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Banco Santander, the first Spanish company to set up its own fruit and vegetable processing center

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Banco Santander has launched a food processing center to take care of the health of its professionals in the entity’s Corporate Center, the Financial City of Boadilla del Monte (Madrid). Step to the pioneer in the country in the creation of plants and special processes in the restoration of organizations.

“I am pleased that Banco Santander is the first Spanish company to set up a fruit and vegetable processing center. No other company in our country has such advanced technology (machinery and infrastructure) that allows it to serve 100% fresh food to its employees. At our headquarters in Boadilla nothing is pocketed, everything goes from the field to the table”, he commented Ana Botín, president of the Entitywho visited the facilities and saw first-hand the efficiency of this center.

The purpose of this installation is to provide coverage to the restaurants of the Financial City, in addition to the Alhambra and Montepríncipe centers. To this end, infrastructures have been adapted with cutting-edge technologies that allow raw materials to be treated, cooked and offered with the highest quality. Thanks to this, traceability can be made from the producer to the consumer. From the first hour of the morning, the team in charge begins to prepare a menu for a total of 4,600 employees. Every day, it receives between 800 and 1,000 kilos of seasonal fruits and vegetables that come directly from national producers. Already in the processing center, machines peel, wash and chop the food that is then cooked. In the future, they are committed to promoting the local economy, gradually increasing the use of zero kilometer raw materials.

The initiative is not only sustainable, with a positive impact on the healthy diet of employees, but also translates into a reduction in costs. “The idea was to buy good quality vegetables and then transform them here. This was a challenge, and we had to make a small investment in some machines to be able to process these vegetables. We have optimized processes and this is indicated in the prize at the end, since the menu prize is lower”, he explains. Juan Blasco, Executive Chef and Healthy Food Coordinator of Banco Santander.

In the future, Ana Botín wants these types of initiatives to be replicated by the entity’s clients: “we have to think about how to do this for our clients. How we help them to do what we have done in sustainability, in eating healthier and in lowering costs”.

The food processing center is one more step in the entity’s strategic initiatives in this area. One of them is the health and wellness program called Be healthy, which since 2016 seeks to promote healthy habits among the group’s professionals, since this lifestyle has important benefits in terms of commitment, generates positive energy in the work environment and allows connection with the rest of society. Among the measures adopted to guarantee a healthier diet for employees, the elimination of flavor enhancers and refined salt, the reduction of sugar, and a greater use in preparations of vegetables, legumes and cereals stand out.

In addition, this project is part of Banco Santander’s commitment to reduce the environmental footprint of its activity in all the countries where it operates. In this case, in the Corporate Center, where the work spaces are free of plastic and commitment is made to biodegradable materials, filtered water sources, etc. In addition, surplus daily food is redirected to the initiative #DinnersForAllthat distributes 100 dinners a day to vulnerable people.

The financial group leads a sustainable movement within the banking sector in Spain and has received several good practice certifications. For example, in 2019 it will be confirmed in the first financial entity on the country that received the AENOR ‘Zero Waste’ Certificate, which recognizes that at least 90% of the waste generated in the Financial City is reintroduced into the value chain. That year, 1.9 million kilos of waste were segregated in its clean point of more than 1,000 square meters. On the other hand, in 2020, all the restaurant services of the Sodexo company in Grupo Santander City acquired the Ecocook Sustainable Restaurant level 3 certification, which is known as “the Michelin Star of sustainability”, and recognizes sustainable practices and Sodexo and Santander’s commitments to people’s health and the environment.

It should be remembered that Banco Santander has been creating programs for its employees for several years, and in 2021 it created the division Health & Wellness, whose main objective is to implement policies that allow the development of a strategy focused on the health and well-being of its more than 197,000 professionals worldwide. In addition, in 2021, the specialized magazine great place to work named the Group one of “The 25 best companies in the world to work for”, and it is one of the 10 best companies to work for in six of the countries in which it operates.

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