Banco Santander will deny loans to coal-related companies from 2030

As part of its strategy towards sustainability, Spanish bank Santander will stop providing financial services to companies that depend on thermal coal.

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February 23, 2021 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In recent years, sustainable development has become one of the great business trends, and Santander knows it. The Spanish bank with an international presence announced that as of 2030 it will deny loans and other services to companies linked to the coal industry.

This Monday, Santander bank made clear its commitment to the decarbonization of the economy, informing in a statement that “it will stop offering financial services to electricity generation customers whose income depends on more than 10% of thermal coal .”

It should be noted that thermal coal is that which is used to generate electricity. Instead, metallurgical coal is used in the manufacture of steel.

In addition, the banking institution promised to eliminate its “exposure to thermal coal mining worldwide .” This ‘exposure’ to thermal coal refers mainly to the loans it makes for electricity production .

Sustainability, Santander’s goal

The measure is part of its strategy towards sustainability and to “support the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change .”

Santander ensures that it maintains a carbon neutral emission since 2020 internally. Now, it intends to extend the objective to “all the issues of its clients derived from any of the financing, advisory or investment services offered by Santander, the statement said.

The bank plans to publish its decarbonisation targets for other sectors, such as oil and gas, transportation or steel, in September 2022. Thus, Santander’s goal is to achieve zero net emissions by 2050 globally.

Ana Botín, president of Santander , assured that being one of the main banks in the world, with 148 million customers, they have the “responsibility and opportunity to support the ecological transition and encourage more people and companies to be more sustainable .”

“Much remains to be done, but the commitments we announced today are a great advance,” Botín said.

Last year, the world’s strongest investment fund, BlackRock , announced that the fight against climate change became a priority for its investors. Therefore, it undertook not to invest in companies that obtain more than 25% of their income from the production of thermal coal.

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