Natural capital and biodiversity
Biodiversity refers to all the plant and animal species making up the living ecosystems on earth. The erosion of this “natural capital” - the economic value of nature - poses a clear danger to us all. It also creates major systemic and transitional risks for investors, and thus for economies. To help protect biodiversity worldwide, BNP Paribas is committed to implementing dedicated policies, participating in coalitions and financing actions with a positive impact.
Restoring biodiversity, Sustainable Development Goal #15
The extinction of different species and the erosion of biodiversity hinder our progress in achieving 80% of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those related to poverty, hunger, health, water, climate, oceans and land. Biodiversity loss is therefore not only an environmental issue, but also a developmental, ethical and economic issue.
According to the most recent report of the UN Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), one million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction today.
The number of species threatened with extinction according to IPBES
In recognising that the Group has an important roles to play, both through the support it provides clients seeking to transform their practices and through work with extra-financial actors fighitng to restore nature, BNP Paribas made the decision to further strengthen its commitment to biodiversity in 2021.
Based on IPBES' studies, BNP Paribas has published a public position to clarify and structure its actions regarding the five major threats to biodiversity:
- Changes in land and sea use
- Direct exploitation of certain organisms
- Climate Change
- Invasive species
“I believe that it is essential that banks contribute to the protection of ecosystems. To do this, they have two major levers of action: on the one hand, limit banking activities that have a negative impact on biodiversity and, on the other, support activities that, on the contrary, generate a positive impact on our environment.”
Supporting the ecological transition to preserve biodiversity
As a bank, BNP Paribas also acts in favour of biodiversity by accompanying its clients in their own ecological transition and by offering sustainable financial solutions, including sustainability-linked loans or green bonds. This support helps them to achieve specific objectives in terms of protecting terrestrial and marine biodiversity. The BNP Paribas Group also invests in start-ups committed to the ecological transition.
Preserving biodiversity by 2025 in three key figures
in funding for businesses contributing to the protection of terrestrial and marine biodiversity
in funding for the maritime ecological transition
invested in start-ups committed to ecological transition
These investments with a positive impact on biodiversity come on top of several actions carried out within the Group and encouraging the integration of assessment criteria throughout all of its activities. BNP Paribas is therefore in dialogue with all its clients in sensitive countries to encourage their own commitments against deforestation. In addition, by the end of 2025, BNP Paribas will have assessed all its corporate clients on biodiversity-related criteria.
"ESG analysis traditionally focuses on carbon, but less so on the modification of bee habitats, the destruction of mangroves or the decline of fish stocks. Through our work on biodiversity data and new measures, we intend to take action and encourage the consideration of natural capital in investment decisions."
Collective action for nature preservation
Coalitions of stakeholders committed to nature
Aware that it cannot act alone against this challenge, the Group is part of various coalitions at the global and local levels, such as Entreprises pour l’Environnement (EPE), the association behind the Act4Nature initiative. EPE brings together companies, public authorities, scientists and environmental associations to develop collaborative solutions and create a collective, international movement that will protect, enhance and restore biodiversity.
In 2020, BNP Paribas took part as co-chair of an informal workgroup put in place to structure the Task Force for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). Created to complement the TCFD on climate, it aims to bring global consistency to the reporting of nature-related business risks and opportunities. The TNFD published its first beta framework on March 15, 2022, with an open innovation approach in order to improve its relevance, usage and implementation by stakeholders.
Photo credits: Wavebreak Media / RooM The Agency /Mark Edward Atkinson/Blend images /pingpao