24.09.2018 | Sustainable finance
Fighting global warming and protecting biodiversity are global challenges. As a banking industry leader in sustainable finance and investment, BNP Paribas pursues a strategy of sensible development, paying close attention to its activities’ societal and environmental impacts in all regions.
In 2011, BNP Paribas Group first confirmed its aim to participate in building a sustainable future. Since then, it has made strong commitments, framing its activities around global principles and initiatives that promote low-carbon finance. This voluntary policy is built upon a strong conviction—that the global energy transition represents a hotbed of opportunities for the Group, as well as for the global economy. In line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, BNP Paribas today plans to contribute to the goal of limiting global warming to below 2°C.
Within the framework of its environmental responsibility, three central principles guide the Group’s actions:
Guiding our clients in the transition to a low-carbon economy
Reducing the environmental footprint linked to our own operations
Knowledge development and the sharing of best environmental practices
Climate change action has been a priority for BNP Paribas for several years. The Group has spearheaded several initiatives to finance infrastructure for renewable energy, invest in climate research, engage key partners, and even help its clients meet their energy efficiency objectives.
Elsewhere, the Group is collaborating with suppliers to reduce the environmental footprint of purchased products and services. For example, it uses sustainable paper, as well as supplies made from recycled materials.
To meet this objective, the Group has decided to reduce financing high-polluting activities such as:
The Group aims to finance only electricity-producing businesses whose coal-reducing strategies are at least as ambitious as those set out by their respective countries.
In 2016 and 2017, for example, the Group invested €5.5 million in equity in Heliatek, a start-up that produces organic photovoltaic films that help decarbonize electricity production in buildings.
BNP Paribas offers a range of “green” products and services, as well as tools to guarantee the control of investments.
It is already one of the global leaders in the Green Bonds market—in 2017, €5.3 billion in placements were registered and, between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, the bank was the leading co-financer in 20 green bond operations.
BNP PARIBAS OFFERS A RANGE OF “GREEN” PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, AS WELL AS TOOLS TO GUARANTEE THE CONTROL OF INVESTMENTS.
Combining high performance with positive impact, BNP Paribas Asset Management also offers a large range of green funds that are invested in alternative energies and energy efficiency. By the end of 2017, these funds totaled €5.5 billion in decarbonized pipeline products.
In 2017, BNP Paribas Asset Management measured and published the carbon imprints of more than 180 equity funds in its portfolio (compared with 100 action funds in 2016), representing €51.5 billion. This initiative responds to the challenges of the Montreal Pledge signed by both BNP Asset Management and BNP Paribas Cardif.
BNP Paribas has also aligned itself with several international events to spur action and raise awareness around environmental protection and global warming.
BNP Paribas has adopted policies that aim to protect natural ecosystems, financing activities that could impact them positively. The Group has created a list of mandatory criteria that the Group requires clients to respect in order to benefit from its financial services.
To solidify this position, BNP Paribas pays special attention to the protection of forests within the framework of its relationships with clients operating in the sectors of agriculture, palm oil, paper products and mineral extraction, which can have especially significant impacts on forest biodiversity.
To benefit from the Group’s financial services, clients in the agricultural or mining extraction sectors must implement water management policies that aim to optimize consumption and control the impacts for other uses, particularly in water stress zones. They are also asked to manage their outflows to limit pollution.
To benefit from the Group’s financial services, clients in the agricultural and palm oil sectors must implement internal policies that prohibit burning and minimize the use of phytosanitary products, which are significant atmospheric pollutants.
Globally, the Group asks its clients to minimize emissions of sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrous oxide (NOx) and fine particles (FP) in sectors such as energy and mining.
BNP Paribas supports the transition to a circular economy in three ways—it finances key stakeholders, especially those who innovate; it develops the economy of functionality through its leasing offer; and it engages in the framework of its own functioning.
BNP Paribas directly finances many circular economy stakeholders in its domestic markets, such as the French company Moulinot (specialist in the revaluation of food waste through vermicomposting) and Building Integrated Greenhouses in Belgium.
In addition, some of the Group's businesses participate directly in the circular economy. For example, BNP Paribas Real Estate has carried out some real estate projects in an economically and ecologically responsible way with the Encore Heureux architects' collective. With Arval, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions offers a leasing service based on how a good is used rather than who owns it. This optimizes the use of assets and the management of their life cycles. BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions’ Kintessia project is another example of the circular economy: as the first B2B platform for renting or selling transport, construction and agricultural equipment, Kintessia is increasing the use of previously owned equipment, along with the rate at which existing equipment is put to use. This project received a 2017 BNP Paribas Internal Innovation Award.
Lastly, BNP Paribas has adopted internal policies aimed in particular at large-scale reducing, reusing and recycling of office supplies used in its buildings. In particular it has focused on paper and IT equipment. When reaching end of life, IT equipment can be handled in such a way to ensure their reuse or their material recycling—an important and entirely possible proposition.
On September 1, 2017, BNP Paribas created the Company Engagement department, which is headed by members of the Group’s Executive Committee. This department defines and implements the corporate strategy on issues related to sustainable development around three major axes: the choice of financing carried out by the bank, the impact of activities carried out by BNP Paribas and the engagement of its employees. To do this, BNP Paribas provides ways to promote its strategy among all employees in the 73 countries where the Group is present, so that they can play an active role in carrying out this policy.
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