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The Blue Economy: BNP Paribas commits to protecting the oceans

  • 08.06.2020

In order to promote a model of economic growth that is more respectful of the envrionment, BNP Paribas supports its clients, and more widely, the economic actors throughout all its business lines in their ecological transition. For that reason, the preservation of the oceans has now become essential and the focus of several actions led by the Group. To celebrate World Oceans Day this 8th of June, we take a look at a major concern for the Group.

A critical issue for the Economy and the climate


The protection of the oceans cannot – and should not – be considered a secondary priority for the main drivers of the global economy. It’s not just a large portion of global economic resources that depend on the ocean’s good health, but the whole planet’s natural balance and climate. However, pollution and overfishing are threatening this health.


Millions of jobs around the maritime world and countless populations depend on a responsible, sustainable and ethical usage of this ecosystem. Maritime transport accounts for 80% of goods exchanged globally, representing a cornerstone of the global economy. Without the ocean, our economy would simply not exist. Covering more than 70% of the world’s surface, the blue waters of the globe have a major role to play in regulating the climate and represent a massive reserve of biodiversity.


For businesses, this means that protecting the oceans is a critical issue that should lead to concrete actions. It is fundamental for the Group to act in favor of the blue economy. Which means promoting a system of production and consummation resting on a sustainable maritime economy capable of supporting good economic health for populations and assuring the preservation of the maritime ecosystem.


Protection at the heart of our businesses


We have already made the oceans’ protection a primary action for our business. BNP Paribas has reinforced its CSR commitment to the UN’s 14th Sustainable Development Goal: “Aquatic life”. The priority of this commitment is to act responsibly when financing activities that have an impact on the oceans and to support the companies that are innovating in order to protect them. To achieve this we support clients, start-ups and stakeholders in the four primary sectors offering new solutions.

The four sectors that primarily concern the blue economy are:


·      Maritime transportation

·      Fishing and aquaculture

·      Deep-sea mining for natural resources and renewable marine energy

·      Land-based activities have strong ties to the ocean.


In particular, we are helping our longtime clients in their ecological transformation. 1 billion euros will be dedicated to the cause (LNG, hydrogen, wind) between now and 2025.


This support is particularly aimed at innovative start-ups through internal incubators and accelerators like WAI (We Are Innovation) as well as external organisations like the Sustainable Ocean Alliance. BNP Paribas has supported new companies like Agriloops (sustainable aquaponics), Geocorail (coastline protection), and Lactips (biodegradable, water-soluble plastic).


Practices favoring the oceans also extends of course to our interactions with stakeholders, including NGOs, clients, and other financial actors. BNP Paribas has ratified the Poseidon Principles, the first global framework for responsible ship finance, and participated in the creation of the Green Marine Europe stamp with the Surfrider Foundation Europe, which allows for voluntary environmental certification of ship fleets.


A commitment for everyone within the Group!


As with all subjects of environmental protection, a great effort has also been led to raise awareness and volunteer. The BNP Paribas foundation has formed strategic partnerships (such as with Coral Guardian, which works to protect coral reefs, or the collaboration that led to the creation of Corals Matter) and by supporting numerous research projects focusing on interactions between climate and biodiversity. Since 2010, eight research projects on ocean preservation and biodiversity have been supported with a budget of 5.63 million euros and the subject has been shared with 400,000 people.


Since the beginning of this year, the Group has also launched Act for Ocean. This program, led in partnership with funding from Pure Ocean will support innovation for marine biodiversity and raising interest in this critical subject. You can learn more about Pure Ocean with the video below:

And you? Where can you start to help protect the oceans? If you want to learn more, watch the film A Plastic Ocean, which will be available to watch free of charge for 24 hours in celebration of World Ocean Day on June 8,  and see an interview with the film's director, BNP Paribas Sustainability Partner, Craig Leeson below: 

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