In a context of rapid urban growth and global warming, those active in the economy and in the political world must act together to promote economic growth that is fairer, more ecological and more respectful of human rights. BNP Paribas, reflecting its commitment to sustainable finance, took part in key international events in favour of the climate on 11-12 December 2017. The occasion for the Group to share its own current and future "climate actions" with its partners.
Banks have always accompanied and even accelerated major changes in modern life, from mechanization and domestic comforts to transportation and energy.
For BNP Paribas, a long-term partner of the energy industry, serving as a bank working towards economic development in the 21st century means taking action to accelerate the energy transition. That commitment resonates with the Paris Agreement, which notably tasked the financial sector with making financial flows compatible with low-carbon economic development.
Four pillars, three commitments
In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Group has based its CSR policy on four pillars, including environmental responsibility, which is translated into three fundamental climate commitments:
- Partnering with our clients in the transition to a low-carbon economy
- Reducing the environmental impact of our operations
- Advancing awareness and sharing best environmental practices
On an annual basis, BNP Paribas’s Executive Committee and Corporate Board monitor key performance indicators to track our progress on these commitments.
Earmarking capital for the ecological transition
To accelerate its efforts in favor of the energy transition, BNP Paribas will invest €100 million in innovative startups by 2020. The Group also plans to boost its total funding for renewable energies from €9.3 billion in 2016 to €15 billion by 2020.
To reach these goals, BNP Paribas works to direct financing and investment flows into activities that benefit the energy transition.
The Group is gradually integrating climate change into its rating methodology for the projects and companies it finances
Another strong message, which echoes its involvement in the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition and the Montreal Carbon Pledge, BNP Paribas Asset Management has committed to reducing and publishing the carbon footprint of over 100 of its managed funds. Its goal is to offer a wider range of low-carbon funds to investors
The Group is notably aiming to join the top three on the market for green bonds issued in euros before 2020.
Finally, BNP Paribas also committed to protecting forests by signing the BEI Soft Commodities Compact, and supports the implementation of a worldwide system for pricing carbon by joining the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.
In Asia, through the Tropical Landscape Finance Facility, the Group worked with the Indonesian government to set up a highly innovative platform for green loans. This is a worldwide first that can transform daily life for millions of Indonesians living in rural areas who need help the most.
Director and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas
Contributing to a better future means supporting important projects for the future. It also means putting in place strict rules so that we don’t finance activity having a negative impact on the environment, public health or human rights.
Rolling back funding for dirty energies
BNP Paribas aims to lower its greenhouse gas emissions to 2.41 teqCO₂/FTE in 2020, compared with 2.72 in 2016. The Group committed to bringing its financing and investment activities in line with the International Energy Agency (IEA) scenario, which aims to keep global warming below 2°C by the end of the century. That will require a significant reduction in fossil fuel consumption, starting with energies with the most negative environmental impact and highest greenhouse gas emissions.
To this end, the Group has notably made the following decisions:
- It will no longer do business with companies whose main activity is exploring, producing, distributing, marketing or trading oil and gas from shale and/or tar sands.
- It will not finance oil and gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic.
- It will no longer finance coal mines or coal-fired plants.
- It will terminate its financing and investing activities relating to tobacco product manufacturers, as well as producers, wholesalers and traders whose revenue comes primarily from tobacco.
Achieving carbon neutrality
BNP Paribas committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2017 in terms of the CO₂ emissions arising from its own operations. It will do so through three complementary initiatives:
- Reducing its direct CO₂ emissions (target of a 25% reduction by 2020), through an active policy of promoting energy efficiency at its buildings and datacenters, and also optimizing business travel.
- Using only low-carbon electricity in countries where it is available.
- Offsetting CO₂ emissions that cannot be directly avoided or reduced, through partnerships with benchmark organizations.
Financing climate change research
The BNP Paribas Foundation was one of the first organizations to finance climate research. Since then, it has invested €9 million in its Climate Initiative program. Its goal is to understand and anticipate the impact of climate change on our environment as well as local populations around the world.
Between 2017 and 2019, the BNP Paribas foundation will grant a budget of €6 million to the program and finance eight new international research projects.
Teaming up to take action together
To do its part in the collective effort to fight climate change, while further incentivizing positive initiatives from the private and public spheres, BNP Paribas partnered with the three major international climate events occurring at the end of the year:
- Climate Finance Day, held on December 11, 2017 in Paris, will review the initiatives taken by the financial sector in favor of climate, and discuss the strategies needed to accelerate the fight against global warming.
- Tech for Planet, on December 11, 2017: an initiative launched by the President of France to share solutions with a high technological impact, discuss challenges and promote the dynamic of start-ups, companies and major cities in open collaboration. BNP Paribas and Microsoft serve as the event’s partners.
- One Planet Summit, held on December 12, 2017, and also launched by the President of France, will focus on how companies and organizations connected to public and private finance can innovate to accelerate our common struggle against climate change.
BNP Paribas believes that being a major bank working towards economic development in the 21st century means taking action to accelerate the energy transition.