Santander has set itself a major challenge to improve the sustainability of the environment, committing €120 billion to green financing by 2025.
“It is overwhelming to see the effects of global warming in person," says our Group executive chairman, Ana Botín, on her Twitter feed after visiting Greenland. Human beings are responsible for a large part of what is happening on Denmark's great island of ice. According to a United Nations study, the likelihood that man's actions have been causing global warming since the second half of the 20th century is extremely high, over 95%. Banks have a role to play and we must take action to put an end to this situation.
We have made a tangible commitment to the environment by issuing a green bond for €1,000 million as a starting point for a global plan on sustainable emissions. This initiative forms part of something much greater, which includes a budget of €120,000 million for green financing by 2025. The goal is to use half of the funds from the bond to refinance wind and solar renewable energy projects that are already in the portfolio at the end of 2018, and the other half for new projects of the same type over the next five years.
“We want to do more every day to promote inclusive, sustainable growth and ensure that we are actively tackling climate change," said Ana Botín. And this issuance of green bonds is bringing us closer to our goal. Our plan is to finance sustainable projects in areas as diverse as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transport and responsible waste management. In total, we are running more than 360 wind and solar renewable energy projects.
The most sustainable bank in the world
We are proud to have recently been acknowledged as the most sustainable bank in the world by the Down Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the main international benchmark on company sustainability as regards environmental, economic and social policies. We have been listed in the DJSI for the past 19 years and this is the ninth consecutive year that we have come first among Spanish banks.
Our bank is also included on other indexes that assess efforts in the area of sustainability, such as the FTSE4Good, or the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, which measures gender equality and the policies that companies have in place for their employees.
We know that the future is uncertain, but that is no reason to do nothing. We are working with the firm purpose of ensuring that our environmental impact be as low as possible and we want to lead the change with initiatives that put the importance of a green, responsible and sustainable economy on the table.