Annual report 2019

Responsible financing

BNP Paribas understands economic responsibility as responsible long-term financing of the economy as well as maintaining ethical and lasting relationships with clients and stakeholders.

Our CSR & Sustainability Strategy commitments under the economic responsibility pillar:

  • Investments and financing with a positive impact.
  • Ethics of the highest standard.
  • Systematic integration and management of environmental, social and governance risk.

As part of our economic responsibility, we have identified Sustainable Development Goals related to our contribution to the Polish market. The aims include: supporting the development of the economy, innovation and industry, environmental initiatives and cross-sectoral partnerships for sustainable development.

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The economic responsibility of Bank BNP Paribas entails long-term support for the development of the economy through financial support for individual and corporate projects. At the same time, we aim to monitor the CSR risks of all our clients. The Bank focuses in particular on financing ESG sensitive sectors.

Financing decisions are preceded with analyses of the social, economic and environmental impact of a given company and project.

Economic responsibility is an important topic for all companies of the BNP Paribas Capital Group. They conduct their operations in accordance with the highest standards and guidelines of the BNP Paribas Group.

2019 in numbers


CSR policies in force in sensitive sectors

8,000 – 12,000

customer satisfaction surveys conducted monthly


enterpreneur took part in 31 meetings as a part of the Foreign Trade Program for our customers


CSR analyses performed


employees took part in anti-corruption training


participants of 7 meetings as a part of IV edition of Agro Academy


CSR Declarations signed by our new suppliers


accounts of persons holding a Ukrainian passport


representatives of companies from the food production sector took part in the Agro-conference


of expenditures on products and services went to local suppliers


accounts for NGOs maintained by the Bank


startup implementations
Maria Krawczyńska Director of the CSR Bureau at BNP Paribas Bank Polska SA

Bank BNP Paribas understands responsible financing as caring for the highest ethical standards, monitoring the social, economic and environmental aspects of transactions concluded by all our clients, as well as offering products and services which respond to global challenges and local market conditions (and thus respond to changing customer needs).

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Bank BNP Paribas has identified nine sensitive sectors based on environmental, social or corporate governance risk:

  • coal energy,
  • mining,
  • defence and security,
  • forest – wood pulp,
  • forest – palm oil,
  • nuclear,
  • agriculture,
  • fuel – unconventional oil and gas,
  • tobacco.

In each of these sectors, the Bank implements CSR Policies towards the relevant clients. In addition, all current and potential customers of the Bank who operate in the above-mentioned industries are informed about CSR policies and receive information regarding the analysis process.

In addition, clients are thoroughly analysed by the Bank’s experts for compliance with the principles of sustainable development. In 2019, we established the so-called “second line of CSR control” in the Corporate Credit Risk Department. It focuses on possible ESG risks in the operations of current and potential clients. This aspect is later included in the overall risk assessment for a client’s business or prospectus.

Sector policies of BNP Paribas Group

  • The Bank’s own indicator

As a responsible financial institution, Bank BNP Paribas monitors the level of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) risk for all of its clients. In addition, as part of the BNP Paribas Group, the Bank pays particular attention to the financing of ESG sensitive sectors.

To this end, the Bank has identified nine sectors and has accordingly introduced CSR Policies – with specific requirements for clients operating within them:

Coal power greatly contributes to carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions and is one of the main causes of climate change. Therefore, a balance should be struck between the growing demand for electricity, economic development and the need to reduce CO 2 emissions. Such a balance is critical to limiting climate change. In 2017, Bank BNP Paribas decided to discontinue the financing of projects related to coal mine construction, the extension of coal-fired power plants, CHP plants, as well as new power units. We chose to support only those companies from the coal energy sector which are actively involved in the transition to other types of energy (in accordance with the „scenario below 2°C” of the International Energy Agency). In addition, BNP Paribas believes it is equally important that all companies in the coal energy sector meet the necessary requirements in the field of health protection, safety and environmental protection for the sake of future generations.

The mining sector supplies resources which have a major impact on the development of most economic sectors. The world’s population is increasing. It as a key factor in the growing demand for resources, especially combined with the growing expectations of developing countries as to advanced infrastructure as well as the high quality of products and services. Resources are being depleted and it is becoming increasingly difficult to extract them. A balanced approach to the mining sector needs to give careful consideration to the environmental, social and governance risks associated with the sector. The CSR policy towards the mining sector defines the requirements for mining companies and projects which wish to cooperate with the Bank. The policy states additional criteria for mining enterprises and mining projects.

As a significant financial institution, Bank BNP Paribas recognises the validity of the five major challenges and threats to the security of the EU as defined by the European Council: terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, conflicts in regions, failing states and organised crime. Illegal arms trafficking, especially the illegal sale of small arms, is a key factor in four out of the five threats.

While the Bank recognises the right of states to defend themselves and to protect their own national security, it is also conscious of the particular risks connected with the Defence and Security Sector.

The defence and security provisions listed in our policy apply to weapons (including controversial weapons), military equipment, dual-use goods, internal repression, and internal security and police. The policy defines a set of principles and guidelines regarding the Defence and Security Sector which must be followed by all organisational units of the Bank.

The demand for paper products will increase in the coming decade, which will affect global development. In connection with the wood pulp production process, the Bank has noted that heavy industry has a great impact on the environment (including water, soil and air pollution), but also on the health and safety of those employed by the industry and surrounding communities. Based on the paper production chain, shareholders believe that the greatest impact can be exerted at the level of forest management and wood pulp production. The Bank’s CSR policy focuses on these two stages.

The development of palm oil plantations may adversely affect local communities, climate change and the ecosystem. However, such issues depend primarily on the method of oil production. As a financial institution, the Bank wants to support responsible producers who apply sustainable development practices in the palm oil production sector. Therefore, we refrain from financing or investing in enterprises which activity contribute to deforestation (loss of diversity, intensification of adverse climate changes, etc.) or in enterprises which violate the rights of local communities.

As a financial institution, the Bank offers its products and financial services to government units which support development of non-military nuclear energy. The Bank believes that the international community and countries which plan to develop nuclear power or build new power plants need to act in accordance with the requirements of safety and population protection, as well as environmental protection. The Bank’s CSR Policy aims to ensure that the projects financed by the Bank in the nuclear energy sector are properly monitored in terms of mitigating social and environmental impact.

Agriculture is a key sector in terms of employment opportunities and GDP. It provides livelihoods for millions of people, both in developed and developing countries. Investing in agriculture is one of the most effective strategies to reduce hunger and promote sustainable development. However, without proper management, the development of agriculture could have adverse effects on local communities, ecosystems or climate change.

Bank BNP Paribas supports the agro-food sector and therefore provides a wide range of financial products and services for entities in this industry. The offer is addressed to highly responsible farms and processing companies, whose goal is to provide consumers with healthy and safe products while ensuring that the supply of food for future generations remains unthreatened. Therefore, we do not finance or invest in enterprises whose agricultural practices do not meet the requirements of sustainable development or which destabilise the market of basic agricultural goods.

Bank BNP Paribas is highly involved in the energy transformation. Our goal is to contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. This aim is reflected in the Bank’s loan portfolio and steps taken to reduce the environmental impact of its operations.

Therefore, Bank BNP Paribas has developed a coherent policy on financial products and services for the oil and gas industry in the field of unconventional oil and gas. Oil production from unconventional resources currently accounts for c. 10% of global oil and gas production. This percentage is expected to increase because unconventional oil and gas currently account for 55% and 44% of renewable fuel resources, respectively.

The negative impact of unconventional production can be mitigated by implementing the best practices which have been developed. BNP Paribas assesses resources and projects for various unconventional sources of oil and gas, in line with the best practices of the industry. Thus, we determine the real, specific impact of such projects.

In 2017, the BNP Paribas Group made a global decision to discontinue financing and investing in the tobacco industry, including manufacturers, planters and wholesalers whose main operations are tobacco-related. Since 2018, in line with the decision of the Group, the Bank has been implementing the exit process from financing the tobacco sector.

The new financing and investing regulations result from the BNP Paribas Group’s commitment to financing the economy while maintaining a positive impact on all stakeholders.

In addition, since 2020, Bank BNP Paribas has ceased funding for the fur farming sector, thus implementing restrictions which had been gradually introduced since 2017.

Find out more about the sector-specific policies of the BNP Paribas Group at the Group’s website.

Responsible products and services

Responsible products and services should meet the needs of customers, be available to vulnerable groups and have a positive impact on the environment. Bank BNP Paribas wants to counteract exclusion, support entrepreneurship as well as energy transformation by offering responsible and sustainable green products.

For more information about eco-friendly products and services, see Chapter Environmental Responsibility.

The Bank offers an account for NGOs (addressed to social organisations and micro non-profit institutions) with basic services included free of charge. By signing a single agreement with the Bank, an organisation receives: a current settlement account in PLN, a deposit account, term deposit accounts, access to mobile and online banking systems, the comprehensive support of a banking adviser and preferential conditions for additional services.

At the end of 2019, the Bank had opened 24,245 accounts for non-governmental organisations. The product is very popular. We have received many awards for its implementation, including Leader of Responsible and Sustainable Development in the SMART CSR Project category, awarded by the “Rzeczpospolita” daily newspaper.

Details on the website.

In 2018, Bank BNP Paribas was the first financial institution in Poland to launch a banking offer addressed specifically to social economy enterprises.

Thus, we support entities that, in addition to generating profit, set social and/or environmental goals for themselves and reinvest profit in the implementation of their social mission.

Find out more at the website.

Bank BNP Paribas analyses the needs of various social groups, including foreigners. In response to the growing number of Ukrainian citizens living in Poland, we have taken steps to make our offer more accessible to them. The Bank has already opened 119,000 accounts for Ukrainian passport holders. Thus, we are at the forefront of banks with an offer for Ukrainian citizens in Poland.

At Bank BNP Paribas, citizens of Ukraine can easily open the Account Open to You. It has been created for clients who value transparent and simple solutions in banking.

  • Only one document is needed to open the account – a passport or a residence card.
  • The Bank has prepared a website and advertising materials in Ukrainian.
  • We have opened branches in 5 Polish cities where advisers speak Ukrainian or Russian.
  • Bank also provides support through a dedicated hotline available in these languages.

Find out more at the website.

In 2019, the offer of our Bank’s Brokerage Office included products supporting responsible investments:

  • BNP Paribas L1 Sustainable Active Balanced,
  • BNP Paribas L1 Sustainable Active Growth,
  • BNP Paribas L1 Sustainable Active Stability.

The Funds invested directly or indirectly in the bonds or shares of issuers who met the sustainability criteria (whose products and services contribute to solving environmental and social development problems), as well as in derivatives of these assets.

The offer also included Fidelity Funds Sustainable Water & Waste Fund. The portfolio manager intends to invest in shares of companies from around the world whose activities are related to the design, production or sale of products and services used in the industry of water and sewage management or in connection with this industry. The Fund has adopted a free approach to the creation of the portfolio, and the portfolio manager focuses on the company’s long-term goals. Through the process of investment and risk monitoring, the Fund seeks to integrate environmental protection, social policy and corporate governance, which contributes to an extremely balanced portfolio.

In addition to the investment consulting service, we also offered two funds:

  • NN Polski Odpowiedzialnego Inwestowania – The Fund invests at least 66% of its assets in shares of companies listed on the WSE. The remaining part will be invested in the shares of Western and Central European companies and on organised OECD markets (other than Poland and Member States). The fund manager focuses on the diversified selection of a small number of companies. An important element of their selection is the analysis of non-financial factors, i.e. environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors: indicators of responsible business conduct, as well as a positive impact on society and the environment.
  • NN (L) Globalny Odpowiedzialnego Inwestowania – The fund invests up to 100% of its accumulated assets in the NN (L) Global Equity Impact Opportunities Luxembourg fund. The Fund generally invests in the shares of companies which offer attractive financial returns while having a positive impact on society and the environment.

Thanks to the cooperation of BNP Paribas Bank Polska with BNP Paribas Energy, Resources and Infrastructure Teams in Brussels and Paris, at the turn of 2019 and 2020, we launched financing for the „Perfect Wind” project developed by Akuo. The credit facilities structured in the „project finance” formula are intended for financing of the construction of wind farm with 132MW capacity. The project is one of first major developments financed under new support system for renewable energy in Poland.

BNP Paribas Group played a leading role in the transaction with BNP Paribas Bank Polska acting as a Lead Arranger, Facility Agent, Security Agent and Account Bank. In addition, local Global Markets team dealing with this type of transactions has arranged and executed transactions hedging the interest rate risk and currency risk of this project.

Initiatives for responsibility in the financial industry

We actively promote good practices in the Polish financial industry. In addition to internal initiatives and the implementation of relevant policies, we bring issues of social responsibility (which are important to us and our clients) to the attention of the entire industry.

We are among the initiators of a self-regulation project launched in 2019 for entities from the financial industry: the Declaration of Responsible Sales.

For more information about the Declaration of Responsible Sales, see section: Transparency and communication with clients.

Since 2016, we have been supporting subsequent editions of the “Not-irresponsible” conference, dedicated to responsibility in the financial industry. The topic of the conference (which took place on November 6, 2019) was Rebellion and anger in (ir)responsible life and business. Participants jointly sought to answer whether the above factors can result in positive changes in an organization, or whether they are an obstacle to building social capital.

In addition to discussions and presentations, the conference program included an oxford-style debate entitled Opportunism – Is it more profitable than rebellion in business? as well as a presentation of the results of a social survey: Why do we not rebel as consumers?

“Not-irresponsible” is a project which arose from the need to seek answers to fundamental questions: what is good and what is evil in today’s world. The conference was first proposed by the ANG Cooperative which deals with the subject of business ethics, sustainable development and social involvement in the financial industry. The Cooperative makes every effort to be a socially responsible company and to operate in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

Find out more about the conference at the website.

We are a member of the Polish Bank Association – an organisation of banks established in January 1991 and operating under the Act on Chambers of Commerce of 30 May 1989. Membership in the Association is voluntary and is possible for banks which provide services in Poland, which were established and are operating under Polish law. As part of PBA membership, our representatives are also members of the Banking Ethics Committee and work for ethical behaviour in the financial sector.

As a member of the Banking Ethics Committee, we participate in a survey conducted by the Polish Bank Association. The results are published as the Report of the Banking Ethics Committee on the relations between banks and their stakeholders. In itself, participation in the survey is a token of social responsibility and the need to constantly shape and disseminate ethical standards in the financial services market. Thus it also reflects the need to constantly improve the Bank’s image as an institution of public trust in everyday communication with clients, business partners, competitors, shareholders, employees as well as with the local community. The Bank’s experts actively participate in the work of numerous committees, councils and working groups, including a working group devoted to providing top quality services to people with disabilities.

The idea behind the “Ethics in Finance” competition, organised by the Banking Ethics Committee, is to promote ethical attitudes in the world of finance and to emphasize the important role of ethics in shaping the financial sector.

The “Ethics in Finance” competition gives young people a chance to share their passion for work, exchange observations and ideas for improving the system. The basic requirement for competition essays is the presentation of an innovative proposal with the aim of protecting or implementing ethical values in the world of finance.

The competition is organised in cooperation with the Financial Observatory in Geneva, the organiser of the international edition of the Competition. In 2019, as in previous years, Bank BNP Paribas became one of the four sponsors of the competition prizes.

Find out more about the competition at the website.

Sustainable supply chain

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We are aware of the social, environmental and economic responsibility of companies, including ourselves, regarding supply chain management. In order to conduct a responsible procurement policy, the Central Procurement Department of Bank BNP Paribas (in cooperation with the procurement department of the BNP Paribas Group) developed and implemented the CSR Declaration which regulates the principles of cooperation with suppliers. It addresses the issues of responsible supplier selection, the equal treatment of suppliers in financial matters and the promotion of suppliers who support CSR initiatives. This declaration sets out the principles of cooperation between suppliers and Bank BNP Paribas.

By signing the CSR Declaration, suppliers confirm compliance with ethical principles, working conditions and safety standards, provisions regarding the employment of young people, combating forced labor, discrimination and environmental issues. Each new supplier is evaluated for compliance with these criteria.

In 2019:

  • The CSR Declaration has been signed by 333 new suppliers.
  • the signing of the CSR Declaration constituted 5% of a supplier’s rating in our process of supplier selection,
  • around 89% of the Bank’s expenditure on products and services were purchases from local Polish suppliers.

In 2019, as part of the adjustments after the merger with Raiffeisen Bank Polska, we fully aligned the procedures regarding supplier assessment which had previously been in place at Bank BNP Paribas.

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