Sustainable finance: toward a common European language

Wednesday, 27 january 2021

26 European banks including Groupe BPCE and Natixis have tested the application of the European taxonomy to banking products

This is an important stage for the European banking industry in its action to fight climate change. In view of the upcoming entry into force of the European taxonomy, geared to determining whether economic activities are sustainable and classifying them according to their environmental impact, 26 European banks including Groupe BPCE and Natixis, seven banking associations and five organizations acting as observers, tested its application in a highly practical manner and assessed the complexity of its implementation. Between March and August 2020, case studies were conducted on over 40 transactions concerning a broad spectrum of clients, economic sectors and geographic regions, and involving various banking products.

This wide-ranging and shared initiative has now led to the formulation – in a report published on Tuesday 26 January 2021 by the European Banking Federation (EBF) and the Finance Initiative of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP FI) – of a number of  recommendations designed for banks to make improved use of the European taxonomy. Natixis’s CSR teams, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking’s Green & Sustainable Hub and Groupe BPCE’s climate risk team participated in the working group at the origin of this report.

This new stage accelerates Groupe BPCE’s and Natixis’s commitment to fighting climate change, as confirmed by the signature in September 2019 of the Principles for Responsible Banking, the aim of which is to strategically align their activities on the sustainable development objectives of the United Nations and the Paris Agreement. Also in September 2019, Natixis became the first bank to actively manage the climate impact of its balance sheet, by introducing its Green Weighting Factor.