ShareAction, driving responsibility
As part of their commitment to building the movement for responsible investment and fostering better practices for the environment and people’s lives, ShareAction launched an extensive survey of the 20 largest European banks late last year. The questionnaire took into account all of the Bank’s activities worldwide, evaluating the Group based on four main topics:
- Climate-related risks assessment and management;
- Low-carbon products and services;
- Public policy engagement and collaboration with other actors;
- Governance, strategy and implementation.
ShareAction’s study provides practical value for the financial community through an in-depth assessment of European banks’ strategies to address climate change and adapted recommendations. With their findings, ShareAction also provides a comprehensive benchmark of European banks, which contains valuable information for policymakers, retail customers and investors.
An example in sustainability, today and into tomorrow
BNP Paribas earns the highest overall score in this benchmark, with a score of 63.2% against an average of 39.9% for all banks studied, and thus positions itself as the European bank leader in 2020.
The Group notably obtains excellent results in two areas: its engagement and collaboration with stakeholders on climate-related issues, and the inclusion of climate-related issues within its governance and strategy.
ShareAction’s recognition confirms the relevance and the efficiency of the strategic choices made by BNP Paribas in the recent years, as they place the Group in a leading position in terms of climate strategy.
And BNP Paribas indeed pursues its current efforts to accelerate the energy transition and improve the management of climate-related risks, while also developing innovative products and services to further accelerate the energy transition. As an example, the Group’s financing towards the renewable energy sector has increased by 70% between 2016 and 2019. BNP Paribas further aims at reaching an objective of 18 Billion € in financing to companies in the renewable energy sector by 2021, and at providing 100 Million € of investments in Green-tech start-ups by the end of 2020.
ShareAction’s recognition confirms the relevance and the efficiency of the strategic choices made by BNP Paribas.
“NGO ShareAction ranked BNP Paribas first European bank on the scale of best practices for the climate for the second time. This is a strong recognition of the efforts made by BNP Paribas. It is the result of work by all teams around the world to accelerate the energy transition and strengthen the management of climate-related risks. I am grateful for their commitment and I extend my sincere thanks to them.
We, all banks, need to accelerate change to adopt strong climate strategies.”
Leading Practices in the energy transition and more
Several initiatives from BNP Paribas were also credited directly by ShareAction in the study as “Leading Practice Examples,” including:
- An unconventional oil and gas policy with BNP Paribas being the only bank to apply project finance and general corporate finance exclusions to all types of unconventional oil and gas;
- Delivery of adaptation finance including work with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to deliver the world’s first climate resilience bond;
- Stakeholder dialogue including a materiality matrix mapping key issues identified by stakeholders.
In addition to these efforts specifically geared towards the energy transition, the Group has also set itself wider goals in terms of corporate social responsibility. Among others, BNP Paribas has a wide-reaching strategy in-line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, allowing the Group to foster volunteering, philanthropy, gender and diversity policies, and additional sustainable finance solutions for companies and individuals. As part of this strategy, BNP Paribas has recently signed the UN Principles for Responsible Banking – aiming at embedding the best practices in terms of corporate responsibility within the banking sector – and adopted a Company Purpose.
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