“We believe that insurance companies have an important role to play in supporting the energy transition. As an institutional investor we are pursuing our efforts to fight climate change while combining financial performance and social responsibility,” says Olivier Héreil, BNP Paribas Cardif Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management.
BNP Paribas Cardif announced in 2017 a commitment to reaching 2.4 billion Euros in green investments by the end of 2020. In just two years the insurer has more than doubled its green investments within the framework of its general funds in its domestic markets (France, Italy, Luxembourg), supporting financing of the energy transition and reduction of ecological footprints.
The insurance firm decided to raise its objective by 1.1 billion Euros to reach 3.5 billion Euros in green investments by the end of 2020. It will continue to contribute to the development of green bonds which finance projects with high environmental value, and to continue its positive environmental impact investments, according to a press note.
Reduced exposure to coal
BNP Paribas Cardif continues to reduce the exposure to coal in the investment portfolios managed directly for the general funds in its domestic markets. This initiative is aligned with the sector policy of the BNP Paribas group, which establishes guidelines in particular governing activities involving coal-fired power generation.
Within the scope of its directly managed activities, BNP Paribas Cardif now no longer finances any power generation businesses whose coal-fired power accounts for over 30% of their total installed power generation capacity.
Application of this sector policy covers investment flows and securities already held directly in the general funds. This is why in 2018 the insurer divested 200 million Euros in investments in companies in the coal-fired power generation sector.
In addition to these initiatives, BNP Paribas Cardif is pursuing its shareholder engagement to encourage change in practices by issuers. As a major source of financing for the economy and direct holder of shares, BNP Paribas Cardif is strengthening its shareholder engagement policy by integrating new Environmental, Social and Governance criteria (ESG), in particular concerning diversity and human rights. The insurer applies this strategy to all directly held shares within the general funds in its domestic markets.
Responsible management of real estate investments
BNP Paribas Cardif continues to apply more demanding environmental criteria to its real estate holdings in France. The company has committed to a 30% reduction in energy consumption for its 55 office buildings (representing 658,956 square