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Banking: Botín’s shelf-awareness

Lights, camera, reaction: Santander chairman Ana Botín opens up on TV.

Any journalist knows how hard it is to get Ana Botín to open up about her relationship with her father Emilio, her predecessor as chairman of Santander Group.

So, it came as something of a surprise when she did just that on Spanish TV show Planeta Calleja in January.

Botín joined adventurer and TV presenter Jesús Calleja – think Bear Grylls, with more grey hair and less of a kill-what-you-eat attitude – on a trip to southern Greenland, and its Qaleraliq glacier, to see first-hand the effects of climate change on one of the oldest ice-shelfs on the planet.

What made me most angry was in meetings where my boss, who was my father, told me to shut up - Ana Botín, Santander

“Seeing for myself the ice sheet melting and crashing into the sea was a sobering experience, which brought home the responsibility we all have to act,” Botín said in a LinkedIn post when the show aired on January 8.

Botín has certainly put her money where her mouth is since the trip to Greenland in August. In December, during the COP25 UN climate change summit in Madrid, she committed to making Santander carbon neutral by the end of 2020.

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