BNP Paribas ‘walks the talk’ with €35bn over benchmarks in sustainable funds

‘We wanted to be at the edge of the adoption’


Laura Miller

BNP Paribas has €35bn overweight its benchmarks invested sustainably across its open ended funds, in what it says is a key indication it is ready to “walk the talk” on sustainability.

This corresponds to an overall 15% overweight in sustainable funds compared with its benchmark levels, the asset management house said in a presentation on 5 July.

On average BNP Paribas has 55% more than its benchmarks in Article 9 funds, it said.

This is the strictest article designation under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) rules, reserved for funds that can prove they make a positive impact on society or the environment through sustainable investment, and have a non-financial objective at the core of their offering.

According to BNP Paribas it also has 15% more than its benchmark in Article 8 funds, which must promote environmental or social characteristics, and follow good governance practices.

Pierre Moulin, executive committee member and global head of products and strategic marketing for BNP Paribas, said the asset allocations “are an illustration, we think, about what a capital reallocation [to sustainable investments] can mean”.

“We wanted to be at the edge of the adoption [of sustainable investments] and also educate some of the difficulties of this adoption. 

“The benchmark is the concrete way to look at this much needed capital reallocation, which we have illustrated for real in our portfolios.”

Referring to the current interplay between the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), SFDR and Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (Mifid II), BNP Paribas’ position is that it is supportive of the measures.

Laurence Caron-Habib, head of public affairs at BNP Paribas, said: “This is the right approach to reach the ultimate goal of the Green Deal, which is to reallocate capital towards a more sustainable economy”.

However she added while these measures target companies and asset management firms, it is important to bring the end investor along on the sustainability journey.

She said: “It is crucial that end clients are provided with clear, simple, fair information, because otherwise they will not be incentivised to express clear sustainable preferences and make their own contribution to this transition.”

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