• Sustainable finance

How BNP Paribas supports clients’ energy efficiency plans

Fighting climate change and its dramatic consequences for the environment concerns all: governments, institutions, businesses and individuals. The effort involves an in-depth transformation both of production methods to greatly reduce the use of natural resources, and of consumption patterns to significantly limit our reliance on energy.

BNP Paribas is fully aware of these challenges that are at the heart of its strategic priorities. To this end, the Group has been pursuing and stepping up its efforts towards energy efficiency and sobriety.  Over several years now a proactive approach to this issue has been adopted by renovating and modernising its office and branch buildings, limiting its consumption of lighting, heating and air conditioning, and encouraging employees to adopt a virtuous attitude on a daily basis. Furthermore, the Bank has developed a wide range of solutions to help its corporate, professional and individual customers optimise or reduce the energy requirements of their business activities and daily lives.

Helping corporate clients implement their energy efficiency plans

As a bank for businesses around the world, BNP Paribas aims to support them in their development towards sustainable growth. Helping them to save energy is clearly an integral part of this.

Developing green loans and bonds

 In the United States, BNP Paribas CIB acted as lead arranger, bookrunner and coordinator of a green loan for Vicinity Energy, a leading US operator of district energy systems. District Energy systems use a centralised distribution facility instead of individual heating and cooling plants, significantly reducing energy consumption across local neighborhoods and campuses while limiting carbon emissions. Funds from the green loan will allow Vicinity to support renewable energy projects in line with the EU taxonomy guidelines.

BNP Paribas has also partnered with the Bank of China, to issue a $500 million green bond to finance projects related to energy efficiency and sobriety. Among the projects to be developed in China is a 31 km metro line with zero direct CO2 emissions. It  will transport 350,000 people a day, thus saving 26,000 tons of coal and 56,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.

Promoting solutions stemming from CleanTech and GreenTech startups

Through BNP Paribas Principal Investments, in 2018 the Bank acquired a stake in the French startup Metron, a CleanTech expert in energy efficiency and business performance improvement. In November 2022, BNP Paribas CIB extended this collaboration by signing a partnership to offer 100 companies, operating industrial sites across Europe, access to Metron's digital platform. Thanks to this innovative tool based on artificial intelligence, the sites will be able to measure, compare and optimise their energy consumption. The goal is to achieve substantial energy savings while reducing CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons after two years, or between 5% and 20% of each site's emissions, depending on its sector of activity.

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, the European leader in the financing and leasing of professional equipment, enabling its clients to acquire modern, more efficient, less polluting and less energy-consuming equipment. For businesses and local authorities, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions finances, for example, intelligent indoor and outdoor lighting solutions developed by GreenTechs, which combine LED technology with presence detectors to minimize energy consumption. For its industrial clients, the assets financed may be “speed dimmers” that optimise motor or pump efficiency generating electricity savings of 30 to 50%.

Reducing energy consumption in buildings

Office property is a major source of energy consumption - estimated in France by a recent study by the Observatoire de l'Immobilier Durable (Sustainable real estate observatory) at 160 kilowatt hours per square meter per year - which represents a significant portion of companies' expenses. In November 2022, BNP Paribas Real Estate, France's leading commercial real estate developer and a reference in Europe, signed the Ecowatt charter developed by the French electricity transmission network (RTE) and the French Agency for Ecological Transition (Ademe), a charter encouraging responsible energy consumption. The company also has and has made strong low-carbon commitments on both the carbon emissions related to its operation and those related to the buildings it builds, renovates and manages. For the construction of its customers' head offices and office buildings, this year the aim is to achieve savings of at least 30% higher than the regulations in force on at least 80% of the surface area of the operations concerned. 

For buildings already under management or administration, BNP Paribas Real Estate is committed to implementing optimisation solutions to gradually but significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. This includes collecting and auditing building consumption data, training and raising awareness among owners and tenants, and managing energy efficiency initiatives.

In Poland, BNP Paribas Bank Polska, in collaboration with CIB's teams in South Korea, granted a EUR 70 million "green real estate" loan to South Korean developer GS E&C for the construction of goods warehouses that meet the highest energy-saving standards. The project has received BREEAM "excellent CSR" certification, a distinction awarded to less than 10% of buildings.

Moving towards sober and sustainable professional mobility

Another area of concern for companies is reducing the fossil fuel consumption  of their vehicle fleets. Arval, a BNP Paribas subsidiary specialising in fleet management and sustainable mobility solutions, currently leases more than 1.5 million vehicles and plans to finance a fleet of 700,000 electrified vehicles by 2025. 

Furthermore, several initiatives have been launched to make mobility more energy-efficient. With the Arval Mobility App(Opens in a new tab), corporate customers can define the priority means of travel for each of their drivers (bicycle, public transport, car-sharing, etc.) so as to adopt the concept of eco-mobility : moving around intelligently and in a variety of ways while emitting as little CO2 as possible.  And when the car remains the best solution, Arval has developed an eco-driving training programme that gives drivers the keys to reducing their fuel consumption and adopting a responsible driving style.

For commercial vehicles, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions operates through Truck Rental Solutions a fleet of vehicle that are 2.5 times newer than the fleet currently on the roads and consume less fuel. The Energy Transition program provides a practical way of transforming fleets by using specially developed digital tools to detect fuel savings opportunities and identify fleets of trucks that could be converted to electric power.

Working with individual clients in their efforts to save energy 

Housing, a major energy consumer

In France, buildings account for nearly half of all energy consumed. According to the ADEME, two-thirds of this energy consumption comes from housing, which all too often suffers from inadequate insulation or an unsuitable heating system in older homes.  On the other hand, the most recent housing often benefits from very good energy performance. Thus, 100% of residential buildings constructed by BNP Paribas Real Estate are certified and labelled with compliance checks issued by an independent body. A guarantee for their occupants of compliance with the regulations in force (thermal, acoustic) and a controlled energy consumption.

At home, if the eco-gestures that contribute to reducing day-to-day energy expenses such as  heating less in winter,  using less air conditioning in summer or optimsing the use of electrical appliances are within everyone's reach, the Bank has a key role to play in helping its customers maintain and renovate their homes, by providing advice and financing offers that are best adapted to their needs.

Advice, services and loans for a more energy-efficient home

In Belgium, BNP Paribas Fortis has launched the Energy Loan, a loan for home renovation that entitles the borrower to a subsidized rate if at least 75% of the work is aimed at saving energy, for example by installing a new boiler, a heat pump or solar panels.

In Italy, BNL customers have access to offers developed with external partners specialising in energy efficiency. With Plénitude, they can benefit from preferential rates to acquire low-energy boilers and heat pumps. Another example is Puma Security, a remote home-monitoring service that incorporates an innovative energy consumption monitoring and management system. Thanks to a mobile application, each user can monitor their energy and electrical power usage, as well as how much electricity household appliances are using in real-time.

In France, BNP Paribas established a partnership with the company Economie d'Energie SAS, an expert in energy renovation, to help its customers with their renovation projects. Whether they are changing their heating system, insulating their house or apartment, or switching to solar energy, Mon Projet Rénovation (my renovation project) allows homeowners to prioritise their renovation projects thanks to an energy audit and an estimate of associated costs. They can then check for eligibility and conditionsto receive financial aid from the government and energy suppliers for the work, and identify the best financing solution with the Bank.

Lastly, in Poland, where, as part of the “Private Finance for Energy Efficiency programme” of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, BNP Paribas Bank Polska has supported the energy efficiency investment projects of 24,000 beneficiaries resulting in cumulative annual energy savings of more than 33,000 megawatts. And a new agreement related to this program has recently been signed to continue these efforts.

Experts in the field, for all budgets

BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Europe's leading personal finance company, offers its customers, particularly those on low incomes, preferential rates for financing energy-efficient home improvements. In partnership with EDF (Electricité de France, France’s main electricity provider), BNP Paribas Personal Finance created Domofinance in 2003, the only banking institution exclusively dedicated to energy renovation and home improvement projects. By 2021, Domofinance had financed more than €500 million in energy renovation projects. One of its flagship products, the "Coup de pouce pompe à chaleur" ("Push for heat pumps") offer, makes it possible to replace a carbon-based heating system using sources such as coal, oil or inefficient gas boilers with a heat pump. This significantly reduces CO2 emissions - between 70% and 90% depending on the technology replaced - but also optimises energy performance. In 2021, over 13,000 households had subscribed to the offer, a third of which were low-income households where controlling energy costs is a priority.

The transition to a low-carbon economy to reach net zero by 2050 requires the simultaneous activation of multiple levers. For businesses and individuals alike, this means reducing energy consumption and increasing the use of renewable energy. BNP Paribas, which has made sustainable finance its core business, is resolutely committed to helping its clients achieve this goal.

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