The bank is funding new Santander forests in Extremadura, Asturias and Galicia as part of Fundación Repsol’s Motor Verde project.
It is also involved in initiatives to protect ecosystems and reforest millions of hectares in the Brazilian Amazon.
Madrid, 21 March 2023.
Banco Santander is celebrating the UN’s International Day of Forests by announcing it will fund a second Santander forest to be planted in Torga, Asturias (northern Spain) as part of Fundación Repsol’s Motor Verde project.
Work is already under way to clear and prepare 60 hectares that were destroyed in a terrible wildfire. The second Santander forest should be planted by the end of June. The initiative will offset 27,000 tonnes of CO2 over 50 years. The first Santander forest was planted in Caminomorisco, in Spain's Cáceres province.
Banco Santander’s contribution of 1.5 million euros will fund the planting of 275,000 trees to reforest three areas, create jobs and breathe new life into the countryside.
Mindful of its standing to promote the protection, restoration and sustainable use of nature, the bank continues to develop its plan to stop deforestation and preserve biodiversity in the countries where it operates.
For many years, Grupo Santander has been pledging to protect the Amazon in Brazil and develop sustainable practices. In light of the appalling deforestation in the area, the bank is taking measures that stretch beyond its environmental risk policy for customers doing business in the Brazilian Amazon.
In December 2022, Santander became the first bank to join the Innovative Finance for the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco (IFACC) initiative, which has the backing of The Nature Conservancy, Tropical Forest Alliance, the World Economic Forum, and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).
For Santander, the forest bioeconomy has vast potential to reverse deforestation, increase the value of forests, create jobs and sources of income, and spur development. Nonetheless, few companies can harness that potential at scale and speed. In November 2022, Santander, its Plano Amazônia partners, Fundação CERTI and the Vale Fund launched the Amazon Journey platform to boost innovation in the forest bioeconomy. The platform seeks to train 20,000 people in the region on starting a business, innovation and bioeconomics.
At the COP27 in Egypt, Santander announced it had joined forces with Vale, Marfrig, Suzano, Itaú and Rabobank to set up a new company, Biomas. Biomas plans to plant two billion native trees, as well as protecting and restoring four million hectares in Brazil over the next 20 years.
In the UK, Santander is a founder member of the Net Zero With Nature initiative that seeks to prevent carbon emissions by raising funds for peatland restoration. It is funding a pilot restoration project in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park.
24% of the UK’s peatland is in national parks, and ecologists estimate that restoring degraded peat could cut nearly 5% of the UK’s annual emissions.
Banco Santander is stepping up its efforts to assess the impact its financing has on the environment. It keeps a close eye on regulation when running initiatives and developing tools that enable it to create a blueprint for responsible action.
It is conducting an impact assessment of its business regarding nature and biodiversity in order to boost its understanding of how its loan portfolio relates to factors that contribute to biodiversity loss. In the fight against climate change, Santander is certain that the environment should be part of all corporate decision-making.