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BNP Paribas reinforces its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals at New York Climate Week

  • BNP Paribas is taking part in Climate Week, which runs from September 23 to 29 in New York.

  • The bank reinforces its action on climate and sustainability, which is central to its business strategy, by signing the Principles for Responsible Banking and joining UNEP FI’s Collective Commitment to Climate Action.

  • Climate Week provides a forum for leading organisations around the world to take additional action to contribute to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): BNP Paribas formalises its commitment to SDG 14 “Life below water” and discloses its actions in favour of ocean protection.


Climate Week 2019 notably sees the launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB). By signing the PRB, more than 130 banks have committed to align their business strategies with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The PRB were first developed in 2018 by a core group of 30 Founding Banks, among them BNP Paribas, through an innovative global partnership between banks and the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Then, banks, as well as other financial institutions and all other interested parties, provided inputs during a six-month global public consultation from November 2018 to 31 May 2019. It is the first time that such a large coalition of banks, which together account for around a third of the world’s banking assets, have placed the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement at the heart of an action plan.

Furthermore, 31 signatory banks of the PRB, including BNP Paribas, have endorsed the Collective Commitment to Climate Action. In line with the Paris Agreement, these banks have committed to align their portfolios to reflect and finance the low-carbon, climate-resilient economy required to limit global warming to well-below 2, and striving for 1.5 degrees Celsius. By putting their PRB commitments into practice and building on the pioneering Katowice Commitment, this Collective Commitment on Climate represents a further joint effort undertaken by the banking community to advance climate action.


The ocean is critical for our planet since it accounts for 70% of its total surface from the coastal areas down to its greater depths. The ocean is a cradle of extraordinary and precious biodiversity for the balance of life on earth, and provides human beings with essential resources, sustains food security and health, and preserves habitats; it also plays a key role in the oxygen cycle and in climate regulation, and is a vector of the globalised economy, generating direct and indirect jobs.

In this context, in line with its commitment to contribute to reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly through its financing and investing activities, BNP Paribas states its willingness to work with its clients towards the achievement of SDG 14 (“Life below Water”) for the conservation and a sustainable use of the ocean. It is particularly important to collectively strengthen the support of the business community for this SDG.  The SDG Reporting Challenge 2018 published by PwC indicates that SDG 14 ranks for the moment last in corporate priorities[1].

The Group is aware that the activities of a number of its clients depend on the safeguarding of the ocean, but also that some of them, although highly necessary to the economy, may be contributing to the disruption of its ecosystem. Therefore, BNP Paribas commits to finance in a responsible manner activities likely to impact the ocean.

Seeking to take an active part in the preservation of the ocean, BNP Paribas supports the implementation of best practices and commits 1bn Euros by 2025 to finance the ecological transition of ships, supporting for example dual-fuel Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion projects. In a complementary way, BNP Paribas promotes innovation and initiatives to raise awareness, such as with BNP Paribas Foundation’s support for research programmes focusing on the ocean.

BNP Paribas has put the SDGs at the centre of its business-development strategy and by the end of 2018 had devoted €168bn of financing to the energy transition and the achievement of the SDGs. In order to go further in tackling climate change, the Group is stepping up its collaboration with partners as well as its commitment to working in new coalitions,“ said Antoine Sire, Head of Company Engagement, BNP Paribas.

Oceans today are under great threat. Through its commitment to finance maritime activities sustainably, BNP Paribas is illustrating how companies can, and must, contribute to protecting oceans,” said Craig Leeson, Director, Writer and Narrator of the documentary film A Plastic Ocean.

[1] Source: PwC, SDG Reporting Challenge 2018 Base:Companies with priority SDGs (362)

More about : BNP Paribas and Ocean protection“

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About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with international reach. It is present in 72 countries, with more than 202,000 employees, of whom more than 154,000 are in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three major business areas: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services, whose retail banking and financial services networks are grouped into Retail Banking & Services, and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which focuses on corporate and institutional clients. The Group supports all of its customers (individuals, associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, large businesses and institutions) in carrying out their projects by offering them financing, investment, savings and protection services. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leading specialist in retail financing in Europe. BNP Paribas is also developing its integrated retail banking model in the Mediterranean basin countries, Turkey and Eastern Europe and has a significant network in the West of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services businesses, BNP Paribas enjoys leadership in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas, as well as a solid and fast growing business in Asia Pacific.

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