Banco Santander: Powerful individual agents for change in the green economy transition


The Skills for the Green Transition programme gives delegates the opportunity to explore the possibilities for participating in green practices in the workplace, and to help then reorient their skillset to focus on sustainability. The programme aims to deepen learners’ understanding of the organisational change and personal leadership skills needed for the green transition to be successful. The Skills for the Green Transition programme allows participants to join a growing network of people who are developing these skills and working together in the fight for environmental sustainability.

High rise glass buildings with green foliage growing on them.

The requirement

Equipping delegates to take action to address a global challenge

Banco Santander is a global finance brand that needs little introduction. Founded in 1857 with its headquarters in Madrid, Spain, Santander is one of the world’s largest banks, offering retail, commercial, investment and private banking services in more than 40 countries.

With a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, Santander’s transition to the green economy involves the entire workforce, demanding a new mindset and a skills evolution. The bank needed an educational partner capable of designing and delivering an ambitious, far-reaching engagement programme that would reach as many people as possible across borders and divisions. Crucially, the programme had to be robust – based on science and evidence – as well as practical, empowering participants to become immediate agents of change.

The solution

Insights transformed into action in 5 engaging modules

The Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education team proposed a modular programme that creates a shared language around green transition and sustainability issues. The 5 modules form a learning journey from defining key issues and identifying their impact to the strategic and systems change needed to tackle them. The last 2 modules are highly action-oriented: delegates prepare skills and leadership techniques that they will use to deliver a personal action plan to power Santander’s green transition.

The Cambridge Judge Business School team, led by highly experienced faculty members, deployed a rigorous and systematic end-to-end learning design and delivery process. The crucial initial discovery phase thoroughly explored Santander’s goals for this programme, so the core principles were built into every stage of the subsequent programme development – from curriculum architecture, content development, design and digital build to reporting and analysis.

To ensure rigour in the learning resources and the content, Cambridge Judge collaborated with the University of Cambridge’s leading experts in sustainability, engineering, carbon credit markets, waste and circularity, to bring deep research and industry insights from the Cambridge ecosystem to the programme.

The Santander Skills for the Green Transition programme uses videos, quizzes, forums, assignments, live webinars and knowledge checks to embed learning and encourage completion. To handle a high volume of applications, the team deployed an AI-based approach to initial contact and psychometric assessments.

The impact

Global transformation through individual change


Participants in first cohort


Hours of learning material


Course completion rate


Hours of learning delivered

Simon Learmount, Associate Professor in Corporate Governance image

The programme’s impact is truly remarkable, owing to its ability to connect with and inspire a diverse group of 1,000 future leaders across various business networks in the first cohort alone. That impact will continue to grow exponentially over the coming years as participants apply and share the knowledge they have gained.

Simon Learmount, Associate Professor in Corporate Governance

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Skills for the Green Transition Programme

The fully funded Skills for the Green Transition Scholarship Programme launched in October 2022. Embracing 3 languages, 13 countries and over 25 hours of learning material, early to mid-career delegates were invited to apply from Santander and partner organisations. From over 67,000 applicants, 1,000 were eventually selected as the initial cohort.

The programme has given me a roadmap to approach leadership from both personal and organisational perspectives, to achieve the green transition goals in my organisation. I believe I will be able to make real change immediately.

Programme delegate

92.7% of delegates reported that they were strongly satisfied with the programme, which achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 80.6. Over 12,000 hours of learning were delivered, with Santander’s highest-ever course completion rate of 75%. The programme attracted 56% female participants, supporting Santander’s inclusion and diversity goals.

A comprehensive view of how businesses, investment firms, and financial institutions perceive the risks and opportunities of climate change. As an agent of change, I cemented my understanding of how businesses, government, and society relate to the economy of transition.

Programme delegate

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Cambridge Judge Business School,
University of Cambridge,
Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1AG, UK

Tel +44 (0)1223 339700

About this site

Privacy policy



© University of Cambridge 2023