BNP Paribas, a leader in sustainable finance
The mission of BNP Paribas, the leading bank in the European Union and one of the world leaders in sustainable finance, is clearly defined in its company purpose: “We serve our clients and the world we live in.”
Achieving this mission involves taking into account the major environmental and social challenges within the Group's strategy. The UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals now serve as a guiding force that, for several years, has led the Group to undergo a profound transformation of its activities.
BNP Paribas is thus mobilising all its resources to create the conditions for more responsible growth and to support its clients in their transition to a more sustainable economy.
This translates into strong actions and commitments in 5 key areas of sustainable finance:
Energy transition and climate action
In 2021, the Group took another important step in the energy transition, the fight against global warming and towards a more environmentally respectful economy by joining the Net Zero Banking Alliance. Created by UNEP FI, the UN Environment Finance Initiative, this alliance brings together 43 banks striving to finance a “net zero” economy by 2050, notably through strong commitments to align greenhouse gas emissions arising from their lending and investment activities with a carbon neutral objective by 2050.
Structuring our activites
This important milestone is the latest in a series of other commitments and actions taken since 2015 by BNP Paribas to limit its activities related to the most sensitive sectors and to limit global warming in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The Group's sector policies helping to limit its environmental impact also extend to several other sensitive sectors, including mining, pulp and paper, nuclear power, defence and palm oil.Click here to view all sector policies for BNP Paribas
How to align our credit portfolio with the objectives of the Paris Agreement?
To achieve this objective, the Group relies on the PACTA methodology. This open source solution, developed by BNP Paribas and 4 other major European banks that each signed the Katowice Agreement in 2018, makes it possible to align greenhouse gas emissions arising from their credit portfolios with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and thus help to finance a carbon neutral economy by 2050.
The Group supports all its clients - corporate, institutional, entrepreneurs and individuals - in their transition to a more sustainable business model.
The Group is notably the world's second largest green bond market player in 2020 according to Bloomberg, with 10.8 billion euros as joint bookrunner, and is actively participating in the expanding Sustainability Linked Loans market, with 3.8 billion euros at the end of 2020 in financing based solely on environmental criteria.
The group's specialised subsidiaries such as Arval (vehicle fleet management) and BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions have also undertaken a profound transformation of their offers in support of the ecological transition for clients, large companies and SMEs by offering hybrid and electric vehicles.
For our retail customers, BNP Paribas’ retail banking networks seek to offer individuals innovative solutions, such as applications enabling them to calculate, reduce and offset their own carbon footprint.
Supporting envrionmental initiatives
To encourage the development of renewable energies, the Group has significantly increased its financing in the sector: At the end of 2020, this amount stood at 17.8 billion euros, nearly 2.5 times the amount at the end of 2015, which was 7.2 billion euros at the time.
Additionally, the Group recently dedicated 250 million euros for its own investments in start-ups working towards major innovations in the energy and ecological transition.
SDGs, at the heart of BNP Paribas' strategy
This commitment to the development of sustainable finance is also reflected by the integration of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the Group's strategy, both in terms of its CSR policies and its commercial activities. By the end of 2022, our financing for the energy transition and towards sectors that contribute directly to the SDGs will reach 210 billion euros.
Natural capital and biodiversity
The Group's policies have structured its most sensitive activities since 2010, in particular in the area of deforestation. More recently, the Group has strengthened its actions in favour of biodiversity and natural capital.Read the BNP Paribas Position on Biodiversity
Structuring our activities
Since 2020, BNP Paribas has committed to not financing oil and gas projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Fellowship nor trading in maritime oil exports from the Amazon Sacred Headwaters in Ecuador, two areas of particular biodiversity sensitivity. Several other strong commitments have recently been made in this domain and are to be achieved by 2025:
A restrictive policy to combat deforestation, which includes providing financial products and services only to its customers that have a zero deforestation strategy and who produce or buy beef or soy from Amazonia and Cerrado in Brazil;
The assessment of all corporate customers based on biodiversity criteria.
Developping new solutions
- 3 billion euros funding target related to protecting terrestrial biodiversity
- 1 billion euros funding for ecological ship transition
- 250 million euros invested in start-ups mobilised for ecological transition
Coalitions uniting committed actors
Aware that it cannot act alone in the face of this challenge, the Group is part of various global and local coalitions such as the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, the TaskForce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the TaskForce for Natural Related Financial Disclosures (TFND), the NGO Business for the Envrionment (Enterprises pour l’Environnement, EPE) and Act4Nature.
The Group also helps raise awareness among its employees (like its internal training programme on social and environmental issues, “We Engage”) as well as the general public on these global challenges. In particular, the BNP Paribas Foundation supports research and philanthropy in these fields. The Foundation’s support brings together public authorities, scientists, other companies, NGOs and consumers so they can better understand and act against the disappearance of animal and vegetable species currently threatened with extinction.
Sustainable savings, investment and financing
Directing savings towards projects with a positive impact
Concerns about environmental and social inequalities now affect all investors—savers, future pensioners, etc.–as well as those they mandate to act on their behalf. This growing and beneficial awareness has led to the accelerated development of investment products and solutions that take into account their impacts on nature and society, while also estimating investment returns in light of these new criteria.
Developing a wider range of solutions
The BNP Paribas Group, a pioneer in this field, is continually strengthening its offerings in terms of institutional and private banking, life insurance, retirement savings, employee savings, and real estate investments.
In addition to saving offers throughout retail banking networks, the creation in May 2021 of a new Investment and Protection Services (IPS) division reflects the Group's ambition to become a leader in sustainable savings by bringing together its 4 specialised business lines: BNP Paribas Asset Management, BNP Paribas Cardif, BNP Paribas Wealth Management and BNP Paribas Real Estate. IPS additionally includes the activities of BNP Paribas Principal Investments.
BNP Paribas can offer its clients investment solutions of an ethical and responsible nature, evaluated by international non-financial criteria such as environmental, social and governance (ESG), and give them access to SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) certified funds targeting themes such as sustainable development and responsible real estate.
The circular economy
A more virtuous economic model
As an essential link in building a more sustainable economy, the circular economy aims to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources and the production of waste.
This idea fosters new models that more fully consider a product’s lifecycle, such as industrial and technological equipment. This includes recycling, use of recycled materials, extension of product life, the sharing economy, design of products that are more suitable for recycling or reuse, sale of the use of a good rather than the good itself (‘Product as service’), etc.
These models enable better management of resources, notably by giving products a second life, favouring reuse, repair, recycling, etc.
Within BNP Paribas' businesses, this commitment is reflected in equipment financing offers, support for social entrepreneurs and innovative offers.
Solutions to promote the circular economy
- BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions provides leasing solutions for businesses' professional equipment needs (IT parks, rolling machinery, etc.).
BNP Paribas 3 Step IT makes it possible to repackage and sell 97% e-technology equipment at the end of the contract to reduce the carbon footprint of corporate customers by 36%;
An index tracker fund ETF launched in 2019 on the circular economy within BNP Paribas Asset Management is a pioneering fund with assets under management of 2 million euros;
The integration of the circular economy into the 2020-2025 strategic plan for consumer credit at BNP Paribas Personal Finance.
27.3 million euros in support of 7 winners selected by ADEME and the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Relance to develop new impact contracts in favour of the circular economy.
Financial and social inclusion
The Group's solutions for financial inclusion
The Group has rolled out numerous initiatives to promote financial inclusion. For example, BNP Paribas offers innovative new banking models such as Nickel, a solution available online at Tobacconists or other designated outlets. Nickel offers a current account accessible to all, without income conditions. Since its inception, more than 2 million accounts have been opened. After joining the Spanish market in December 2020, where it plans to reach 3,000 points of sale and 700,000 customers by 2024, Nickel will export its innovative model to Portugal and Belgium in 2022.
Internationally, these efforts resulted in € 376M in support for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in 15 countries in 2020, which directly financed 28 MFIs and indirectly financed more than 100 MFIs through dedicated funds. These microloans to underprivileged populations, usually excluded from the traditional banking system, support the development of small economic projects such as female entrepreneurs in emerging countries.
Key figures: microfinance
BNP Paribas Declaration on Human Rights
In 2012, The Group published a Declaration marking its commitment to ensure respect for human rights within its sphere of influence.
Social inclusion and philanthropy
BNP Paribas also works to promote the economic, social and cultural development of disadvantaged regions, both through its support for vulnerable customers and through its corporate philanthropy programmes, such as the Projet Banlieues in France, which celebrated its 15-year anniversary in 2021. More broadly, we support social entrepreneurship with 2.2 billion euros in financing and investments at the end of 2020, in addition to structuring positive impact contracts, which totaled 30 million euros at the end of 2020.
BNP Paribas' corporate philanthropy policy in favour of culture, solidarity and the environment is also reinforced by the actions of its Foundation and its employees. The Group has therefore launched a programme aiming for an ambitious target of one million hours of volunteer work performed by its employees worldwide. The BNP Paribas Foundation also works to support initiatives supporting culture, research, solidarity with young people, and support for underprivileged populations and refugees. The Foundation also acts through the Emergency and Development Fund, which supports associations helping those in need, particularly in times of crisis or natural disaster situations.
Photo credit: photoschmidt