Presenting BNP Paribas Asset Management’s latest sustainability report, Jane Ambachtsheer, global head of sustainability, highlights the recent achievements, underscoring the importance of putting sustainable investment at the core of BNPP AM’s strategy as well as the company’s role as a ‘Future Maker’ leading change.
The Global Sustainability Strategy, published in 2019, sets out our ambition, a three-year road map, and the five-pillar approach to define and implement sustainable investment.
In 2019, we introduced common ESG Integration Guidelines and held ‘ESG Validation Committee meetings to support investment teams in adapting and applying them. We invested significantly in evolving our proprietary ESG research, expanding coverage from 3 000 entities to more than 12 000.
As an active steward, our voting record on topics such as climate change and board diversity is exemplary. We do not hesitate to align our votes with our principles, nor to support or file shareholder resolutions. A key focus in 2019 was tackling corporate climate lobbying and supporting the development of sustainable finance regulation.
Looking at the role of responsible business conduct, our enhanced coal policy came into effect in 2019, aligning our expectations for the global power sector with the Paris Agreement on climate change. This is a unique approach in the asset management world.
Energy transition, environmental sustainability and equality & inclusive growth are the 3’Es’ that guide our strategic research, stewardship and reporting. These themes have shown to be timely, with climate change clearly still a top priority for investors, accompanied by growing a focus on biodiversity, while both the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-racism protests have shone an important light on the importance of equality and inclusive growth.
Our Sustainable + investment range makes up the final pillar. With over EUR 60 billion invested in sustainable, impact or labelled funds, BNP Paribas AM is the world’s largest manager of sustainability themed assets, which we will continue to nurture and grow.
More than a year into our global strategy, we have found that our five-pillar structure brings clarity to colleagues and clients on how we approach sustainability and the results they can expect to see – as evidenced in this sustainability report.
One of the most exciting points in 2019 was building the Sustainability Centre our team. It now boasts 25 full-time experts based in Paris, Hong Kong, Boston and New York, blending existing staff with new hires – including industry veterans.
We have created two networks of ESG Champions in the Investments business and the Global Client Group. The extensive network of sustainability experts further bolsters our efforts across BNP Group as does the active engagement of our executive committee.
With a clear structure and ambition in place, our focus turns even more sharply towards implementation within each pillar – from ambitious stewardship, to financial innovation and impact – as well as more detailed reporting and communication with clients.
We operate in a dynamic corporate environment, with ever-increasing demand for sustainable results from clients, regulators and civil society. This keeps us focused and will allow us to continue to thrive.
We also operate in a complex and fragile global economic and environmental system: meeting the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals requires active commitment from the long-term investment community as Future Makers. BNPP AM is committed to this aim. Indeed, our ability to deliver long-term, sustainable returns to clients relies on our joint success.
Any views expressed here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different investment decisions for different clients.
The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns.
Investing in emerging markets, or specialised or restricted sectors is likely to be subject to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration, greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions (social, political and economic conditions).
Some emerging markets offer less security than the majority of international developed markets. For this reason, services for portfolio transactions, liquidation and conservation on behalf of funds invested in emerging markets may carry greater risk.