Contributing towards a more sustainable economy
In its 2021 responsibility report, BGL BNP Paribas presents the actions it is taking to achieve the goal it set several years ago: promoting the transition towards a more responsible and sustainable economy. These initiatives are based around three areas: the bank’s role in supporting its clients in this transition, improving its own social and environmental footprint, and finally its commitment to civil society.
Faced with the climate emergency, one of the bank’s key roles is to support its retail and corporate clients in their energy transition. It draws on its wide range of responsible financing and investment products to offer solutions to clients who wish to have a positive impact on society and/or the environment. For instance, retail clients seeking to limit their carbon emissions can now receive a green mobility loan or an energy retrofitting loan. Meanwhile, Corporate Banking has focused on training and raising awareness among its staff of sustainable products and solutions, sector trends and new technologies. This initiative has already led to corporate clients being supported in their transition.
At the same time, the bank is hard at work every day to reduce its environmental footprint and offer its staff a working environment that is aligned with its values. For example, in 2021, the bank managed to cut its paper consumption by 25% from 2020 levels through a collective challenge launched among its staff. In addition, the strategy that has been in place for several years to continuously improve the energy efficiency of its buildings has proved successful and led it to achieve ISO 50001 certification in January 2022.
Lastly, BGL BNP Paribas is helping to finance a range of projects through its patronage activities. Sharing its time and skills, and financing initiatives that make a positive impact are some concrete ways of supporting projects and charities. With a view to promoting social inclusion and the circular economy, the bank has, for instance, donated 1,400 used desktop and laptop computers to two charities specialised in giving a new life to IT hardware and getting people into work: Digital Inclusion and Ecodair. BGL BNP Paribas is also a founding member of microlux, the first microfinance institution in Luxembourg. In 2021, microlux granted 52 microloans amounting to €829,600 to new entrepreneurs.
Actively contributing to a responsible and sustainable economy is therefore fully in line with BGL BNP Paribas’ strategy, but also more broadly with that of all the entities that make up the BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg.
The biggest employer in Luxembourg’s financial industry thus offers a comprehensive range of sustainable financial products and services. BNP Paribas Asset Management and Cardif Lux Vie apply ESG criteria to all their investment processes. In 2021, BNP Paribas Asset Management placed particular focus on biodiversity to enable its investor clients to contribute towards protecting and restoring ecosystems. Thanks to its expertise in fund administration and custody, BNP Paribas Securities Services plays an important role in green issuance and is the listing agent for more than 40% of all issues on the Luxembourg Green Exchange. Arval Luxembourg has assumed its role as an advocate of electric mobility, since the share of electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for almost 30% of total orders recorded in 2021, up from 20% in 2020.
Béatrice Belorgey, Country Head of the BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg and Chair of the BGL BNP Paribas Executive Committee, said: “More than ever, we are committed to financing a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 and to supporting our clients in this essential transformation. We are aware that the transition to a more sustainable economy is a long-term trajectory, and we are laying the foundations for it now in our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, which is based on three priorities: Growth, Technology, Sustainability. This plan defines our commercial objectives for sustainable investments and loans, as well as our objectives for aligning our portfolio with a low-carbon economy.”
- BNP Paribas has decided to cease all its financing related to the thermal coal sector in 2030 in the European Union, and worldwide by 2040.
- The Group is also strengthening its support for the development of renewable energies, with a new financing target of € 18 billion by 2021.
As a corporate bank, BNP Paribas has been supporting electricity producers through-out the world for decades. Facing the climate emergency, the Bank plans to encourage the transition of these players to a production model with the lowest possible CO2 emissions. In 2015, BNP Paribas committed to accelerate the energy transition by aligning its financing and investment activities with the conclusions of the Paris agreement. Since then, the Bank has regularly changed its customer support policies and stopped financing for certain categories of companies that are not engaged in a transition.
As a result, at the end of 2015, BNP Paribas significantly strengthened its financing and investment criteria in the coal sector. In 2017, the Bank was the first to announce that it will cease financing activities for companies that derive most of their revenues from non-conventional hydrocarbons, measures that remain among the most advanced in the sector to date.
Resources released and commercial efforts are being redirected towards financing the players in transition and renewable energies. This strategy enables BNP Paribas to change its loan portfolio so that the Group becomes one of the world’s leaders in financing renewable energy projects.
In line with this strategy to accelerate the energy transition, BNP Paribas is now announcing the reduction to zero of its exposure to thermal coal by 2030 in the countries of the European Union and worldwide by 2040.
While funding for new coal fired power plant projects has completely ceased since 2017, the policy has been strengthened with regard to general credits granted to electricity producers, some of whose production is still based on coal.
To achieve this objective, the Bank will intensify its dialogue with utilities who produce part of their electricity from coal to analyse the extent to which their evolution trajectory is compatible with the Group’s exit objectives by geographic area. In particular, the bank will cease its relations with producers who plan new coal fired-power generation capabilities.
With these new commitments, BNP Paribas is achieving its goal of reducing by 85% between 2014 and 2040 the CO2 intensity of its worldwide electricity mix currently financed, in line with the Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) of the International Energy Agency (IEA). For the sake of transparency, the Group will continue to publish annually, as it has done since 2016, the breakdown by energy source of its financing to electricity generation worldwide. In 2018, the share of coal in the electricity mix of electricity companies financed by BNP Paribas fell below 20% for the first time, compared to 38% worldwide.
In addition, BNP Paribas is setting new financing targets for renewable energies to accelerate their development.
In 2015, BNP Paribas announced its intention to double its financing for renewable energies and thus reach EUR 15 billion by 2020. As these financings reached EUR 15.4 billion at 31 December 2018 and therefore exceeded this initial target, BNP Paribas has defined a new financing target of EUR 18 billion by 2021.
According to the Dealogic ranking, over the first nine months of 2019, BNP Paribas ranked first among the banks to finance renewable energy projects in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Over the same period, BNP Paribas was ranked 3rd in the world (with a total of 2.843 billion dollars in new project financing) and 3rd in Asia.
‘Like all players in the economy and society whose objective is to contribute to the necessary transition to a lower carbon economic model, BNP Paribas has a role to play. As a bank, we have the opportunity, and the will, to participate in the acceleration of the energy transition by supporting our customers in this necessary transformation. To succeed, such a transition must be fair and balanced, taking into account the reality of the economic model and the daily needs of people around the world. These new commitments, which have clear objectives, mark a new stage in our objective of making a decisive contribution to the climate challenge. ‘said Jean Laurent Bonnafé, Director and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas.
 2017 worldwide mix. Source IEA.
The BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg supports 14 new community projects with total funding of EUR 49,962
The cheque for the 10th annual Help2Help programme was recently presented in a ceremony at BGL BNP Paribas’ headquarters, in the presence of Geoffroy Bazin, Country Head of the BNP Paribas Group and Chairman of the BGL BNP Paribas Executive Committee, as well as members of the organisations funded and employees engaged in the different projects.
The Help2Help programme aims to support current and retired employees of the BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg who are involved in the community activities of not-for-profit organisations. In 2019, 14 projects were selected to receive total funding of EUR 49,962. The projects are led both at local and international level in fields including education, healthcare, humanitarian aid and the environment. Since the launch of the programme in 2010, a total of about EUR 700,000 has been awarded to more than 240 projects supported by 80 associations.
This year, a special prize of EUR 2,500 was awarded to “Eva pour la vie”, an association that helps children affected by cancer. The organisation supports researchers and families, while raising public and political awareness about the lack of funds dedicated to research against childhood cancers (https://www.evapourlavie.com/).
At the ceremony, Geoffroy Bazin said: “The Help2Help programme is a great way to support local and international associations, but also to recognise the dedication of our employees, who are deeply committed to improving society. We are extremely proud of the values they hold and the message of hope they share.”
Besides financial support through the Help2Help programme, the organisations can also take part in the “Marché de Noël des Associations”, a Christmas market held each year at BGL BNP Paribas’ headquarters. From 9 to 13 December 2019, they will be able to present their activities to the employees of the BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg while offering them the chance to contribute to a good cause by doing some of their Christmas shopping at the same time.
8 Group CEOs have made a firm commitment
According to figures published at the beginning of 2018 by the European Commission, “Every year, Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, but less than 30% is collected for recycling. Across the world, plastics make up 85% of beach litter. And plastics are even reaching citizens’ lungs and dinner tables, with microplastics in air, water and food having an unknown impact on their health.” 
Faced with this ecological emergency, BGL BNP Paribas has launched a number of initiatives to reduce single-use plastic waste. These include introducing the Ecobox (SuperDrecksKëscht®) in its restaurant areas, removing disposable cups, plastic cutlery and straws, and encouraging all employees to use reusable mugs, bottles and cutlery.
In an effort to take this initiative further, BGL BNP Paribas has decided to make its commitment public by signing the “Zero Single-Use Plastic” manifesto launched by IMS Luxembourg, of which the bank is a member.
The other seven BNP Paribas Group CEOs in Luxembourg, who are all fully aware of this major issue and of the key role that large companies can play, as well as their responsibility to lead by example, have also joined this initiative and have committed not only to reducing the use of single-use plastic, but to completely removing it from the company by 2020. Thus, the manifesto was also signed by Arval, Cardif Lux Vie, BNP Paribas Asset Management, BNP Paribas Securities Services, BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management, BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory & Property Management and GreenStars BNP Paribas.
Geoffroy Bazin, Chairman of the BGL BNP Paribas Executive Committee and Country Head of the BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg, who initiated this joint initiative, explained: “BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg is using all the means at its disposal to accelerate the transition towards a greener economy. We are offering our clients products and services that enable them to make a tangible contribution to this transformation, and we are also doing everything we can to reduce our own footprint. By signing the “Zero Single-Use Plastic” manifesto, BNP Paribas Group in Luxembourg is reaffirming its policy of reducing its direct environmental impact.”