Two More Banks Sign Up to Poseidon Principles

Source: BNP Paribas
Source: BNP Paribas

Published Jan 22, 2020 5:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

The world’s largest lender to global shipping, BNP Paribas, and leading wealth manager, Credit Suisse, have become the 15th and 16th financial institutions to sign on to the Poseidon Principles.

The Poseidon Principles are the world’s first sector-specific, self-governing climate alignment agreement amongst financial institutions. They establish a common framework to quantitatively assess and disclose whether financial institutions’ lending portfolios are in line with climate goals set by the IMO. The IMO’s target is for greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping to peak as soon as possible and to reduce the industry’s total annual GHG emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050, with a strong emphasis on zero emissions.

The Principles are designed to support shipowners in achieving the target and to help financial institutions in managing critical investment risks.

Signatories of the Poseidon Principles include, ABN Amro, Amsterdam Trade Bank, BNP Paribas, Citi, Credit Agricole CIB, Credit Industriel et Commercial, Credit Suisse, Danish Ship Finance, Danske Bank, DNB, DVB, Export Credit Norway, ING, Nordea, Société Générale and Sparebanken Vest.

The Poseidon Principles were developed by Citi, DNB and Société Générale in collaboration with A.P. Møller Maersk, Cargill, Euronav, Lloyd’s Register and Watson Farley & Williams, with expert support provided by the Global Maritime Forum, Rocky Mountain Institute and University College London Energy Institute. The Principles were established in June 2019.

The Principles are applicable to lenders, relevant lessors, and financial guarantors including export credit agencies. They are implemented in internal policies, procedures and standards and applied in all credit products secured by vessels that fall under the purview of the IMO. The Principles are intended to evolve over time to include other issues where the collective influence of financial institutions can help improve the contribution the maritime industry and its lenders can make to society. 

In 2020, BNP Paribas appears for the sixth year running in the ranking of the “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations” published by the Canadian magazine Corporate Knights. BNP Paribas positions itself as the Number 1 French bank, the Number 2 European bank and as the Number 3 bank worldwide (out of 427 banks assessed). Having been included for the first time in the Corporate Knights index in 2015, BNP Paribas has climbed 50 places in the space of six years and is now ranked 31st most sustainable company in the world.

Credit Suisse is seeking to align its credit portfolio with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and has launched a global and Group-wide Climate Risk Strategy in August 2019 with a three-pronged approach. Firstly, the bank aims to work with its clients to support their transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient business models, and further integrate climate change into its risk management models. Secondly, Credit Suisse endeavors to focus on delivering sustainable finance solutions that help clients achieve their goals and make a contribution to the realization of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals; and thirdly, the bank aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its own operations.