Madrid's Banco Santander edged out New York's Goldman Sachs in Bloomberg's inaugural ranking of the "greenest banks" on the planet.
European banks dominated the list, taking eight of the top 10 spots. Other than Goldman, Citigroup was the only other American bank ranked among the top 10.
The rankings, which assessed "188 banks with market capitalizations of $10 billion or more in 49 countries," were based on two areas: (1) "investments in clean-energy projects from 2004 through 2010" (70 percent of a firm's score) and (2) "banks' efforts to reduce their own carbon footprints" (30 percent).
Here's the world's top 5 green banks, along with key investments and/or activities:
1. Banco Santander: "closed 40 deals already this year, 90 percent involving renewable energy"; "in its Brazilian branches, customers can leave batteries in white bins for recycling ... the bank collected 172 tons last year."
2. Goldman Sachs: "managed the $3 billion initial public offering of Enel Green Power SpA, Rome-based operator of wind, geothermal and hydropower plantsp;" and "co-led the IPO of Tesla Motors Inc., the Palo Alto, California, maker of the $109,000 all-electric Roadster."
3. UniCredit SpA: "arranged $1.4 billion of loans for wind farms, solar plants and waste-to- energy generators last year."
4. Credit Suisse: "uses renewable energy exclusively for electricity in all offices in Switzerland."
5. Citigroup: "led banks that raised $1.43 billion in loans for Caithness Energy LLC to build the 845- megawatt Shepherds Flat wind park in eastern Oregon, the world’s largest; and "arranged $1.2 billion in financing for Terra-Gen Power LLC’s Alta Wind Energy Center near Tehachapi, California."
(Bloomberg: Santander Tops Goldman as Green Bank on Deals From Cool Offices)