Banco Santander, the most sustainable entity in the world
This is said by the Dow Jones (DJSI), which analyzes the economic, environmental and social impact of 175 banks. The entity ranks first place at a worldwide level and leads the European ranking for the second consecutive year.
For the first time in 19 years, Banco Santander leads the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and becomes the most sustainable entity across the world, i.e. the best entity in the economic, environmental and social fields.
The Group has obtained 86 out of 100 points, reaching the maximum qualification in areas such as fiscal policy, privacy protection, financial inclusion and environmental information. Also, other aspects have been valued such as sustainable financing, human capital and talent attraction and retention.
Also, it is the second consecutive time that the entity presided over by Ana Botín is leader in Europe and the ninth time among the Spanish banks.
Federico Gómez, Director of Sustainability of the Grupo Santander, highlights the importance of this milestone: “The Down Jones Index is one of the main ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) indexes of reference in the market. The non-financial aspects or ESG are increasingly more important in the management of enterprises, and it must be quantified. The DJSI helps measure our management in these aspects: externally, as it is used by the investors as a reference; and internally, as it lets us know in which aspects we are well positioned and which we have to improve”.
Among the main initiatives that turned Banco Santander into the most sustainable bank in the world, it highlights those related to gender equality, financial empowerment, green financing and climate change, support of education and community aid
This recognition is the prize for years of working and effort to positively impact in every field affecting society. Because sustainability goes beyond the pure environment. Because sustainable development is a bet on economic growth, social progress, access to education, social entrepreneurship, the employability and the well-being of communities. In short, it is a wider concept that Banco Santander understands.
The Group is an international reference in sustainable financing, with more than 50,000 million euros invested between 2015 and 2018. Also, more than 360,000 people in the world got financial education last year, and almost 300,000 micro-entrepreneurs were supported.
That’s not all. In July 2019, the entity announced its commitments of responsible banking with 10 goals to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals that the UN intends to reach in 2030. Among them, investing more than 120,000 million euros in green financing for the next six years and achieving the financial inclusion of more than 10 million people.
“We achieved our mission of contributing to the prosper of people and companies, actively boosting inclusive growth, supporting job creation and financial empowerment, fighting against climate change and supporting the transition towards a green economy. Being the global leader bank of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a key reference for our industry, is a clear example that we are successfully carrying out our strategy. Without a complacent attitude, we will keep on moving on these solid pillars, as we are aware that there is still a long way to go”, Ana Botín said after the Down Jones announced its index 2019.
Among the main initiatives that turned Banco Santander into the most sustainable bank in the world, it highlights those related to gender equality, financial empowerment, green financing and climate change, support of education and community aid.
Gender diversity: when we all are equal
The equal opportunity between men and women has become a priority for Banco Santander. A good example of it are the initiatives launched during the last years to boost real and effective gender diversity.
- Mujeres con S, Programa Inspira and Accelerating You. These programs focus on strengthening the leadership of women at work, motivating them to create their own projects and achieving their personal and professional goals. They are carried out in Spain, Argentina and the United Kingdom, respectively.
- Prospera and Tuiio. Initiatives to offer microcredits, especially for women as heads of household who want to set up a business. 65% of women have benefited from Prospera; Tuiio, in Mexico, making up 91% of its clients.
- Female Side of Business. It is a plan of action started earlier this year in Poland that focuses on women empowering through the main international feminine leaders.
Financial empowerment, a key for social development
The nature of these initiatives (Tuiio and Prospera) are based on aiding the most disadvantaged and financially excluded people to move out of poverty through microcredits. Prospera, for example, has invested 5,000 million dollars in 17 years, from which 500,000 entrepreneurs have benefited.
Another initiative launched in Brazil, Mexico and Chile to promote the financial inclusion is Superdigital, a mobile platform used now by more than 500,000 people to make basic transfers without having a bank account.
A reference in green financing and the fight against the climate change
In 2018, Banco Santander was the first entity in the world in green financing by number of transactions, according to Dealogic. Also, after achieving its plan of efficiency 2016-2018, the goals of the entity for the period from 2019 to 2025 are promoting green energy and electric mobility, a 100% consumption of electricity from renewable sources and putting an end to the consumption of single use plastic.
Support of education to guarantee a future
Since 2002, Banco Santander has invested more than 1,700 million euros in higher education, becoming the private company that supports it the most in the world, according to the “Fortune 500 Change the World”.
At the same time, during the last year, it has granted 73,741 scholarships and aid for university studies through Santander Universidades, which includes Universia, the digital platform of non-financing services that offer advice and employment for university students, and Fundación Universia, which focuses on the social and labor inclusion of students with disabilities.
Concerning the university entrepreneurship, key for social prosperity, the entity presided over Ana Botín counts on Santander X, a flagship program that offers training, advice and support for free to 18 to 31 year old people to turn their big ideas into businesses. By the end of 2018, the initiative counted on more than 100 universities of 11 countries included in the program, 100 companies and more than 25,000 users registered.
Aid to vulnerable communities
Being aware of its capability to influence and improve the society, Banco Santander invests an important economic and human effort to aid people at risk of social exclusion.
Financial education is one of the key points in this field. For example, Programa Escola Brasil is an initiative launched to aid parents and teachers in educative institutions to increase their knowledge of financial questions.
Some of these initiatives directly involve the employees of the company. Thanks to “Euros de Tu Nómina”, the employees of Santander España donate a part of their wages for the social cause of their choice. In addition, the entity matches the amount donated by the employee. A similar initiative is “Fideicomiso por los Niños de México”, which exclusively focuses on improving the life of children in areas such as education, health or nutrition.