"Green Company for employees": Reducing our impact, bringing our employees together
The “Green Company for Employees” programme was created to accelerate the reduction of BNP Paribas’ direct environmental impacts, empowering our employees. Perrine Tiret, in charge of Green Company for Employees, spoke with us about how the programme works toward this goal and contribute to a more sustainable world.
Manager, Green Company for Employees, BNP Paribas
Why create a programme dedicated to BNP Paribas’ direct impact on the environment?
BNP Paribas’ ambition is to be a leader in sustainable finance. Thus, Group’s commitments have to be consistent. With Green Company for Employees, we are aligning our concerns as an actor in the banking sector and as an employer. We are applying to ourselves internally the same principles of sustainability that we project to our external stakeholders.
This programme, sponsored by Company Engagement, which is part of our Executive Committee, applies to all employees in all countries where the Group operates. Since our first actions were launched in 2018, the employee response to Green Company for Employees has been great. It reflects the increasing awareness of citizens to the responsibility that we all have to the planet.
What have been the first efforts of Green Company for Employees?
Identifying the different domains of BNP Paribas’ direct impact was the first step; they can be summed up in three main areas:
Mobility, which covers business trips and travel between home and work for employees;
Building operations, which includes energy usage, water, waste, and biodiversity as well as supplies for our offices and cafeterias;
Usage of digital technology, by examining our devices and the way we use them.
This represents a vast array of possibilities and we had chosen to prioritize the impact of our employees involvement toward those first two issues last year: the single-use plastic ban on the one hand and promotion of sustainable mobility on the other.
And what have the results been? Have you seen these results throughout the Group?
For the first issue, the goals was to rid our workspaces and cafeterias of disposable plastics made from petrochemicals. This has taken the form of replacing plastic bottles in our cafeterias and also to take these plastic products out of office supplies available to order. Lastly, we significantly modified our promotional items in the same way and streamlined their usage.
For sustainable mobility, the main concern is convincing people to share their commutes in order to avoid single drivers, but also through access to shared vehicles on our sites. There have been several experiments in bike sharing and car sharing in France, as in Italy and Poland, for example. At the same time, again in France, we have been increasing the electric portion of our fleet of service vehicles. Lastly, we have created special offers for employees—purchasing or leasing—so that they can transition to a greener mode of transport: rebates, special loans, subsidies.
the goals was to rid our workspaces and cafeterias of disposable plastics made from petrochemicals.
Have you seen these results throughout the Group?
Even if it’s difficult to exhaustively measure the results of our efforts within a Group the size of BNP Paribas, the reduction of our direct environmental impact, if only through our projected greenhouse gas emissions, has been substantial. The objective to reduce our emissions by -25% per employee by the end of year (as compared to our reference year of 2012) was already surpassed last year.
The participation of employees and the initiatives taken by the different entities of BNP Paribas can take many different forms based on the local context, but there is still everyone’s same commitment, that we are working toward the same goal, and that can be seen everywhere.
What will be the next challenge for Green Company for Employees?
Greenhouse gas emissions due to digital usage is constantly rising overall, especially in the unprecedented context of 2020, when digital has been even more part of our daily lives.
Since digitialisation is a strategic priority for the Group, we are tackling how to successfully manage the transformation with as little negative environmental impact as possible. We have coordinated several working groups throughout 2020 to address three main related issues: measure the environmental footprint of our digital usage; identify areas within our sourcing that will allow us to reduce impacts; and lastly, make the stakes of digital sustainability as clear as possible for all our stakeholders. And the latter starts with the Group’s employees.
"there is still everyone’s same commitment, that we are working toward the same goal, and that can be seen everywhere."
Photo credti: Ikostudio, Laura