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Santander Group 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 área.

The content of these policies is a process of continuous improvement.  Santander carries out an annual review of its corporate sustainability policies, which apply to the whole Group. These policies are approved by the Group’s board of directors, indicating on the policy the date of the last update.

Sector policies

These policies lay down the criteria governing the Bank’s financial activity with the defence, energy, mining & metals 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: antipersonnel mines, cluster munitions, chemical or biological weapons, nuclear weapons and ammunition containing depleted uranium, irrespective of their business activity.

Defence sector policy (PDF 67 Kb)

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, hydroelectric power plants, other renewable energy facilities, bioenergy (especially bioelectricity, bioheat and biofuel markets) and construction of electric energy transmission and distribution lines.

This policy also describes prohibited or restrictive activities in regards to the energy sector. An example of activity expressly prohibited is financing new coal-fired power plant projects worldwide.

Energy sector policy (PDF 108 Kb)

The mining & metals policy sets out Santander´s criteria for financing customers and projects of mining and metals, particularly those relating to prospection, research, development and exploitation mining, restoration and recovery of the exploited natural space, as well as obtaining the metal contained in the extracted mineral ore and its subsequent processing, processing of by-products and production and marketing of minerals excluding the production of finished products.

Among the prohibited activities described by the policy is the financing of any new thermal coal mine projects worldwide.

Mining and Metals sector policy (PDF 124 Kb)

The soft commodities policy provides Santander’s lending criteria for the agricultural raw materials sector: extraction and processing of timber products, manufacture of wood-based cellulose and paper, soy plantations, oil palm plantations, rubber plantations, processing of soy, palm oil or rubber, agriculture and cattle ranching and biomass or biofuel production. These standards involve the enforcement of recognised standards that aim to sustainably manage these resources and help prevent deforestation.

Extraction and sale of native tropical wood species not certified to Forest Stewardship Council is one of the prohibited activities in relation to the soft commodities sector that this policy provides.

Soft commodities sector policy (PDF 95 Kb)

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