Sustainable development is "development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (report entitled "Our Common Future" of 1987, by the World Commission on Environment and Development).

Implementing sustainable development within financing systems makes it possible to direct capital and economic growth towards a type of development that is sustainable and that meets environmental, social and economic criteria.

The business action model in line with sustainable development is known as the Triple Balance (Triple Bottom Line), which refers to the three lines of action of a sustainable, environmental, social and economic company, integrated in a unified way in a single project or business model.

The parameters to identify a company as sustainable are based on the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a guide, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has recommended five steps to achieve these goals:

  • Understand the SDGs, understanding the opportunities and responsibilities for the company.
  • Prioritise the objectives, according to the impact on their area of activity.
  • Establish sustainable business objectives, integrated into the business strategy.
  • Integrate sustainable development into all company functions.
  • Informing and communicating this line of action to stakeholders.

In line with this, sustainability performance must be recorded in sustainability or corporate social responsibility reports, as stipulated in Law 11/2018, of 28 December, on non-financial and diversity information, which are mandatory for companies with more than 500 employees and an annual turnover in excess of 40 million euros.