By Grupo Zeta.

Businesses are aware that, if they don’t create a positive impact on society, they are doomed to fail.

There is no doubt that profitability keeps businesses alive. However, businesses are no longer taking this factor into account as a tool to improve and move forward. They are aware that, if they don’t create a positive impact on society, they are doomed to fail.

“Fortune” magazine released publicly their “Change the World Ranking” in order to highlight the work of enterprises that support social and sustainable policies. In 2018, the only two Spanish enterprises included on it were Banco Santander and Inditex.

Four factors are analyzed to create this list. First, how much do company decisions positively impact society? Second, the balance of obtained results; third, the degree of social innovation; and finally, their level ofcommitment and the importance they give these criteriain order to grow.

Banco Santander is the only European financial entity included in this worldwide ranking. It places 56th and it has been especially noted for its role in the field of education. In fact, it is the world’s leading private company in terms of investment in education, according to a report by the Foundation Varkey in collaboration with UNESCO.

Higher education is training the leaders of the future and we want to support the prosper of students, who will be capable of changing and building a better society for everyone”, says Javier López, Director of Impacto Social de Santander Universidades.

The entity presided over by Ana Botín helpsmore than 1,200 universities and centresaround the world. Most of them are located in Latin America. The difference between Spain and South America is that, on Spanish soil, half of scientific production depends on the universities and the CSIC,while in South America “universities have a leading role.They become real agents of change and progress, with a role of responsibility and application in the fundamental development of the region”, López affirms.

Financing and projects

The goal of Banco Santander is to become the model entity of responsible banking. In 2018, 179 million euros were invested in society, 58 million of which were invested in social initiatives and 121 million in universities, awarding more than 73,741 university grants and scholarships.

Concerning universities, the entity presided over by Ana Botín works on three fundamental pillars: education, entrepreneurship and employability. One of them is offering those who lack resources the opportunity of accessing education through the Becas Iberoamérica, which promote international mobility over six months between students from Brazil, Chile, Spain…

Another initiative is the program Salario Ítaca, which is promoted by Banco Santander through the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB). It is designed for students with an excellent academic record who want to join the UAB, but cannot because they lack economic resources.This grant allows them to study without needing to juggle work alongside it.

The second pillar of Santander Universidades is the promotion of entrepreneurship. Through Santander X, its goal is to become the biggest university entrepreneurship ecosystem around the world.

The last pillar relates to projects that improve the chance of employment for young people. For example, through Universia, a digital platform of non-financial services for the university ecosystem, Banco Santander offers employment guidance in order to become an Ibero-American model of young talent management.

In addition to Banco Santander, “Fortune” magazine’s ranking also highlighted other companies like AppleDeloitteMicrosoftSiemens, and PepsiCo.