La Banque Postale is committed to supporting all its customers in the ecological transition. It is also investing in the international community to address climate challenges. With its new 2030 strategic plan, it reaffirms its ambition to serve the just transition. This ambition implies the integration into La Banque Postale’s model of the systematic measurement of its impacts for all its activities.
Goal: Zero carbon
In April 2021, La Banque Postale signed the commitment letter from the Net Zero Banking Alliance, sponsored by UNEP FI (United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative), whose ambition is to achieve zero net emissions by 2050. This international initiative, which brings together 94 banks from 39 countries, illustrates the banking sector’s commitment to decarbonisation.
After achieving carbon neutrality within its operating scope in 2018, La Banque Postale set itself the goal of reducing its net emissions to zero for all its banking activities by 2040, or 10 years before the deadline set by the Paris Agreement. The goal requires a definitive exit from thermal coal by 2030 and from oil and gas by 2040. The Group refers to the work of the Science Based Targets Initiative as its guideline for this purpose: La Banque Postale’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction approach should be certified in 2021.
La Banque Postale launched its first ‘Carbon Fund’ in 2015 to take concrete action to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions. This is an internal mechanism that monetises La Banque Postale’s carbon footprint. For the first six editions, a total financial budget of nearly €2.19 million has been used to finance three types of projects. Internally, they aim to reduce the Bank’s greenhouse gas emissions. Externally, they aim to offset the balance of the remaining emissions in the national or international territory.
Innovative tools for measuring its impacts
Announced in its new 2030 strategic plan, La Banque Postale will establish an unprecedented proprietary indicator, the Impact Weighting Factor, measuring the impact of its activities on environmental, societal and territorial dimensions. It will be taken into account in the Bank’s decisions to grant loans or investments and will enable customers to channel their savings.
In addition, the integration in 2021 of the Hello Carbo app, incubated by platform58, in Online Banking and the La Banque Postale app, will allow all customers to know the carbon impact of their transactions and take any offsetting measures.
La Banque Postale Asset Management, a pioneer in socially responsible investment
Making savings count without sacrificing performance: that’s the goal of La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBP AM) for all its institutional and private customers which it serves via La Banque Postale’s distribution network.
In line with a commitment it made in 2018, LBP AM met its goal of having 100% of its eligible open-end funds SRI-labelled by the end of 2020. By applying its GREaT extra-financial analysis method to all the funds, it includes extra-financial criteria based on four pillars in the management of its funds: governance, sustainable resource management, energy and economic transition, and regions. It completes the analysis with strict sector exclusion policies, e.g. one for coal which focuses on companies whose strategies are aligned with the Paris Agreement.
Sustainable finance is also at the heart of the merger of the fixed income and insurance management activities of LBP AM and Ostrum AM, completed in the autumn of 2020: Ostrum AM is aiming to have 98% of its assets in open-end funds SRI-labelled in 2022, using the methodological framework developed by LBP AM, which will provide it with SRI services.
LBP AM is the leading manager of SRI-labelled funds by number and intends to deploy its expertise in Europe and to export its vision for responsible finance.
In 2021, 100% of discretionary management was SRI-labelled at BPE, La Banque Postale's private bank.
CNP Assurances, a citizen investor
After becoming a member of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance – an initiative backed by the United Nations to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement –, in 2019, CNP Assurances committed to make its investment portfolio carbon neutral by 2050.
In 2020, it announced its plan to phase out thermal coal by 2030 in EU and OECD countries, and by 2040 in the rest of the world. In addition, CNP Assurances confirmed its exit from tobacco with its adherence to the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge. In two years, the assets invested in this sector have already been divided by three to less than €200 million at the end of 2020.
In February, 2022, CNP Assurances decided to no longer finance new oil and gas projects or invest more money in companies planning to do so, joining the growing ranks of insurers taking a more pro-active approach to tackling global warming. This new policy was in response to scientific reports, including one by the International Energy Agency, saying new projects aren’t needed if the world wants to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial norms.
Lastly, by signing the Principles for Responsible Insurance, CNP Assurances committed to including ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria in all its business activities and decisions.
BPE, the positive and citizen private bank
BPE, the private bank of La Banque Postale, pursues a responsible and sustainable management policy applied to the management mandates it manages.
BPE's investment universe is defined in an open architecture in order to benefit from the best opportunities in the market and across all asset classes. Faithful to this positive and civic conception of finance, BPE developed in 2018 a management based on conviction within its range of SRI “Citizen” mandates.
These committed mandates allow investors wishing to direct their savings and investments in a dynamic of positive and sustainable change with societal and environmental impact.
Since 2021, the selection of investment vehicles within the management under mandate is carried out in compliance with the SRI BPE Charter meeting a standard requiring extra-financial criteria of the ESG type.
A responsible product offering
For public and private players
The ecological transition must be accessible to everyone. Since the launch of its offer of green loans for local authorities, La Banque Postale has mobilised more than €1 billion to support projects with a significant environmental impact: drinking water supply, waste water treatment, ‘soft’ mobility, etc. At the Produrable trade show, the European meeting place for sustainable economy solutions, La Banque Postale won the Grand Prix de la Responsabilité Sociétale de la Marque® (Brand Social Responsibility Grand Prize) in the ‘Coup de cœur’ category for its policy of providing green loans to local authorities.
Pursuant to this success, La Banque Postale extended its green loans to social housing landlords, hospitals and healthcare providers and, since September 2020, to companies.
As a partner of companies in the energy sector, La Banque Postale also finances renewable energy projects via its Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) and excludes any financing of fossil fuel projects. In 2020, the CIB co-financed the construction in France of 40 photovoltaic plants by Urbasolar for a total of €246 million and nine photovoltaic power plants by Photosol for over €100 million. The CIB has maintained its commitment to increase its assets in energy transition projects to €3 billion by 2023.
In addition, in April 2019, La Banque Postale successfully issued its first green bond for an amount of €750 million with a term of 10 years. The funds raised through this issue will be used to refinance projects in the renewable energies sector (onshore/offshore wind and solar farms) in Europe, mostly in France.
For private individuals
With the ‘Green Range’, since the end of 2015, La Banque Postale has been offering home financing solutions (energy efficiency renovations with the zero-rate eco-loan and ‘green work’ loans) and eco-mobility (personal loan for a green vehicle). In 2019, this range was extended to include the Eco PTZ Habiter Mieux, designed for people eligible for assistance under the ‘Habiter Mieux’ programme run by the Agence nationale pour l’amélioration de l’habitat (National Agency for Better Living).
In 2018, La Banque Postale launched an online energy self-diagnostics platform to advise and assist private individuals wishing to renovate their homes and improve their energy performance. Developed in partnership with the Association française pour l’économie d’énergie (French Association for Energy Savings), this platform provides customers with comprehensive support for their projects, from an energy diagnosis of their homes to completion of the work by RGE-certified personnel, to financing solutions.
The signed commitments of La Banque Postale
La Banque Postale is a signatory of a number of commitments:
- Principles for Responsible Investment in 2009
- Principles for Sustainable Insurance in 2012
- Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge in 2018
- Principles for Responsible Banking in 2019
- Collective Commitment to Climate Action in 2019
- Equator Principles in 2019
- The Net Zero Banking Alliance commitment letter in 2021
- Declaration of support for the development of impact finance in 2021
- Signature of the “Principles For Responsible Banking - Health and Financial Inclusion” in 2021.