For the past 70 years, we’ve been financing the Real Economy: SMEs, mid-caps, big corporates who, thanks to the equipment financed by us build, educate, feed and care for the society we live in.
It was therefore only natural that we act in times of a crisis like the COVID-19 that threatens their lives, their work and their health. So, in all the countries where we’re present, we mobilised the tools and resources at our disposal to support the most vulnerable.
Apart from the financial initiatives like payment deferrals, our teams acted in partnership with our local charitable partners to help the health professionals, the younger population and the most at-risk people on a priority basis.
In one of the countries hit the hardest by the pandemic, our colleagues supported the medical community with a donation of 89, 000 euros for the “Fondazione Buzzi”, an association we’ve been working with for the past 2 years. This donation went towards buying 7 intensive care beds.
While the Fondazione Buzzi usually works to support children’s hospitals, they extended their perimeter to include the most vulnerable sections of the society during this crisis.
In addition, we supported the BNP Paribas Group’s initiative with the Italian Red Cross through online donations from employees and customers which amounted to 20,000 euros. The Italian Red cross is a partner of the BNP Paribas Group in the country and as part of this partnership, the employees are encouraged to volunteer for charitable causes during their working hours.
Despite the lockdown, some of our clients had to keep working to ensure the continuity of essential services. Our subsidiary entity, BNP Paribas Rental Solutions Trucks, specialising in long-term leasing of industrial vehicles wanted to their bit to support these workers through:
- The provision of 3 refrigerated trucks free of charge for 3 months for the customer of BNP Paribas Rental Solutions Trucks AMT 83. Specializing in the transport of perishable food supplies, it covers large and medium-sized areas of the Mediterranean coast.
- The provision of a truck to the ARS (Regional Health Agency) Paris region for the delivery of hydro alcoholic sanitisers and masks.
Because of the lockdown imposed by the local governments in an attempt to control the spread of the Coronavirus, our conventional ways of working needed to be reviewed with increased focus on digital tools and solutions. An electronic signature solution was therefore deployed to be able to finalise contracts remotely. On the launch of this tool, we partnered with Reforest’Action to plant a tree in the Piua region in Peru, for every contract that’s signed electronically with a goal to plant 5,000 trees. The reforestation will not only help restore the quality of the soil, but also fight against the desertification of this region, while at the same time raising awareness among our clients towards the causes that affect the environment.
Education is one of the pillars on which any civil society stands and the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown resulted in hundreds of thousands of students being deprived of this basic right. In such a period, the social and economic inequalities become even more apparent since not every student has the means to be able to continue attending classes remotely.
Our colleagues in Romania therefore stepped and joined hands with the “Ateliere fara Frontiere” foundation to donate 70 computers to allow children from families in financial difficulty to access online classes.
After this crisis, computers will be donated to schools so that more children can use them to learn and grow their knowledge.
Belgium and netherlands
This year, the Easter festivities were also a little marred by the crisis. The Belgian and Dutch teams tried bringing some smiles to the true heroes of this crisis – the health workers – by offering them Easter eggs in hospitals near our offices.
Our teams in the Netherlands also stopped by the Jeroen Bosch Hospital Hertogenbosch and the local Red Cross to donate masks.
In Spain, the BNP Paribas Group had earmarked a support package of 500,000 €. In addition, all the Group’s entities in the country, including BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, got together to raise 200,000 €.
This amount was donated to multiple associations such as, « Cooperación Internacional », (for the purchase of food for the neediest families), the Madrid Food Bank, the Spanish Red Cross and the Network of Public Hospitals of the Region of Madrid.
Employees from all the entities of the BNP Paribas Group responded generously to the call for donations in recent weeks to food banks across the country. The campaign raised a total of 18,663 euros. The BNP Paribas German Foundation then doubled the amount of the campaign and rounded up the total donation to 40,000 euros. The amount was donated to the Tafel association which is one of the largest charitable organisations in Germany and supports more than 1.5 million people by distributing food across the country.
We also donated iPads and tablets to the Kinderschutzbund association that works for the protection of children. A part of these tablets will help strengthen the framework that allows people to seek guidance from the association remotely. The other half will be temporarily given to families where the children don’t have the necessary means to continue online learning during the lockdown.
In the UK, we extended support to our two partner associations:
Naomi House & Jacksplace, an association we’ve been working with for the past 4 years that provides hospice care to more than 500 life limited and life threatened children. And Together for Short Lives, our partner for 2 years now, which supports families caring for seriously ill children, by helping them spend less time searching for help and more time together. They work in children’s palliative care services, campaign for policy change and raise funds to ensure children’s hospice care not only continues but improves.
To each of these associations, we extended a donation of 5,000£.
In addition, a special page from the “JustGiving” digital donation platform has been launched internally. The online fundraising is done via a number of events like dress up days, virtual exercise challenges and quizzes. The proceeds are used to help partners deal with the health and economic crisis.
Our teams in Turkey also helped the children from difficult socio-economic conditions to continue learning despite the lockdown. This was done through a donation to the TOCEV foundation (Foundation for Children Eager to Learn).
The Turkish government also launched a National Aid campaign to support the fight against COVID-19. BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions Turkey contributed to the fund through a donation of 15,000 euros.
So, these were some of the initiatives that were launched in the different countries in response to the health crisis. But our efforts don’t stop here – for the past many years, we’ve been developing solutions to push for a more sustainable and inclusive future. We mainly contribute to this through the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations by reducing our environmental footprint, by promoting diversity and inclusion and by multiplying the positive impact actions of our employees.