Contributing to the transition to a green economy, supporting inclusive growth and integrating behaviors and policies into governance, are the three pillars upon which Bank Santander’s responsible banking commitments are based. Some of the aspirations that were approved last week at the general meeting of shareholders in the entity. “The invasion of Ukraine highlighted the need to change energy policies and clarify acceptable timeframes for the transition of companies and sectors around the world, as well as accelerate investments in renewable energy, so that we can support people and companies in their transition to Working “the green economy.” He added: “This transition will be more difficult for emerging countries, small and medium-sized enterprises and vulnerable groups. Therefore, incentives will be necessary to support a fair, gradual and acceptable transition.
“Incentives will be needed to support a fair, gradual and acceptable transition” to a green economy
The entity has successfully completed the various phases stipulated in its responsible banking agenda for the period 2019-2025, which focus on contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and has managed to overcome challenges placed in the past anus. In the social field, she managed to position herself last year in Top 10 of the best companies for work in six of the geographical regions in which it is found; 40% of women are on the board of directors. 388,000 scholarships awarded in the last three years (target was 325,000); It has helped 6.1 million people through various investment programs compared to the 4 million proposed between 2019 and 2021.
To combat climate change, one of the biggest global challenges, the challenge has been that 60% of the energy consumed in its buildings in 2021 must come from renewable sources and it has far exceeded this percentage: it is already 75%. The bank, which has been carbon-neutral in its own operations since 2020, has managed to eliminate 100% of non-essential single-use plastics in its offices and buildings.
In the rest of the objectives set out in its road map, the Spanish group is advancing at full speed. In just three years, it has mobilized 65.7 billion euros (32.3 billion in 2021 alone) in green financewhich is more than halfway to reach the 120,000 million projected for 2025. It aims to increase this amount to 200,000 million in 2030.
Supporting renewable energy sources
In addition, last year it issued a third green bond worth €1,000 million to finance and refinance wind and solar renewable energy. It has also contributed to financing or advising renewable energy projects (Greenfield) with a total installed capacity of 13,604 megawatts, which avoids the emission of 251 million tons of carbon dioxide. And contributed to the expansion, improvement and maintenance of existing renewable energy infrastructure projects (Brownfield), with a total installed capacity of 1,776 MW. The agency estimates, this is equivalent to the generation capacity needed to cover the consumption of 9.2 million homes and avoid 251 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions during the useful life of these projects. Similarly, Santander has proposed reducing its exposure to thermal coal mining worldwide by 2030.
Commitment to sustainable financing
Another milestone in 2021 is that the entity has developed the Sustainable Finance Classification System (SFCS), which makes it possible to identify loans for economic activities that contribute to mitigation and adaptation to climate change and to continually measure these volumes across the group.
The goal of the Santander Fund Manager is to have 100,000 million in sustainable assets by 2025
Entity expands from green products, in both mortgages, consumer loans and investment products. Santander’s wealth management unit, which includes private banking, fund manager and insurance division, managed over €27,000 million in sustainable assets at the end of December (11,000 million through Santander Asset Management and 16,000 million in third-party funds in private banking) .
By 2025, the unit led by Victor Matarans is intended to have 100,000 million sustainable funds. The Santander fund manager, which was the first Spanish company to participate in the Net Zero initiative globally to achieve a net zero carbon emissions target on all assets under management by 2050 or earlier, has set a goal of halving it. Net Zero net emissions from managed assets by 2030.
Fight against deforestation
All of these actions are trying to stop the deterioration of the planet. At the recent United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), held in Glasgow, it was concluded that the global increase in temperature should be limited to 1.5°C by reducing 45% of greenhouse gas emissions before 2035 and reducing them to zero in 2050. The United Nations estimates that with the urgent implementation of the necessary measures, 250,000 deaths from causes related to climate change will be avoided.
Among the initiatives it has taken to reduce deforestation, Banco Santander reached a landmark agreement in 2020 with Bradesco and Itaú Unibanco to protect the Amazon, one of the planet’s main lungs. Between January and June 2021 alone, 4,014 square kilometers of vegetation cover were lost, 55% more than in the same period the previous year.
As for the goals Financial EmpowermentThe entity has committed to providing financial support to ten million people through 2025 and hopes to exceed that number by far. So far, between 2019 and 2021, it has been able to provide access, financing and financial education to 7.4 million financially vulnerable people, such as micro-entrepreneurs, women, individuals, families, SMEs in difficulty, social entrepreneurs or groups at risk of exclusion. . Last year, Santander Chile, Santander Colombia and Santander Peru launched new microfinance programs, while Prospera Brazil and Toyo in Mexico continued their expansion plans.
Finally, in gender equality It aims to have 30% of women in management positions by 2025 (at the end of 2021 this number was 26.3%) and reduce the gender equality gap to zero percent, currently at 1%. At the end of last year, 54% of the Spanish bank’s workforce was women.