A collaboration with ADEME to get more out of energy performance certificates

  • 25.11.2021

Did you know that home loans for individuals indirectly generate greenhouse gases? To ensure that BNP Paribas meets its climate commitments, our CSR team has worked with the French Ecological Transition Agency (ADEME) to optimise the use of the database gathering energy performance certificates (EPCs) of properties sold or leased in France. The experts explain how, together, ADEME and BNP Paribas are working toward an open source solution enabling all players to take action on climate change.

A national, open database

Since 2013, any energy performance certificate (EPC) carried out within a mandatory framework - for example during the sale of an apartment - must be forwarded to the dedicated monitoring centre for integration into its database. “The ADEME website was completely revamped this year, in particular to comply with the new EPC, which was applicable since July 1st,” explains Romuald Caumont, Project Manager of the Sustainable Cities and Territories Directorate at ADEME.Accessible to all, this database allows French State and local authorities to draw up an energy assessment of dwellings by territory, and individuals can use it to find out more. But why would that be of interest to banks? 

“ this collective approach bringing together transversal expertise guarantees that it is objectivity, that it is fair for all actors, and that it is scientifically neutral. ”

Romuald Caumont

Project Manager of the Sustainable Cities and Territories Directorate at ADEME

A collaboration to limit global warming

“The ADEME database allows us to have a granular calculation of the average climate performance of our real estate loan portfolio for individuals,” says Imène Ben Rejeb Mzah, Head of Methodology and Data within the CSR Department of BNP Paribas. By providing us with extra financial data, such as the carbon footprint of the financed properties, it allows the Bank to identify priority actions towards achieving its Net Zero objectives within the residential real estate sector.”

 For ADEME, there are two major incentives for working with banks on improving the EPC database. “It's up to us to collect technical feedback so that we can optimise the database for usage by other players, and ultimately make it as useful as possible,” explains Romuald. “Moreover, this collective approach bringing together transversal expertise guarantees that it is objectivity, that it is fair for all actors, and that it is scientifically neutral.” 

    In order to enable the sector as a whole to make the best use of this base, the members of the French Banking Federation (FBF) co-drafted a methodological document, which is also available with open access (in French). “This collaboration improves the accuracy of climate performance measures for banks' portfolios,” says Ben Rejeb Mzah. 

    To limit global warming, the pooling of efforts to process and interpret data is very important. By providing a common basis for French investors, we are promoting the convergence of our decarbonisation efforts and thus the achievement of the objectives of the National Low Carbon Strategy.”

    This collaboration improves the accuracy of climate performance measures for banks' portfolios.

    Since 1 July 2021, the new EPC in France has become legally binding, thus increasing its impact. In concrete terms, this means that it now has the same legal value as other technical real estate diagnostics. The calculation method and document format have also been reviewed in order to make the EPC even more reliable and readable. 

    the database allows the Bank to identify priority actions towards Net Zero

    Multi-faceted work for BNP Paribas 

    The Bank uses the data from the EPC database in several very concrete ways: “We identify the most energy intensive properties in order to carry out targeted transition actions, such as financing energy renovation works to maximise the impact on the real economy,” says Ben Rejeb Mzah. The data can also be used to improve the accuracy of financial risk measures performed in climate scenario analyses. “Lastly, we are using our machine learning algorithms to predict missing energy performances within the ADEME database,” explains Imène. A complete approach towards an ever more detailed set of data.

    “we are using our machine learning algorithms to predict missing energy performances within the ADEME database.”

    Imène Ben Rejeb Mzah, 

    Head of Methodology and Data within the CSR Department 

    Phot credit : ©Maya Claussen/Westend61, Westend61,

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