Environment

For 40 years now, the BNP Paribas Foundation has empowered those who are taking action. Our conviction? That philanthropy is a crucial means for leveraging transformation by supporting and promoting those who strive to produce fair transitions.

That’s why the BNP Paribas Foundation has placed support for scientific research and popularisation at the heart of its environmental philanthropy. By engaging with researchers, as well as with numerous research establishments, universities and science museums, the Foundation helps, among other things, to explore in greater depth the interactions between climate and biodiversity and to assess their effects on our environment, human societies and the services that ecosystems and biodiversity provide to humanity.

“The environment now accounts for less than 5% of global philanthropy, even as scientists are requiring greater support for their research projects. The BNP Paribas Foundation is one of the few foundations that supports research on climate change and depletion of biodiversity. This long-term choice is consistent with the BNP Paribas Group’s policy of environmental and social engagement.”

Isabelle Giordano

Head of Group Philanthropy and General Delegate of the BNP Paribas Foundation

Providing protection through better understanding

As part of its commitment to promoting the environment, the BNP Paribas Foundation has supported environmental research on climate change and depletion of biodiversity since 2010. It has done so by providing time, space and resources to scientists seeking to analyse and understand the risks to which our societies are exposed. To date, thanks to a budget of 24 million euros, 35 teams of researchers, professors and engineers – almost 500 persons in all – have been beneficiaries of this initiative since the Climate & Biodiversity Initiative was created, while almost 1 million persons have been made more aware of environmental issues through conferences, exhibitions and other public events.

The next call for Climate & Biodiversity Initiative projects will be launched in 2025.

The Foundation's commitment to the environment since 2010

€24 M 

dedicated to environmental research on climate and biodiversity

35

international research projects supported, 70% of projects are (co)-led by a woman

Nearly 1

million people made aware of environmental issues

Climate & Biodiversity Initiative

Today, climate change is becoming the main driver of biodiversity erosion. Protecting and preserving ecosystems are now major concerns worldwide. That is why the BNP Paribas Foundation renamed its programme as the “Climate & Biodiversity Initiative” in 2019. The call for projects now supports scientific research on both climate and biodiversity.

From 2023 to 2025, 8 new research projects will join the Climate & Biodiversity Initiative programme.

Climate and Biodiversity Initiative: the challenge of preserving biodiversity 

Climate change and biodiversity erosion are two of today's most important challenges.

Members of the scientific committee of the 2022 call for projects

  • Yunne Shin – Director of Research at IRD and Honorary Research Associate at University of Cape Town 
  • Philippe Gillet – Geophysicist, geologist and professor, Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne
  • Philippe Cury – Senior scientist at IRD (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development)
  • Jean-Pascal van Ypersele – PhD in physics, climatologist, professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, where he co-directs the environmental management master’s program. Member of the Earth and Climate Research Centre  
  • Franck Courchamp – CNRS Research Director at the Systematic Ecology and Evolution Laboratory (ESE-CNRS/Université Paris-Sud), 2014 laureate of the “Climate & Biodiversity Initiative” 

DISCOVER THE CLIMATE & BIODIVERSITY INITIATIVE PROGRAMME'S SELECTION PROCESS

Facing up the climate challenge with biodiversity 

Find out more about our Climate & Biodiversity Initiative programme and discover the projects supported, the selection process, replays of the conferences and all the news around the program.

Our Climate & Biodiversity Initiative programme

In addition, until 2014, the Foundation supported the "Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale" (FRM), notably through the BNP Paribas Foundation for Scientific Innovation Award awarded to researchers selected by the scientific council of the FRM under its “Pioneers of Research” programme. Building on this long-standing common history, the BNP Paribas Foundation supports the FRM through the 2020 edition of its "Environment & Health” call for projects; thus, until 2024, we support the research projects of researcher Karine Adel-Patient on the links between perinatal nutrition and allergies in childhood, and researcher Ouria Dkhissi-Benyahya on the consequences of abnormal exposure to light in adolescents.

 view THE INTERVIEW OF KARINE ADEL PATIENT FOR THE FRM

Raising awareness of environmental issues

The Foundation strives to engage with the men and women of BNP Paribas, its customers and its network to join together in a civic initiative and to help offer new narratives for future generations, just as it does under its Solidarity and Culture engagements.

For example, to familiarise BNP Paribas employees, our partners and the general public with environmental issues, the Foundation organises conferences to promote better understanding of phenomena related to climate imbalances and their consequences on biodiversity, and, of course, on our societies. 

These conferences are chaired by scientists who oversee the projects selected under the Climate & Biodiversity Initiative.

Discover the ‘Climate & Biodiversity Initiative’ conferences

Empowering those who are taking action also means promoting access to data while facilitating the sharing of knowledge. As part of this effort:

·       In partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Foundation has supported the eBioAtlas programme since 2023. EBioAtlas aims to map the world’s freshwater and wetlands biodiversity based on environmental DNA (eDNA), in order to enhance protection of biodiversity against the extinction crisis;

  • In 2021, the Foundation became the first corporate foundation to provide significant support to the work of IPBES, contributing until 2024 to its work on biodiversity sciences and policies (IPBES: Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services);
  • During the 2018 International Year of the Reef, the Foundation sponsored the Reef Services research project to measure and predict the consequences of global warming on coral reefs, and to publicise the services that reefs provide to ecosystems. On that occasion, the Corals Matter website was created in partnership with the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), in order to provide to the general public the tools and information needed to protect marine biodiversity.

Global Carbon Atlas

The Global Carbon Atlas is a consumer website that provides access to, views and interpretations of the latest global carbon cycle data.​ The support of the BNP Paribas Foundation enabled the teams of the Global Carbon Project to put on-line a work and data sharing platform for researchers worldwide working on the carbon cycle, and to update it every year since 2013.

discover

One Planet Fellowship

Launched in 2017, the One Planet Fellowship, which is managed by African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) is supported by the BNP Paribas and Bill & Melinda Gates foundations, the European Commission, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada). Endowed with 20 million dollars over five years, it aims to support local scientific communities and their research on global warming. The programme aims to create a dynamic, ultra-connected and intergenerational network of African and European scientific leaders. It is designed as a career-accelerator of high-potential scientists working on adapting farming to climate change in Africa by enhancing their skills in leadership, scientific research, networking and mentorship. Managed by AWARD, One Planet Fellowship adheres to the principles of gender equality in farming and of adapting to global warming by supporting the crucial role that women play in Africa. To date, 270 scientists – both men and women – have been beneficiaries of this mentorship programme.

As part of the SOCLIM research project – supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation from 2013 to 2016 – and as part of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030, since 2023 the Foundation has been helping to increase the importance of understanding the Ocean in school curricula. Created in 2011, the Adopt a Float programme has promoted collaboration between the scientific and educational worlds in developing a method for raising schoolchildren’s awareness of the environment, with the goal of understanding and protecting it better. In partnership with the Fondation Sorbonne Université, the BNP Paribas Foundation is supporting a programme to get classes - from nursery to high school - to adopt a scientific underwater robot. Schoolchildren can monitor their robot during its scientific voyage via the platform of the same name and stay in regular contact with researchers via conversations, meetings and/or class workshops.

From 2015 to 2022 the BNP Paribas Foundation has supported the Climate, 360 exhibition organised by the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie in partnership with the French Institute and UN Environment. So far, the exhibition has been presented in 17 countries where the Group is located.

Since 18 September 2020, discover "Bio-Inspired, another approach", the new and permanent exhibition by the Cité des Sciences with which we partner again. While immersed in 3 astonishing, recreated ecosystems, the exhibition is an opportunity to reflect on our intimate relationship with nature and demonstrate how the organisms that make up the living world can inspire new sustainable development models and innovative solutions to environmental issues. 

In the fall of 2021, the BNP Paribas Foundation supported the expedition to Guyana of Delphine Zigoni and Julien Norwood, two naturalist illustrators. In 2022, the Foundation renewed its support by contributing to the exhibition « Automne Tropical – Carnets de voyage en Guyane(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) » (unavailable link), which presented their work at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelles in Paris.

In addition, in 2018, the French Association of Science Journalists (AJSPI) and the BNP Paribas Foundation presented their first Climate Investigation Grant (CIG) for European science journalists. Taken over in 2020 by the European Federation for Science Journalism (EFSJ) on the occasion of the 2nd edition, this grant is awarded every two years. 

The Foundation also supported the Global Youth Video Competition to encourage the youth taking part in activities to fight climate change. The annual awards ceremony takes place each year at the COPs organised by UNFCCC

Photo: header © Dean Jacobsen / Summit of Cotopaxi volcano (5900 m) covered in snow in Ecuador