• Sustainable finance

Naturalis & BNP Paribas: a new partnership and a milestone for biodiversity

Last Friday 15 December marked a new milestone in BNP Paribas’ commitments to biodiversity with the launch of a multiyear partnership with Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Naturalis) in Leiden, The Netherlands. Geert Lippens, CEO and Country Head of The Netherlands and Antoine Sire, Global Head of Company Engagement, were joined by clients, experts and senior leaders from the two organizations for a celebratory signing ceremony and roundtable session.

How will this partnership deliver positive impact to biodiversity?

Naturalis Biodiversity Center is one of the world’s leading biodiversity knowledge institutions, home to more than 150 scientists who are driving ground-breaking research in the field—a natural fit for BNP Paribas’ efforts for collective action and research supporting biodiversity.

The shared mission to accelerate the protection and restoration of biodiversity is at the heart of this partnership, which is a long-term collaboration based on leveraging Naturalis and BNP Paribas’ strengths to drive real impact and translating Naturalis’s deep expertise and insights into concrete outcomes on the ground. The partnership aims to deliver impact in four areas: 

  • Education & awareness
  • Research & data
  • Financial innovation: accelerating the development of tools to direct more capital towards the protection and restoration of biodiversity
  • Science-based metrics for decision-making in finance and business
accelerating the protection and restoration of biodiversity is at the heart of this partnership

Why should we see nature as a vital partner?

During the launch, in an opening keynote Koos Biesmeijer, Scientific Director of Naturalis, underlined the magnitude of the threat to the world’s ecosystems, with more than a million species today facing extinction, and he showed how closely biodiversity loss and climate change are intertwined. “A 2% rise in temperature will cause 5% of all species to become extinct in the future,” he said. On a more positive note, he encouraged us to see nature as vital business partner and that the restoration of biodiversity is important to business strategy for both risks and opportunities: “If we add up all the intangible and material value that natural resources and ecosystems provide to our economy, our natural capital, it is worth several times the world’s gross national product.”

Following a celebratory launch of the partnership in the LiveScience gallery at Naturalis’s museum complex, leaders and experts from BNP Paribas and Naturalis rolled up their sleeves for roundtable sessions with a select group of clients. The sessions brought together the heads of sustainability from biodiversity-committed companies and institutional investors active across a broad range of sectors from food, agriculture and retail to transport, infrastructure and energy. Clients were unanimous in welcoming a partnership that puts biodiversity science to work for business and nature as practically and effectively as possible, and they underlined that there’s a need for concrete contributions in all four impact areas.

"Clients were unanimous in welcoming a partnership that puts biodiversity science to work for business and nature as practically and effectively as possible."

How else has the Group committed to biodiversity?

Head of Company Engagement Antoine Sire reflected on the partnership in the context of the sustainability strategy of BNP Paribas. He shared the Group’s long commitment to sustainability and how BNP Paribas has strengthened that commitment over time, making it an integral part of its strategic plan: GTS.

On biodiversity specifically, Antoine highlighted recent achievements such as:

What is next for Naturalis and BNP Paribas?

Collaboration between the two organizations is already underway as we work towards presenting the first concrete results of our partnership on 22 May the International Day of Biodiversity.

“This partnership with Naturalis Biodiversity Research Center is a milestone in our sustainability journey. Combining the strengths of Naturalis and BNP Paribas, it creates a platform for collaboration across  science, data, education, finance, and industry, to accelerate the protection and restoration of biodiversity. It illustrates BNP Paribas commitment to support its clients in their transition."

Antoine Sire

Head of Company Engagement   

Antoine Sire, Head of Company Engagement speaking at Naturalis. 

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