Environmental sustainability

Corporate sustainability

Corporate Sustainability Policy

The Banco de España’s Corporate Sustainability Policy File PDF: Opens in a new window (96 KB) is a firm public commitment by the institution to reduce the environmental impact of its activities and to continuously improve sustainability. This commitment is part of the Strategic Plan File PDF: Opens in a new window (990 KB) involving a series of specific initiatives related to fomenting sustainability and corporate responsibility. The Policy likewise states the Bank’s plan to be transparently accountable to its stakeholders on this matter.

EMAS environmental management system

The Banco de España has taken the decision to set in place an environmental management system geared to the EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) Regulation.

The EMAS is a management tool proposed by the European Union to assess, learn about and improve environmental activity. The Regulation set out a series of requirements which include: (i) the assessment of environmental aspects, (ii) the drawing up of procedures, and (iii) the publication of specific data via an annual environmental statement.

With this EMAS environmental management system in place, the Banco de España is pursuing the following objectives:

  • To reduce the adverse environmental impact of its activities, along with the risks of environmental accidents.
  • To assess legal requirements on an ongoing basis, and to lessen the possibility of compliance failures.
  • To save on the consumption of resources, and to minimise the generation of waste and emissions.

The environmental management system will be set in place in 2022 and 2023.

Environmental Footprint of the Organisation

In line with the Corporate Sustainability Policy, the Banco de España has decided to embark on a project to calculate its Carbon Footprint. Throughout 2022 and 2023 this will apply to scope 1 and 2 emissions, i.e. direct emissions from the Bank’s facilities and indirect emissions stemming from the producers of energy consumed on Bank premises.  In future it will be attempted to develop a more ambitious system to calculate the organisation’s Environmental Footprint based on Life-Cycle Analysis, which is integrated into the calculation of the Environmental Footprint in respect of cash.

Environmental management in respect of cash

The Banco de España’s policy of environmental management in respect of cash is determined by the Eurosystem’s concern and strategy in this area. Indeed, the Eurosystem has set the reduction of the environmental impact of cash as one of its five main objectives for 2030. Against this background, the Banco de España is analysing the environmental footprint of banknotes so that both euro banknotes and the processes to produce them are sustainable, ecological and respectful of the environment. This analysis will subsequently be extended to coins.

In this respect, the Banco de España is also going to measure the environmental footprint of cash in the Spanish cash cycle. The aim is to be able to quantify the environmental benefits of better premises for cash production, handling and distribution processes in Spain.

Research collaboration projects

Euro-denominated cash, and specifically banknotes, have the latest security features incorporated. Any change therein also requires an analysis of the impact of such changes on the environmental footprint of cash.

Accordingly, the Banco de España is mindful of the importance of fomenting research and development activities both by Spanish institutions and firms. Under its remit, it is promoting many contacts and/or collaboration agreements with firms and institutions.