Our financing and investment activities can have significant social and environmental consequences. To limit these consequences, we need to understand the risks associated with our decisions and to select the most responsible projects and companies.

A commitment at international level

We have committed ourselves to analysing our investments in accordance with specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, as set out by a number of international organisations.

In accordance with the Equator Principles, we conduct an ESG impact assessment on all projects for which the financing exceeds USD 10 million.

In 2011, 30 transactions were reviewed by BNP Paribas based on these Principles. The analyses are detailed in a publicly available report.

Restrictive criteria for at-risk economic sectors

To expand our requirements beyond those of the mandatory legal framework, we have voluntarily adopted specific policies. These policies relate to certain at-risk sectors, defined by their environmental or social sensitivity. These official and public documents were designed in consultation with numerous stakeholders, including independent experts, customers, NGOs, and others.

BNP Paribas employees who are responsible for financing and investment transactions integrate these policies into their decisions, in addition to using the usual criteria relating to economic performance and to social, environmental and governance requirements.

Currently, seven sectors are affected:

Defence
This sector includes both controversial arms manufacturers and the sale of arms to conflict zones.
Read the “Defence” policy
Palm oil and wood pulp
This sector has consequences with respect to deforestation, the loss of biodiversity, climate change and the destabilisation of local communities.
Read the “Palm oil” policy
Read the “Wood Pulp” policy
Nuclear energy
This sector raises particularly sensitive social and environmental issues.
Read the “Nuclear Power” policy
Coal-fired power generation
This sector has a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Read the “Coal-Fired Power Generation” policy
Agriculture
Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in the world in term of employment and GDP and provides a livelihood to millions of people in both developed and developing countries. However, if not managed properly, agriculture development can have several adverse impacts on local communities, ecosystems and climate change. BNP Paribas has defined the present sector policy to take into account the above-mentioned considerations..
Read the “Agriculture” sector policy
Oil sands
BNP Paribas expresses its commitment to support this activity in Canada only and goes beyond the local regulation by adding criteria to select oil sands projects and companies. For instance, BNP Paribas asks its clients to commit in reducing their GHG emissions and to manage their water consumption.
Read the “Oil sands” policy
The mining industry
The mining industry is associated to many specific environmental, social, and governance risks that make mining operations very sensitive. Thus this industry represents important financial, operational and reputation risks for the Bank. In the current context in which pressures for more transparency of this sector are getting stronger every day, BNP Paribas wants to encourage Mining Companies and Mining Projects to operate and adopt industry best practices in terms of sustainability.
Read the “Mining industry” policy

Finally, we have established a list of goods for which the Group prohibits any dealings. This list was built on the basis of internationally recognised treaties, laws, regulations and decrees regulating the production and trade of the goods concerned.

Did you know?

Respect for human rights is a key component in BNP Paribas’ commitment to CSR.

The Group classifies the countries in which it executes transactions according to their sensitivity. The “Risk of violation of human rights in the country” criterion was incorporated into the analysis grid in 2011.

In addition, each policy includes a “social” component that takes into account the fundamental points to be monitored or that defines exclusion criteria, in order to prevent any risk of complicity by the Group with any human rights violations.