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Policies

Banco Santander ensures ethical, social and environmental criteria are properly followed when conducting business.

It therefore avails of several policies, codes and internal rules inspired by the best practices, international conventions and protocols, codes of conduct and guides that are applicable in every area.

In 2015, Santander carried out an exhaustive process to review and update its corporate sustainability policies to be observed throughout the Group. These policies were approved by the Group’s board of directors in December 2015.

Sectorial policies

These policies lay down the criteria governing the Bank’s financial activity with the defence, energy and soft commodities (products such as palm oil, soy and timber) sectors. They prohibit financing certain activities and establish restrictions for others (e.g., transactions needing special attention in light of their potential social and environmental impact, and subject to certain requirements being met in order to be approved).

These policies apply to all transactions concerning lending, equity and wholesale banking advisory services; and to all the Bank’s prohibited activities and customers for lending, equity, advisory services, insurance and asset management.

The defence policy provides that Banco Santander will not maintain, under any circumstance, any type of business relationship with organisations (and their subsidiaries) that manufacture, commercialise or distribute: cluster bombs, chemical or biological weapons, nuclear weapons and ammunition containing depleted uranium, irrespective of their business activity.

The energy policy sets out Santander’s criteria for financing energy customers and projects, particularly in relation to the following activities: oil and gas extraction and production, coal-fired power plants, nuclear power plants, hydropower plants and bioenergy (especially bioelectricity, bioheat and biofuel markets).

The soft commodities policy provides Santander’s lending criteria for the agricultural raw materials sector: manufacture, preparation and commercialisation of wood products; wood pulp extraction and treatment for making paper; manufacture, processing and commercialisation of pulp and/or paper, biomass projects, biofuel production, palm and soy oil planting and production, rubber planting and production, and livestock and agricultural activities. These standards involve the enforcement of recognised standards that aim to sustainably manage these resources and help prevent deforestation. Throughout 2016, both corporate and local internal risk processes will be adapted to comply with current policies.

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More information

You can access detailed information for 2016 through our sustainability report.

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