How "We Engage" with sustainable finance: internal training on social and environmental challenges

  • 23.03.2021

In line with its company purpose and its transformation strategy, BNP Paribas offers an ambitious training programme to its 200,000 employees worldwide: ‘We Engage.’ Its goal? Raising their awareness of environmental and social issues as well as providing them with a true "passport" for sustainable finance, We Engage explainins the role that everyone can play in this field, both internally and with the bank's customers. BNP Paribas is one of the first companies in the world to offer all its employees training on the concrete and operational aspects of sustainable development.

"More than ever, the future of our businesses relies on our ability to guide our clients towards a low-carbon economy and greater social inclusion. Developing the necessary expertise for this transition is a priority for BNP Paribas."'

Antoine Sire

Director of Company Engagement, BNP Paribas


Comprehensive training, driven by employees

Over the past nine months, all BNP Paribas employees around the world have been given the opportunity to build a common base of knowledge on sustainability through digital modules developed internally and made available in several languages. Dubbed "We Engage," this training has six modules available in several languages dealing with the multiple challenges associated with sustainable finance, each made up of a video presentation and then a quick quiz. They enable employees to understand better current social and environmental problems, in particular through key figures, while also highlighting sustainable financing solutions that the Group has put in place with its partners and customers in order to address these issues.


6

Number of modules with a video and short quiz

200 000

Employees around the world have free access to training

Providing more than just information about sustainability, “We Engage” also reflects the Group’s vast diversity and the ceaseless commitments of its teams by primarily showcasing BNP Paribas’ own employees as guides through these topics. Fully involved in the transformation taking place towards a more sustainable and inclusive world, employees from across all business lines and geographies in which the Group operates—Africa, North and South America, Asia and Europe—show their contributions. Some work directly on the Group's proactive CSR policiesand sustainable solutions, while others act on an individual scale, starting, for example, with a simple change in the way they work or get to work, choosing greener solutions. These individual initiatives are also reinforced by related global internal programme, ‘Green Company for Employees.’ Through the commitment and involvement of its own employees, BNP Paribas achieved carbon neutrality in its operating scope in 2017.

Claudia Belli in We Engage

« In a hyper connected international world, it is unthinkable to disconnect social problems from environmental problems. As a bank and a major financial institution, there is a great deal we can do. »

Claudia Belli

 Head of Microfinance BNP Paribas



Offering a transversal view 

In addition to the Group's employees, international experts and clients also contribute to the ‘We Engage’ modules. They further a comprehensive view of the major issues facing our planet.

LSome of the most notable guests have come from very different backgrounds, for example: 

  1. Professeur Muhammad Yunus, Nobel laureate;

  2. Craig Leeson filmmaker, A plastic Ocean director and The last glaciers;

  3. Mathias Vichert, General Secretary of Danone;

  4. Nicholas Beaumont, Director of Sustainable Development and Mobility at Michelin;

  5. Gail Whiteman, Professeure specialised in sustainable development;

  6. Thomas Samuel, Founder and Chairman of Sunna Design, Solar Public Lighting.

Among the topics addressed in very concrete terms by the four modules already launched are the integration of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria into investments, support for financial inclusion, microfinance institutions, green bonds, and support for the social and solidarity economy. From droughts in California to poor air quality in India, as well as related societal issues and difficulties faced by communities with limited access to financial products, “We Engage” offers employees the opportunity to understand a diverse range of issues that these solutions strive to address.

What our employees have to say!

"Bravo for these trainings, which underline the momentum of the group and the potential for social includion, in which we can participate."

-Michel

"Very beautiful video, with good examples of the wide range of initiatives inspiring the Group's commitment. Proud to be in the BNP Paribas Group, and thanks for the nice surprise of Muhammad Yunus's interview."

-Soraya

"This is a very beautiful presentation of a topic that is so important for us all"

-Yves

 “Great training. Very clear, insightful and fun to do. Look forward to the next modules."

-Chongyanh

"I found this highly educational module with concrete illustrations of the international aspect of these topics seen through testimonials from around the world!”

Francoise

A programme that resonates with today's challenges

While the project to launch a comprehensive training programme on sustainable finance was already well under way at the beginning of 2020, the health crisis has further highlighted the undeniable need for all players, including financial players, to accelerate the implementation of sustainable and inclusive solutions. ‘We Engage’ is fully in line with the BNP Paribas Group's commitment to align its strategy with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As Jean Laurent Bonnafé, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas, underlined: "For BNP Paribas, these are not just words. We refer to these goals in order to combine our commercial business with our goal of contributing to a better future for society. "


« Today we are facing major challenges: Climate change, poverty, inequality, etc. To continue to support and advance society and the planet as a whole, financial institutions are committing themselves, notably through the United Nations ‘Principles for Responsible Investment. »

Anjuli Pandit,

Sustainability Manager, Global Markets  BNP Paribas


Anjuli Pandit

Learn more about the Group's ambitions, commitments and work in sustainable finance:

Photo credit : Flamingo Images

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