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Our approach to environmental protection

  • [103-1, 103-2, 103-3] for reporting aspects: “Impact on responsible use of natural resources”, “Energy”, “Emissions” and “Transport”. for reporting aspects: “Impact on responsible use of natural resources”, “Energy”, “Emissions” and “Transport”.

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  • [102-11] Precautionary Principle or approach Precautionary Principle or approach

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Our everyday business activities involve the use of natural resources and have impact on the environment. We understand and agree with the growing expectations of the social environment regarding businesses placing more emphasis on environmental issues.

  • we are fully aware of our impact on the environment,
  • we attempt to minimise this impact by engaging in various initiatives,
  • we comply with the legal regulations,
  • we implement our own detailed policies and procedures concerning the use of natural resources and the impact on the natural environment.

Environmental policies of Santander Bank Polska

  • [103-1,103-2 and 103-3] for Aspects: Impact on responsible use of natural resources, Emissions. Energy Transport and its impact on the environment for Aspects: Impact on responsible use of natural resources, Emissions. Energy Transport and its impact on the environment

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  • [102-11] Explanation whether and how the organisation applies the precautionary principle Explanation whether and how the organisation applies the precautionary principle

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  • [302-1] Energy consumption within the organization Energy consumption within the organization

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All environmental activities both those desired by and unacceptable for us, including approach to the natural environment are defined in the Santander Bank Polska Sustainability (CSRCorporate Social ResponsibilityCorporate Social Responsibility) Policy. According to this document, the bank and the Group undertake to:

  • minimise the environmental impact of their branches and business,
  • promote environmentally-friendly products and services,
  • take into account and assess the impact that their financed projects have on climate change.

This Policy is supplemented by the Santander Bank Polska Climate Change Policy. It lays down the actions and initiatives that support environmental protection and seeks to mitigate the impact of climate change, including:

  • control of resource consumption and emission levels by all the bank’s facilities,
  • financial activity,
  • other environmental protection activities, including awareness-raising among employees, and in the supply chain through initiatives aimed at suppliers and by means of product and service selection rules.

We implement our environmental policy by financing projects focusing on:

  • renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

  • products and services for the agricultural and livestock breeding sector,

  • electric, hybrid and low-emission cars,

  • water and waste management infrastructure.

We support products and services addressed to the sustainable construction industry and activity in the market of trading in emission allowances. We develop products for the agricultural and livestock breeding sector (including weather risks and other natural disaster risks). And we finance socially responsible investments.

These two policies are supplemented by sectoral policies on financing projects and customers from “sensitive sectors”, notably:

  • Environment and Social Policy. Energy Sector

  • Environment and Social Policy. Soft Commodities

  • Environment and Social Policy. Defence Sector

The bank respects international best practices concerning social responsibility, particularly the Equator PrinciplesInternational project on social and environmental risks with the participation of financial institutionsInternational project on social and environmental risks with the participation of financial institutions. These principles relate to environmental issues, such as biodiversity protection, long-term natural resource management, pollution and toxic emissions prevention and climate changes.

Green bonds

Concern for the environment is an important aspect of our loan operations. We are the first commercial bank in Poland to have issued green bonds.

  • Value of bonds: EUR 137m (PLN 575m).
  • The bonds were taken up by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
    • Revenue from the sales of the green bonds are entirely allocated to goals related to environmental protection: for financing investments in renewable energy, energy-efficient construction, etc.

the total volume of loans granted as at 30 June 2018, was PLN 1.73bn

We have earmarked more than EUR 100m in cash loans, for modernisation and implementation of energy-saving solutions in flats and houses – we have identified 13,962 loans with a total value of PLN 467,471,325m from 12 October 2015 to 21 July 2017

Preferential rate for projects aimed to maintain and create new jobs – as at 30 June 2018, loans were granted to 59 customers. The total value  of loans granted is EUR 60,266,303m. This loan has contributed to the maintenance of 4,332 jobs and to the creation of 112 additional, new jobs.

The provision of environmental education to our employees is key to us. On the occasion of the Earth Day 2017, a one week long environmental event called, “#EKOakcja” was organised on the Intranet, and accompanied by two competitions for employees.

The aim of the event was to extend the employees’ knowledge on environmental-friendly everyday behaviours. Throughout the week, we published information on the environment and the bank’s environmentally-friendly activities. Additionally, information was provided on such subjects as waste segregation, energy efficiency and human impact on the environment. Knowledge was communicated in the form of infographics, titbits and tips. The event was organised in cooperation with UNEP/GRID, under the Environmental Partnership initiated by UNEP/GRID, to which the bank is a partner.

The event was accompanied by two competitions: photographic, linked to Intragram- the bank’s outside social media service, where employees could put up photos from different initiatives, and a competition for an eco-solution for the bank. To participate in the latter, you had to score more than 50% in a knowledge quiz. The quiz, linked to the competition, which accompanied the initiative was completed by 267 people, 252 of whom got at least 50% of correct answers.

Energy consumption

  • [302-1] Energy consumption in the organisation Energy consumption in the organisation

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 in 2016 in 2017
Total electric energy consumption [MWh] 34,055.72 36,555.65
Total consumption of energy from non-renewable sources [MWh] 21,189.26 18,799.70
    natural gas 16,516.18 14,631.50
    fuel oil: 2,858.90 3,033.47
    diesel oil: 1,814.18 1,134.73

Carbon dioxide emissions

  • [305-1] Greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse gas emissions

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2016 2017
CO2 emissions attributable to electric energy purchased for the bank [tonnes] 27,176.46 28,549.96
CO2 emissions related to heat generation [tonnes] 3,888.02 3,568.02
CO2 emissions related to transport and fuel combustion in company cars [tonnes] 8,622.49 6,788.19

Paper management

  • [301-1] Materials used by weight or volume Materials used by weight or volume

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2016 2017
Paper consumption [tonnes] 448.96 312.97
Paper sent for recycling [tonnes] 1,437.38 1,255.61
47 of our branches have received the Green Office Standard.

Starting from 2018, nearly half our employees are working in eco-certified buildings.

New environmentally-friendly investment in Wrocław

In 2017, we continued the construction of our new office building in Wrocław. The foundation stone was laid down in October 2016, and in 2018, our employees from five different localities in Wrocław were relocated to this new building.

Our objective was to construct our head office using advanced technologies, so that it would make efficient use of natural resources, but also through its functionality, encourage employees and guests to practice pro-environmental and pro-social behaviours.

In effect, a spacious (17,000 m2), modern office building has been erected and equipped keeping the environment in mind, providing a friendly work place for 1350 employees.

Solutions and facilities applied in the new head office:

  • Integrated control system for air conditioning, lighting, internal blinds and window opening.
  • The applied technology allows the building to reduce in an intelligent manner water consumption by ca. 50%, and electric energy consumption by ca. 30%.
  • In June 2018 the building received the LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental DesignLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design GOLD certificate.
  • Because the building’s roof is covered with a white membrane, the building, due to a higher solar reflectance index, heats up considerably less than other buildings, meaning that we are not contributing to the heat island effect.
  • Wooden wall/floor coverings used in the interiors are FSC certified, which means that we know the entire route of the wood (using illegally cut trees is out of the question).
  • Finishing materials used in the interiors do no contain dangerous volatile substances, therefore, we have limited the emission of any type of dust and gases dangerous to health.
  • Levels -1 and 0 accommodate parking space for bicycles, while cyclists have access to changing rooms and showers, in this way we are supporting eco-friendly commuting.
  • The parking has special spaces for low-emission cars.
  • The building is accessible to people with disabilities (for example, special parking spaces have been designated).
  • The building houses an staff canteen, relaxation zones and many other spaces facilitating meetings and integration.
  • [301-1] Materials used by weight or volume Materials used by weight or volume

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Fuel consumption by company cars

in 2016 in 2017
Petrol [m3] 3,510.56 2,797.64
Natural gas [m3] 1,551,301.76 1,374,495.33
Diesel oil [m3] 181.42 113.50