Taking care of our planet is a common effort. That’s why the fight against climate change must include every agent of society, from governments, organizations, and enterprises to citizens. Banco Santander works on reducing emissions and diminishing their environmental footprint, with the commitment of using electricity from renewable energies.

Energy is essential for most of the big challenges and opportunities in the modern world. But it is also important for small everyday gestures such as starting the car, turning on the light of the kitchen, starting the washer or using the escalators. For all that, universal access to energy must be guaranteed.

There is a multitude of types of energy, but not all of them are aligned with the environment: energies based on elements such as fossil fuels will dry up and disappear, affecting our ecosystem as a consequence. Fortunately, humans have discovered renewable energies, which are characterized by being clean, of a natural origin, and potentially inexhaustible, as they can regenerate themselves by fast natural means without human beings taking part. The main difference between both types is that the last ones don’t produce greenhouse gases or pollution.

These are the types of renewable energy:

  • Hydropower.
  • Wind energy.
  • Geothermal energy.
  • Tidal energy.
  • Solar energy.
  • Biomass energy.

An unstoppable and necessary growth

The development of renewable energies, the so-called clean energies, is essential for fighting against climate change. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons for their unstoppable growth, according to the statistics of the International Agency of Energy, along with the technological progress that positively impacts their development. In this way, this type of energy represents almost half of the new capacity of generating power installed in 2014. Meanwhile, many studies state that renewable energies will be the most efficient and cheapest formula to generate power by 2040 in many countries.

Energy is the main factor that affects climate change and represents around 60% of total worldwide greenhouse gas emissions

Despite this data, renewable energies nowadays include only 10% of the total energy consumption at a worldwide level and the energy sector goes on being dominated by fossil fuels. That’s why the experts state that the transition towards this type of clean energy must be faster and more efficient. For now, it seems that it has already won the battle on raising awareness about the environment in many countries. In Spain, for example, a barometer elaborated in 2017 by the Sociological Research Centre (CIS) stated that 76% of Spanish people show interest for news related to the environment. In fact, in 2018 the Spanish people were the second most worried population about the environment and climate change with 51%, only surpassed by Japan, with 52%.

On the other hand, according to a survey conducted by the consulting firm IPSOS, concern of global warming and climate change at a worldwide level in 2018 was at 37%, pollution at 35% and waste management at 34%.

Banco Santander doubles its commitment to energy consumption from clean energies

The importance of energy for our day-to-day life has created the goal of guaranteeing access to an affordable, secure, sustainable modern energy for everyone which sits as number seven of the Sustainable Development Goals launched by the UN, after achieving the Millennium Development Goals. There are 17 measures formulated to eradicate poverty, promote prosperity and well-being of everyone, protect the environment and face climate change at a worldwide level.

As a means of commitment to reaching these goals, Banco Santander has defined 10 responsible banking targets up to 2025, including commitments to fight against climate change. In this way, the entity presided over by Ana Botín is committed to using the 100% of electricity from renewable sources in 2025 in countries where it is possible to verify the electricity source, aimed at reducing the emissions and the ecological footprint. In 2016, Banco Santander launched its plan of efficiency through which 250 initiatives have been carried out with an investment of 69.8 million euros, achieving the reduction of building power consumption by 9%, reducing greenhouse gases by 9%, and reducing paper consumption by 26% in the G10 countries.

Also, Banco Santander is a model in financing projects of renewable energies through Santander Corporate & Investment Banking (SCIB). Such division has consolidated its leading position in transactions of renewable energies, with 6,689 mw of clean energy financed, equal to the consumption of 5.7 million of homes from 2016 to 2018.

Over the last year, United Kingdom was the country where most renewable energies were financed (3,368 MW), followed by United States (1,225 MW) and Brazil (985 MW). Belgium (487 MW), Spain (364 MW), Chile (210 MW) and Uruguay (50 MW) also registered important figures of this type of financing by Banco Santander. Wind energy registered 77% of this investment, followed by solar energy (22%).

Additionally, the Group signed agreements with a total value of 345 million euros in financing lines for projects of energy efficiency and renewable energies. Meanwhile, over the last three years, the total value of these agreements has reached 1,080 million euros in Spain, Brazil, Poland and Peru.

Energy is the main factor that affects climate change and represents around 60% of total worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that we all do our best so that the renovation of energy is done as clean as possible. Banco Santander is already working on it.

Banco Santander, along with more than 125 banks, has signed the Responsible Banking Principles to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrating its commitment to a sustainable and inclusive future.