2019 Integrated Report

Ambition 3. Undertaking responsible actions for society

Strategy and performance

Ambition 3. Undertaking responsible actions for society

Contribution to society


To increase its positive impact on society and the environment, BNP Paribas can capitalise on both its position as a leading European bank and its international presence. Through the bank’s services, financing activity and advisory solutions, the Group is pursuing a CSR strategy in line with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The aim: contribute to more inclusive, equitable growth.

Increasing our contribution to the Social and Solidarity-based Economy

To face today’s social and environmental challenges, the development of positive-impact entrepreneurship is an answer. BNP Paribas has put in place an international strategy to support social enterprises and positioned itself as a pioneer and major player in this fast-growing sector. More.

The Group is committed to more responsible growth. This involves solutions such as the structuring of social impact bonds (Contrats à Impact Social in France). These instruments make it possible to finance, using private funds, a Social and Solidarity-based Economy (SSE) organisation and so further innovation and benefit society as a whole. BNP Paribas’ commitment to the SEE can be seen in partnerships such as that with The Grameen Creative Lab, formed in 2019, or through programmes such as ”Act for Impact” which has been rolled out in various business lines. In 2019 the Group’s support for associations and Social and Solidarity Economy enterprises amounted to €6.2 billion*, of which €1.9 billion was devoted to microfinance and social enterprises.


BNP Paribas’ commitment to the Social and Solidarity-based Economy has been strengthened thanks to the links forged with The Grameen Creative Lab, a leading institution working in the field of social business and founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus (see interview on the next page). The partnership was signed for a period of five years, during which both parties will work on new initiatives within the Group. These include raising employee awareness regarding social business, training staff to enable them to build “positive impacts” into their businesses, and encourage their engagement through pro bono legal advice for the Grameen Creative Lab teams and social businesses. In 2020, the Lab has created two websites: Tilia, which provides support to caregivers of a family member who has lost autonomy in their daily activities, and Tangata, which helps the disabled and caregivers access leisure activities. The partnership also encourages business lines to promote social businesses. In the United States, Bank of the West has helped finance Grameen America, a microfinance institution that finances and promotes women’s entrepreneurship.

* Financing and investments for both proprietary activity and third parties.


In December 2018 BNP Paribas launched “Act for Impact”, an initiative with the ambitious goal of supporting one out of every four new social entrepreneurs in France by the end of 2020. To help these entrepreneurs scale up their businesses, the Group provides banking advice and access to a network of partners. Recently, a combined panel of experts from the crowdfunding site Ulule and BNP Paribas relationship managers selected three of these new SSE, positive-impact projects. The first award-winning initiative was Kimia Café, a “third place” family project combining conviviality and eco-awareness which opened in Paris in early 2020. The Trust Society, the second initiative selected, is an online sales website that brings together sustainable and everyday zero-waste products made in France. It is designed to help people change their consumption patterns. The third project supported by the initiative is Les Petits Prödiges, a brand of cosmetics made in France that is 100% natural and respectful of people’s health and the planet. In addition to this success in France, BGL BNP Paribas rolled out “Act for Impact” in Luxembourg to better serve the fast-growing social economy in the Grand Duchy. Retail and Corporate Banking in Luxembourg made a commitment to social entrepreneurs by putting together a team of advisors from within the bank attuned to social entrepreneurs’ needs. The entrepreneurs benefit from employee expertise in areas such as communication, human resources and marketing. The bank’s Lux Future Lab is also open to startups that have a positive social and/ or environmental impact. The Lab offers services ranging from hosting to training and the search for financing.