Natixis: commitments and actions
Working alongside its clients, Natixis has been actively involved for considerable time in sustainable global economic development. As part of the will welcome approximately 174 heads of state at Le Bourget from November 30 until December 11, 2015, Natixis draws an assessment of its commitments
Natixis is a benchmark operator in financing the energy transition and is also acting responsibly in managing the direct environmental impact of its own activities.
It leverages its various global business lines and range of expertise to meet the world's environmental preservation challenges:
- Financing renewable energies: building this activity for over 20 years
- Assisting energy performance and promoting sustainable infrastructures
- Supporting the development of green bonds worldwide
- Developing the availability of sweeping methodological innovations
- Adopting strategic commitments in relation to the financing of coal industries
- Responsibly managing the direct consequences of its operations
1. Financing renewable energies worldwide
Since the mid 1990s, Natixis has arranged project financing for renewable energy projects of all sizes involving the full array of solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass energy technologies. The Bank is now one of the leading forces in energy transition by number of transactions and by funding amount.
Since the start of 2015, Natixis has financed 30 new renewable energy projects in France and internationally.
- Natixis Energeco, Akuo Energy and the EIB announced the launch of a €329m renewable energy investment programm Natixis and the signature of a tripartite protocol involving five initial wind, solar and biomass power projects.
In the asset management sphere, in 2014, Mirova, Natixis' asset management group and affiliate of Natixis Asset Management dedicated to SRI, launched the EUROFIDEME 3 fund. This third specialist fund assists European institutional groups to invest in project companies with renewable energy assets. It rounds off the Fideme (2002) and Eurofideme 2 (2008) funds which are fully invested.
2. Energy performance and development of sustainable infrastructures
AEW Europe, an affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), uses environmental criteria when managing its property asset portfolio.
- When acquiring new buildings, AEW Europe only considers assets that have received an environmental certification label such as HQE, BREEAM, LEED or BBC*;
- Environmental performance testing is performed when acquiring existing buildings and for its management portfolio, and action plans are implemented in conjunction with owners and tenants.
The FIDEPPP funds, the first French fund dedicated to Public-Private Partnerships, created in 2005, and FIDEPPP2, created in 2012, assist the French government and municipal councils to carry out their infrastructure and equipment projects, in particular, the construction of high energy-efficient buildings and transport networks.
The BTP IL fund, a public-oriented fund to assist SMEs, rounds off the investment range.
* BBC: bâtiments de basse consommation (low energy consumption buildings)
3. Active support in developing green bonds
Natixis is an active member of the Green Bond Principles. A wide range of business lines take part in this rapidly expanding market for green bonds (bonds with social and/or environmental benefit).
The Bank assists clients with their energy transition projects:
- Natixis invested in 11 Green bond issues over the last 18 months, in the public and private sectors: the European Investment Bank, the Greater Paris region, Engie (formerly GDF Suez), Unibail, Akuo, Paprec and, recently, Schneider Electric.
- The SRI research teams have built up specific green bond expertise and have published a number of research notes for investors to help them structure their methodological approach in this domain.
- Mirova launched a fund dedicated to green bonds to enable investors to finance their projects with a high direct environmental impact, while taking advantage of the performance potential of international bonds.
- Mirova was recently awarded the 2015 Novethic Green Fund Label for its Mirova Green BondGlobal open-ended collective investment scheme. In so doing, Mirova Green Bond - Global became the first green bond fund to receive an award from Novethic.
4. Rollout of sweeping methodological innovations
Conscious of the responsibility and role that financial operators are able to play in preserving the environment, Natixis, along with Carbone 4, the carbon strategy consulting firm, designed an innovative method to gauge the carbon footprint of investment portfolios. The methodological principles will be shared with every interested financial operator during COP21.
5. Strategic commitments in relation to the financing of coal industries
On October 15, Natixis pledged to stop coal project finance (mines and power stations) and will no longer accept advisory or arrangement mandates associated with financings of this type (companies which are more than 50%-reliant on the coal industry). Natixis is the only bank to have adopted this policy for its activities on a worldwide basis.
In the opinion of Laurent Mignon, Natixis' CEO, "Financial institutions bear a responsibility to increase the efforts made so far to develop renewable energy sources around the world. Natixis is fully in tune with this trend and wishes to mark a new step in its commitment to protect the environment by ending coal industry financing."
The decision rounds off the pledge made by Natixis at its shareholders' meeting on May 19 this year to cease financing coal mining companies which practice mountaintop removal, one of the most aggressive types of coal mining and one performed in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern part of the United States.
6. Responsible management of the direct consequences of its businesses
In addition to the involvement of its business lines, Natixis is committed on a daily basis with its employees to reducing the environmental impact of its operations. The Bank has notched up some solid performances in the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) spheres, thereby enabling it to appear in the leading Environmental and Social Responsibility (ESR) indices, i.e. Euronext Vigeo-Eurozone and STOXX® Global ESG Leaders, amongst others.
- Its carbon footprint has decreased since 2010. Natixis is committed to cutting its resource consumption, waste production and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to responsibly managing its supplier relationships.
- . Natixis pledged to cut by 20% its energy and GHG consumption across its 16 buildings in the Greater Paris region by 2020, relative to the 2010 level. The measure involves almost 10,000 employees.
COP21 at a glance
COP21, the 21st conference of the parties, will welcome approximately 174 heads of state at Le Bourget from November 30 until December 11, 2015.
The purpose of the conference is to secure an agreement to keep global warming below the 2°C mark relative to pre-industrial times. The agreement will seek to embody binding targets that apply to all countries and respect the principle of differentiation. The challenge is to build a low-carbon economy and COP21 has been dubbed the "last chance summit".
The event is creating positive momentum and is encouraging everyone to accelerate the pace of their energy transition initiatives. The involvement of financial institutions, which are conscious of their role and the economic opportunities of "green" growth, is a powerful springboard for change.
AKUO and the EIB launch a €329m investment programme in favour of renewable energies. The implementation of this programme has been formalised by the signing of a tripartite memorandum of understanding between Akuo Energy, the EIB and Natixis Energeco regarding 5 initial wind, solar and biomass projects