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Dialogue with Stakeholders: BNP Paribas takes action with Comité 21

  • 03.08.2016

At the end of 2015, BNP Paribas ratified the 7 Guiding Principles for constructive dialogue with stakeholders, initiated by Comité 21. These principles echo the Group’s own CSR commitments.

A dialogue inseparable from the CSR process

Dialogue with stakeholders is an integral part of any company’s CSR process, which includes social, societal, economic and environmental responsibilities, which rely on two fundamental conditions:

  1. Involving stakeholders in the process
  2. Accounting for the impact of the company’s activities on stakeholders

In practice, companies cannot reasonably fulfill their societal responsibility without ensuring that their suppliers follow the same code of conduct. For example, a manufacturing company cannot live up to its CSR process without verifying that its raw material suppliers respect human rights and minimize their environmental impact. 

The 7 principles of productive dialogue

For a company to carry out a truly effective CSR process, it must forge a dialogue with its stakeholders. Comité 21* has defined the following principles for engaging in quality, constructive and productive dialogue:

  1. Secure the resources needed to change
  2. Account for interests that are different or divergent
  3. Commit to selecting appropriate stakeholders and challenges
  4. Involve all stakeholders by appointing an external or internal facilitator 
  5. Respect the values of dialogue 
  6. Develop a long-term and lasting process
  7. Report the results of the process to everyone involved

What is Comité 21?

Arising out of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Comité 21 is a network of various players committed to implementing sustainable development in France, within organizations and throughout regions. It favors dialogue between all parties while also supporting the development of responsible processes as well as producing studies and forecasts.

BNP Paribas, a signatory of the principles 

At the end of 2015, BNP Paribas ratified the Guiding principles for constructive dialogue with stakeholders, demonstrating its commitment to promoting quality dialogue procedures connected to its societal responsibility.

The signature  strengthened the Group’s commitment to respecting the seven principles. “It is essential that we understand the challenges our stakeholders are facing so that we can integrate them into our decisions. In this way, signing the principles pursues our continuous improvement process at BNP Paribas,” underlined Emmanuelle Bru, Head of Stakeholder Dialogue at Group CSR Function. 

It is essential that we understand the challenges our stakeholders are facing so that we can integrate them into our decisions.

The Group’s CSR commitments at a glance

Each of these principles recalls one or several of the 12 commitments from the Group’s own CSR approach, which is organised around four pillars: Economic Responsibility, Social Responsibility, Civic Responsibility and Environmental Responsibility. The Comité 21 principles further emphasize the notions of long-term commitment and continuous improvement. Both concepts are incredibly important to BNP Paribas and directly relate to our CSR policy.