BNP Paribas slashes carbon footprint by 23% in 2020

BNP Paribas has cut its direct carbon footprint by 23 per cent to 1.80 tons of carbon dioxide per full time equivalent in 2020, representing a drop of more than 40 per cent since 2012, according to the firm’s sustainable finance report.

The report, which the firm said it had published on the recommendation of the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), stated that the firm’s operational greenhouse gas emissions were mainly related to electricity, with this accounting for 63.8 per cent of the total.

The other significant contributors were natural gas at 13.1 per cent, road travel at 10.2 per cent and air travel at 7.6 per cent.

Among the measures taken to reduce its footprint, BNP Paribas said it was gradually turning to low-carbon electricity in all nations where such an option is available, with renewable electricity making up 37 per cent of its total electricity purchases in 2020, compared to 35 per cent the year before.

Additionally, the firm has also been throwing its weight behind a number of climate-related projects, highlighting that it dedicated €17.8bn to financing renewable energies in 2020 and directly underwrote €4.5bn of sustainability-linked loans with greenhouse gas emission reduction criterion.

Furthermore, €10.8bn of green bonds were structured and placed, green funds managed by BNP Paribas Asset Management totalled €18.4bn, green investments by BNP Paribas Cardif finished the year at €8.1bn, and green funds managed by BNP Paribas Wealth Management came in at €6.7bn.

The group first acknowledged its ambition to align itself with the Paris Agreement by 2050 in 2018 and stated that the resulting approach of continuous improvement, its diversified and integrated model, and its commitments to carbon neutrality were key its resilience to different possible climate scenarios.

A statement from the bank said: “Given their importance, climate related issues are overseen by BNP Paribas' highest management bodies: the board of directors and the group's general management. The group’s director and chief executive, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, also involves himself personally. Throughout 2020, the board of directors and its specialised committees directly addressed climate issues ten times.

“A strategy for the climate has been integrated into all of the group's processes and activities, both through the involvement of management, business lines and several support departments, such as the Company Engagement Department, the Corporate Social Responsibility Function and the Risk Function.”

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