Felipe Martín, Alejandro Blanco and Mireia Belmonte - left to right - at a launch event for the partnership ©COE

The bank Santander has become the global partner of the Spanish Olympic Committee's (COE) sustainability strategy, with the organisations vowing to work together to reduce the carbon footprint of Spain's Olympic team.

COE President Alejandro Blanco, Felipe Martín, director of sponsorships, events and social networks for Santander Spain, and Mireia Belmonte, a four-time Olympic swimming medallist, launched the partnership at an event which coincided with Earth Day on April 22.

Santander has vowed to offset the carbon footprint created by the Spanish team travelling to Tokyo to compete in this year's Olympics as part of the deal.

It will do so through a reforestation project, and has also promised to plant a certain number of trees for every Spanish medal won at the Games.

A gold will account for 100 trees, silver for 50 and bronze for 25.

In addition, roughly 300 scholarships focused on digital, technical and transferable skills are to be offered to Spanish Olympians through the Santander Universities programme.

Santander has vowed to offset the Spanish Olympic team's Tokyo 2020 carbon footprint through reforestation ©Getty Images
Santander has vowed to offset the Spanish Olympic team's Tokyo 2020 carbon footprint through reforestation ©Getty Images

National governing bodies will also be briefed on financial support available for climate-positive initiatives, ranging from discounted loans to make sports facilities more energy-efficient to assistance in taking activities online.

President Blanco vowed that the COE and Santander will "join forces in promoting sustainable development from the social, economic and environmental aspects" now that the agreement has been reached.

That includes the new Olympic Sustainable Sports Event Seal, which will independently certify, via Bureau Veritas, the sustainability of all sporting events held in Spain, it is claimed.

For its part, the COE highlighted that it was the first National Olympic Committee to eliminate single-use plastic, gets its electricity only from renewable sources and is a signatory of the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework.

Belmonte, the reigning women's 200 metres butterfly champion, said "the environment is everyone's responsibility."