Responsible savings and investments

In choosing to invest their money responsibly, citizens and economic actors help to finance projects and companies that are working toward preserving the environment and reducing social inequalities.

What are responsible savings and investments? 

Saving and investing responsibly(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) means putting your money in investment vehicles that will support companies working towards concrete solutions in addressing environmental and social challenges, or, which at least, take environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into account. 

A growing need for societal utility 

While BNP Paribas customers pursue their own goals – putting their money to work for them, preparing for retirement, starting up or expanding a company – a growing number feel the need to save and invest in a sustainable future.  

Speeding up our projects in favour of responsible investment 

BNP Paribas has been a pioneer in this area since 2006. In recent years it has picked up the pace in its development of responsible savings and investment solutions. 

The Group reorganised in 2021 to speed up its responsible approach, pooling its business lines and experts in protection, savings and investment within a single division, called “Investment & Protection Services(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)”.  Its goal is to strengthen the development of innovative solutions around savings and responsible investments and to enhance services provided to its customers.   

Making responsible investments accessible 

Simplified offerings and funds 

Individual customers may choose to subscribe to responsible investment funds alongside traditional funds, within their life insurance policy, securities account, shareholder savings plan, employee savings plan or retirement savings plan. Customers are guided by their financial advisor based on their convictions, their environmental impact and/or social goals (such as the environmental transition, biodiversity, universal healthcare, etc.) and the normal investment criteria, such as level of risk, investment horizon, etc. 

Meanwhile, BNP Paribas has structured its range of responsible funds into 3 main categories:

  • ESG-integration funds, that take into account environmental and/or social criteria
  • certified funds, that have received one or more European sustainable investment labels
  • funds with a sustainable investment objective, classified under Artcile 9 of the SFDR (sustainable thematic funds, for example).
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At the end of  2022, BNP Paribas Asset Management managed 20 billion euros of assets in its range of open-ended funds domiciled in Europe that have a sustainable investment objective (classified as Article 9 according to SFDR). 

In particular, BNP Paribas Asset Management manages 11 solidarity funds(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab), worth 2.5 billion euros, with 153 million euros invested in social and solidarity economy structures promoting access to employment and housing, as well as health and maintenaing autonomy (figures as at end December 2022). 

A wide range of sustainable thematic funds 

BNP Paribas Asset Management(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) offers investors (both individuals and institutionals) thematic funds with a sustainable objective such as BNP Paribas Aqua, BNP Paribas Climate Impact, BNP Paribas Human Development and BNP Paribas Ecosystem Restoration

BNP Paribas Cardif offers its clients, in life insurance policies, the opportunity to select thematic units of account that meet environmental, social or societal challenges: energy transition, combating climate change, preserving biodiversity and supporting social or solidarity projects.

BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) offers a range of responsible real-estate funds(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) such as BNP Paribas Diversipierre for individual customers. In November 2020, this became the first OPCI (REIT) fund to be awarded the official French SRI label. Each building is evaluated on the basis of 13 themes and 94 criteria, including energy use, CO2 footprint, and pollution. For European institutional clients, the Group’s real-estate investment experts offer the European Property Impact Fund (EIPF)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)the first environmental impact real estate fund investing in Europe and compliant with the Paris Agreement. 

450 million euros in own-account investments for ecological transition and social inclusion

As part of its own-account investments, the Group has allocated a total of 450 million euros by 2025 to invest in startups and companies that put in place innovative solutions for the ecological transition, natural capital, local development and social impact.

  • 200 million euros allocated in startups and impact companies(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) that implement innovative solutions in three areas - local development and climate; social and solidarity activities; and natural capital
  • 175 million euros allocated in startups of the energy and ecological transition
  • €75 million euros committed in the  BNP Paribas Solar Impulse Venture Fund, created in 2021 with the Solar Impulse Foundation to finance startups of the ecological transition in Europe and North America, in order to accelerate their development and scale change; open to professional investors - institutional investors, large companies and family offices, this fund aims at a size of 150 million euros (half of which is invested by BNP Paribas on its own behalf).
These three envelopes are managed for the Group's own account by the teams of the Investment & Protection Services division, with the exception of the €200M envelope allocated to impact investments, which is co managed with the Group's CSR teams.
Read an example of impact investing(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)
Learn more about the  BNP Paribas Solar Impulse Venture Fund (Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)
  • BNP Paribas Cardif invests in positive impact assets, responding to environmental challenges- such as energy transition and protection of ecosystems- as well as societal challenges - such as the fight against social inequalities. 
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+€1bn 

Invest an additional 1 billion euros on average per year by 2025 in positive impact assets: this is the goal that BNP Paribas Cardif has set itself since 2019.

Supporting corporate customers and institutional investors 

BNP Paribas’ Investment & Protection Services(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) and Corporate & Institutional Banking(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) teams offer responsible investment and financing solutions for institutional investors and large corporate clients. CIB is at the heart of transforming the global economy through its responsible financing and investment solutions, such as Bonds and Loans incorporating sustainability criteria: Green, Social and Sustainable bonds or loans; and sustainability-linked bonds(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) (SLB) or sustainability-linked loans(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) (SLL).

Two CIB 2022 landmark deals:

Manaos, an open-servicing ESG marketplace for institutional investors and asset managers

The Manaos platform, which was designed and incubated by the Securities Services(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) business of BNP Paribas, helps investors and asset managers source reliable ESG data and report on the sustainability of their investments. Manaos offers a data-exchange interface, where investors and asset managers can get a comprehensive view of their portfolios and dive deep into all aspects of their investments in just a few clicks and secure way. 

Manaos also provides an open-architecture ESG marketplace, where investors can plug their portfolio data to leading ESG data and service providers, offering scoring capabilities both at portfolio-level and asset-level across a broad range of complimentary apps.

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How can we know funds are truly responsible?   

Sustainability certifications 

About a dozen official European labels certifying that funds are invested sustainably have been established in the past 15 years. They are sanctioned by public authorities in various countries and are awarded to funds that meet precise specifications, based on strict inspections conducted by independent bodies. 

Some examples include European certifications like SRI, Towards Sustainability, Nordic Swan, LuxFLAG ESG, FNG-Siegel, Umweltzeichen; and specialised certifications such as Finansol, which covers solidarity-based savings in France, and GREENFIN, which covers investment funds contributing actively to financing the energy and environmental transition.  

156 funds

at BNP Paribas Asset Management are certified with a European responsible label

representing 121,9 billion euros in assets under management as of the end of December 2022

BNP Paribas’ ESG ratings 

ESG ratings assess companies on the basis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and allow asset managers to choose the most responsible of them in putting together their portfolios of investment funds. The ratings are done by specialised ratings agencies based on an analysis of public data and technical questionnaires. To go further, BNP Paribas Asset Management(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) teams have developed their own, four-stage methodology, a more in-depth ESG process to quantify these data(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab), with: 

  1. Selection and weighting of each company’s ESG indicators; 
  2. An ESG evaluation vs. peers;
  3. A qualitative evaluation
  4. Final ESG ratings of companies in the investment funds. 

The “Clover” sustainability analysis grid 

Designed by BNP Paribas Wealth Management(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab), the analysis grid in “clovers” aims to measure the sustainability level of all financial products offered to its clients, whether the products are responsible or not, created or only recommended by BNP Paribas. The resulting rating of 0 to 10 clovers aims to enable Private Banking clients to compare the sustainability level of the products offered, alongside risk level and return on investment. This provides the client with a comprehensive view of its investment options to match its intentions.

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SFDR, the first European regulation covering sustainable finance 

Since March 2021, the first European regulation covering sustainable finance, called the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab), has set transparency obligations for financial market actors. 

It requires financial players to identify investment funds according to their sustainability potential, by classifying them into 3 categories: 

  1. Funds with no sustainability objective: Article 6 funds
  2. Funds with environmental and/or social characteristics (ESG criteria): Article 8 funds
  3. Funds with a sustainable investment objective: Article 9 funds.
SFDR will clearly speed up and facilitate responsible savings and investments. It will allow private and institutional investors to better compare financial products and establishments.  

For example, Cardif Assurance Vie’s & Cardif Retraite euro fund meets the definition of Article 8 of the European SFDR regulation: it promotes a combination of environmental and social characteristics and verifies that the companies in which the investments are made apply good governance practices.

89 %

of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s open-ended funds domiciled in Europe are classified as Article 8 or 9*, according to SFDR regulations (as of december 2022). 

Article 8: with environmental and/or social characteristics

Article 9: with a sustainable investment objective.

How to verify the environmental or social impact of investments? 

BNP Paribas measures and publishes the ESG scores(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) of its funds, the CO2 footprint of its funds, the social impact of its solidarity-based funds, and the contribution of its solidarity-based partners to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Meanwhile, BNP Paribas Asset Management(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)’s teams are working actively towards establishing new impact-measurement standards, particularly for its portfolio’s water and forest footprint(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

BNP Paribas’ reports(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) are as concrete as possible. For example, if an individual has invested in an energy transition fund, he or she will know at year-end what CO2 emissions savings her money helped achieve, expressed in easy-to-understand language.  

In addition to reporting on ESG score, carbon footprint and the social impact of its funds, BNP Paribas Asset Management is working on developing standards to measure the impact of its water and forest investments.

Dedicated experts and teams trained to better serve our customers

The Group is constantly developing and transforming itself in-depth in order to offer its customers the best responsible investment solutions and dedicated assistance.

Here are some examples of actions and resources it has implemented. 

Expansion of expert teams dedicated to responsible and sustainable investment   

BNP Paribas Asset Management’s ESG centre of expertise has been expanded each year since it was established in 2002. Called the Sustainability Centre, it has over 30 ESG experts (as of December 2022). It provides the investment teams with sector and geographical research, along with analyses and proprietary ESG data model that covers over 13,000 issuers, to help them make the right investment decisions on behalf of their clients. It incorporates regulatory standards into its work and designs sustainable thematic investment strategies. 

These are the same experts who work actively alongside investment fund managers, through ademanding voting and shareholder engagement policy, in order to have a positive, ongoing influence on the sustainable development practices of the companies held in their fund portfolios.

The development of technological solutions that take better account of clients’ responsible savings choices

The Group is stepping up its plans to digitalise its savings solutions, notably through its FinTech Gambit Financial Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas Asset Management.

These technological developments will make it easier to integrate clients’ preferences into their responsible investment choices and ultimately give them a clear view of the level of sustainability of their investments and the proportion allocated to social and ecological issues, or even to specific themes, such as the protection of oceans or forests.

The implementation of ESG champions to accompany customer advisors 

A network of over 170 ESG champions was set up in 2018 by BNP Paribas Asset Management. As a relay to the Sustainability Centre, they provide the sales teams with the necessary information and updates to assist their customers efficiently.  

Cutting-edge training provided on a regular basis to employees in charge customer relations and developing our products

It includes our responsible investment solutions, our technological assistance tools and our ESG methodologies.  

A training platform programme dedicated to sustainable finance for the Group's 190,000 employees

Called the Sustainability Academy,’ this platform brings together training, information and tools that can be useful for everyone or focused on precise subjects depending on the user’s role. Updated regularly, this content enables Group employees to deepen their knowledge of sustainable finance, the challenges of the ecological and just transition; it allows them also to better understand our sustainable approach, as well as the dedicated products and services offered by the Bank.

Its goal: to accelerate the incorporation of sustainable development into each person’s daily work.
“The need to introduce ESG criteria into the core of our business lines and our savings and responsible investment solutions is a major shift. We have been able to stay ahead of it by adjusting our know-how, our offerings and our activities. We have accelerated this transformation in recent years in order to address social imperatives and our clients’ needs efficiently and over the long term. Our ambition is to become a leader in savings and responsible investments, and to contribute to BNP Paribas Group’s goal of becoming a global leader in sustainable finance." 

Renaud Dumora

Deputy Chief Operating Officer of BNP Paribas, Head of Investment & Protection Services