Sustainability units and departments, circular economy conferences, global and business agreements: what is happening in sustainability? Why is everyone talking about it? This summer’s record temperatures or the rainfall and snowfall figures are surely somehow connected.
Pressure to transition to a less carbon-intensive economy is growing, particularly in Europe, where a whole series of regulations have sparked the interest of business, national and third-sector organizations in the matter. Everyone is asking ‘what can I do?’.
Although Europe has indeed made direct moves and may have shot itself in the foot with some very restrictive regulations, we must rise to this challenge positively to see the business opportunities the future may bring with all the business development involved in energy transition, decarbonisation of the economy, investment in social impact or ethics in good corporate governance. Above all, we should be aware of the risk of resistance to change that would endanger many traditional economic models and undoubtedly affect society.
To integrate sustainability as a key issue within an organisation, it is being considered an area with a high level of infiltration in other departments to implement it across the board. The purpose behind this is none other than looking closely at everything done in a company with a view to doing it less aggressively and more ethically and transparently in relation to our entire surroundings, be they environmental, social or regulatory. We must be able to integrate all these sensitivities within our value proposition.
This is the background against which Creand Crèdit Andorrà has made a firm pledge to establish a Sustainability Unit. Sustainability now needs to be viewed not just as an issue, but rather as one of the values that define the bank, alongside our desire to pioneer, to innovate, to provide close customer service and to maintain our commitment to people, to companies and to Andorran society as a whole.
In a mountainous country like ours, in which dependence on the climate is vital for the survival of the business ecosystem, we must be firmly committed to mitigating climate change. Such commitment is the basis for our progress in the Principles of Responsible Banking of the UNEP FI, the United Nations’ global alliance featuring the world’s 200 major banks, in which Creand Crèdit Andorrà is the country’s sole representative, all with a view to mobilizing capital towards a carbon-free economy.
Since the signing of the Principles in March 2021, we have made headway with an action plan that is equally as ambitious as it is realistic. Internally, it has a cross-disciplinary, plural and participatory governance model. Externally, it entails different initiatives with which to achieve our goal of introducing sustainability to our range of products and services. We started by identifying climate risks and their impact on our business model. We must now express this as a competitive value proposition for customers and businesses and, lastly, culminate by providing the tools and the resources that the country requires for this transition.
Banks, as the driving force of the economy, act as the chain that drives all these initiatives. Those of us who are already immersed in this mission are convinced that by working together, guided by the pioneering spirit that has always accompanied us, we shall be able to drive the Andorran economy forwards towards the future we all want for coming generations.
Published in Diari d’Andorra 17.08.2023