Santander has become a founding member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), which has been convened by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI) to help mobilise the financial support necessary to build a global zero emissions economy and deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement, and provide a forum for strategic coordination among financial institutions to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy.
NZBA brings together an initial cohort of 43 of the world’s leading banks with a focus on delivering the banking sector’s ambition to align its climate commitments with the Paris Agreement goals with collaboration, rigour, and transparency, acknowledging the necessity for governments to follow through on their own commitments.
The commitments which all members of the NZBA have agreed to include:
- Transitioning all operational and attributable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their lending and investment portfolios to align with pathways to net-zero by mid-century, or sooner.
- Setting intermediate targets for 2030, or sooner, for priority GHG-intensive and GHG-emitting sectors.
- Facilitating the necessary transition in the real economy through prioritising client engagement and offering products and services to support clients’ transition.
Santander is already playing a major role in helping to tackle climate change and enable the transition to the green economy. At the end of 2020, Santander CIB was the world leader in renewable financing, according to Dealogic. In 2020, the bank helped finance greenfield renewable energy projects with enough installed capacity to power 10.3 million households, and prevent 60 million tons of CO2 emissions.
Ana Botin, executive chairman at Banco Santander, said: “If we are to green the world’s economy, we need a truly global effort - banks, companies, governments, regulators and civil society working together at pace. At Santander we are proud to be part of the founding members of this new alliance, and to accelerate progress towards net zero.”
In February 2021 Santander announced its ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The bank also published its first decarbonization targets with the ambition that, by 2030, Santander will have stopped providing financial services to power generation clients with more than 10% of revenues dependent on thermal coal, as well as eliminating all exposure to thermal coal mining worldwide and aligning its power generation portfolio with the Paris Agreement. The group will set decarbonization targets for other material sectors no later than September 2022, including oil & gas, transport , and mining & metals.
As part of Santander’s commitment to support the green transition Santander has already committed to:
- Raise or facilitate the mobilization of €120 billion in green finance by 2025. This figure will increase to €220 billion by 2030 and includes, among others, project finance, syndicated loans, green bonds, capital and export finance and advisory. Since 2019, Santander has raised or facilitated €33.8 billion in green finance.
- Continue its leadership position in renewables, as well as leveraging its origination capabilities to issue more green bonds.
- Develop green products for its customers, including: green mortgages; energy efficiency loans; loans to install solar panels, for electric vehicles, and for low carbon agriculture; ESG investment solutions; and additional services such as eco-cards, or carbon footprint measurement tools, which allow customers to offset emissions.
- Engage with customers to support them in the transition to a low carbon economy through the Santander CIB and Wealth Management ESG teams.
- Continue to fight deforestation and its negative impact on climate change and biodiversity, especially in the Amazon.