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BNP Paribas commits to become ‘carbon neutral’ by end-2017

As part of its long-standing commitment to help combat climate change, BNP Paribas commits to becoming carbon neutral by the end of the year in terms of the CO2 emissions arising from its own operations.

This goal will be achieved via three complementary initiatives:

Since 2012, BNP Paribas has already reduced its direct CO2 emissions by 15% per employee, in line with the Group’s target of a 25% reduction by 2020. This achievement is the result of a specific policy of promoting energy efficiency at the Bank’s buildings and data centres – a significant challenge given that the premises occupied by BNP Paribas worldwide total over 7 million square metres –and also optimising business travel.

Over half of all CO2 emissions arise from our electricity consumption. BNP Paribas is now committing itself to achieve a ‘carbon-neutral’ position by using only low carbon electricity in all countries where it is available.

The Group will also work to offset CO2 emissions that cannot be directly avoided or easily reduced, such as those arising from staff travel and natural gas consumption, through partnerships with benchmark organisations, in accordance with our Corporate Social Responsibility policies. For example, BNP Paribas is signing a partnership with the GoodPlanet Foundation to promote the construction of biodigesters – individual household biogas production facilities – in rural India.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, founder and President of the GoodPlanet Foundation, said: “This project will enable some 12,000 families in India – over 50,000 people – to use clean energy. It will have not only a strong environmental impact, by limiting deforestation – since biogas will be substituted for wood or kerosene – but also considerable social impact as it will help to improve living conditions among the local population, especially women, by reducing the risk of respiratory illness or eye infections caused by polluted air inside their houses.”

Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, BNP Paribas Chief Executive Officer said: “Over the last few years, we’ve taken some significant steps with our climate-related policies. For instance, we doubled the funds earmarked for financing in the renewable energy field – to €15 billion by 2020 –  and also decided to cease financing coal-fired power plant projects. This new target of making our own operations ‘carbon-neutral’ will enable us to take our contribution to limiting global warming a stage further.”

With this commitment, BNP Paribas is strengthening its position as one of the European banks making the most effective contribution to attaining the COP21 climate goals. Among other recent noteworthy initiatives, the Bank:

has entirely ceased financing coal mining and coal-fired power plant projects in any country, and will not finance electricity companies unless they have drawn up a plan for reducing the proportion of coal in their generation mix that is at least as ambitious as the national carbon reduction plan in the country in which the company is established

has earmarked €100 million for investments by 2020 in innovative startups working to drive forward the transition to sustainable energy

is working to progressively incorporate a climate-related component into the methodology of rating companies and ventures which it finances: we have just joined the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition which, under the aegis of the World Bank, aims to support and encourage the implementation of a worldwide system for pricing carbon into industry and business

has, in line with its involvement in the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, published the carbon footprint of over 100 funds managed by BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP); meanwhile BNPP IP offers a wide range of low-carbon funds to investors.

View the full list of our climate change-related commitments

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 74 countries, with more than 192,000 employees, including more than 146,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance.

In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the European leader in consumer lending.

BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific