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Bank of the West BNP Paribas

WHAT ON EARTH IS YOUR BANK FINANCING?

When you put your money in the bank it doesn’t just sit there. It goes out in the world and finances things.
By making thoughtful choices about what we choose and choose not to finance, we’re helping to accelerate important transitions in energy, employment equality, and social programs.


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As the bank for a changing world, sustainability is at the heart of our strategy and our finance decisions. We want our financing practices to be a driving force for change; for our business partners, for our customers and for the environment. But we know we can’t achieve a sustainable environmental future alone. And the greater number of people and businesses that adopt this perspective, the faster positive change can happen.

That’s why we’re leading by example and have committed one billion dollars to finance clean, efficient and renewable energy. And why we’re focusing our overall financing strategy towards key sustainability issues like energy transition and the environment, as well as equality and inclusive growth.

We’re investing where we feel we can make the most impact, like advancing diversity and women entrepreneurship programs, financing for more small businesses, promoting programs for sustainable energy, and withdrawing support from activities and practices that we believe are detrimental to our environment and our health.

As a long-term partner of the energy industry, we are proud to work with companies in oil, coal and gas that are actively involved in the energy transition and committed to building a more sustainable energy future.

And we’re committed to being a leader in sustainable finance, so we’ve been increasing our investment in renewables while instituting guidelines around a number of sectors;

  • Bank of the West has a ban on arctic drilling, and will not finance arctic oil and gas exploration or production projects. Click here to read the full group policy.
  • In 2015, we instituted guidelines around coal-fired power plant investment, and will no longer finance coal-fired power plants that are not actively involved in the energy transition. Click here to read the full group policy.
  • In 2017, we committed to exiting fracking and tar sands work. Bank of the West will no longer do business with companies whose main activity involves shale or tar sands mining. Click here to read the full BNP Paribas Group policy.
  • We are terminating all financing and investing activities relating to tobacco product manufacturers, as well as producers, wholesalers and traders whose revenue comes primarily from tobacco. Click here to read the full group policy.

Read on to see how we and our parent company, BNP Paribas, are taking real action for positive change in the world.


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Banks today must become responsible members of their communities again, and that means understanding that banks must be less focused on the next quarter’s results and more on what’s right for our customers, right where they are. At Bank of the West, we are adjusting our business to the direction society is moving. From contributing to local causes in the towns we live in, to active involvement in international position-making, we are transforming the way we do business, on a global scale.