Santander has taken another step to accelerate its sustainability strategy. The bank chaired by Ana Botín will extend the mandatory basic training on sustainability and ESG criteria (environment, social and good governance) to all employees of the group. In addition, some 700 managers will expand their knowledge to reach a medium level, accredited by internal certification, and a more advanced level, which has the International Sustainable Finance II certification from the International Association for Sustainable Economy (IASE).
The certification exam is aimed particularly at those responsible for decision-making according to the bank’s ESG criteria. In principle, the 700 aforementioned professionals will obtain it. Santander points out that IASE is the first and only international certifier that endorses ESG training.
In this way, Santander employees will follow a 40-hour program to strengthen their essential skills and knowledge for decision-making according to ESG criteria. To do this, the course designed by Santander Financial Institute uses a methodology that combines theoretical information with audiovisual material, practical cases, self-assessment tests, infographics and complementary documentation.
After completing the course, employees will be able to access the official IASE certification exam through six modules that include content such as an introduction to sustainability and ASG; corporate sustainability and sustainable corporate finance; sustainable banking; sustainable insurance; government, central banks and multilateral banks for development and sustainable investment, asset management and financial advice.
The bank’s objective is for the entire organization to integrate sustainable management as part of its strategy. And it’s beyond going green that banks have taken to reduce their impact on the planet (since 2020 the bank is carbon neutral in its own operations), sustainability should be one of the big drivers of the banking business for years to come. because of the enormous volume of financing that the energy transition will require.
In this sense, Santander has set an ambitious goal of financing green projects for 220,000 million euros between 2019 and 2030 and has established an intermediate target to reach 120,000 million in 2025. At the end of the first half of this year, the investment banking and business banking division (Santander CIB), had already mobilized 74,400 million.
In recent months, Santander has already reorganized its Green Finance division (which encompasses the investment banking activity and the sustainable finance activity offered by commercial banks) to give more weight to its sustainable finance activity within the organization chart of the group. He thus entrusted Lucas Arangüena with the management of the division, which reports directly to the CEO.
World leader in renewable energy financing
Santander has accelerated its financing activity for renewable projects. Between January and June, the entity granted 2,400 million euros and reached a market share of 6.4%, making it the first bank globally, according to a ranking established by the consulting firm Infralogic . New renewable projects financed or advised in 2021 represented an installed capacity of 13,604 MW. Santander also announced three new interim decarbonization targets for 2030: reduce financed emissions in the energy sector by 29%; 33% financed emissions intensity in the aviation sector and 32% in the steel sector.