Low-Carbon Program

Reduction of the environmental impact and promotion of sustainable development

Within the framework of its Environmental Policy, CGD created the Low-Carbon Program to respond to climate change. The Low-Carbon Program embodies CGD’s strategy to reduce the environmental impact of its activities, foster sustainable development and enforce the stakeholders’ compliance with the best practices.

Baixo Carbono

The Low-Carbon Program is underpinned by four lines of action:

Low-Carbon Economy Financing

As one of the cornerstones of economic development, the financial sector must play a key role in the enforcement of a low-carbon economy.

Throughout the years, CGD has been developing financial solutions streamlining the access of its customers to environmentally responsible products, effectively contributing to the reduction in GHG emissions, namely in areas such as power efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable mobility.

Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The implementation of measures to reduce and mitigate GHG emissions is fundamental for CGD’s strategy to combat climate change.

Among the several measure that already came into fruition, we highlight the solar thermal power station at CGD’s Head Office, the largest plant in the country installed in an office building and the most visible measure to reduce CO2 emissions.

The solar thermal power station is composed of 158 solar collectors installed over 1,660 m² of the roof of the building, located at Av. João XXI, in Lisbon. It allows for producing the power used for cooling (through an absorption chiller) water for air conditioning, hygiene facilities and the cafeteria's kitchen.

CGD performs an annual inventory of GHG emissions stemming from its activity, in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) guidelines.

For more information on CGD’s goals and the evolution of environmental indicators, check CGD’s Sustainability Reports.

Environmental Risk Mitigation

Through its Environmental Policy, CGD acknowledges that the adoption of sustainable development practices in the Bank’s everyday management is a key pillar of its mission, aiming to preserve the environment by managing and monitoring the direct and indirect impacts on its activities, products and services.

Due to its dimension, importance and reputation within the national banking system, the mitigation of environmental risks is a key area in which CGD has been investing; a specific area for non financial risk was created in 2019.

Within the scope of the Environmental Management System, a matrix for identifying significant environmental aspects was created, implementing a methodology aiming to identify, assess and mitigate environmental issues stemming from CGD’s activities.

In terms of its commercial activity, CGD acknowledges the existence of activity segments or projects that may negatively affect the Sustainable Development; the CGD Principles of Exclusion and Sectorial Limitation have thus been developed and underlie the activities and projects that are excluded, or restrained under certain conditions, from its credit policy, considering their potential socio environmental impact.

For more information on CGD’s Principles of Exclusion and Sectorial Limitation, check our Policies.

Transparency and awareness-raising

As an institution that is aware of the challenges posed by climate change, CGD takes on an active role in being transparent in its reported climate-related information and in raising its stakeholders’ awareness to environmental issues.

The task-force on climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD) is an initiative of the Financial Stability Board aiming to make recommendations on the voluntary disclose of climate-related financial information.

Underpinned by four thematic pillars – Governance, Strategy, Risk Management and Metrics and Targets, the recommendations issued by the TCFD provide a structure for companies to identify and report, in a transparent manner, climate-related risks and opportunities.

We highlight some of CGD’s actions within the scope if the TCFD’s 4 strategic pillars:


Chaired by the Chairman of the Executive Committee, the Sustainability Committee supervises the management and guides the decisions concerning the implementation of the Sustainability Strategy, which comprises environmental issues;

The Sustainability Committee is attended by the heads of several CGD structures, namely the Risk Management Division, the Corporate Marketing Division and the Compliance Division;

So as to identify, assess and manage environmental risks, an area dedicated to non-financial risks was created in 2019.


CGD’s Environmental Policy takes on the commitment of providing products and services that have a positive impact on the environment;

The signing by CGD of the Letter of Commitment for sustainable finance in Portugal aims to foster the gradual incorporation of environmental, social and governance criteria into credit and investment assessments;

By signing up to the Principles for Responsible Banking defines, CGD undertakes to build a sustainable future, but also to operate in line with the sustainable development goals set by the UN and the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change;

By signing up to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Caixa Gestão de Ativos undertakes to consider environmental, social and corporate governance factors while making investment decisions;

CGD’s participation in several working groups (e.g. the Carbon Neutrality Group of BCSD Portugal; the Sustainable Finance Working Group of the Portuguese Banking Association) streamline the adoption of national and international political trends in terms of sustainability;

The signing of the commitment letter “Business Ambition 1.5 °C” encourages companies worldwide to implement measures for combatting climate change in line with the 1.5 °C scenarios.

Risk Management

CGD’s Exclusion and Sectorial Limitation Principles acknowledge the existence of activity sectors or projects that may negatively affect Sustainable Development; thus, a list of principles underlying activities and projects that are excluded, or restricted by certain terms, from CGD’s credit policy is provided;

The Ethical Principles and Best Corporate Practices define the implementation of sustainability principles and sustainability clauses in contracts with suppliers, as a way to mitigate environmental and social risks in the supply chain.

Targets and Metrics

The existence of a goal to reduce the emissions of CGD,S.A. (scope 1 and 2), by 43% until 2021, as compared to 2015;

Report of greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1,2 and 3) according to the guidelines of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol;

Annual assessment of the significant Environmental aspects linked with the activity of CGD, within the scope of the Environmental Management System.

In terms of raising stakeholders’ awareness to environmental issues, CGD has an ongoing bank card recycling project, in partnership with Extruplás, and promotes initiatives to preserve natural heritage aiming to foster good practices by its employees, customers and the general society, with a view to ultimately promote social responsibility and sustainable development.

On an internal level, CGD has also been carrying out awareness campaigns and training courses to adopt the best environmental practices and sustainable development goals.

So as to provide accessible training on sustainability to all of its stakeholders, masterclasses on circular economy and on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development have been provided, in partnership with LNEG, IAPMEI and Pedra Base.

For more information on initiatives that raise awareness to environmental issues carried out by CGD, check CGD’s Sustainability Reports.