Pete Spellar, online campaigner for the Greenpeace forest campaign, said: "We wanted to combine some well-worn online campaigning tactics – social media, emails to a company, online petitions – with real-world campaigning where volunteers were visiting branches of Santander. With these tactics, along with a clear-cut motivation to take action – clear cutting of the rainforest for packaging – the well networked online environmental movement doesn’t need very much encouragement to join a mass campaign, and the level of engagement on this confirms that."
In a statement on its website, Santander said it was a responsible business with "strict policies" on the environmental impact of its loans.
"As a global bank, we have many companies working in the natural resources sector. Our parent company; Banco Santander, through its offices in Asia, has a business relationship with APRIL. In recent months, Banco Santander requested they undergo an independent audit into their environmental practices. This has been carried out by APRIL’s independent Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) and KPMG, and APRIL will put out an action plan in response to their recommendations. We will continue to monitor the company’s progress against the agreed improvements and act accordingly."
PRWeek understands that Santander will meet with Greenpeace activists later this week.