Letter from the Chairman
Antonio Escámez Torres
Honouring our commitment to society, at Fundación Banco Santander we strive each day to promote the progress of individuals and institutions in communities where the bank operates. To this end, we actively support and sponsor activities in a variety of areas which we feel are vitally important: art, music, history, literature, the environment and social outreach.
We want to make culture more available to everyone, promote education as a fundamental pillar of social development, and facilitate the union of the humanities and sciences with cross-disciplinary initiatives that bridge the gap between them. We also aim to retrieve the memories stored in art, literature and history and keep tabs on current affairs by debating and reflecting on the changes our society is going through today.
In the area of the environment and the recovery of natural heritage, we support projects that raise awareness on the importance of promoting sustainable development.
Finally, aware of the pressing need for greater social justice, equality and sustainability, for years we have maintained a social outreach programme that aims to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Diversifying our activity has created a solid foundation for our efforts to bring about changes and improvements that will have a positive effect on the world around us. Our goal is to increase the beneficiaries of our programmes year after year, be innovative in our efforts, and always strive for excellence to earn people’s trust and loyalty.
These ambitious actions are possible thanks to our partnership with various institutions, the support of the bank and its board of directors—especially the chairman, Ana Botín—and the selfless contributions of our board of trustees and the commitment and responsibility of the foundation’s entire staff. I encourage all of them to continue working with dedication and enthusiasm, for I am convinced that our combined efforts can build a better society.
Borja Baselga Canthal
It is a pleasure to present this annual report summarising the activities of Fundación Banco Santander in 2017—a year in which the foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary and consolidated several of its most important projects with a view to benefiting society. I am referring to our efforts at improving social welfare, supporting the arts and education as collective, cross-cutting, accessible tools, creating jobs in the culture industry, promoting research and protecting the environment.
Many people and institutions benefit directly or indirectly from our actions, a fact in which we take immense pride, but which also motivates us to face the challenges that lie ahead in 2018 with a keen sense of responsibility and enthusiasm.
In the arena of art projects the Santander Art Gallery will exhibit the Luis Paulo Montenegro Collection, one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary art in Brazil, and offer special tours designed for families, students and persons with cognitive and sensory diversity. We will invite new candidates to apply for the Fundación Banco Santander Award for Artistic Production and continue working with institutions and contemporary art fairs on initiatives that promote collecting, creative production and education.
Knowing the importance of collaboration, the foundation will also maintain its partnerships with prestigious institutions in the field of music, such as Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Real in Madrid and Fundación Albéniz.
And we will continue to develop projects for the recovery of natural heritage working with associations devoted to environmental protection. Specifically, we will launch new initiatives next year: the preservation of century-old mountain olive trees in Las Garrigas (Lérida) and the restoration of dune ecosystems on the Valencian coast.
At the same time, we will keep working with the Spanish Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in the field of scientific research sponsoring a post-doctoral programme for young researchers and a business training plan for scientists. Because we believe talent deserves a boost, we will also maintain the SRUK Emerging Talent Award to support the career of a young Spanish researcher who has worked in the United Kingdom.
In addition to all this, we will have a fascinating programme of debates and new additions to the foundation's literary collection, with publications dedicated to Carlos Fuentes, Marín Civera, Luis Abad Carretero, Elizabeth Mulder and Cristóbal Serra.
Ever mindful of our commitment to society, we take great pride in the success of the Santander Ayuda programme, which will continue to offer NGOs financial aid for meeting basic needs and strengthen the bank’s ties to social enterprises.
Our top priority is to continue working in all these areas with the same high standards of responsibility, excellence and transparency, with a view to consolidating the bank’s reputation as an entity committed to promoting the progress of people and society with simplicity, humanity and justice.