The bank for a changing world

The Rescue & Recover Fund is launching a new campaign to mitigate climate-related risks

  • Sébastien Baijard Head of the Rescue & Recovery Fund
  • Paris
  • 27.11.2018

In 2012, BNP Paribas created the Rescue & Recover Fund to encourage all Group co-workers to donate during humanitarian disasters. Thanks to a partnership with three NGOs, the fund is launching a new campaign in November 2018 to mitigate climate-related risks. Sébastien Baijard, Head of the Rescue & Recover Fund at BNP Paribas, describes his work.

Tell us about the November Rescue & Recover Fund campaign 

This campaign aims to support three projects targeting climate change adaptation selected in consultation with our partner NGOs (CARE, Doctors Without Borders and the French Red Cross). This marks the seventh campaign for donations launched by the Rescue & Recover Fund. 

This campaign focuses on parts of the world where populations are vulnerable to the most dangerous risks linked to climate change—such as Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. Climate change has already caused major changes in living conditions in these regions. For those who live there, the first challenge isn’t so much about fighting these changes as about finding the means to adapt to them.

The fund’s partner NGOs are aware of this climate emergency. They have thus identified the needs of these populations, have sought appropriate responses, and have led missions to prepare and help these people before, during and after climate-related disasters. Our aim is to support them in their actions with this campaign.

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How is this campaign different from previous editions?

In previous years, we launched development projects that focused on post-crisis aspects (malnutrition, problems accessing water, etc.). This year, together with our NGO partners—who are active on the ground—we decided to support risk-prevention projects. And because it’s always better to prevent damage rather than repair it, we want to help vulnerable populations avoid crisis situations in the future by anticipating the climate risks that threaten them today. 

Who does this campaign target?

It is focused on all those who work for BNP Paribas, regardless of their seniority or their status within the Group. It also targets those belonging to the Amicale des Retraités of BNP Paribas (ADR) and clients of French Retail Banking (BDDF). Several communication tools will be used internally to call co-workers to action and encourage them to donate, including emails, intranet articles, and visual communications in BNP Paribas buildings.  

All co-workers, retirees and BDDF clients are invited to visit urgenceetdeveloppement.bnpparibas.com to make their donations, which are deductible by as much as 66% from income taxes. And because taxes will be deducted at source starting in January, it would be better to make a donation before December 31st! 

Can you remind us of how the fund operates? 

The Rescue & Recover Fund is an endowment fund. This means that it can receive donations from the general public. People can benefit from a two-thirds tax deduction. The BNP Paribas fund is therefore unique in that it is full of donations made by co-workers, retirees and clients. Between the doubling in donations and the tax deduction, the multiplying effect is enormous, basically from one to six. For example, a donation of €50 only costs the donor €17, but once it’s doubled by the fund it becomes a donation of €100! 

Besides, all the fund’s operating fees are covered by the bank, which means that 100% of donations go directly to actions in the field.

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When will the campaign launch?

This year, the campaign begins on November 27th and ends on December 31st. The end of the year is traditionally a time of generosity and sharing. We have also chosen this launch date because it corresponds with Giving Tuesday—the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. Giving Tuesday is an international movement to promote giving at the beginning of the holiday season.  

We would like to extend our campaign beyond the holiday period and the end of the year. But it’s important to remember that the Rescue & Recover Fund is open all year to respond to humanitarian emergencies that can arise at any moment. It is also possible to support our actions through automatic payments, which allow us to have a longer-term vision of available resources.

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What are your fundraising goals?

We hope to reach €100,000 in donations. This would become €200,000 after BNP Paribas matches those contributions, and would be allocated to three projects on the ground. This would guarantee that these projects have the resources they need for the year ahead. 

Since its creation in 2012, the Rescue & Recover Fund has collected close to €4 million for humanitarian emergency and development projects.

Wildfires in California: climate disasters also affect our colleagues! 

Natural disasters caused by climate change also hit BNP Paribas employees. Devastating wildfires have swept through California since 8 November, made worse by years of drought. Over 80 people have died in the fires, which have destroyed nearly 15,000 homes and an area equivalent to five times the city of Paris.

Among those who lost everything are several employees of Bank of the West who had to flee the flames and found themselves homeless. A Bank of the West branch was also destroyed and several others have been closed. 

The Rescue & Recover Fund is helping the American Red Cross get aid to victims and their families (including searching for people who are still missing,  distributing basic necessities and drugs, psychological support and other actions). 

Bank of the West also rapidly took action to aid victims, both employees and customers. In addition to a $25,000 donation to the Red Cross, the bank set up a platform where employees can make donations (via text message, donating vacation days, etc.). A hotline has been set up for clients hit by the fires, and videos with recommendations and assistance are posted on their social network sites.  

Crédit photo : header ©Care // ©LALSSTOCK // ©robertonencini