Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2019
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Green offer – products and services

  • [102-15] Key impacts, risks and opportunities Key impacts, risks and opportunities

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  • [Custom indicator ] Main environment-friendly products and services offered to customers, including those affecting climate change solutions Main environment-friendly products and services offered to customers, including those affecting climate change solutions

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Since the beginning of 2019, we have been even more strongly committed to implementing green solutions aimed at customers and other stakeholder groups.

Green bond issuance

Our bank, supporting pro-environmental initiatives, among others, raises funds from international financial institutions especially for this purpose. An example of such activity is the cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), under which we issue ″Green Bonds″.

Santander Bank Polska was the first commercial bank to issue green bonds worth EUR 137.1 million in 2017.

In 2019, as a joint bookrunner, we participated in the issue of 10-year and 30-year green bonds of the Ministry of Finance worth EUR 2 billion. The term ″green financing″ is understood to mean loans granted for energy efficiency, renewable energy activities and water efficiency.

Funds from the bond issue will be allocated, inter alia, for:

  • sustainable agriculture,

  • low-carbon modes of transport,

  • renewable energy,

  • national parks,

  • afforestation and reclamation of spoil tips.

In order to demonstrate the achievement of the required volume of ″green loans″, the bank intends to report a portfolio of loans from the real estate financing segment for which the financed projects meet environmental standards and energy efficiency criteria, confirmed by internationally recognised industry certificates (BREEAM, LEED) required by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The portfolio reported to IFC is subject to validation by IFC specialists, who will then calculate the environmental impact and attained energy efficiency indicators.

Financing green buildings

The bank uses funds from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to offer clients loans under the Energy Efficiency of Buildings programme to finance the construction of buildings meeting environmental standards certified by generally recognised international certificates such as LEED or BREEAM, for a total amount equivalent to 140% of the funding raised, i.e. EUR 140 million.

  • 31 green buildings

    Since 2017 we have financed 31 green buildings (BREEAM and LEED certified), for a total of EUR 613 million.
    Both BREEAM (29) and LEED (2) certificates were awarded in the full range of assessments.

Green leasing offer

In 2019, Santander Leasing S.A. was developing its green leasing offer. The net value of assets financed under the offer as at 2 December, 2019 amounted to PLN 150 million. The offer included: electric cars (PLN 8.6m), hybrid cars (PLN 124m ), photovoltaics (PLN 7.4m), heat pumps and biomass (PLN 4.7m) and electric forklifts (PLN 5m).

Since 2010, Santander Leasing has been a pioneer in financing electric vehicles. In 2017, the company financed, among other things, electric buses for the city of Warsaw with a total value of PLN 30 million and since 2018 it has been supporting eco-mobility with a special offer of 100% electric car lease. Customers who decided to lease an electric car during the promotional period could take advantage of the 100% leasing offer, which meant no interest costs for up to 36 months. The Zero Emissions, Zero Interest campaign was open to all electric car brands available in Poland and lasted until the end of 2019.

In September 2019. Santander Bank Polska signed with Energa the first ESG-linked (Environmental, Social and Governance) loan agreement in Poland based on the assessment of the borrower’s commitment to sustainable development and responsible business. Santander Bank Polska acts as coordinator, agent and ESG agent.

The agreement for PLN 2bn signed by a consortium of five banks is valid until 2024, with the possibility of its extension until 2026. The amount of the credit margin will depend on the company’s performance in three areas of sustainable development: environmental care, social responsibility and corporate governance (ESG indicators). The company plans to use the funds raised to expand its RES production capacity and to further modernise its distribution network, as well as to refinance its debt related to these areas of activity. In addition, the provisions of the agreement prohibit the funds under the loan from being allocated to any capital expenditures in the field of coal power engineering.

Santander is actively involved in supporting the Polish energy sector in its transformation towards sustainable development and a low-carbon economy. ESG-linked financing is an instrument which introduces not only tangible incentives for the borrower, but also real responsibility for actions aimed at improving the environmental and social profile.

Maciej Tarnawski
Director of Credit Markets Department in Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Santander Bank Polska

Electronic banking

We provide and promote – as a green solution – electronic payments such as BLIK, Apple Pay and Google Pay. The ″Mobile Banking Index″ survey conducted at the request of Santander Bank Polska shows that two-thirds of the respondents already use them. Paying by phone or watch has a chance to replace plastic cards. We encourage customers to choose the electronic form of contact with the bank as a more ecological solution. Giving up cards reduces the production of carbon dioxide even seven times – email generates only 4 grams of CO2 and a paper letter generates as much as 29 grams. We also offer our customers the possibility to buy electronic public transport tickets in a mobile application, thus reducing the consumption of paper.