What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
Banco Santander, along with more than 125 banks, has signed the Responsible Banking Principles to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrating its commitment to a sustainable and inclusive future.
Eradicating poverty, promoting the prosper and well-being of everyone, and protecting the environment are the main focuses that guide the UN to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals. Enterprises such as Banco Santander have joined in the task of achieving these goals and guaranteeing the development of their activities in a sustainable way.
After a decade of UN conferences and summits, in September 2000 worldwide leaders held a meeting in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration (UN), committed to a new alliance to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, combat diseases, achieve universal primary education, ensure environmental sustainability and promote gender equality and empower women. To do so, 8 goals were established to be instated by 2015, the so-called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
After 15 years, the participating countries met and proved that, thanks to the efforts of governments, the international community, society and private companies, important progress had been achieved such reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty by half¸ diminishing the percentage of people with poor nutrition in developing regions and increasing the number of working middle class people who live on more than 4 dollars a day.
However, there was a long way to go…
That’s why in the same year, more than 15 heads of state and government met at the historic Sustainable Development Summit to approve the Agenda 2030, which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
These are 17 measures defined by the UN as a “master plan to achieve a sustainable future for everyone, as it includes global challenges we face every day such as poverty, equality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace, and justice”.
Banco Santander, sustainable development as a flagship model
Being aware of the importance of such commitment, many companies have joined this initiative to achieve such goals and guarantee the development of their activity in a sustainable way. This is the case of Banco Santander.
The entity has defined 10 responsible banking goals to be obtained by 2025 as a way of commitment to achieving these objectives:
- By 2021, be one of the top 10 company to work for in at least six of the core geographies where it operates.
- Achieving a 40-60% presence of women on the board of directors by 2021, attracting, developing and keeping the best talent to have a diverse and inclusive team.
- Have at least 30% women in CEO positions.
- Achieve gender wage equality by 2025 with the goal of introducing an equitable wage structure.
- Financially empower 10 million people between 2019 and 2025 by providing access to customized financial services, products, and improving their financial knowledge through teaching.
- Facilitating the movement of € 120 billion between 2019 and 2025, and € 222 billion between 2019 and 2030 in green finance to help tackle climate change.
- Ensuring that 100% of the electricity used by the entity comes from renewable sources in countries where it is possible to certify the source of the energy.
- Eliminate unnecessary single use plastic in its branches and corporative buildings by 2021.
- Granting 200,000 scholarships, internships, and entrepreneur programmes between 2019 and 2021, showing that the entity understands education as a basis of an equal society and a strong economy.
- Helping 4 million people through different social action programs in communities where the bank operates, between 2019 and 2021.
Responsible Banking Principles: the compass governing its activity
These 10 goals are part of the Responsible Banking Principles elaborated by the Financial Initiative of the Program of the United Nations for the Environment, of which Banco Santander is one of the founding members. These principles will be formally signed in the next days, establishing the global standard which means being a responsible bank and guaranteeing that the banks generate value both for their shareholders and society.
The company already values this standard thanks to the measures and initiatives launched during the last years with this goal. According to Lara de Mesa, Director of Responsible Banking of this entity. “We are working on getting a solid culture, counting on a dedicated, diverse and capable team that offers our customers solutions to their needs, increasing the access to financial services, improving financial education and training, supporting our clients in their transition towards a green economy and reducing our environmental footprint”.
Banco Santander has been recognized as the most sustainable bank in the world, ranking first in the list of global banks in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. A recognition achieved thanks to a firm conviction and a strong commitment that Banco Santander Executive Chairman, Ana Botín, describes as “We must make use of our position as one of the biggest banks in the world, to help more people and enterprises prosperand generate profit as a goal, which means supporting inclusive and sustainable growth in all the world”.
Santander, one of the best places to work
Banco Santander places the employee in a favored place of its commitments to lead the achievement of these goals. According to the leaders of the company, “the greater the motivation of the employees, the greater its commitment to support the prosperity of people and companies. We boost a sustainable development thanks to committed, diverse, inclusive and fair teams and we fulfill our goal of contributing to the prosperity of people, society and companies”. Hence talent, compromise and motivationare understood as the basis of the success of the company.
The effects of its efforts have been fully visible and bear some fruit as the company was granted the certification as Top Employer Europe, which recognizes the excellence in the conditions that the employees create for their professionals and its contribution to their professional and personal development. The Group has been granted this certificate in nine places in which it operates: Spain, Poland, United Kingdom and the units of Santander Consumer Finance in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Holland and Poland. Also, Banco Santander was recognized last year by Great Place to Work as one of the best financial entities to work in Latino America; it was ranked twentieth in the Ranking of the Best Multinationals and it was ranked the third best valued financial entity thanks to the positions obtained in Argentina, Brazil and China.
This commitment is part of the 10 responsible banking goals defined by the company to be achieved by 2025, aimed at contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by UN, guaranteeing the development of its activity in a sustainable way and contributing to the development of a fairer society for everyone.
Banco Santander, along with more than 125 banks, has signed has the Responsible Banking Principles to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrating its commitment to a sustainable and inclusive future.