06. Dec 2010

Brazilian style efficiency
Santander Bank Headquarters in São Paulo/BR

Text: Andréa Espirito Santo
Photos: Rubens Campo

Any company deciding to broaden its operations into new markets is bound to face a number of challenges, especially those of a cultural nature. A transnational head office can serve to integrate company employees and the company itself into the society, thus efficiently reinforcing corporate identity – even better when that identity is related to maintaining good practices such as sustainability.

The expansionist philosophy of the Santander Group, a financial institution based in the northern Spanish city after which it is named, is a reflection of the pioneering drive of the Spanish people. Established in 1857, with its activities authorised by a royal decree signed by Queen Isabel II, the bank was immediately involved in international transactions, initially linked to trade between Santander port and Latin America. Nowadays, its strategies have helped steer it clear of the major damage caused by the global economic crisis, making it the world’s fourth largest bank in terms of profit. So what role does good lighting play in the success of a well established bank or company in today’s business world? Every commercial enterprise wants high productivity and low costs, because that way they can save money and invest in their strategies. Today the elements that contribute towards realising high efficiency strategies and cost-saving programmes are often directly related to the buildings they occupy and the manufacturing or working processes employed there. The involvement of a professional lighting designer in a building project can assure long-term cost-savings in terms of applied equipment and provide a pleasing, human-oriented result. A professional lighting designer will avoid over-lighting, improve reflectance values and/or integrate daylight. Santander is the third largest private bank in Brazil, with over nine million customers. Their largest corporate office is in São Paulo, the financial centre of Latin America. The office tower has 28 floors and accommodates 8,000 employees. In 2007 the Santander group bought out ABN Amro and, as a consequence, the highly valued Banco Real. As well as giving prestige to its largest market outside Spain, Santander transformed the building into a symbol of a solid corporate identity based on the principles of sustainability and support for cultural projects. This was a strategy previously followed by Banco Real and upheld by Santander’s expansionist approach. […]
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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 74

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