BNP Paribas strengthens its commitments in favor of better preservation of biodiversity

Ahead of the International Day for Biological Diversity, on May 22, BNP Paribas and 16 other French companies with an international footprint, confirm their mobilization in favor of better preservation of biodiversity and join 27 other companies already engaged in 2020 in act4nature international.

The preservation of biodiversity is one of the main challenges of our century. In 2019, IPBES [1] estimated that around one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, causing severe environmental, human and economic impacts around the world. In this context, the economy and corporates must be mobilized to help preserve biodiversity and increase positive impacts.

BNP Paribas joined the act4nature initiative in 2018, which brings together companies, public authorities, scientists and environmental associations. This alliance aims to create an international collective dynamic to protect, enhance and restore biodiversity. In agreement with the Act4nature Steering Committee, BNP Paribas, alongside 16 other companies, is making new commitments in favor of the preservation of biodiversity, such as:

  • Assessment by 2025 of all of its business customers on criteria related to biodiversity ;
  • Dialogue with customers active in raw materials and in sensitive countries, asking them to demonstrate their commitment to fighting deforestation (long-term action plan, annual reporting on traced and monitored volumes, etc.);
  • Supporting clients in their transition to models that are more respectful of biodiversity through specific financial tools. BNP Paribas has set itself the goal of achieving by 2025, € 3 billion in funding linked to criteria bound to the protection of terrestrial biodiversity (positive impact loans, green bonds, etc.);
  • Extension of the envelope for direct investments in startups mobilized for the ecological transition to reach by 2025, € 250 millions;
  • Deployment of a new training system linked to the challenges of ecological transition and sustainable finance for the Group’s 193,000 employees.

These new commitments involve the mobilization of every Group’ departments. In this context, BNP Paribas Asset Management is continuing its research work in favor of greater transparency of the impact of companies on biodiversity and will soon deploy its roadmap to measure the “water” and “forest” footprints of its investment portfolios by 2022. This will be reflected in its responsible investor strategy, its voting and engagement policy, and its sectoral policies.

In addition, in 2021, a new envelope of € 55 millions of direct investments by the Group will be exclusively dedicated to the protection and restoration of natural capital.

In order to structure and evaluate its actions, BNP Paribas has chosen to rely on the mapping of the five pressures that threaten biodiversity on a global scale carried out by IPBES in 2019. As part of its biodiversity position, BNP Paribas uses more particularly the first four to structure its actions and understand their impacts, for example:

1. Changes in land and sea use: BNP Paribas acts in favor of the fight against deforestation, in particular through:

  • The development of new sustainable finance tools (positive impact loans, green bonds, etc.);
  • Its financing and investment policy in the agricultural commodities sector. Like all of the Group’s sectoral policies, it aims to regulate the conditions for granting financing to clients active in these activities. Regarding its customers producing or purchasing beef or soybeans from the Amazon and Cerrado in Brazil, BNP Paribas will only provide financial products or services to companies with a zero deforestation strategy by 2025.

2. Direct exploitation of certain organisms: BNP Paribas supports actions that minimize the consumption of resources in natural environments and species of wild fauna and flora, with, among others:

  • Funding through a fund for innovative projects aimed at preserving coral reefs;
  • Or the exclusion of funding for oil and gas exploration or production projects in the offshore Arctic and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In 2019, the Group published a specific position on ocean protection, including in particular an objective of financing the ecological transition of ships to the tune of € 1 billion by 2025.

3. Climate change: Since 2011, BNP Paribas has deployed restrictive financing and investment policies in the sectors most at risk for the climate.

  • With a timetable for phasing out coal by 2030 in the EU and OECD and by 2040 in the rest of the world;
  • An unconventional oil and gas policy rolled out in 2017 aimed at excluding all companies whose activity is focused on shale oil and gas and oil from tar sands.

In 2021, by joining the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, the Group is continuing its actions aimed at aligning its activities with the path required to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.

4. Pollution: For several years, BNP Paribas has been fighting two major sources of coastal pollution: plastics and cigarette butts. In 2017, the Group therefore ceased its financing and investment activities relating to players in the tobacco industry.

« The degradation of biodiversity has multiple environmental, economic and human repercussions. The players in our societies must help protect ecosystems and resources. The movement can only be collective, international and deeply rooted in behavior. This is why, within BNP Paribas, we are proactively implementing concrete actions with our customers, our employees and our partners and have decided to assert the Group’s commitments in a biodiversity position. In this context, coalitions such as act4nature or the future Tasforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) are essential levers for greater integration of biodiversity issues..»

Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Director General of BNP Paribas and Chairman of Companies for the Environment.

The BNP Paribas Foundation is also mobilized to support research in biodiversity with its Climate & Biodiversity Initiative program, which aims to deepen knowledge about climate change and its impacts on the environment.

Source: BNP Paribas, act4nature – preservation of the biodiversity

[1] IPBES : Intergovernmental science and policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Post Author: Wealth Monaco