Companies don’t only try to create a positive image in society, but generate trust among customers and employees and promote a sense of belonging.


“Corporate Social Responsibility” are three words that embody a deep operating philosophy at any valued company. It was not until the 90s when the European Commission introduced the concept in order to involve entrepreneurs in a model of social cohesion more conducive to prosper.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Some sources define it as the management of impacts generated by a company’s own activity on its clients, employees, shareholders, local communities, the environment, and society as a whole; i.e., practically anything unrelated to the very first goal of a company: obtaining economical output based on the commerce of an asset or product.

With this in mind, concepts such as transparency, ethics, training, protection of human rights, sustainability, social inclusion, and research have gone up several levels on companies’ values scales to the point, in many cases, of being a top priority.

Companies are not looking to create a positive image in society anymore, but rather change comes because by doing so they generate trust among clients and their own employees, promoting among other valued aspects, a sense of belonging to the company from both groups of individuals.

Banco Santander is the only European bank included on the list of international enterprises that contribute to improving the world

Financial education as an engine of prosper

In this regard, it’s worth mentioning the work carried out by Banco Santander. In 2018, the bank gave support to more than 360,000 people through financial education programs.

In fact, the entity presided over by Ana Botín has defined 10 responsible banking targets up to 2025 as a means of commitment to reach the Sustainable Development Goals launched by the UN, being one of them to help more people prosper and enjoy the benefits of growth by empowering them financially. The goal is giving them access to tailored financial products and services and improving their financial resiliency through education. The goal is ambitious: to financially empower 10 million people between 2019 and 2025.

Banco Santander’s recognition

Banco Santander’s recognition has surpassed national borders to the point that it is the only European bank included on the list of international enterprises that contribute to improving the world. The news was announced by the North American magazine Fortune in the report “Change the World”, which recognizes social, economic, and environmental programs launched by companies in various fields. Apart from Banco Santander, Inditex is the only other Spanish enterprise included on the prestigious list.

The latest Varkey-UNESCO-Fortune 500 report also highlights Santander as the world’s first company in investments supporting education, pulling ahead of other international conglomerates such as IBM, Telefónica, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, and Toyota.

Other examples of Spanish companies

In the Spanish sphere, la Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (National Organization of Spanish Blind People) (ONCE) and its Foundation, Mercadona, and Inditex. The Social Group ONCE leads this ranking thanks particularly to the conglomerate ILUNION, a company with a staff made up of more than 33,000 employees, of whom more than 12,000 are people with disabilities. ONCE, with more than 30 years of experience, has a presence in the most important business sectors and is a leader in ones like industrial laundry, integral services, technology solutions, and universal accessibility.

For its role, Mercadona is an example in some basic fields in regards to Corporate Social Responsibility. One of them has become reality in past weeks when the grocery chain from Valencia successfully marked a total switch from plastic bags to alternatives made of paper and recycled material. Furthermore, Mercadona donated 8,300 tons of food to social organizations in 2018.

Meanwhile, Inditex was one of the first Spanish companies to launch its Corporate Social Responsibility department. Its commitment has resulted in the prestige of the brand both inside and outside of Spain, in a loyal clientele and purveyors, an increase in sales and profits. In fact, in 2016, it gathered more than 7,100 tons of clothes, shoes, and accessories through specific containers, shops, offices and company logistics centres.