Community Investment Commitment
Our Strategy 2021-2025
At Garanti BBVA, we focus on social issues in Turkey and the world that intersect with Garanti BBVA's values when defining our community investment program strategies.
As part of a responsible banking approach, we develop our community investment programs by prioritizing the needs of society and our stakeholders' expectations of the Bank in strategic alignment with our main business areas.
Under the Community Investment Commitment 2021-2025 established in this context, we are carrying out our activities in three focuses of action to create value for society:
- Reducing inequalities and promote inclusive growth
- Education for all
- Frontier knowledge and accessible culture
In addition to these areas, on which we focus to promote inclusive growth, we are developing programs that contribute to the fight against the climate change.
Through the institutions we establish, we contribute to society and carry out projects in collaboration with various non-governmental organizations. We monitor the results of all the community investment programs we carry out using internationally recognized measurement and research techniques, and measure the social impact they have on the target group and society.
Through our community investment programs, we also contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.
While the world has made significant progress in lifting people out of poverty and hunger, inequality remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. To address social and economic inequality, we are working to develop initiatives that promote inclusive and sustainable growth and to implement programs that improve living standards for all people.
5 Pebbles: Social and Financial Leadership Program
The 5 Pebbles: Social and Financial Leadership Program, which we have been running since 2016 in collaboration with the Teachers Academy Foundation (ÖRAV), aims to improve the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of primary and secondary school students regarding social and financial leadership. In addition to raising students' awareness of social and financial issues, the program ultimately aims to instill in them an awareness of being a “good citizen.”
Teachers participating in the program attend a 6-day training program where the program modules are explained in detail. Then, teachers who will continue the one-to-one mentoring process meet with their students for 5 modules for 5 months.
The program consists of 5 modules:
- Personal understanding and discovery
- Rights and responsibilities
- Saving and spending awareness
- Planning and budgeting
- Social and financial initiatives
- Since 2016, the 5 Pebbles: Social and Financial Leadership Program has reached more than 2500 teachers and 35,000 students.
- In the 2021-2022 academic year, 1053 teachers and 9760 students from all provinces of Turkey participated in the program.
We carry out the EşitBiz project in cooperation with the Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) and the Teachers Academy Foundation (ÖRAV) to contribute to change by raising awareness on gender equality.
"Equality Awareness Training” and "Taking Action for Change” with Eşitliğe Değer
With AÇEV's social initiative Eşitliğe Değer (Equality Matters), we organized an in-house training program for all bank employees, including the ones employed in our subsidiaries. We aim to raise awareness among all our colleagues with the training, which includes basic topics such as "How does gender come into being?", "What is gender equality?", "How can gender equality be achieved?" as well as topics related to equality in business life.
In the process following the training, workshops will be organized for our volunteer colleagues who want to take concrete steps in the field of gender equality.
Teacher Training with ÖRAV
Another pillar of the EşitBiz project is our training program for preschool teachers, which we have implemented in cooperation with ÖRAV. With the "Supporting Social and Emotional Skills in Preschool Education", we aim to raise and strengthen teachers' awareness on gender equality and to carry out a holistic program that will enable them to work with students and parents.
- Approximately 12 thousand Garanti BBVA employees completed Equality Awareness Training in 2022.
- With the Supporting Social and Emotional Skills in Preschool Education, 649 teachers and indirectly approximately 10 thousand students were reached in 2022.
Education for All
The fact that not enough progress has been made worldwide in the scope of "Quality Education", the 4th Sustainable Development Goal adopted by the United Nations, reveals the importance of expanding educational opportunities today. In this context, access to quality education has been one of the areas we have given the most importance for many years.
Teachers Academy Foundation (ÖRAV)
The Teachers Academy Foundation (ÖRAV) was established by Garanti BBVA in 2008 to support the professional and personal development of teachers and to protect children's right to access quality education. Since its establishment, the Foundation has been designing training programs, developing projects and working to contribute to teachers becoming better equipped educators.
ÖRAV, which responds to all requests from voluntary schools as part of its cooperation with the Ministry of Education and provides free training to these schools, has various training programs for all educators working in kindergartens, elementary school, secondary schools and high schools. In addition to the training programs, ÖRAV has an eKampüs distance education platform that is open to all teachers, accessible anytime, anywhere, and provides a reliable environment for sharing information and experiences.
- Since 2008, ÖRAV has reached more than 280,000 teachers in 81 provinces in Turkey.
- The number of active users of eKampüs is 65,000.
Teachers Without Distance
The Teachers Without Distance webinar series was launched in 2020 in collaboration with ÖRAV to respond to the needs of teachers and their students during the pandemic. The series, which is carried out through eKampüs, ÖRAV's distance education platform, is open to the participation of all teachers from 81 provinces of Turkey throughout the academic year.
The webinar series covers various topics such as psychological resilience, gaming in education, motivation and classroom management in distance education, adapting to and managing change in education, and solution-oriented communication.
- The webinar series has reached more than 15,000 educators since 2020.
Frontier knowledge and accessible culture
According to the Sustainable Development Goals, it is of great importance to promote research and innovation to find lasting solutions to economic, social, and environmental challenges. For this reason, supporting knowledge production and research, which are important elements of social development, and conducting studies that promote respect for local culture and values are one of our main priorities.
Salt was founded in 2011 by Garanti BBVA to promote the production of knowledge, culture and arts. Salt, which continues its activities as an innovative and participatory cultural institution that produces original works, carries out programs; namely, exhibitions, film screenings, performances, concerts, conferences and workshops on various topics such as art, architecture, design, urban life, and society. By producing content that raises awareness of social issues, Salt helps to increase the quality of information and serves as an open resource for everyone. Through its diverse archival and research projects, the institution contributes to the memory of Turkey and its neighboring countries.
- Salt Research's archival collections provide online access to nearly 2,000,000 documents and resources
- The library located in Salt’s Galata building which is available to its users free of charge five days a week, has a collection of more than 100,000 publications.
- Since its establishment in 2011, Salt has received more than 3 million visitors.
Tackling the climate change
We have taken pioneering steps in our journey toward sustainable finance and development, which we began in 2006, because we were aware of the importance of working together to fight the climate change and the important role financial services play in fighting it effectively. At the same time, as part of our community investment programs, we are developing projects that contribute to the fight against the climate change.
Together with DenizTemiz Derneği/TURMEPA, we are implementing the Blue Breath project to combat the destruction caused by the mucilage crisis and contribute to activities that directly aim to protect the environment. Within the project, we try to prevent the general pollution of the seas and, when necessary, to combat the slime; we organize awareness courses on the cleanliness of the seas.
Within the project:
- 2 sea sweepers are operating in the Bosphorus to combat pollution and litter in the Sea of Marmara.
- In order to raise awareness about the cleanliness of the seas, online training courses are provided for secondary school students and teachers on the importance of the seas, the protection of the marine ecosystem and individual responsibility for sustainable water resources.
- With the Blue Breath Education bus, students will receive training in robotic coding and production skills focused on the philosophy of waste prevention. In addition, the population of the Marmara region will be made aware of the cleanliness of the seas through various workshops.
- "Zero Waste" training sessions for high school students will be used to develop marine pollution projects. Blue Detective candidates will also raise awareness by serving as mentors for their peers.
- Since September 2021, the sea sweepers have collected and recycled approximately 109 tons of solid waste. The waste collected by the sea sweepers is equivalent to the daily waste generated by approximately 96 thousand people.
- From the beginning of the project, the education program reached 1500 teachers and more than 30,000 students from 146 schools in Kocaeli, Bursa, Istanbul, Tekirdağ and Çanakkale.
- Between July and October 2022, the sea sweeper used in Antalya Adrasan prevented about 2 tons of liquid waste from entering the sea. In this way, 19,192,032 liters of seawater were kept clean.
Turkey's Life: Fire Management Grant Program
In collaboration with WWF-Turkey, we support forest fire projects implemented by local civil society organizations under the Turkey’s Life: Fire Management Grant Program, which was launched in June 2022. The program, launched to reduce the risk of forest fires that cause great damage to nature and the population, and to be better prepared for possible fires, aims to support the work of local non-governmental organizations that will implement projects in three areas:
- Preventive work and preparations in advance of a fire,
- Effective participation in firefighting operations and disaster management during fires,
- Restoration of natural/ecological losses and restoration of socio-economic losses after fires.
Our social impact
We measure the impact of our community investment programs and their effects on the beneficiaries through social impact analysis, on a regular basis. In this manner, we are able to concretize the benefits we deliver to society and the environment and identify the improvable segments of our long-term programs. The methodology we use is the "Social Return on Investment" (SROI), which is increasingly preferred in the fields of non-profit sector and impact investment.