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22/09/2019

Santander becomes a founding signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking

  • The official launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking took place today at the start of the UN General Assembly.
  • In July Santander announced details of its responsible banking commitments, defining ten targets that support the bank’s contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.


New York, 22 September 2019 - Banco Santander today became one of the founding signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking, committing to strategically align its business with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

By signing the Principles for Responsible Banking, Santander joins a coalition of 130 banks worldwide, representing over USD 47 trillion in assets, in committing to take on a crucial role in helping to achieve a sustainable future.

Taking place at the start of the UN General Assembly, the official launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking marked the beginning of the most significant partnership to date between the global banking industry and the UN.

This week, global leaders will come together to share the actions they are taking to attain the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the launch event, attended by the 130 founding signatories and over 45 of their CEOs. “With these critically important commitments and actions from nations worldwide comes the opportunity, right now, to build a sustainable economy.”

The Principles for Responsible Banking are a significant move towards this sustainable economy. We cannot achieve our goals without a sustainable financial sector. I commend the signatories to the Principles and call on them to immediately begin the hard work of making good on their promises.”

In July 2019 Santander announced details of its responsible banking commitments, defining ten targets that support the bank’s contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The targets include a new commitment to raise over €120 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2025, as well as a commitment to financially empower more than 10 million people over the same period through the expansion of the bank’s microfinance, financial education programmes and other tools which provide access to financial services.

Banco Santander Executive Chairman, Ana Botin, said “Every business has a responsibility to tackle today’s global challenges. At Santander we’ve worked together to deliver profit with purpose – ensuring that our day to day operations help more people and businesses prosper in a sustainable way. We have ambitious targets for areas like financial empowerment, green finance, and gender diversity among others. And now we need to do more by collaborating, sharing best practice, and encouraging more businesses and individuals to act in a responsible way to the benefit of all.

As a signatory to the Principles, Santander has committed to using its products, services and relationships to support and accelerate the fundamental changes in our economies and lifestyles necessary to achieve shared prosperity for both current and future generations.

A banking industry that plans for the risks associated with climate change and other environmental challenges can not only drive the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, it can benefit from it,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “When the financial system shifts its capital away from resource-hungry, brown investments to those that back nature as solution, everybody wins in the long-term.”

The Principles for Responsible Banking are supported by a strong implementation and accountability framework. By signing them, Santander has committed to being transparent on both its positive and negative impact on people and the planet.

Last week Banco Santander was recognised as the most sustainable bank in the world following the publication of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for 2019. This was the first time the index, which is the international benchmark for corporate sustainability, gave Santander the highest ranking among the 175 banks assessed..

Please see the Principles for Responsible Banking and their Framework Documents here.

For more information, including infographics and videos, visit
https://www.unepfi.org/banking/bankingprinciples/

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