To support the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, Santander has announced its ambition to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across the group by 2050. The ambition applies to the group’s own operations, which are net-zero since 2020, and all client emissions that result from any lending, advisory or investment services provided by Santander.
To achieve this and help facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy, by 2030 the bank will align its power generation portfolio with the Paris Agreement and has also published its first decarbonisation targets. By 2030, Santander will have stopped providing financial services to power generation clients with more than 10% of revenues dependent on thermal coal. It also will eliminate all exposure to thermal coal mining worldwide by the same year.
These are Santander’s first decarbonization targets for its financial activities and affect material carbon-emitting sectors. The bank will provide further details of its roadmap to achieving its net zero emissions ambition in its Climate Finance report, which will be published later this year. The group will share decarbonisation targets for other material sectors no later than September 2022, including oil & gas, transport, and mining & metals.
Ana Botín, Banco Santander executive chairman, said: “Climate change is a global emergency. As one of the world’s largest banks, with 148 million customers, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to support the green transition and encourage more people and businesses to go green. There is much, much more to be done, but today’s commitments are important steps on the journey.”
Banco Santander will work to achieve its net-zero ambition in three ways:
- Aligning Santander’s portfolio to meet the Paris Agreement goals
- Supporting the transition to a green economy
- Reducing Santander’s own environmental footprint
Working together with customers to support them in their transition to reduce carbon emissions will be key to achieving net-zero ambition. The bank will actively engage with customers to help support and enable this transition. Santander has specialist environmental, social and governance (ESG) teams in Santander Corporate & Investment Banking (Santander CIB) and Wealth Management to support that process, is working with the Banking Environment Initiative to develop a framework for client engagement.
The targets announced are a first step towards Santander fulfilling the UN’s Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA), to which the group was a founding signatory in September 2019.