BNP PARIBAS

Rated for year 2021: Neutral

Score: 0

Industry: bank

Positive news:

February 2021: BNP Paribas, has pledged to stop financing firms producing or buying either beef or soya beans cultivated on land in the Amazon cleared or converted after 2008.

Analysis:

*** 2020 ***

The bank can invest and in and finance projects harmful to animals. Animal-rights Althought the bank mentions that it is part of the “Benchmark for Farm Animal Welfare”, there is no indication in the public documents published by the bank (ex:  Article 173 report, PRI Transparency code, ESG integration guidelines) that the bank would prevent itself from investing or financing projects or companies directly or indirectly involved in animal exploitation such as: meat industries, skin and fur sectors, animal experimentation, entertainment using animals. For these reasons, BNP Paribas score and rating cannot be greater than 0 “neutral”.

*** 2017 ***

Investment in renewable energies have increased by 29% from € 7.2 to 9.3 billion from 2015 to 2016 (p 458 of 2016 registration document); BNP Paribas has participated in the issue of the 1st French sovereign green bond. We note that the bank’s exclusion list excludes financing projects related to the trading of animals mentioned on the CITES list (p 459 of 2016 registration document).

The bank has signed the Equator Principles where ESG projects are classified by categories A/B/C; A represents the most polluting projects, and C the least. Concerning the bank’s performance related to the Equator Principles, we observe more investment in polluting projects from 2015 to 2016: from 0 category A / 12 category B /1 category C in 2015 to 3 category A/ 14 category B / 0 category C in 2016, so an increase of +3 category A highly polluting projects. But in comparisons with other French banks of the same peer group, since 3 category A projects financed by BNP are still less than 7 projects of category A financed by Societe Generale, 7 category A by Credit Agricole, and 5 category A by Natixis, the BNP Paribas’s score is higher than its competitors.

Category A – Projects with potential significant adverse environmental and social risks and/or impacts that are diverse, irreversible or unprecedented;
Category B – Projects with potential limited adverse environmental and social risks and/or impacts that are few in number, generally site-specific, largely reversible and readily addressed through mitigation measures; and
Category C – Projects with minimal or no adverse environmental and social risks and/or impacts

BENEFICIAL ASPECTS: wildlife investment exclusion; stops financing firms producing or buying beef from deforested land in the Amazon

HARMFUL ASPECTS: animal welfare and rights are not investment or financing criteria

Sources:

Reuters – France’s BNP to stop financing firms farming deforested land in the Amazon

BNP Paribas reports on sustainable investments

BNP PARIBAS 2016 registration document

Equator Principles- number of polluting projects financed by BNP PARIBAS in 2016 per pollution level

https://www.cites.org/eng