Sustainable competitiveness: How BBK is building a better future for Biscay | Part Two

From promoting environmental habits in young people, to supporting Basque culture, and enabling active lives for the elderly, BBK's social work invests the most per capita in Biscay


BBK is a private banking foundation. Formed after the 2008 financial crisis, when Spain forced its savings banks to split off their traditional retail banking activities into a separate entity, it chose to maintain control of its banking institution – called Kutxabank. Today, as well as owning 57 percent of the shares of Kutxabank, it carries out various sustainable investment activities in the Biscay region, and operates the most extensive social work programme in the area: investing €40m annually, making it the largest such programme in Biscay by spending per capita.

In this second half of our video series exploring BBK’s conception of sustainable competitiveness, chairman Xabier Sagredo dives into this social work: the programmes and initiatives that BBK has created, why they’re important for the region, and the foundation’s hopes for the future of Biscay and its people.

Watch the first half of this video series, where Xabier explores the meaning and importance of sustainable competitiveness for modern societies.

Xabier Sagredo: Our social work is the soul of BBK and inspires us when it comes to developing as a company. With more than €40m annually, we are proud to say that it is the highest in the Spanish state in terms of per capita spending.

Our Social Work covers a wide range of initiatives. We have a research and intelligence department that helps us identify and understand what needs exist in the territory for each group, and promotes projects in different areas of action.

Environment and climate
In a constantly changing world with an increasingly burdened environment, it is essential to promote habits and projects that are environmentally sustainable, resilient, socially inclusive and economically productive.

This is how, for example, BBK Klima was born. This is a transversal project that seeks to raise awareness through a complete programme of training, educational and experiential activities to activate sustainable and healthy lifestyles that favour climate regeneration.

We also have actions with a direct impact on the ecosystem, such as the reforestations that we have carried out since 2010, and initiatives to support the sustainable development of the planet from Bilbao, from Biscay, from the Basque Country.

Basque culture and society
We have multiple initiatives that enrich our society through art and support for the Basque language and that generate economic opportunities in Biscay.

An example is our support for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, of which we are a Strategic Patron. We can also mention the Bilbao BBK Live Festival, with emerging and top-level artists.

We also support culture through the BBK Auditorium, a place open to the dissemination of urban culture, as well as all types of social or solidarity events.

People and community
Caring for the people and communities in which we are present is central to us. A key axis for us is the elderly, with BBK Sasoiko, which promotes active aging by giving our elderly opportunities to continue being socially productive after their working years.

In relation to people with functional diversity, BBK Enplegu Inklusiboa promotes their labour integration and the Ola BBK centre offers personalised care. We also support children with educational support measures and promotion of diversity and equality.

Entrepreneurship and innovation
Entrepreneurship and innovation are two pillars of BBK that transcend our social commitment. We help projects from all stages. From people who have a business idea that they want to launch, to more established companies that need a boost.

A better future
For us, the future of Biscay and its people lies in sustainable competitiveness.

Companies must promote a model of organisations committed to quality employment, environmental responsibility, social cohesion, innovation and excellence.

BBK has this concept included in our own statutes, and we will continue to promote it, since it is the only system that guarantees our future well-being.

We are a territory with extraordinary economic, cultural and social potential. And at BBK we are prepared to continue contributing to the development of Biscay, supporting citizens, administrations and private entities in the years and tens of years to come.