We are a founding signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, helping to establish a key role in the fight against climate change, improve gender equality and contribute to economic empowerment.
Protecting ecosystems, promoting financial empowerment and furthering gender equality are among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations to protect the planet and foster social well-being. The United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking were developed to engage the financial sector in achieving these objectives. Santander, as a company committed to people, businesses and the planet, is a founding signatory of the initiative.
The signing of the Responsible Banking Principles marked the most significant cooperation between the global banking industry and the United Nations to date. More than 130 banks from all over the world, including Santander, representing USD 47 trillion in capital, have committed to assume a key role in achieving a sustainable and inclusive future.
“All businesses are responsible for facing today's global challenges. At Santander, we have worked together to offer benefits with a mission and thus to ensure that our daily operations help more people and businesses prosper in a sustainable way," says Santander’s Group executive chairman, Ana Botín.
Santander's 2025 goals
In July our bank announced 10 objectives to meet by 2025 in order to contribute to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. These objectives include providing €120 billion in green finance, the financial inclusion of 10 million people, ensuring that 100% of our energy comes from renewable sources and having women in at least 30% of our executive positions. To this end, we recently issued a €1 billion green bond and are committed to constructing green buildings in which we will seek to guarantee energy efficiency and reduce our environmental footprint.
In addition, to help people and businesses prosper, we have committed to fund 200,000 scholarships, internships and programmes for entrepreneurs, underscoring our view that education is the foundation of peoples’ development.
In gender equality, we want to raise the number of women in the Group’s management positions to 30% by 2025 – but also to help society at large address this need. We promote various initiatives to raise equality between men and women, such as "Generación 81", a platform that strives to give visibility to female role models, to break gender stereotypes, to provide financial training and to promote women in professional careers.
The creation of these initiatives and programmes has, according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, made us the most sustainable bank in the world. We are proud to have achieved this recognition, but we are aware that much remains to be done for the Sustainable Development Goals to be met.