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BNP Paribas REIM launches new climate impact fund in Europe

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BNP Paribas REIM has recently launched the first real estate impact fund within Europe that sets out to comply with the objectives established within the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 40%. The European Impact Property Fund (EIPF) dedicated to climate impact highlights the drive by the real estate sector to work towards significant energy transition.

Launched as a unique, new, innovative fund, the aim for BNP Paribas REIM is that the EIPF fund, becomes a flagship example for institutional investors across Europe and Asia. Climate change has become a top priority for investors who recognise that the real estate sector is a major component in the push to reduce energy and carbon emissions. 

In order to really tackle the problem, we first need to clearly set out exactly what constitutes an ESG fund. As Nehla Krir, Head of Sustainability & CSR at BNP Paribas REIM explains, “We know that building and construction contribute significantly to greenhouse gases and so for us, and many investors, climate initiatives have become more and more urgent. The philosophy of the EIPF is to create a core fund that seeks to upgrade buildings across a number of geographies and asset classes, bringing them up to date with energy efficient technology, equipment and regulations.” 

Changes to society and cultural and political mind-sets have made sustainable investment strategies and funds of key importance to investors. Indeed, institutional investors have in recent years set new standards when it comes to ESG policy and funds. This is also likely to be the case soon for impact investing. To achieve this target, BNP Paribas REIM has identified a threefold pathway: investing in buildings (CAPEX), involving all stakeholders of the value chain (tenants, Property Managers, service providers, etc.) and optimising operating expenses (OPEX). 

Nehla Krir

We know that building and construction contribute significantly to greenhouse gases and so for us, and many investors, climate initiatives have become more and more urgent.

Nehla Krir
Head of Sustainability & CSR at BNP Paribas REIM
France

Contrary to common beliefs, CAPEX are not necessarily predominant and targets can often be achieved with limited expenses. 

What’s more, the Covid-19 pandemic has reshuffled how real estate assets are viewed and invested in. As such, BNP Paribas REIM has worked hand-in-hand with investors to create a fund that aims to meet growing changes to our environment and to propose an impact investment fund that is measurable, accountable and in line with BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas Real Estate’s strategy, as well as what is currently happening across the sector. 

As Laurent Ternisien, CEO Luxembourg and Chief Client Officer Investment Management at BNP Paribas REIM points out, “Many impact funds focus on social initiatives such as social housing. We have chosen to look specifically at reducing the carbon footprint of the real estate industry by focusing on the objectives formed by the 2015 Paris Agreement and integrating them into how we manage and refurbish buildings. By working with investors in this way, we will continue to set higher and higher standards, something which BNP Paribas REIM is committed to doing. This is the first time we are bringing together impact, real estate and the climate change challenge.” 

By building a portfolio that will – over time –  be retrofitted with better equipment and sustainably managed, the fund will contribute to a positive and measureable impact on how we look at investment and the real estate sector as a whole.  

BNP Paribas REIM already has a proven record of ESG commitments, being one of the first real estate companies in Europe to publish an annual ESG report and receiving a green award for one of the best green office funds in Europe.  

Laurent Ternisien

By working with investors in this way, we will continue to set higher and higher standards, something which BNP Paribas REIM is committed to doing. This is the first time we are bringing together impact, real estate and the climate change challenge

Laurent Ternisien
CEO Luxembourg and Chief Client Officer Investment Management at BNP Paribas REIM
France