By 2025, all the debit, credit and pre-paid cards in Santander’s Europe region will be made of sustainable materials, such as recycled PVC or a corn-based plastic substitute.

Santander will also simplify its card offering across the region by reducing the number card options by 30% and unifying the card design.

Madrid, 24 March 2021 - PRESS RELEASE
Banco Santander announced today it is accelerating the rollout of eco-friendly cards in the Europe region, reinforcing its commitment to sustainable and responsible banking and supporting its green transition. By 2025, all debit, credit and pre-paid cards across Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK will be made of sustainable materials, such as recycled PVC or corn-based plastic substitute.

As recycled PVC and corn-based polylactic (PLA) cards require less energy to produce than traditional plastic cards, the bank's adoption of eco cards will save more than 1,000 tonnes of CO2 every year, equivalent to the energy consumption of nearly 1,000 households1. It will also reduce the use of plastic by 60 tons every year once the rollout, which started nearly two years ago, is completed.

Santander, which has more than 30 million debit, credit and pre-paid cards in the Europe region, is also simplifying its card offering since last year by reducing card options by over 30% by 2021 to simplify the customer experience and improve efficiency.

As part of the simplification process, the bank is adopting a new single, modern design for all debit, credit and pre-paid cards across Europe. The new cards, which include an eco logo, have a unique design for each customer segment for easier identification and include a notch at the bottom of the card to aid accessibility for the blind.

António Simões, regional head of Europe at Banco Santander, said: “Reducing unnecessary use of plastics is a critically important step in the group’s transition to a green economy. By moving to eco cards, we are reducing our carbon footprint and supporting our ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions. This is a great example of what we can do by using the collective strength One Santander in Europe, leveraging our global scale and delivering a better service to customers.”

Santander Portugal launched an initial portfolio of PLA cards in 2019, while Santander Spain followed suit last year. The enhancements respond to evolving customers’ needs, improving our offering and simplifying overall user experience, facilitating their day-to-day in a simple and sustainable manner.

Santander announced last month its ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions across the entire group by 2050. The ambition applies to the group’s own operations, which are already net zero, and all client emissions that result from any lending, advisory or investment services provided by Santander.

1 Estimation based on megawatt-hour/household in Spain (data updated in 2020 with information from 2018. International Energy Agency).