The bank for a changing world

How the Group BNP Paribas is developing positive impact finance

  • 25.05.2018

From May 24 to 26, 2018, BNP Paribas will be attending the Viva Technology fair under the banner of positive impact finance. The Group will present a wide range of solutions for positive impact finance and lend its support to initiatives with a high social, economic and environmental impact.

What is positive impact finance?  

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it is a form of finance that “serves to deliver a positive contribution to one or more of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social) once any potential negative impacts to any of the pillars have been duly identified and mitigated”.

Intended for financial institutions and investors, these principles outline a common framework for financing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to end poverty by 2030 while protecting the planet. 

BNP Paribas has committed to doing its part in this collective effort. The Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy enables it to contribute to building a sustainable future, while ensuring its performance and stability.

At VivaTech, discover all forms of positive impact

At VivaTech, the Group will present ten positive impact projects developed with startups in three key areas of sustainable development. 

Energy transition

Solar Impulse

BNP Paribas is a partner of this Swiss foundation that aims to promote the energy transition with 1,000 efficient and profitable solutions.

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Heliatek

a startup that produces organic photovoltaic films, which help to decarbonize building electricity production. In 2016 and 2017, BNP Paribas invested €5.5M in equity in Heliatek.

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Social entrepreneurship

Simplon

a company offering free and degree-awarding digital training programs to help marginalized groups, such as young people, refugees and people with disabilities, to reintegrate the workforce. In particular, BNP Paribas offers Simplon graduates professionalization contracts within its teams.  

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Phénix

a startup that helps businesses reduce waste through recycling via a digital platform showing supply and demand for unsold goods in real time.

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Techfugees

dedicated to helping refugees worldwide, this civic initiative organizes hackathons and events to produce innovative technological solutions in the areas of health, education, social and economic inclusion, etc. 

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Game of Good

an online video platform that helps gamers access goods they cannot buy while generating value for solidarity initiatives. Web users simply watch ads and videos featuring social entrepreneurs worldwide. In return, they receive game tickets they can exchange for goods and good tickets they can donate to solidarity projects, all paid for by ads. Game of Good aims to donate 51% of its revenue to social initiatives.

Sustainable finance 

BNP Paribas Aqua

An investment fund dedicated to the water industry launched by the Group. Composed of international stocks, it invests in companies active all along the value chain, including water infrastructure, treatment and purification, municipal services, etc.

Green Bonds by BNP Paribas

the Group has organized its own green bonds with a view to help finance projects to combat climate change in fields like renewable energies, energy efficiency, recycling and more.

Positive impact: a fundamental part of BNP Paribas’s activities 

As a developer of sustainable financial products and a partner of social entrepreneurs worldwide, BNP Paribas has made positive banking a key focus of its long-term growth strategy. 

Positive impact financing and investment constitute the first commitment in the Economic Responsibility pillar of the Group’s CSR policy. BNP Paribas is committed to supporting the economy in an ethical way, in particular by rolling out a system to combine “innovation” and “positive impact”. Its recent achievements include:

  1. The Social Impact Contract or Social Impact Bond is a new financial tool designed to have a positive impact on society. BNP Paribas developed expertise in these contracts that enable private investors to finance programs generating social innovation and savings for the French government. The Group is now the leading player in developing social impact contracts in France, with its market share exceeding 50%.
  2. Measuring economic impact: In 2016, the Group decided to carry out a pilot study to quantify the contribution of bank loans to the French economy. The results showed that €50 billion of loans issued to 46,000 companies financed by the French Banking network, particularly through investment loans, helped to maintain or create 820,000 jobs in France, equivalent to about 5% of retail jobs. In 2017, a similar study was carried out in Côte d’Ivoire. 

BNP Paribas launches “Act for Impact”, a new brand to support social entrepreneurs 

Having worked alongside social entrepreneurs for 25 years, the Group now offers special banking support to facilitate their access to bank loans and expertise. 

The new “Act for Impact” brand is made up of 3 sections: unrestricted access to products and services from BNP Paribas, access to a network of key partners including over 80 Social Entrepreneur Account Managers to provide tailored support and an adapted credit policy, taking into account the atypical credit risk and social impact analysis of these projects. 

In this way, BNP Paribas intends to contribute to the new national momentum driving the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE), announced by the French government in 2018. The SSE brings together a number of organizations that seek to reconcile social utility, solidarity, economic performance and democratic governance with the aim of creating jobs and developing greater social cohesion.

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