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16/09/2016

Banco Santander to slash CO2 emissions 9% by 2018

Madrid, 16 September 2016. Banco Santander has restated its pledge to slash CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions by 9% within the framework of its current energy efficiency plan. This coincides with International Ozone Day, held on 16 September, in recognition of the efforts being made to restore the ozone layer and combat climate change.

The bank, which has recently renewed its presence in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), views reducing its environmental footprint as a priority. In this regard, Santander drew up a plan for 2011-2015 to reduce its CO2 emissions and energy consumption by 20% in the 10 countries where it is present.

This strategy is now continuing with a new triannual plan which will end in 2018, and which contains over 200 measures to be implemented in these countries as well as the bank's Data Processing centres (DPC). In this latest plan the bank intends to slash CO2 emissions by 9% by buying green energy and selecting power suppliers according to their energy mix.

Under this new plan, electricity and paper consumption will be reduced at the bank's various buildings by 9% and 4%, respectively. Various environmental awareness campaigns will also be rolled out to all Santander employees.

More measures to combat climate change
In addition to this plan, the bank shall also introduce measures to reduce energy consumption (electricity and natural gas), optimise its working spaces and improve the efficiency of its HVAC and lighting equipment. These energy saving measures have also been extended to Santander's new travel policy which encourages the use of telepresence rooms, video conferencing and new technologies as well as favouring train over air travel.

The bank is also planning to reduce paper consumption by 4% between now and 2018 by introducing ideas to encourage employees to use paper rationally.

Clean energy financing
Banco Santander's sustainability policy also extends to managing environmental risks in financing transactions in sensitive sectors and activities.

The bank's financing activity must adhere to sector policies which prohibit financing certain activities and restricting those activities related to energy and soft commodities, such as palm oil, soy and wood. These policies go beyond the Ecuador Principles and apply to all wholesale banking transactions and, in the case of prohibited activities, all retail and commercial banking transactions.

The bank's climate change policy includes the environmental protection action framework and incorporates a new international climate framework as per the Paris Agreement.

The bank helps minimise the effects of climate change by financing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Specifically, in 2015 the bank participated in financing a total of 7,362 MW (42% more than in 2014) generated at wind farms, hydroelectric and photovoltaic plants.

Banco Santander, one of the world's top 10 banks in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index
Banco Santander has once again been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the leading benchmark for corporate sustainability which tracks the performance of the world's leading companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria. In 2016, over 193 financial entities were assessed with 27 joining the index.

Santander is one of these, having obtained a score of 92 points out of 100 (eight more than the previous year). This is the sixteenth year Santander has been included in the DJSI World and DJSI Europe indices. It has consolidated its position among the top 10 most highly valued banks in the world and the number one in Spain based on its sustainable performance, its work in helping society prosper in the markets where it is present and its efforts to protect the environment.

Banco Santander's main mission is to help people and businesses prosper in a responsible and sustainable way. It is firmly committed to the communities where it operates and in 2015 invested €207 million in the community, of which €160 million was earmarked for higher education -1,200 agreements with academic institutions-, and €47 million to community support programmes which helped 1.2 million people. In addition to the recognition which belonging to the DJSI index means for its socially responsible investing policy, Santander has also been included on the FTSE4Good index since 2003. Find out more here.
 

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