Tackling climate change
To achieve net zero carbon emissions across the group by 2050.
What this means for us
At Santander, we recognize that climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing society. This is why we have embedded climate change into our sustainability strategy with the goal of reducing our carbon emissions and helping other businesses to do so too.
We acknowledge that the financial services industry has a critical role to play in the transition to a green economy and we will play our part in supporting the UK transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient economy.
We have integrated our Climate Strategy into our wider sustainability strategy making it one of our key pillars of focus that will help us remain fully committed to the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Our UK Climate Strategy focuses on 3 areas and enables us to deliver on our group ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050
1. Managing climate risks
Integrate climate considerations into risk management frameworks
Screen and stress test our portfolio to identify climate related financial risks
Measure portfolio alignment and set risk appetites, to help steer our portfolio in line with the Paris agreement
2. Supporting customers
Support our green customers
Continue to create green products and services for our customers
Develop customer and client sector and segment strategies to support and accelerate a zero-carbon economy
3. Reducing emissions in our operations
Continuously review internal policies to incorporate climate considerations
Procure 100% green electricity and offset any residual CO2 emissions
Continue to create a strong culture of sustainability through our employee ‘green champions’ network
Journey to net-zero
In order to support the transition to a low-carbon economy and meet the objectives set in our strategy, we will continue to act on the following commitments:
- Align our power generation portfolio with the Paris Agreement. As part of this, Santander Group will stop providing financial services to power generation clients with more than 10% of revenues dependent on thermal coal and eliminate all exposure to thermal coal mining worldwide.
- Set sector specific decarbonisation targets for other material sectors including Oil and Gas, Transport and Mining and Metals by September 2022.
- Raise and facilitate €120 billion by 2025 and €220 billion by 2030, in green finance globally.
- Procure 100% of our electricity from renewable sources.
- Maintain carbon neutrality for our operations by offsetting the residual emissions generated by our operations, such as those associated with our offices, branches, data centres and UK business travel.
In the UK, we’ve taken steps to assess our portfolio to identify the priority sectors for decarbonisation and the implications on the business. We are prioritising efforts where we can have the most significant impact, targeting the most GHG intensive sectors within our portfolio.
Our Group roadmap to net zero outlines some of our key targets and milestones:
Net Zero Banking Alliance founding member
To further develop our commitment to carbon neutrality and building a resilient low-carbon economy we have become a founding member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). The NZBA has been created as a new financial industry body to shape climate policy for banking around the world in a drive towards net zero emissions.
Our membership to the NZBA will form part of the larger Santander Group strategy to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Progress on our strategy
As we progress towards our 2050 target, we believe it is vital to be transparent with our ambition and progress. Santander has a long track record of supporting the transition to a low carbon economy. For example, Santander Group has participated in renewable energy finance deals totalling €32 billion during the last decade, making it one of the largest financiers of renewables both globally and in the UK.
We are aware that financing renewables is only effective if complemented by a reduction in the carbon emissions across our wider lending portfolio. To address this, we continue to review our policies on lending to carbon-intensive sectors.
We will no longer be providing financial products and/or services to new coal-fired power plants worldwide or oil and gas drilling projects north of the Arctic Circle. Further details of our approach to lending can be found under ‘sector policies’ on our Group sustainability website.
Supporting customers to transition
Supporting our customers is a key focus of how we are aiding the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our new energy fact report is one of the ways in which we are empowering customers to help reduce their environmental footprint. In partnership with Countrywide Surveying Services, the tool shows what green improvements could be made to your home to help you reduce your emissions.
The Tailored report will show you how your home could be improved, and work would be needed as a result. To find out more about how you could reduce your environmental footprint visit our EnergyFact website now as see if you are eligible for a free home energy report.
CoGo – Carbon footprint calculator
In 2021 we launched a carbon footprint tracker pilot for retail customers in partnership with leading sustainability fintech CoGo. This project provides customers with an insight into the environmental impact of their spending. To find out more about this pilot and to see how we are pioneering and supporting more of these services to our customers check out the Santander X environmental challenge.
Still Waters Green Technology
Still Waters Green Technology (SWGT) is the UK’s fast-growing battery energy storage business. Starting last year, Santander UK supported the leading independent battery energy storage system asset manager, with a non-recourse project finance debt solution of £28m. The financing, which is delivered under Santander’s Environmental & Social Growth Fund (ESGF), will help to advance the SWGT Phase Two project, a pipeline of at least 180MW under development. To find out more about our partnership you can read our press release or visit the Still Waters website.