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SAN share (Madrid) 5.616 | 0.0% | 18:00


Santander carries out its business in a responsible and sustainable way while contributing to the economic and social progress of the communities in which it operates, and is particularly committed to fostering higher education.

Banco Santander has a business model and a corporate culture focused on creating longterm value for all its stakeholders: employees, customers, shareholders and communities. The Bank voluntarily assumes certain ethical, social and  environmental commitments which go beyond the related legal obligations, and makes a large social investment mainly via Santander Universities.

Responsible working practices

Investing in higher education is the hallmark of the Bank’s social commitment, which is organised and managed through Santander Universities.

Santander cooperates with more than 3,900 projects to improve education, such as programmes to internationalise universities, encourage mobility by academics, provide students with access to the labour market, foster an entrepreneurial culture, research and innovation, and to increase financial literacy.

The main initiatives in 2015 included the following:

  • The largest scholarship programme provided by a private company. A total of 35,349 were granted in 2015. These include:

    15,553 travel scholarships for university students, with programmes such as Becas Iberoamérica. Jovenes Profesores e Investigadores and the Top programmes.
    10,865 Santander internship scholarships in SMEs to facilitate the insertion of students in the labour market.
    7,536 study scholarships
  • Entrepreneurship is another of the main lines of action.
  • Research and innovation is supported by an annual investment of €24 million and is used to support research groups on cancer, stem cells, biomaterials, protection of endangered species, innovation and digital transformation, protection of human rights, as well as science parks and Chairs of excellence in universities.
  • The Universia network also helps young people to join the labour market with one million jobs created in 2015. It acted as the intermediary through its job community, which includes websites where 17.3 million job applications were registered.
Santander Universities

Sustainability governance

Santander has a well defined sustainability governance structure, at both corporate and local level, which facilitates the involvement of all the Bank’s business and support areas in the Group. The board is the highest governing body in sustainability matters, and is responsible for approving the sustainability strategy and policies.

Santander is part of the main stock market indices that analyse and value companies’ actions in matters of sustainability

Gobierno de la sostenibilidad

Corporate sustainability policies

In December 2015, the Bank’s board approved an update to the social and environmental policy. This policy, now called the general policy of sustainability, defines Banco Santander’s main lines of action in this area and it is the reference framework in corporate social responsibility and in social and environmental risk management.

The Bank’s climate change and human rights policies were also updated and a new corporate volunteer policy drawn up.

The Group also defined sector-specific environmental policies which incorporate the criteria for analysing social and environmental risk in sensitive sectors (defence, energy and soft commodities).

Santander, a bank committed to society and its environment

Banco Santander also contributes to the economic and social progress of communities through many social investment programmes in areas such as education, entrepreneurship, social wellbeing and culture, in a large number of which the participation of the Group’s professionals is fostered as a way to promote solidarity and pride in working for Santander.

Banco Santander supports education as a catalyst for developing and growing the communities and countries in which it operates, with a specific focus on higher education via Santander Universities, the Group’s hallmark of social investment.

The Bank is also firmly committed to financial literacy and children’s education, as it is conscious of the need to promote better knowledge of the basic aspects of finance for the different stages of life.

The creation of social companies, social inclusion and fostering entrepreneurial capacity are some of the Bank’s lines of action in this area. Banco Santander has significant microcredit programmes in Brazil, Chile and El Salvador that enable the most disadvantaged groups to access loans and improve their social inclusion, standard of living and environment.

Social well-being
The Bank has a wide array of programmes that aim to eradicate the social exclusion of the most vulnerable groups, foster research to improve people’s health and make life easier for the disabled.

The Group conducts its activity while preserving the environment, and promoting initiatives and projects that require protection and mitigate the environmental impact. The Bank’s environmental initiatives focus on reducing consumption and emissions derived from its activity, developing financial solutions to combat climate change (leadership position in financing renewable energy projects), and integrating social and environmental risks into the process of granting loans.

Art and culture
Santander is very active in protecting, preserving and disseminating art and culture, mainly via the Banco Santander Foundation in Spain and Santander Cultural in Brazil.

Santander, a bank committed to society and its environment