Corporate Responsibility
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Be eco-friendly, like your bank – Earth Day with Santander Bank Polska

Financing green transformation, supporting external projects and introducing pro-ecological changes inside the bank are just a few of the initiatives the Bank undertook last year to support sustainable growth and reduce human impact on the natural environment. On the Earth Day, the bank sums up its contribution to the green transformation and announces the Net Zero strategy.

The Earth Day, also called the World Earth Day or the International Earth Day, dates back to 1970 and is the biggest pro-environment event celebrated every year. On 22 April, Poland celebrated the Earth Day for the 31st time.

Responsible banking strategy

We, at Santander Bank Polska, think about the Earth and its future much more than once a year. Corporate social responsibility, sustainable growth and care for the environment are the key elements of our business strategy. They are among the main pillars of the responsible banking strategy we announced in 2019. The strategy sets the direction of our actions for the next years and identifies the protection of the natural environment and climate as the key areas. In practice it means that our bank offers eco-friendly, „green” products and solutions, combined with educational initiatives addressed to customers, employees and local communities. The strategy also provides for internal initiatives aimed at reducing the bank’s ecological footprint.

Pursuing Net Zero

Recently, Santander Group, to which Santander Bank Polska belongs, has announced the global Net Zero strategy and become one of the founding signatories of the agreement of the world’s 43 largest banks, i.e. Net-Zero Banking Alliance. The Net Zero strategy sets out the ambition to be net zero across Santander Group by 2050.

At Santander Group we think that to be able to support our customers and communities in the green transformation, we must begin with ourselves. Therefore, we take actions to reduce CO2 emission and support the Net Zero strategy with enthusiasm. Our actions cover not only internal emission, i.e. caused by energy consumption, ongoing operations or business travels, but also emissions which result from the funding we provide. It is about providing sustainable credit, advisory and investment services to our customers across all segments.

says Michał Gajewski, the CEO of Santander Bank Polska

To be carbon neutral in 2050, Santander Group has already been taking steps to minimise its impact on the natural environment. In 2020, Santander Bank Polska became carbon neutral in terms of internal emission. It was possible thanks to switching to green energy and purchases of carbon credits, i.e. green, certified assets offsetting the emissions. Since the beginning of 2020, 100% of the energy consumed by Santander Bank Polska comes from green sources, mainly hydroelectric power plants. The bank has also replaced its car fleet with eco-friendly, low-emission hybrid cars, which have lower fuel consumption. Moreover, last year the bank decided to stop buying bottled water and remove water dispensers with plastic bottles. They were replaced by filters installed in the intakes of tap water installations – it allowed the bank to reduce the amount of plastic used by up to 7 tonnes each year. Santander Santander Bank Polska, as the only representative of the Polish financial sector, has joined the Polish Plastics Pact to actively participate in developing solutions for the producers of packaging and support their green transformation.

Climate changes are one of the key global challenges we are facing. As one of the biggest banks in Poland, we are aware of our role in the green transformation, in terms of business, education of customers and internal processes. Our business strategy is dedicated to protecting climate and consists in withdrawing from funding of coal energy, providing a wide financing for RSE and actively promoting „green” financial products. We have also committed, starting from 2030, to discontinue financing those energy companies which derive more than 10% of their revenues from thermal coal production. In addition, we plan to entirely close our exposures towards thermal coal producers by 2030 – including all agreements already concluded.

Michał Gajewski further explains

Santander Bank Polska is the pioneer in many green funding solutions on the Polish market. These are, among others, green bonds, green lease and ESG-linked loans in which the margin depends on the customer’s performance in the sustainable growth area. SBP has been the first in Poland to issue the Sustainability-linked bonds. The funds from that transaction will be spent, among others, on increasing the share of the zero emission sources in the production mix of one of the energy producers.

But Santander Bank Polska not only finances biggest RSE projects or energy concerns. Solarlease, our new product, has facilitated funding of photovoltaic farms and installations for our smaller customers. During the product pilot, introduced in 2020, the SBP financed the installations worth over PLN 41m. The bank has also been developing a product which will help create a network of charging stations for electric vehicles, both home charging stations and multi-unit commercial stations. To business customers Santander Bank Polska offers Biznesmax loan guaranteed by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego. The loan is granted, among others, for investments with an ecological effect and to companies which have delivered such investments within the last 5 years. The product is highly popular among business customers and facilitates installation of photovoltaic solutions or purchase of equipment with higher environmental standards, reducing the consumption of raw materials and energy.

As part of our daily operations, we also take care to make our processes and products more eco-friendly. We have been promoting electronic signing of agreements and authorising transactions with a text message – over 50% of the transactions in branches is paperless. In 2020, the bank, as the strategic partner of the Green Ribbon #SaveThePlanet campaign, encouraged its customers to make eco-resolutions and switch to electronic correspondence. We managed to persuade almost 7,500 customers in two weeks!

What is more, we changed our procedures and processes to be able to send customers documents in an electronic format and eliminate the need to archive paper documentation. All these steps contribute to measurable savings in CO2 emissions and the reduction of paper and plastic use.