Santander Tops Goldman as Green Bank on Deals From Cool Green Offices

Bloomberg Markets Magazine

At Banco Santander SA (SAN) headquarters on the outskirts of Madrid, Joaquin de Ena says he’s gotten used to wearing his sweater vest indoors after the bank turned down the heat to trim power use and greenhouse-gas emissions.

“This is OK,” de Ena, director of corporate social responsibility, says with a laugh as he looks at a conference room thermostat as a chilly wind blows through the capital on an early March day. “I’m not sure if it should go any lower.”

Elsewhere on Santander’s 395-acre (160-hectare) campus, Antonio Garcia Mendez is adapting the green philosophy to investments. Spain’s biggest bank arranged a $324 million loan for a U.S. wind farm developed by BP Plc and Sempra Energy (SRE) last year, Bloomberg Markets reports in its May issue.

Mendez, 39, global head of power project and acquisition finance, says his team has closed 40 deals already this year, 90 percent involving renewable energy. Investment in clean-energy companies and projects rose 30 percent to a record $243 billion in 2010, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Santander’s in-house conservation and ecominded investments won it top billing in Bloomberg Markets’ inaugural ranking of the world’s greenest banks.

The data were compiled by Bloomberg from company filings, websites, social responsibility reports and other public documents. The ranking covers 188 banks with market capitalizations of $10 billion or more in 49 countries, assessing them in two areas: Investments in clean-energy projects from 2004 through 2010 make up 70 percent of the final score. The banks’ efforts to reduce their own carbon footprints account for 30 percent.

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