Environmental and climate strategies and policies

  • GRI:
  • Policy commitments2-23
    Policy commitments
  • Embedding policy commitments2-24
    Embedding policy commitments
  • TCFD:
  • Describe the impact of climate-related risks and opportunities on the organisation's operations, strategy and financial planning. Describe the resilience of the organisation's strategy taking into account different climate-related scenarios, including a 2°C or lower scenarioSTRATEGY
    Describe the impact of climate-related risks and opportunities on the organisation's operations, strategy and financial planning. Describe the resilience of the organisation's strategy taking into account different climate-related scenarios, including a 2°C or lower scenario

Responsible Banking Strategy

In pursuing our strategic Green Bank commitment, we prioritise environmental protection in both our external and internal operations. By implementing the Responsible Banking Strategy, we are developing green financial products and solutions, supporting the process of transforming the economy into a low– and zero-carbon one, and aligning our activities with international environmental requirements.

Our key environmental documents:

  • Responsible Banking Strategy,

  • Sustainability Policy,

  • Global Net Zero Strategy,

  • Sectoral policies,

  • Social, Environmental and Climate Change Risk Management Policy.

In shaping the bank’s impact on the environment, we act in accordance with the precautionary principle. We describe the approach we take in our Sustainability Policy, which includes our actions and commitments in this regard.

  • Promoting environmental protection based on international regulatory standards, a continuous improvement system – we are in the process of preparing for environmental ISO certification.
  • Setting systematic performance improvement indicators for managing environmental issues and decarbonisation targets for the areas of our own operations generating most pollution.
  • Measuring and monitoring consumption of natural resources, emissions and generation of waste at most of the bank’s locations.

  • Restricting funding for activities that may have a direct environmental and social impact and cause long-term effects related to climate change.
  • Encouraging suppliers to adopt environmental commitments and transition to a low-carbon economy.

Net Zero Strategy

Combating the effects of climate change is the overarching goal of green banking, which is the core of our Responsible Banking Strategy. We are operating in line with the Global Net Zero Strategy, with the entire Banco Santander Group aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. We recognise that this target comes with many challenges and significant uncertainties regarding future climate change and the global macroeconomic and geopolitical situation. Rising energy prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are just some of the factors causing uncertainty as to whether decarbonisation – both at Santander Group level and in Poland – will be a successful undertaking. As a result, in developing our plans, we rely, among other things, on the results of scenario analyses, taking into account both a 2°C and a 4°C increase in global temperatures (see the Climate Risks subsection in the Governance chapter).

In line with the Net Zero strategy, as of 2030 at the latest, we intend to cease financing power companies whose revenues from coal-fired generation exceeds 10%. By 2030, we also want to end our lending services to thermal coal producers. Above all, we want to support customers in their green transition and provide comprehensive financing for renewable energy sources, as well as support the development of green financial products. We want to achieve the medium– and long-term goals of the Global Net Zero Strategy based on short-term decarbonisation indicators. This will be achieved by reducing the bank’s internal emissions (related, among other things, to electricity consumption and business travel) as well as emissions attributable to the financial services provided – loans, advisory services or investment services offered to customers from all segments.

The exchange of international good practices is also expected to contribute to the achievement of decarbonisation targets. The Santander Group is a founding member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance, a United Nations initiative led by the banking sector, which guides the way forward for qualitative analysis of our investment portfolio. However, for the full operationalisation of our strategy we need to develop detailed transition plans that include the identification of ways to work on decarbonising the portfolio.

Sector policies

Our Sustainability Policy is complemented by the Social, Environmental and Climate Change Risk Management Policy which sets out criteria for environmental and social risk analysis for clients operating in the following sectors: oil and gas, energy, mining and metals and soft commodities. The criteria apply to customers in all segments (Corporate and Investment Banking, Business and Corporate Banking, Small and Medium Enterprises) and are binding for the entire Santander Bank Polska Group in relation to financing, advisory services, capital management, asset management and insurance. The Social, Environmental and Climate Change Risk Management Policy also identifies the types of activities in the aforementioned sectors subject to prohibitions or restrictions. These include:

  • oil and gas sector activities in sensitive geographical regions (e.g. north of the Arctic Circle),
  • sourcing and processing of indigenous wood species or palm oil without proper certification,
  • activities carried out in or affecting areas on the UN List of Protected Areas,
  • activities that adversely affect endangered animal and plant species.