WESTERN STATES — The Bank of the West, owned by France’s largest bank BNP Paribas, has made a stand regarding what economic activities they will invest and participate in.
According a release appearing on the Bank of the West website, “We will no longer do business with companies whose main activity is exploring, producing, distributing, marketing or trading oil and gas from shale and/or tar sands.”
First reported by national news organizations around the world in October 2017, the Bank of the West’s website also now reflects the company’s shift.
From the Website
The release from the website is available below:
“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 companies and business activities that 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.
To this end, Bank of the West has made the following decisions:
- We will no longer do business with companies whose main activity is exploring, producing, distributing, marketing or trading oil and gas from shale and/or tar sands. Click here to read the full group policy.
- We will never finance oil and gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic. Click here to read the full group policy.
- We will no longer finance coal mines or coal-fired power plants that are not actively involved in the energy transition. Click here to read the full group policy.
- We will terminate 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.
As the bank for a changing world, we’re continually seeking to improve the ways we help our customers, while contributing to more sustainable and equitable growth.”
Priority on Environmental Stewardship
Bank of the West states in another release on their website that, “environmental stewardship is an important focus of Bank of the West’s and our parent company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs.”
Some of the pieces its proud of include:
- In April 2017, BNP Paribas was one of the first banks to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- And in October 2017, it committed to ceasing all funding of shale oil and gas, oil from tar sands, and Arctic oil drilling.
- The BNPP Group has doubled its worldwide financing goal for renewable energy to $18 billion by 2020, and will also invest $120 million in startups specializing in energy transition, for example in the fields of storage or energy efficiency.