Santander has been named the most responsible bank in Portugal, ranking first in the sector in the Merco ESG 2021 ranking.
The ranking was established based on the opinions of executives and several experts in finance, economics and journalism. It also relied on Merco Consumption, Merco Digital and benchmarking. A comprehensive assessment methodology was applied to identify the most responsible companies in terms of ESG, according to the following criteria: the environment; internally, customers and society; and ethics and governance.
Inês Oom de Sousa, President of the Portugal Foundation and head of ESG in Santander, Europe, said that “this recognition gives us an extra boost on our long and important road ahead. It is our responsibility to be a role model for ESG, not only in terms of the environment but also on the social and governance aspects. But it is also an excellent opportunity to support our clients in the climate transition, create impact and contribute to creating a more inclusive and sustainable society.”
The bank integrates ESG criteria to become a more responsible company. In terms of Environment (E), Santander continues to work to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and support its customers in their transition to a low carbon economy; on the social aspect (S), Santander strives to maximize its impact and work for an increasingly fair and inclusive society; and on governance (G), Santander aims to do things the right way through clear and robust processes.
The bank has also set itself important decarbonization objectives, in particular by aligning its loan portfolio with achieve net zero by 2050, in accordance with the objectives of the Santander Group; another of its objectives is to achieve 220 billion euros in green finance, with the clear objective of supporting its clients in their transition to a low-carbon economy and reducing its own environmental footprint as much as possible.
The path to a more inclusive and sustainable society also goes through financial empowerment, the promotion of education, entrepreneurship and employment. Since 2019, Santander Group has provided financial empowerment to more than 7.4 million people around the world and aims to reach and surpass the 10 million mark by 2025. Through its community outreach programs, with the collaboration of charities and other social institutions, more than 4 million people have received assistance in the last four years, and we aim to reach 10 million by 2025.
Recently, the bank created the Santander Portugal Foundation to strengthen its impact on society. With an initial budget of 22.5 million euros, the Foundation will carry out programs with a strong social, economic and environmental impact in key areas such as education, employability, ecology and social issues.