The banks’ initiative will consist of ten measures, which are being drawn up to be implemented this year.

São Paulo, 22 July 2020 – PRESS RELEASE
Today, Santander, Bradesco and Itaú Unibanco, Brazil's three largest private banks, announced a comprehensive plan aimed at effectively driving sustainable development of the Amazon. The plan includes ten measures targeting the three areas considered the top priority for the region: environmental conservation and the development of a bioeconomy; investment in sustainable infrastructure; and the guarantee of basic human rights in the Amazon. 

The plan was unveiled on Wednesday (22nd July) to the Brazilian federal government. The banks will now work on specifying the initiatives and setting objectives. Actions included in plan are: 

  • Driving sustainable chains in the region (e.g. cocoa, acai and nuts) through differentiated financing facilities and/or financial and non-financial instruments
  • Facilitating investment in basic infrastructure for social (e.g. power, internet, housing and sanitation) and environmental (e.g. water transport) development
  • Promoting a market for green footprint assets and financial instruments 
  • Attracting investment and promoting associations to develop technologies that drive the bioeconomy
  • Supporting local agents and leaders working on socio-economic development projects for the region

For these actions to be effective, stronger measures are needed to protect the Amazon rainforest. Therefore, the banks will liaise with the government, carrying out actions in tandem with public initiatives to increase their impact on the region's social and economic development. 

"The project brings Bradesco, Itaú and Santander together to help make a better world. The idea is that everyone should assume a commitment to future generations. That's the reason we have launched an objective agenda aimed at defending and appreciating the Amazon, its natural wealth, forests, rivers and diverse culture. We want to take specific measures to turn words into actions. The Amazon is not a problem. The act of protecting the Amazon holds many of the right answers for a world full of doubts and uncertainties", said Bradesco chairman Octavio de Lazari Junior. 

"We understand our responsibility as important agents of the financial system and we have the same concerns about the region's socio-economic development and environmental conservation. The three banks' strengths complement each other, in our view, and by working together, we see huge potential for having a positive impact on the Amazon", said Candido Bracher, chairman of Itaú Unibanco.

"Such a huge challenge requires firm and prompt action by anyone who can help build a sustainable development model for the Amazon that addresses people's needs and preserves its natural resources. We can do even more for the region by combining efforts in our industry. The Amazon's value is incalculable for Brazil and the entire planet", said Sérgio Rial, chairman of Santander Brazil.

The next step is for the banks to set up a board of experts with different areas of expertise and knowledge of social and environmental issues related to the Amazon. It will help implement the plans, with actions scheduled to start by the end of the year, and create metrics and objectives aligned with local challenges.