On 5 June we celebrate World Environment Day. As every year, on this occasion the Green Ribbon #ForPlanet campaign organised by the UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre was launched. For the third time Santander Bank Polska is a strategic partner of the campaign, which this year marks the beginning of a decade of efforts to restore ecosystems on Earth.
Warsaw, 05 Jun 2021
World Environment Day is a special day of the year when we should pay particular attention to the health of our planet and the challenges we face due to the deteriorating environment. For many years, the celebration of this day, has taken place around a different issue relevant to the well-being of our environment. So far, these have included water quality, desertification, climate protection, the creation of green cities or people- and environment-friendly development models. The celebration is coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This year's theme is the protection of ecosystems. This is a particularly important issue as 75% of the terrestrial environment and about 66% of the marine environment has already been significantly transformed by man. The consequences of these changes affect every one of us.
“Education in the area of environmental and climate protection is very important. Such knowledge is still not common and we, as one of the largest banks in Poland, feel responsible for changing this situation. Therefore it is very important for us to get involved in actions supporting these values. We educate both our employees and customers, constantly expanding the group of people who are aware of the importance of protecting ecosystems and fighting climate change. Both environmental protection and combating climate change are very important to us. They are embedded in our Responsible Banking strategy,” says Katarzyna Teter, CSR Manager at Santander Bank Polska, adding that “We are aware that it is not only education that matters, but real action through which our organisation can have a positive impact on ecosystems which is why already in 2016 we introduced a package of social and environmental policies, which include, among others, provisions on the protection of biodiversity, Any financing that is associated with industries that have a negative impact on the environment is subject to verification for compliance with the policy provisions.
The Bank has also joined the Re:Generation programme, initiated by the UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre, which is a response to the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration announced for 2021-2030. Within the framework of the action, Santander Bank Polska is supporting, until the end of 2021, the restoration of ecosystems in the mountain pastures of the Czantoria Range, on the slopes of the Little Czantoria (866 m) and the Great Czantoria (995 m). It includes three large clearings and one small enclave (total area of 16.35 ha) separated from each other by beech forests.
During the campaign, Santander Bank Polska, together with the campaign originators, will be encouraging people to join the #ReGeneration (#GENERATIONRESTORATION) community, i.e. a group of people who want to take the fate of the planet into their own hands and contribute to the restoration of ecosystems. All interested persons can join the action by looking for an ecosystem in need of intervention in their own area and reporting it to the UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre database in cooperation with local organisations. The organisation will take care to secure funding for the initiative to revitalise or protect the identified space.
“The next ten years will be a great challenge for humanity to heal and save precious ecosystems and restore harmonious relations between people and nature. And we are talking about opportunities for real impact. If 350 million hectares of damaged aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems can be restored between noẃ and 2030, we can count́ on a recirculation of ecosystem services valued at $9 trillion. Restoring ecosystems can contribute to removing between 13 and 26 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, explains Maria Andrzejewska, Director General of the UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre.
Do you know where you will spend your 2030 holidays?
In order to surprise people and encourage them to think about ecosystems, one of the elements of the Re:Generation action is a campaign which in a creative way refers to the holiday offer of travel agencies. The attractive last-minute destinations are given a different meaning here. At first glance, they may seem like regular holiday advertisements, but after a while, it turns out that instead of beautiful surroundings, dying ecosystems are shown. In addition to the frightening views, the posters include an invitation to www.Re.Generacja.org. It is a dedicated website of the programme, where users will be able to take a virtual walk around ecosystems and try their hand at the "Mission ECOSYSTEMS" escape room.
As part of the campaign, a test is available on the campaign website at re.generacja.org, in which you just need to answer just a few questions to find out where the best place to spend your 2030 holidays is. The results of the test may catch many respondents by surprise.