BNP Paribas Details CSR Plans
Good corporate citizenship is an ongoing initiative that needs continuous attention and development, according to BNP Paribas executives.
At a press briefing held in New York on July 16, Antoine Sire, Head of Company Engagement at BNP Paribas, and Herve Duteil, Chief Sustainability Officer of Americas, mapped out how the French bank plans to maintain its leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Sire stressed that from an enterprise standpoint, CSR cannot be just a check-the-box on a to-do list.
“If we want our employees to be convinced they have to apply CSR, it cannot be only a negative story,” Sire said. “It must also be something that makes our business stronger.”
There are four pillars to BNP Paribas’ CSR approach: economy, community, people, and the environment. According to the firm’s website, its CSR effort “allows us to take part in building a sustainable future while promoting the Group’s performance and stability.”
Sire and Duteil outlined some specifics underlying the bank’s broader CSR framework.
Along with its collaboration with the United Nations, BNP Paribas has been formulating strong CSR sector policies that lend credibility and mitigate risk, especially in the palm oil and tobacco industries. Some efforts go toward combating deforestation, as well as preserving ocean ecosystems.
With regard to Diversity and Inclusion, BNP Paribas advocates for social equality issues in the workplace. When it comes to individual equalities, this issue covers gender and LGBTQ rights, with the intent to establish equal opportunity in the company for all employees.
‘Positive Impact’ business is an area where BNP Paribas provides a spectrum of financing solutions to help clients attain CSR goals such as eco-sustainability via renewable energy, for example. BNP Paribas is also working on this internally, with a goal to have all offices plastic-free by 2020.
Sire said BNP Paribas operates in 73 countries, and global awareness of CSR is growing, if gradually and unevenly.
Sire cited India and Senegal as countries that are becoming more CSR-friendly, as well as Brazil beyond political stances. “More and more people are interested in sustainability,” he said.