At BNP Paribas Asset Management, we invest responsibly for a better future. We firmly believe that companies that adopt a responsible approach are inherently more sustainable and can therefore generate long-term value for customers. Beyond our fiduciary responsibility towards customers, our business allows us to influence decision-making bodies as well as the companies we invest in. This gives us an opportunity to take action for society as a whole with a view to creating sustainable, inclusive growth.
Incorporating ESG criteria into our investment approach
We have been leading a responsible investment policy since 2011. This means we incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) selection criteria in all our investments. We require the companies in which we invest to comply with the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact around respect for human rights and workers’ rights, protection of the environment and the fight against corruption.
Our approach also involves the application of “sector policies” that set a framework for or prohibit investment in companies operating in sectors that are controversial given their environmental impact and poor social practices or governance. The sectors include weapons, palm oil, paper pulp, mining activities, oil sands, nuclear power generation, coal-fired power generation, asbestos and tobacco. Companies that do not comply with our ESG criteria are excluded from our investment universe.
Engagement as a means to change corporate practices
As part of our engagement policy, we forge a dialogue with the companies in which we consider investing in and encourage them to adopt more responsible practices. We see regular dialogue with issuers as a way to improve the long-term return on our investment.
We work closely with organisations that serve as a reference in the field of responsible investment to promote sustainable development and improve common practices:
- PRI (United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment)
- IIGCC (International Investors Group on Climate Change)
- AFG (French asset management association)
- EFAMA (European Fund and Asset Management Association)
- FIR (French social investment forum, which encourages socially-responsible investment)
- EUROSIF (European association for the promotion and advancement of sustainable and responsible investment)
- UNEP FI (United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative)
- EUROPEAN COMMISSION EEFIG (Energy Efficiency Financial Institution Group)
- ICGN (International Corporate Governance Network)
A stringent voting policy
Voting at shareholder meetings is an integral part of the dialogue that BNP Paribas Asset Management seeks with the companies in which it invests on behalf of its customers.
Through our engagement alongside the companies in which we are a shareholder, we intend to enhance the long-term return on our investment and encourage ESG-geared best practices.
Our dialogue with issuers ahead of shareholder meetings enables us to obtain additional information on proposed resolutions, explain our voting policy and express any reservations we may have regarding resolutions that might conflict with our policy. We update this policy on a regular basis to reflect changes in standards of governance and industry practices.
In 2018, we voted at 1,464 general meetings.You can see our voting records of individual agenda items at company meetings and read about our policy here:Vote details
Guiding our customers in the transition to a low-carbon economy and tackling climate change
We have been committed since 2002 to taking concrete measures to tackle climate change to protect the value of our customers’ investments over the long term.
As a member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) since 2003, we are involved in the fight against global warming.
We were one of the first asset management companies to sign the Montreal Carbon Pledge and we joined the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition in 2015. We now measure the carbon footprint of almost 200 equity funds.
We are convinced that it is essential to redirect the economy towards a model where the objective is to limit global warming to +2°C. We believe that any increase above that level could threaten economic stability and therefore long-term financial investments.
In 2015, BNP Paribas Asset Management defined a climate warming related strategy regarding our contribution to keeping global warming below 2°C in line with the Paris Agreement. The measures concern three areas: allocation of capital; responsible stewardship; and transparency and commitment.
We are committed to providing our customers with an in-depth analysis of the impact that climate change could have on their investments. We offer bespoke solutions to institutional investors to help them reduce the carbon footprint of their portfolios.
We apply sector policies that set a framework for our investments in the sectors implicated in climate change: mining, palm oil, agriculture and coal-fired power generation.
A complete range of Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) funds
Our SRI approach is designed to reconcile an attractive economic performance and a limited social and environmental impact by investing in businesses and public entities that contribute to sustainable development. By influencing the governance and actions of stakeholders, SRI promotes a responsible economy.
With more than 15 years of experience in SRI and close to EUR 37 billion in assets(1), BNP Paribas Asset Management can provide investors with a wide range of solutions that meet the demands in terms financial return and social responsibility, including equity, fixed-income, balanced and alternative strategies. These strategies are available in the form of open-ended funds or dedicated mandates, tailored to the needs of institutional investors.
Our SRI offeringincludes:
- Best-in-class strategies – we invest in issuers which we consider to be best-placed within each sector based on their environmental, social and governance practices.
- Thematic strategies – we invest in companies whose activities are related to specific social and environmental themes and which we believe to hold strong potential for financial return.
- A combination of the best-in-class and thematic strategies.
The BNP Paribas Asset Management range of SRI funds enjoys regular recognition from independent industry experts.
Developing impact investing for our customers
We provide a range of impact funds for French individual and institutional investors that enable them to invest all or part of their assets in companies that work to promote integration and combat exclusion as well as in social housing, intergenerational housing and micro-finance. We offer these companies financing and assistance with their development as we believe in the strength of their social or environmental impact.
As of 31 December 2018, EUR 96.5 million was invested in 25 social economy structures.
(1) Source: BNP Paribas Asset Management as of 31 December 2018