Banco Santander has been declared the world’s greenest bank in rankings by Bloomberg Markets magazine.
Eight of the top ten banks are based in Europe, which Bloomberg says reflects the European Union’s emissions-reduction policies. The EU carbon market is the world’s biggest.
New York-based Goldman Sachs Group ranked second overall, and ranked first for green investing. Italy’s UniCredit SpA came in third, and Credit Suisse Group AG came in fourth. The U.S.-based Citigroup ranked fifth.
Bloomberg Markets compared banks’ efforts at emissions and waste reduction and their investments in clean energy. It only examined banks with capitalizations of more than $10 billion that are members of major national benchmark indices, such as Standard & Poor’s 500, the FTSE 350 and the Nikkei 225.
Bloomberg said the Madrid-based Santander rose to the top for its in-house conservation and environmentally friendly investments, including the arrangement of a $324 million loan for a wind farm developed last year by BP and Sempra Energy. Of the bank’s 40 deals closed so far this year, 90 percent involved renewable energy, Bloomberg said.
Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse collaborated on the management of a $3 billion initial public offering (IPO) for Enel Green Power, an Italian renewable power operator. Goldman also co-led the IPO for California-based Tesla Motors, the company behind the all-electric Roadster sports car.
UniCredit arranged $1.4 billion of loans for wind farms, solar facilities and waste-to-energy plants last year, Bloomberg said.
The top ten:
- Banco Santander (Spain)
- Goldman Sachs (U.S.)
- UniCredit (Italy)
- Credit Suisse (Switzerland)
- Citigroup (U.S.)
- Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (Spain)
- Royal Bank of Scotland (U.K.)
- Societe Generale (France)
- HSBC Holdings (U.K.)
- BNP Paribas (France)