With marks of 59/100, five points higher than the previous assessment in October 2009, BNP Paribas has taken second place among the banking sector companies ranked by Corporate Social Responsibility rating agency Vigeo*. Europe's leading expert in extra-financial benchmarking and rating, Vigeo measures company performance and identifies risk factors in six areas of CSR – Human Rights, Human Resources, Environment, Business Behaviour, Corporate Governance and Community Involvement.
In the latest of its reports, which are targeted at investors and fund managers, Vigeo says that in the overall CSR field, BNP Paribas has distinguished itself in the following areas:
- Business Behaviour: the Bank has introduced a sales approach which is more attentive to clients' interests, including the deployment of a product utilisation ‘barometer', plus a commissioning system better geared to providing neutral advice.
- Corporate Governance: changes have been made to the system of remuneration of the Group's Directors and Officers, which is now indexed to the share price, with an additional condition based on return on capital.
- Human Rights: greater account is being taken of the impact of the Group's financing activities on human rights and targets have been set with a view to promoting diversity.
- Community Involvement: BNP Paribas is named as one of the first banks to have announced its withdrawal from offshore centres. In addition, the Group has a policy of making a contribution to economic and social development across all geographies where it does business, based on three priority objectives: education, helping to combat social exclusion and working to end unfair discrimination.
- Environment: the Group has signed up to the Climate Principles, joining a group of leading financial institutions who are committed to playing a proactive part in the fight against climate change in their capacity as advisors, lenders, investors and insurers.
- Human Resources: the Group has taken proactive measures, such as fostering internal job mobility, to help counter the impact of restructuring, and engages in thoroughgoing social dialogue.
Commenting on the rating given to BNP Paribas, Vigeo's Director of Methodology, Fouad Benseddik, said: “The consistent improvement across the full range of CSR scores indicates that the BNP Paribas policy on Sustainable Development is being driven forward at high level and integrated more and more into its organization and operations. There are now strong expectations on the entire banking sector to move in this direction.”
"The progress made by BNP Paribas in Vigeo's rankings is recognition of the Group's efforts in the Corporate and Social Responsibility field where it has two priority objectives: combating climate change and combating all forms of exclusion", adds Laurence Pessez, Head of BNP Paribas' CSR Delegation.
This rating means that BNP Paribas features in the Socially Responsible Investment indices - Advanced Sustainable Performance Indices (ASPI), Ethibel Excellence Global and Ethibel Excellence Europe - which are consulted by investors such as pension funds, insurance companies, etc, who are attentive to long-term performance and seek secure investments.
*A total of 57
BNP Paribas' CSR Policy
As a socially responsible business group, BNP Paribas is strongly committed to financing the real economy, while helping to protect the environment and to combat social exclusion and unfair discrimination. BNP Paribas' commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is embodied in its internal operations, through its Human Resources policy and by reducing its direct impact; and externally, vis-à-vis clients and prospective customers and through its corporate philanthropy work in the wider society.
The Group has confirmed its CSR commitment by signing up to a number of international agreements such as the Global Compact, the Equator Principles and the Climate Principles. The Bank's CSR performance is also recognised by the inclusion of BNP Paribas' equity in the leading Corporate Social Responsibility indices.
For more information go to: http://sustainable-development.bnpparibas.com
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is one of the strongest banks in the world*. The Group has a presence in more than 80 countries and more than 200,000 employees, including more than 160,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across the Europe-Mediterranean zone and boasts a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.
* Rated AA by Standard & Poor's i.e. 3rd rating level on a scale of 22.