“We can do a lot individually, but we can do much more collectively and as a society to make a powerful contribution to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.” With this message, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutiérrez, president of Grupo Aval, yesterday reinforced the commitment that the organization under his direction has not only with these objectives but also with the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.
«At Grupo Aval we create conscious progress with all of Colombia,» said the director, who also said that it is a commitment not just now, but something that has been with them for several years through, even, responsible investments.
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The objective, said Sarmiento Gutiérrez, has always been to impact the lives of millions of people, protecting the environment and biodiversity and demonstrating that it is possible to do so under the precepts of sustainability. Something that they have not done alone throughout these years, but have done so with the commitment of their more than 75,000 collaborators, 30,000 suppliers, more than 30 million customers of their different subsidiaries and 60 percent of the companies that They have trusted the conglomerate.
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Within this purpose, said organization announced the new objective that, as one of the most relevant brands in the country’s financial sector, has been set, through the message: «At Grupo Aval, we form a group with the entire country»with which they seek to create awareness in Colombia that a change in the face of these sustainability purposes must begin from within.
That change in which there is not only the group, but all its entities (the banks of Bogotá, of the West, AV Villas, Popular, the AFP Porvenir, the dale! wallet, Corficolombiana and ADL Digital Lab), include its transformation and structural evolution, through the adoption of policies, strategies, alliances and investments that contribute in an effective and real way to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Principles of Responsible Banking, which, according to its directives, it allows them to live in a society that is more empathetic with other people, that embraces and celebrates inclusion, equity and diversity; and that it has an active role in biodiversity conservation and climate action.
Part of that commitment is in the financing of projects and initiatives that comply with these precepts. Only the green portfolio of Banco de Bogotá exceeds 2 trillion of these and to date it is six times more than that registered three years ago.
Each of the entities controlled by Grupo Aval has undertaken actions that range from financing companies and projects that are certified in sustainability issues or initiatives that are aligned with those purposes, as Banco de Bogotá has been doing, for which last March the entity issued a subordinated sustainable bond for 230 million dollars, resources that are aimed at expanding the green financing portfoliowhich is done under special rates and terms, according to Isabel Cristina Martínez, vice president of Sustainability and Corporate Services of the entity.
For his part, Manuel Andrés Vargas, manager of Brand and Reputation of Banco Popular, said that The entity has designed a program to serve pensioners in terms of credit and insurance for this elderly population, through its «Diamond Program».
For his part, Francisco Javier Monroy, Vice President of Business Banking and SMEs at Banco de Occidente, commented that the entity has been supporting the business fabric of the country, through its ‘Masters of Doing’ strategy, with which they have accompanied more than 50,000 clients, becoming the ally for the growth of their businesses, giving it capabilities on different fronts. More than 8,500 SMEs have linked to tucomunidadpyme.com and there are more than 31,000 active users interacting with the platform.
From Banco AV Villas, Ada Marcela Herrera, Director of Corporate Communication and Sustainability, said that for more than three decades she has been supporting the Fundación Solidaridad por Colombia, with the contribution of scholarships aimed at providing education to children and young people in vulnerable communities in the country.
As for the AFP Porvenir, this attention is aimed at its more than 140,000 pensioners who are encouraged to remain active, supporting those who have businesses to develop them.
Bernardo Sánchez Diaz, AFP Marketing and Sustainability Manager, said that the first Observatory in Latin America with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Employability for the Elderly was created for them, in which 256 older adults have developed nearly 100 business ideas and 25,000 pensioners have participated in the learning route for digital entrepreneurs.
investment and entertainment
Another entity of the organization has also been making great contributions to this group initiative. For example, Corficolombiana, which is the investment holding of the financial conglomerate, invested more than 63,000 million pesos in issues of responsibility, social, resources that impacted the social fabric of 354 municipalities in the country, said Paula Durán, director of Sustainability of the entity.
Dale!, in turn, has contributed with its strategy of reaching a greater number of Colombians every day to more banking and financial inclusion in the country, for which it will continue to strengthen this application with new products and services, said José Manuel Ayerbe, its president, while from ADL Digital Lab, in alliance with the National Institute of Health (INS), during the pandemic they worked on the optimization, improvement and automation of information that allowed the country to have more precise data on reproduction of the virus, among others, highlighted Yuly Milena Álvarez, Human Talent Manager at ADL Digital Lab.
Another front has been that of entertainment, which complements the entire service circle of Grupo Aval. Through Experiencias Aval, together with some foundations and organizations in the country, various populations have been given access to world-class shows, making more and more people live new experiences and ratify their right to access culture and entertainment. , pointed out Johana Bohórquez, director of Marketing and Communications of Grupo Aval.
* Grupo Aval is part of the business group that controls EL TIEMPO Casa Editorial.