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45 (140) 2020
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The Responsible Rebound

Bank of green changes

by Maria Krawczyńska, CSR Bureau Director at BNP Paribas Poland, Board Member at BNP Paribas Foundation in Poland
Header maria krawczy ska

 

Responsibility towards the natural environment is for BNP Paribas one of four key pillars of responsibility (CSR and Sustainability Strategy).

Within the framework of environmental responsibility, Bank BNP Paribas implements three commitments:

•    Enabling our clients to transition to a low-carbon economy, respectful of the environment

•    Reducing the environmental impact of our operations

•    Advance awareness and sharing of best environmental practices

Implementation of tasks under the CSR and Sustainability Strategy commitments is the bank’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]. The key Sustainable Development Goals for BNP Paribas from the perspective of the natural environment include:

•    Goal 7. Affordable and clean energy

•    Goal 11. Sustainable cities and communities

•    Goal 13. Climate action

•    Goal 17. Partnership for the goals

BNP Paribas has for years been involved in pro-environment activities to minimise the impact of its operating activity on the natural environment, and to hold back climate change.
[Click and find out more about BNP Paribas activity to prevent climate change] >>  

In April 2019 BNP Paribas initiated the Bank of Green Changes programme, combining all the bank’s existing activities to support pro-climate activities, aggregating all its actions to date to support pro-climate measures.

The Bank of Green Changes programme consists of an internal educational campaign addressed to employees across all areas of the bank, real changes in how the organisation operates (‘eco-friendly improvements’), and an offer of eco-friendly products and services.

Responsible consumption of resources
In April 2019 BNP Paribas initiated an educational campaign aimed at all employees and their families. As part of the launch, a meeting was held with Katarzyna Wągrowska, author of the book Życie Zero Waste [‘Zero Waste Life] and the blog ograniczamsie.com. Since then, the bank’s employee receive a monthly dose of eco-knowledge – solutions for them to live more in line with our planet. Employees will learn about the reasons and consequences of climate change and ways to stem it. The programme began with the topic of renewable and non-renewable resources, which on a daily basis, are grouped into five waste fractions.

The employees can regularly test their expertise in topic-related quizzes. Eco-experts shall receive environment-friendly gadgets allowing them to implement zero-waste principles. The bank also encourages its employees to undertake monthly eco-challenges and to share their ideas and achievements with others. In this way we establish environmental-friendly attitudes among employees.
As part of the campaign there is also a special page in the intranet – a repository of knowledge about ecology for the employees of BNP Paribas.
Inspiring meetings and workshops are held as part of the programme. Experts such as Franck Courchamp – author of the documentary Separate Species, and Marcin Popkiewicz – the nuclear physicist, climatologist, author of the book Climate Science shared their knowledge with the bank’s employees.  

Second edition of Bank of Green Changes, entitled Responsible Consumption and Sustainable Lifestyle
In April 2020, Bank BNP Paribas launched the second edition of its educational campaign. The leading topic is responsible consumption and sustainable lifestyle. Different topics are undertaken as part of the campaign, such as the impact of the pandemic on the natural environment, sustainable agriculture and food production, responsible purchases and eco-mobility.
The bank has also prepared various attractions for its employees, such as virtual meetings with environmental experts, podcasts and quizzes, under which they can win eco-gadgets for themselves and for their family members.

Activities establishing pro-environment attitudes
Under the framework of its activities for climate, Bank BNP Paribas organises campaigns supporting the promotion of eco-attitudes among its employees and their family members. In 2018, as part of Let’s meadow our cities, our employees – volunteers – together with members of the Foundation Łąka [‘Meadow’] sowed flower meadows at the Jazdów estate in Warsaw and at Błonie Mogilskie in Kraków. In October 2019 they sowed a flower meadow in the vicinity of the bank’s operating centre in Ruda Śląska.
In September 2019 Bank BNP Paribas, in cooperation with the Foundation Nasza Ziemia [‘Our Earth’] and under the patronage of the director-general of the Polish state forests, organised the #TrashChallenge campaign. The employees, together with their family members took part in educational picnics and together cleaned up contaminated sites in eight locations in Poland.
Click and watch the action >>

Promoting climate justice
The bank is a partner to organisations and initiatives supporting environmental protection and holding back climate change. Since 2017 the bank has been supporting Stowarzyszenie Rolnictwa Zrównoważonego [‘Sustainable Agriculture Association’] ‘ASAP’. BNP Paribas is also a partner to the SDG 11 programme – Sustainable Cities, United Nations Global Compact Network Poland. Within the framework of this partnership, we support the campaign First 24 Hours Without Smog and other activities of Global Compact Network Poland to promote eco-attitudes. BNP Paribas Polska’s CEO, Przemek Gdański, is a member of UNGC programme council. He took part in the publication Yearbook 2019, where he encouraged consumers, companies and institutions to get involved in the initiatives under 13th Sustainable Development Goal – activities in favour of climate. The Bank also cooperates with UNEP/GRID-Warszawa and is a member of the partnership Together For The Environment to implement environmental goals of sustainable development. It also joined the expert programme Climate Leadership, and actively supports the campaign Zielona Wstążka #dlaplanety [‘Green Ribbon for the Planet’].

In 2019 BNP Paribas joined the Partnership for Climate of Warsaw. Przemek Gdański, as Poland’s first CEO, supported the initiative CEO Call To Action, supporting climate fairness, established in May 2019 during the SDG Summit in Brussels.
BNP Paribas acts in favour of social and climate fairness. Our experts share their expertise with others during conferences and industry events, and promote a balanced approach to investment financing. The bank’s experts attended the SDG Summit organised by CSR Europe in Brussels; the European Economic Congress; the European Financial Congress, and the Economic Forum in Krynica.
In 2019, following the eco-involvement of its employees, the bank developed the educational campaign Climate Change Costs, and undertook to create Great Oxygen Gardens, which will be planted on wasteland to purify the air around us. BNP Paribas is trying to instil care for the natural environment among its customers and business partners; the bank has started a cycle of eco-podcasts which can be listened on talks-bnpparibas.pl and on Spotify in the channel BNP Paribas Talks: spotify.com.

Supporting green changes
The internal educational campaign is also an opportunity to initiate and communicate changes in the functioning of BNP Paribas and to implement further eco-improvements. The consumption of plastics is successively reduced in the bank – the possibility of ordering disposable plastic cups, cutlery, plates or beverages in plastic bottles has been withdrawn from the procurement platform. Head offices, business centres and branches have been equipped with water dispensers, glasses and bottles. For a couple of years the bank car fleet has been enlarged by hybrid vehicles enabling to reduce issuance of noxious substances to the environment. The bank has 128 such cars and two fully electric cars. The bank also encourages its employees to practice carpooling and car-sharing.
Successive paperless solutions are being implemented thanks to cooperation with Autenti – a Polish start-up offering electronic signatures and circulating documents. Since the end of August, agreements with BNP Paribas can be signed on the Autenti platform by persons cooperating with the bank on a contract basis. This possibility will be offered to the regular employees. From this year, BNP Paribas concludes contracts using e-signatures with its business partners. The bank offered also the possibility of concluding contracts online to its business customers. Firms may use the Autenti platform for electronically signing documents in internal processes and relations with business partners.
Under the activities in favour of sustainable city eco-system, since June 2017 there are three bee hives on the roof of the head office building at Kasprzaka Street in Warsaw, populated by honey bees. In 2019 another apiary of six bee hives was created in Ruda Śląska.

Actions taken under the programme have influenced the operations of BNP Paribas itself as well as thousands of homes and businesses. The bank continuously develops its eco-related offer, including products and services, supporting its customers in switching to a low-carbon economy.

To this end, the bank set up in 2018 a green competence centre – the Bureau for International Financial Institutions and Sustainable Development Programmes – to analyse and develop programmes supporting investments implemented by the Bank’s customers from different market segments.

Thanks to the financing provided by BNP Paribas, over 15,000 households now use photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. In 2019 BNP Paribas increased funds for the financing of renewable energy sources and projects supporting energy effectiveness seven-fold.

Find more about the Bank of Green Changes on:

https://raportroczny.bnpparibas.pl/en/env-responsibility/intro/

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