- Constance ChalchatHead of Corporate Engagement & Chief Sustainability Officer of the Global Markets activity at BNP Paribas CIB
- Xavier Blotassociate professor “Climate change & energy transition” at EM Lyon
A new decarbonization advisory unit within BNP-Paribas
Cadremploi: What is the mission of the “Low-Carbon Transition Group”?
Constance Chalchat: Collectively fighting against global warming and supporting the transformations the world needs are major challenges for our societies. The objective of this dedicated organization is precisely to support our corporate and institutional clients in accelerating their transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy and thus put finance at the service of their transformations.
Dual international profiles within the “Low-Carbon Transition” unit
How many people work there?
CC: Ultimately, this team will be made up of 250 international expert advisorsincluding 150 experts from the BNP Paribas group from advisory teams, capital markets and sector specialists already involved in the low-carbon transition on a daily basis. A hundred recruitments are still planned, including two thirds in Europe, within three or four years. These hirings will be made through external recruitment but also through internal mobility.
What skills are you looking for for this unit?
CC: We are looking for diverse profiles, with dual skills in finance and sustainable development and keen to mobilize their expertise in the service of energy transition and a more virtuous society. Typically, we target profiles who read the IPCC report and are personally passionate about these topics! These profiles are still rare on the market because ESG expertise is still recent and evolving rapidly. This is why each recruit, whether internal or external, benefits from a very solid training program within the framework of our “Sustainability Academy”: the “Cambridge Institute for Sustainability leadership “. We have also created a very international Graduate Program in sustainable finance which also benefits from this training.
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The little extra you expect from these expert profiles?
CC: Sector expertise. Our challenge is in particular to support companies that operate in sectors that are today the most CO2 emitters: automotive, energy, transportation… However, as the challenges of sustainable development are specific from one sector to another and from one country to another, as well as their matrix of materials, we need experts who know these different environments sectors. In this respect, for example, we have already developed strong expertise in green hydrogen. Furthermore, in terms of the environment, social issues and governance, expertise must be updated continuously. The regulatory aspect alone requires continuous training. We therefore expect these experts to have an insatiable curiosity for these new issues.
Examples of missions within the “Low-Carbon Transition” unit
What projects are they working on, for example?
CC: The experts of the “Low Carbon Transition Group” – who can be M&A advisory bankers, bankers specializing in Green Tech, environmental engineers, ESG data scientists, etc. – notably support the growth of companies “ green”: recently, our teams have, for example, helped Lhyfe, a hydrogen supplier whose production does not emit CO2, as part of its fundraising. Our experts also participate in the financing of projects: we support the development of the company Ionity, which produces charging stations for electric vehicles. Another example: our experts assist energy companies in their transformation projects. In this, they appreciate playing the role of agents of change alongside their clients, to address one of the biggest challenges of our societies.
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The opinion of Xavier Blot, associate professor “Climate change & energy transition” at EM Lyon
“Today, all initiatives to promote the energy transition are worth taking! We must fill the economic landscape with new mechanisms of action. However, these are only a starting point on which we must not dwell, at the risk of falling into “greenwashing”.
Like other banking companies, BNP Paribas is eagerly awaited on the subject and must fulfill its mission. The creation of this cell is a good first step. JI think, however, that the group will find it difficult to recruit the profiles it is looking for, the latter being still new and not very present on the European job market. Since 2015 and the Paris Agreement which provided a framework for the fight against climate change, new tools have been given to companies to manage their transition. Nevertheless, experts capable of using these tools are extremely rare, all the more so in finance, which is a sector defined by regulations, with strict ESG criteria and specific climate risk issues.
Moreover, today, in a context marked by uncertainty, it is difficult for students to position themselves in these new professions. BNP Paribas’ key success factor will therefore be its ability to train its recruits internally. The level of salary will also be a point of vigilance. Even if finance has a greater capacity than other sectors, in particular industrial, it should be able to offer more attractive salaries, especially if they wish to recruit five-legged sheep. The law of supply and demand should also promote this rebalancing. »