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Environment

We have used an Environmental Management System (EMS) since 2010 to identify and manage our environmental impacts.

Our 2015 CSR Report documents our environmental performance from 2013 through to 2015. We have made considerable savings in electricity, gas, carbon emissions, waste and paper.

In November 2016, all Santander UK major regional offices and data centres were awarded ISO 14001 certification. We are amongst the early adopters of ISO 14001:2015, gaining certification a full two years ahead of the expiry of the older ISO 14001:2004.

Read our full Environmental Policy

See our EMS Scope

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We're proud of our 99.5% landfill diversion rate!

A partnership between our head office and retail waste management suppliers has helped us achieve this. We have:

  • Improved processes for diverting waste to Materials Recovery Facilities

  • Diverted food waste from offices with catering facilities to anaerobic digestion facilities

  • Included specific targets for reducing landfill waste in our waste contract with suppliers

In 2015 we implemented a £17.5m energy efficiency project, Project Tesla, across our head offices and retail branches.

Tesla comprised lighting replacements (90,000 LED lights were fitted, making Tesla the largest ever lighting retrofit in the UK), heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) works and building management system (BMS) upgrades.

Efficiency savings from Tesla contributed to environmental performance reductions in the following areas; figures are full year 2015 vs. 2014 and are available in the 2015 CSR Report.

  • Electricity -11%

  • Gas -10%

  • Carbon -8%

All of our electricity is sourced from clean, renewable biomass (wind in Northern Ireland), backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs).

In November 2016, all Santander UK major regional offices and data centres were awarded ISO 50001 certification.

Business Travel

We've invested heavily in audio and video conferencing facilities as well as telepresence, and only travel for business where necessary. Our corporate travel partner's online travel system shows staff the carbon emissions for each option or route and helps them to make responsible decisions.

We run Travel Free Weeks each month, during which staff are requested to avoid business travel and instead utilise telepresence, audio or video conferencing.

Commuting

We're encouraging staff to get to and from work in a greener way with several initiatives :

  • The Cycle2Work scheme helps staff buy a bike for travel

  • Our company car scheme offers a range of cars chosen for their lower CO2 emissions

  • We work with various councils and public transport groups around our main offices to improve schedules and capacity on key routes

Banco Santander is a founding member of the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI), whose mission is to lead the banking industry in directing capital towards sustainable economic development.

In 2014, Banco Santander adopted the Soft Commodities Compact, an initiative arising from collaboration between the BEI and the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). The goal of the Compact is to achieve zero net deforestation in the supply chains of corporate clients by 2020.

In 2015, we financed £50m in assets that generate bilateral renewable energy and other energy efficiencies, making us one of the largest UK renewable energy market financiers.

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AER and EAR explained

AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate and shows what the interest would be if we paid interest and added it to your account each year. The gross rate is the interest rate we pay before income tax is taken off. Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly. Rates may change. EAR stands for Effective Annual Rate and represents the yearly cost of an overdraft, which takes account of how often we charge interest to the account, and does not include any other fees or charges. Overdrafts depend on your circumstances and you must repay any overdraft when we ask in line with our General Terms and Conditions.