Fighting deforestation: Forest 500 Report ranks BNP Paribas as the leader among global financial institutions

Since 2014, the Forest 500 report from data-driven non-profit Global Canopy seeks to assess the world’s major companies on the strength of their commitments to fighting deforestation and preserving human rights. Following BNP Paribas’ renewed commitment to preserving biodiversity in 2021, the Forest 500 ranked the Group as the leader among the 150 major financial institutions studied.

A turning point for the ecological transition

Following numerous commitments made by governments and companies at the COP26 in 2021, the most recent Forest 500 report highlights that we may be at a turning point for the ecological transition and for protecting the world’s forests. To encourage accountability for the organisations that have already made commitments and draw attention where improvements are still needed, the Report analyzed 350 companies and 150 financial institutions for their overall, high-level approach to deforestation, as well as commodity-specific scores for policy commitments, social considerations and reporting & implementation. 

Based on these criteria, BNP Paribas ranked first out of all financial intuitions analyzed.

“Biodiversity and forests in particular are key issues for our future, and they are closely linked to the climate. BNP Paribas has been one of the first banks to commit to making progress regarding deforestation and we have been very involved in the implementation of the TNFD, which will help orient financial flows toward activities that are more respectful of nature,” said Antoine Sire, Head of Company Engagement. Even though the Global Canopy report has recognized this work, it also shows us to what extent there is still much to do, both within our own Group and within the whole of the financial sector.” 

“Biodiversity and forests in particular are key issues for our future, and they are closely linked to the climate. "

More transparency, more accountability

The Group’s standing reflects the major commitments to preserving biodiversity made over the course of 2021 including: 

  • A new restrictive policy to fight deforestation in Amazonia and Cerrado 
  • A commitment of €3 billion in financing to protect terrestrial biodiversity 
  • A commitment of €250 million  invested by the Group in start-ups mobilised for the ecological transition 
  • Renewed commitments to research and public awareness initiatives focused on the pressures facing the planet’s natural capital. 

In addition, BNP Paribas has played an active role since 2020 in the launch of the Task Force for Nature-Related Financial Disclosures. This major endeavor, also supported by Global Canopy, seeks to bring together policy makers, NGOs, and financial institutions to build a common framework for financial institutions to report on nature-related risks and opportunities and to shift global financing towards nature-positive solutions. 

“Reports like the Forest 500 are an important reminder that commitments to nature vary greatly among different institutions and that, collectively, we need to do much more to preserve and restore biodiversity and fight deforestation,” says Sébastien Soleille, Head of Energy Transition and the Environment, who represents BNP Paribas on the TNFD alongside Deputy Task-Force Member Robert-Alexandre Poujade, ESG Analyst BNP Paribas Asset Management. “The work of the TNFD is important for putting in place global standards for transparency and accountability when it comes to biodiversity, and it is only by working together that we will continue to improve and build a more sustainable economy for everyone.”

"it is only by working together that we will  build a more sustainable economy for everyone.”

Photo credi: © Eloisa Ramos/Westend61

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