Environmental Projects

Since 2004, Fundación Banco Santander has maintained an environmental programme for the restoration of degraded nature areas and the conservation of endangered plant and animal species.

Several of its environmental initiatives have focused on recovering particularly fragile zones that are essential to preserving biodiversity, such as peat bogs, seagrass beds, and intertidal, dune or forest ecosystems. The brown bear, Spanish imperial eagle, loggerhead turtle and bearded vulture are just some of the endangered species that have benefited from the foundation’s environmental programme.

To ensure the success of the initiatives set out in the action plan, each project is monitored for several years, and maintenance work is done whenever necessary to consolidate the results achieved.

The projects also include environmental education activities (workshops, talks, etc.) that encourage citizens to play a more active role in caring for nature, as well as occasional interventions to restore cultural heritage landmarks in the area.

An interactive map on the foundation’s website shows the location of the environmental projects and offers users images of the sites and information on the work that has been done in each zone.

The following pages describe the two new projects launched in 2018 and the maintenance work carried out to reinforce the sustainable management of the Atlantic Forest, an initiative begun in 2013 in the Montañas Pasiegas region of Burgos and Cantabria.

Conservation of centuries-old mountain olive trees

Les Garrigues district (Lérida)

In 2018, the foundation signed a partnership agreement with the TRENCA association to launch a project for the conservation of mountain olive trees and their biodiversity in the district of Les Garrigues (Lérida).

The plan calls for applying ecological cultivation methods to improve the forest structure of these olive groves and reduce the risk of fires. In order to promote biodiversity, the area will be equipped with small ponds (essential in a low-rainfall area like Les Garrigues), bird feeders and small wildlife shelters.

The project will also involve restoration work to recover typical elements of the district’s cultural landscape, such as stone walls and cisterns.

Finally, an environmental education programme will be introduced to raise awareness and encourage the involvement of local residents in the project.

Restoration of dune ecosystems

Region of Valencia

Fundación Banco Santander and Global Nature Fund have joined forces to preserve the dune ecosystems of the Region of Valencia. Efforts will focus on fifteen coastal zones located in Prat de Cabanes-Torreblance Nature Park (Castellón), Albufera de Valencia Nature Park-Dehesa del Saler Nature Reserve (Valencia), Clot de Galvany Municipal Nature Area (Alicante) and the Guardamar del Segura dunes (Alicante).

The actions contemplated in the plan aim to prevent the erosion of sand dunes, one of the most endangered ecosystems on Spain’s eastern seaboard, by building, installing and repairing sand-retaining barriers.

Proper conservation of the dunes will protect and benefit their rich biodiversity. Additional measures will be taken in this respect, such as eradicating invasive flora and planting autochthonous species suited to these singular ecosystems.

Sustainable management of the Atlantic Forest

Burgos and Cantabria

Since 2013, Fundación Banco Santander has partnered with Fundación Naturaleza y Hombre on a project to restore the Atlantic forest in the mountainous region known as Montaña Pasiega. The goal is to establish a system for managing wood pasture habitats that will prevent forest fires in areas previously reforested with autochthonous species. An essential component of this prevention plan is the presence of several local livestock breeds that graze around the plants.

To consolidate the results achieved in past years, in 2018 the two foundations decided to undertake a series of complementary actions, including the differentiated treatment of reforested areas, the maintenance of firewalls on the perimeters, and the repair of fences and enclosures. Repairs were also made to the mountain huts that provide refuge for livestock and are an important part of the region’s cultural heritage.

Location of Fundación Banco Santander Projects

Mapa Ubicación de los proyectos de Fundación

Timeline of Fundación Banco Santander Projects

Project Location Partner organisation
2018 Restoration of dune ecosystems Region of Valencia Global Nature Fund
2018 Conservation of centuries-old mountain olive trees Les Garrigues (Lérida) TRENCA
2017 Recovery of the bearded vulture Picos de Europa National Park (Asturias, Cantabria and Castile-León) Fundación para la Conservación del Quebrantahuesos
2017 Conservation of the cinereous vulture Southwest Badajoz province AMUS
2017 Restoration and adaptation of watering places Sierra de Grazalema Nature Park (Cádiz and Málaga) O-Live Environmental Association
2016 Preservation of the Spanish imperial eagle Albacete and Ciudad Real Fundación Amigos del Águila Imperial
2015 Conservation of endangered Iberian plant life Orense and La Coruña (Galicia) Association for the Promotion of Research - Galicia Ideas Bank
2015 Conservation and preservation of sea turtles Catalan coast Fundación para la Conservación y Recuperación de Animales Marinos
2014 Recovery of the Rubín Marshes San Vicente de la Barquera (Cantabria) FAPAS
2014 Recovery of the Spanish imperial eagle Doñana National Park (Huelva) Fundación Migres
2013 New CITES Centre Castile-La Mancha FIEB
2013 Wildlife corridors for birds of prey Castile-León GREFA
2013 Sustainable management of the Atlantic Forest Burgos and Cantabria Fundación Naturaleza y Hombre
2012 Bear habitat restoration Upper Sil Nature Area (León) Fundación Oso Pardo
2012 Mountain pollination Liébana district (Cantabria) FAPAS
2011 Reintroducing the osprey Odiel Salt Marshes (Huelva) Fundación Migres
2010 Thermophyle, laurel and pine forests Tenerife Canary Islands Ornithological Society
2009 Area around the Talaván Reservoir Cuatro Lugares district (Cáceres) Fundación Global Nature
2008 La Trapa Biological Reserve Andratx (Mallorca) GOB Mallorca
2008 Upper basin of the River Salobre Hoz de la Vieja (Teruel) SEO/BirdLife
2007 Restoration of seagrass beds Roquetas de Mar (Almería) Oceana
2006 Barranco del Hocino Yew Grove Riba de Saelices (Guadalajara) WWF España
2005 El Planerón Bird Reserve Belchite (Zaragoza) SEO/BirdLife
2004 Roñanzas Peat Bog Llanes (Asturias) FAPAS


As a complement to its environmental action, the foundation publishes two collections devoted to the conservation of nature: Sustainability and Natural Heritage Notebooks and Handbooks on Sustainable Development.

These publications are free and available (in Spanish) on the foundation’s website. Only a small print run is produced, and these paper copies are donated to institutions involved in environmental management.

Manual de Desarrollo Sostenible n.º 21

Amenazas en tendidos eléctricos para el águila imperial ibérica

In 2018, the foundation published the 21st Handbook on Sustainable Development, which describes the project carried out in collaboration with Fundación de Amigos del Águila Imperial, el Lince Ibérico y Espacios Naturales Privados to prevent accidents with electrical power lines, which represent a threat to the survival of the Spanish imperial eagle. Electrocution and collision with these manmade infrastructures is one of the leading causes of non-natural death for many birds. The mobile app Alerta Tendidos detects the principal blackspots for avian wildlife in Spain, so that environmental authorities and electrical companies can take steps to mitigate this risk.

Free download from the foundation's website

Environmental Indicators

Knowing the importance of corporate responsibility in the fight against climate change, the foundation measures its environmental impact each year. These figures are useful in the foundation’s constant efforts to reduce consumption, waste and emissions derived from its activity.

Consumption at Foundation HQ
Water (m3)
Water (m3) / employee
FSC-certified paper (kg)
FSC-certified paper (kg) / employee
Recycled paper (kg)
Recycled paper (kg) / employee
Electricity (kWh)
Electricity (kWh) / employee
Waste Generated at Foundation HQ
Paper and cardboard (kg)
Paper and cardboard (kg) / employee
Containers, plastics and tins (kg)
Containers, plastics and tins (kg) / employee
Toners (units)
Toners (units) / employee