The bank’s EUR 1.5 million investment in Spain’s biggest reforestation plan will offset 82,000 tons of CO2 emissions and create jobs over the next three years. 

Motor Verde, a carbon offset initiative by Fundación Repsol, aims to have a positive social, environmental and economic impact by planting 60 million trees in Spanish forests, creating 15,000 jobs and boosting development in rural areas.

Madrid, 7 October 2021 - PRESS RELEASE
Banco Santander has joined Fundación Repsol and Grupo Sylvestris’ Motor Verde initiative to offset CO2 emissions through reforestation. The plan, which aims to turn Spain into Europe’s carbon offset leader, will promote an inclusive, green and sustainable economy and transform local areas with 15,000 new jobs aimed at society’s most vulnerable. 

The bank will finance the creation of three Santander forests that will stretch over 300 hectares. The first trees will be planted this autumn in Extremadura, which was the first autonomous region in Spain to sign up to Motor Verde, followed by Asturias.

Santander’s contribution will help offset 82,000 tons of CO2, protect flora and fauna, fight climate change and support rural development and job creation as part of its responsible banking strategy and environmental protection policies.

Marta Aísa, head of Responsible Banking at Santander España, said “Our involvement in Motor Verde serves as further evidence of our commitment to the environment and the UN SDGs. Not only is it a first-rate reforestation project with a high CO2 absorption capacity, it’s also going to help develop a sustainable local economy through new jobs”.

Innovative methodology

The Motor Verde initiative’s unique methodology makes it highly reliable and rigorous. It consists of a thorough preliminary analysis, fieldwork and maintenance to conserve newly planted trees; this is key to a forest’s future resilience and sustainability. Also, all its initiatives meet the highest standards of the Spanish Climate Change Office, the certifying body of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge.

Banco Santander has been measuring, disclosing and reducing its ecological footprint since 2011. Through several initiatives to cut down or offset its CO2 emissions, the bank also became carbon neutral in 2020.

Its responsible banking campaign will continue to promote the conservation of ecosystems across its footprint. In Brazil, the bank is supporting sustainable development in the Amazon. In Chile, it’s involved in projects to restore ravaged areas and open bio-corridors for native wildlife. In Poland, it’s on track to becoming the conservation agent of a protected ecosystem in Lower Silesia.

Furthermore, to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Santander’s global medium- and long-term objectives include raising green financing of 120 billion euros between 2019 and 2025 and up to 220 billion euros by 2030, and ending financial services to energy producers if more than 10% of their income comes from thermal carbon.

In 2020, Santander was named one of the world’s most sustainable banks by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.