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28-05-2009

In the presence of the Minister for Health, Trinidad Jiménez

The Chairman & CEO of BBVA delivers the Bank´s first edition of the INTEGRA Award to Catalonian handcrafted fabric cooperative, the Teixidors hand weaving workshop

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  • The BBVA Integra Award is designed to help integrate people with disabilities into society and the workplace
  • This first edition of the award, entailing prize money of "200,000, goes to Taller de Tejido Manual Teixidors, an artisan cooperative in Catalonia in which 26 of its 38 employees with learning difficulties are partners
  • BBVA´s Chairman and CEO said that "with this prize, the BBVA Group seeks to acknowledge innovative proposals that generate value by hiring people with disabilities".

Francisco González, Chairman & CEO of BBVA, today delivered the prize to the winner of this first edition of the INTEGRA Award, Catalonian handcrafted fabric cooperative, the Teixidors Hand Weaving Workshop. "We have awarded a social entrepreneur who has managed to overcome barriers to build a competitive business enterprise on an international scale, simultaneously generating high social worth. This particular entrepreneur has not resigned himself to conforming to his surroundings but rather took up the challenge of playing a part in transforming those surroundings", said Mr. González in reference to the winning cooperative.

In Spain some 3.8 million people live with some sort of disability and despite the significant progress made in recent years in terms of social assistance and job creation, "much remains to be done", according to BBVA´s Chairman and CEO.

"This is why our society cannot allow there to be people who do not enjoy equal opportunities. Institutions and businesses, public and private, in short all of us, must join forces and engage in this major challenge and take on the mantle of upholding basic human rights such as equal opportunities, non-discrimination and universal access", said Francisco González.

BBVA INTEGRA Program

This BBVA initiative is part of its corporate citizenship policy, which can be summed up as "Working for a better future."

BBVA´s INTEGRA program encourages the social and workplace integration of people with physical and learning disabilities through the implementation and development of innovative policies. The initiative is designed to provide all people involved directly or indirectly with BBVA living with disabilities with an optimal response: customers, employees, suppliers and society in general.

The Chairman and CEO of BBVA explained that by launching this program the entity reiterates its commitment not only to its business principles, encouraging the social integration of the least privileged, but also to innovation, by ensuring that this integration takes place by implementing and developing innovative policies.

"This is a program designed by people for people, raising their quality of life and, by extension, creating a better future", said Francisco González.

Winner: The Teixidors handwoven fabric workshop

After studying all of the candidates for the award, the jury unanimously chose the Teixidors hand-woven fabric workshop. This artisans"cooperative in Catalonia was founded in 1983 and offers people with learning difficulties the opportunity to learn a skill and produce quality work. Twenty-six of the coop´s 38 workers with disabilities are partners in the venture.

This pioneering initiative is based on reviving the traditional artisan skill of hand-weaving on wooden looms. Teixidors constantly updates its business with new technologies, within the framework of its commitment to sustainable development through the use of natural materials in the entire production process.

The Teixidors workshop produces a very high-end line of products of exquisite quality while allowing people with disabilities to become trained craftsmen. It also carries out activities to raise awareness of its production methods and educate others on its know-how and business model through educational and support initiatives.

Wrapping up the ceremony, Francisco González thanked Spain´s key organisations representing the disabled for their collaboration on the award: FEACEM, the ONCE Foundation, COCEMFE and FEAPS.

He also congratulated and thanked the other six finalists for their innovative initiatives, efforts and dedication. These projects were also acknowledged in this first edition of the BBVA INTEGRA Award. For the Teixidors workshop, Francisco González had the following words of recognition: "In short, we have rewarded an enterprise that is tangible proof of social innovation and the ability to create financial and social value at the same time".

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