must be applied in our daily activities. At Garanti BBVA Romania, we firmly believe that operating sustainably will be a key driver of the bank’s long-term success and we have already begun to build our capacity to address climate change and support the growing relevance of inclusion. social. A few years ago, our organization decided that sustainability would be one of its five strategic priorities, in line with the role we have assumed as a major contributor to inclusive and environmentally friendly economic and social development.
It is essential to note that as a bank, we act as a financier of a greener economy. We also share our knowledge, encourage cooperation with external stakeholders and use our influence in society to raise awareness and achieve results in promoting sustainable development. To become a more sustainable group, we have taken some steps at company level, encouraging all our employees to join our efforts. At the same time, we have expanded our offer by adding financial products that help protect the environment.
The message of Garanti BBVA Romania is that each person has a moral obligation towards others and future generations and that they must be aware that while their healthy and sustainable choices can represent small steps, they have a positive impact on future generations. .
How has your business strategy adapted since you decided to develop a more sustainable business?
In recent years, Garanti BBVA has developed a multidirectional social responsibility strategy at group level, aimed at contributing to the well-being of society.
During its more than 20 years of activity in the local market, the bank has mainly invested in projects that have encouraged the protection of natural habitats, the development of Romanian entrepreneurship, access to financial education tools and other initiatives with an impact on the community. . Our partnership with WWF Romania, through which we support WWF’s nature conservation policy, is an example of this long-term commitment that dates back to 2010, when we launched the WWF Bonus Card, the first credit card eco-labeled in Romania.
In the coming years, we will continue to focus on adding new sustainable financial products, both to the bank’s portfolio and to the product ranges offered by Garanti BBVA Consumer Finance and Garanti BBVA Leasing.
What should the private sector do to support the sustainable development of the local economy?
In recent years, we have seen leaders in public and private organizations across all sectors begin to place more emphasis on sustainability. Companies are therefore more concerned with ensuring that their operations meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. And in turn, the banks have aligned themselves with this common effort and now place sustainability and environmental protection among their top priorities.
What are the main projects that your company developed last year?
In 2021, Garanti BBVA Consumer Finance launched Green Credit, a product aimed at individual customers who want to make sustainable purchases. By launching the green loan, we want to contribute to the achievement of Romania’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encourage Romanians to make sustainable life choices.
Earlier this year, in collaboration with the Romania Green Building Council (RoGBC), Garanti BBVA launched the innovative financial product called Eco House, a green loan granted to individuals for the acquisition of green residential units certified as such by the RoGBC . At the same time, Garanti BBVA became a Platinum member of RoGBC. The collaboration between the two organizations aims to promote the financing of sustainable housing acquisitions by offering green mortgage solutions to individuals.