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Energy efficiency: BNP Paribas' 3 levers to reduce the energy consumption of our buildings

The French government has set the course for its energy efficiency plan: reducing energy consumption by 10% by 2024. BNP Paribas, a signatory of the RTE (Réseau de Transport d'Electricité) EcoWatt charter, intends to achieve this goal implementing an energy savings plan for its building stock. The plan is divided into 3 levers, involving Business Lines, employees and “IMEX”, the Group's “Property Management” function. Overview.

BNP Paribas is implementing a plan to reduce the carbon footprint of its real estate portfolio since 2012

Between 2012 and 2019, the Group reduced its CO2 emissions per employee by 27%.This approach is now integrated into the Green Buildings program. 

Several factors require us to step up the pace of deployment of our actions:

  • A regulatory framework towards carbon neutrality (Elan law) 
  • A geopolitical context that is disrupting the energy market
  • Evolution of energy costs

This program is consistent with the government's target of reducing the overall energy consumption of our buildings by 10% by the end of 2024, compared to 2019. 

The program is tracked using an energy monitoring tool, which centralises energy consumption data for 90% of our building portfolio. The tool also enables us to monitor optimisation plans on our sites.

Lever 1: ongoing improvement of energy performance

To improve the energy performance of BNP Paribas buildings and branches, IMEX (Group's “Property Management” function) teams carry out technical visits and monitor the performance of all equipment (air conditioning, lighting, etc.). Adjustments, fine-tuning or even optimisations are then implemented and monitored via our monitoring energy tool.

Lever 2: works and investment plans 

Besides adjustments and settings, IMEX teams invest to modernise and improve the efficiency of equipment (heat pumps, LED lighting, façade isolation, roof repairs, etc.). 

These improvements are decided after a site-by-site diagnostics. Just to remember, the ELAN law programme aims to reduce energy consumption by 40% in 2030 for sites larger than 1,000 sqm.

Lever 3: joint decisions with every Business Lines

Energy savings can have a direct impact on the performance of our Business Lines. 

For bank branches, which receive the public and are also vehicles for advertising, Banque Commerciale En France (French Retail Banking) and IMEX have defined the most appropriate time to switch off outdoor signs, window displays and lighting in secure technical areas (while maintaining the right level of safety). Similar measures are being implemented in our retail networks in Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and Turkey, as well as in our office building stock outside France.

In our retail network in France, the following measures have been decided as a result of our energy efficiency plan and signature of the EcoWatt charter:

  1. Outdoor signs switched off between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.
  2. Displays on building facades switched off between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m
  3. Lighting in “Self-Service Areas” switched off from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m
  4. All interior lighting switched off at the end of the day 
  5. During the day, switching off lighting in unoccupied spaces
  6. Stopping the use of warm air curtains in branches, when possible without affecting the welcome of clients and the working conditions of staff

Measures taken in office buildings include:

  1. Lighting automatically switched off on office open-plan floors from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. 
  2. Lit signs on our office buildings switched off day and night 
  3. Limiting non-essential light displays, including screens in lobbies and on landing
BNP Paribas IT department (IT GROUP) and IMEX are also discussing temperature management in data centres. Tests to gradually increase the temperature (and thus save energy by limiting air conditioning) while ensuring business continuity as a main priority are underway.

Finally, energy savings result from a collective effort. Employees’ behaviour have a direct impact on a day to day basis.

Like government recommendations for individual households, IMEX is changing the set temperatures in buildings (in France and abroad) and agencies, according to current regulations: 
Winter comfortable room temperature, 19°C 
Summer comfortable room temperature, 26°C

Back-up equipment (electric heaters, mobile air conditioners, etc.) will also have to be limited or even eliminated (except in the event of a breakdown, when the temperature recorded is below 19°C or above 26°C).

Interior lighting in office spaces comes on automatically when occupants are present and goes off when they leave. Discussions are underway to calibrate the time slots as closely as possible to the uses of each building. Employees will be able to turn the lights back on at the touch of a button. 

Why can you see the lights on some floors at night?

Security staff make rounds every night, to ensure the safety of our buildings. The automatic lighting is then activated for at least 30 minutes. A switch to torch lighting is currently being studied to reduce energy consumption. Besides, the individual white lights at the workstations must be switched off by each employee, as general switching off is not possible. 

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