Each winner of the global Santander X Environmental Challenge will receive mentoring and 20,000 euros to develop their projects.  

More than 850 startups entered the Santander X Environmental Challenge.

Madrid, 29 April 2021.
Santander X Environmental Challenge, the international competition for sustainable startups that Banco Santander and Oxentia Foundation inaugurated on Santander X, announced its winners today. The six winning startups from Mexico, Spain, the UK and Germany, are helping build a more sustainable future in line with Santander’s commitment to a faster transition to a low-carbon economy and to the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The challenge, which launched on 24 February on Santander X, the bank’s global startup platform, consisted of two categories: Be Mindful, to spread awareness about the importance of carbon footprint reduction; and Be Sustainable, to promote green finance and investing. More than 850 startups from all over the world registered to compete in one of those two categories. 

The three winners in each category stood out for their projects’ innovativeness, viability, potential impact and scalability. That’s why each of them will receive 20,000 euros; mentoring from experts in Oxentia Foundation's global network to nurture their innovations; the chance to submit their solutions to Fintech Station, Santander’s open innovation team; and visibility on Banco Santander’s social media channels.

According to Javier Roglá, global director of Santander Universities, “Santander X challenges exist because we believe entrepreneurs, innovators and agents of change play a key role in the transition to a green economy. The Santander X Environmental Challenge is a real opportunity for the green revolution, which requires massive investment in new technologies”.

Steve Cleverley, CEO of Oxentia Foundation, has stated that “The Oxentia Foundation is delighted to have worked with all the teams involved on the Santander X Environmental Challenge. The  level of competition and outstanding quality of the twenty finalists highlight the excellent work entrepreneurs are doing across the world to create impact through environmental sustainable development. The six winners are working to make a difference in multiple fields and we hope that their participation in this challenge will help them on their journey to create impact at scale”.

To compete in the challenge, projects had to show recurring sales for at least one product or service and between 200,000 and 5,000,000 euros in annual revenue. They also needed to be clearly innovative and demonstrate their positive environmental impact through data and indicators. 


The winners of the Be Mindful category were Xilinat, from Mexico, which transforms agricultural waste into natural sweeteners through sustainable processing; Plastecowood, from the UK, which turns mixed plastics into durable, environmentally-friendly plastic lumber; and Breeze Technologies, from Germany, which helps companies monitor, manage and optimize air quality indoors, in cities and in industrial settings.

The winners of the Be Sustainable category were Cogo Connecting Good, from the UK, an app that shows consumers and companies their carbon footprint in real time and how to reduce it; Climatetrade, from Spain, a blockchain marketplace where companies can buy carbon credits directly and with full transparency from mitigation project developers to offset their carbon footprint; and Scoobic Urban Mobility, from Spain, which provides sustainable solutions for getting around in cities with last-mile vehicles.  

Banco Santander and its commitment to sustainability

Banco Santander continues to fulfil its commitment to inclusive and sustainable growth and to the fight against climate change. It recently became a founding member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI), and its operations have also attained carbon neutrality. It remains intent on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and has set its first decarbonization targets to aid the transition to a low-carbon economy. Its first measures include no longer financing energy-producing customers if 10% of their revenues rely on coal as well as eliminating its exposure to carbon mining worldwide, all by 2030. It will continue to adopt measures to reduce its carbon footprint and assist customers in their transition to a green economy.

Oxentia Foundation and its commitment to innovation and global entrepreneurship

The Oxentia Foundation was created to support Oxentia’s goal to address global inequalities through innovation and entrepreneurship activities. Globally, Oxentia designs, develops, and runs awards, competitions and programmes supporting early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs to promote commercialisation of science- and technology-based innovation projects impacting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Oxentia developed out of the University of Oxford’s technology transfer company, Oxford University Innovation, with the aim to deliver specialist innovation management services to clients in the public and private sector all over the world.  Its approach is grounded in a strong Oxford heritage based on over 30 years’ experience in supporting academic innovation and entrepreneurship in Oxford, and globally in over 70 countries..