Last year, as part of our sustainable financing policy, BNP Paribas Fortis entered into a cooperation arrangement with Reforest’Action. For every €1,000 tranche invested by Bank clients in certain sustainable investment products sold through our branch network, a tree is planted in Belgium with a view to restoring a depleted forest. Under this arrangement, a total of close to 80,000 trees have so far been planted at around 20 locations in this country.
On 12 March, over 40 staff from various departments of the Bank obtained personal, hands-on experience of this project when they took part in restoring an ancient poplar plantation that had been ravaged by a parasitic fungus.
BNP Paribas Fortis is also determined to participate in initiatives far beyond Belgium’s borders so as to help combat global warming and protect biodiversity. To this end we have been collaborating since 2017 with reforestation charity WeForest. Under this arrangement, we commit to planting a tree in Zambia every time a Bank employee takes part in a social solidarity activity.
The stated mission of WeForest goes beyond simply planting trees. This Belgium-based international non-profit organisation provides wide-ranging assistance and training to local populations who are often led to deplete their woodlands for economic reasons. WeForest has set up a comprehensive programme consisting of training and long-term support for Zambian farmers.
Last but not least, BNP Paribas Fortis provides support to Natagora and Natuurpunt. Since 2019, the Bank has transferred part of the entry fees and management charges on one of our main investment funds to these twin Belgian conservation organisations. As part of their efforts to protect nature and promote biodiversity, the two non-profits are now buying extra land in order to enlarge the nature reserves in this country. Less than a year after the partnership was signed, close to €100,000 had already been transferred to the two organisations under this arrangement, a sum sufficient to acquire land equivalent to 20 football pitches.