To mark Swiss « overshoot day » – the date on which our resource consumption exceeds the Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources – we are taking stock of the environmental initiatives undertaken by BNP Paribas in Switzerland and our staff.
The BNP Paribas Group is committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and strives to make the world a better place. As part of this commitment, BNP Paribas in Switzerland acts locally to assist with the protection of the environment, and biodiversity especially.
Supporting the environment protection
Although the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced travel internationally and locally, not enough is being done for the environment in light of the sustainable development goals. This is why it is important to continue to work to protect the environment, from both a business perspective and in terms of our commitments.
At BNP Paribas Group, we commit to taking strong positions both in our professional activities and in the bank’s offering. For example, the Group has committed to withdrawing completely from financing coal and to putting in place a strategy to assist the energy transition.
Our teams in Switzerland have also undertaken to redesign our product offering. Our Jet & Yacht Finance teams have expanded their range through the Tick&Donate concept (enabling clients to support an organisation that is committed to protecting the oceans for example) but also by offering to support projects dedicated to reducing carbon emissions. Our teams also support our clients in switching to responsible investments and issuing Green Bonds.
It is also our aim to reduce our environmental footprint as an employer. In fact, the BNP Paribas Group has actually been carbon neutral since 2017. Between 2012 and 2019, BNP Paribas in Switzerland cut CO2 emissions by 49% through various initiatives such as encouraging our staff to choose eco-friendly travel options, reducing the number of business trips by 63% and lowering our energy consumption by 25%.
The scope of our commitment also involves philanthropic efforts and mobilising our employees around the causes that we believe in. The BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation has been supporting the Swiss Polar Institute through the Polar Access Fund to encourage and offer financial support to young people conducting research into climate change.
Similarly, as the energy transition is a key factor in responding to the challenges set by COP21, we have been supporting the Solar Impulse foundation since 2017 to assist with research into sustainable and profitable solutions.
Our employees are also committed
Beyond offering a range of products and services that make a positive impact, our primary objective is to motivate our staff to support the values that we uphold.
In 2019, BNP Paribas Group launched the 1 Million Hours 2 Help programme, the aim of which was to promote volunteering among our staff in the areas we support, namely the environment, young people, entrepreneurs and local challenges.
Despite the upheaval of 2020, with lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures being introduced, our employees came together to support those in need and to work to protect the environment, notably by building beehives for bee conservation and participating in efforts to clean Lake Geneva.
1817 Hours of volunteering clocked up in 2020
24 social and environmental projects supported
For 2021, two weeks of volunteering have already been organised, with more than 130 participants involved in 22 different projects.
With the help of our staff, we thus continue to be environmentally proactive in order to help push back the date on which the world or, on this day, Switzerland, consumes more than the Earth can provide in one year.