World Water Day* provides an ideal opportunity to highlight the outstanding actions taken by Group companies to promote the sustainable management of water resources.
For several years the Group has been supporting a proactive policy of social and environmental responsibility (SER) to promote a more sustainable economy and more inclusive finance for the benefit of its customers and society at large. Its mobilization in favor of the emergence of a low-carbon society and the safeguarding of biodiversity includes actions geared to promoting the sustainable management of water resources.
Banque Populaire Grand Ouest and its Crédit Maritime brand are pursuing a blue growth strategy that embraces traditional occupations (sea farming, fishing, etc.), economic activities (ports, boating, tourism, transport, etc.) as well as emerging industries (marine biotech, renewable marine energy, etc.). In it capacity as a bank with an acknowledged presence in all these sectors, it granted financing to the maritime sector for a total of €200 million in 2020 and created a new corporate signature: La Banque Bleue (“The Blue Bank”). Among other actions, the bank has set up investment funds dedicated to blue growth initiatives: Litto Invest and Mer Invest, with an aggregate total of nearly €7.5 million invested in the two funds.
In February 2020, the Caisse d'Epargne was awarded a €150 million funding package by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance at least €300 million in water and sanitation projects. To date, financing worth €17.6 million has been signed and funding for a further €38.2 million is pending with customers. Examples of initial concrete results include the rehabilitation of a water treatment plant and the launch of a municipal sanitation project.
For its part, the Caisse d'Epargne Rhône Alpes Corporate Foundation is actively working to protect the environment with initiatives entirely focused on water. Since the end of 2015, 36 projects have been financed for a total of €740,000.
Natixis employees, along with Natixis Foundation, have chosen to support the Action contre la Faim (“Action against Hunger”) NGO in its drive to build and rehabilitate water wells in Liberia, a country where 25% of the population has no access to drinking water. Solidarity in favor of this project is organized around three actions: the Purple Tour (a digital challenge organized under the aegis of the Group’s Premium Partnership with the Olympic & Paralympic Games Paris 2024), monthly payroll donations made by employees who volunteer to do so, and an initiative launched by Natixis Wealth Management.
Natixis Foundation was set up in December 2020 with a remit to pursue actions embracing both environmental protection and social solidarity.
And finally Mirova, the asset management company dedicated to sustainable investment and an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, has developed within the framework of its natural capital investments a strategy dedicated to sustainable ocean management, which achieved its final closing in August 2020 at $132 million. This strategy is dedicated to financing innovative projects and companies active in the marine and coastal sectors. It focuses on investing in high-impact business models capable of generating sustainable economic returns in the areas of fishing, aquaculture, the circular economy, and marine resource conservation.
* World Water Day is an observance day designed to raise awareness about sustainable water resource management. Launched by the United Nations in 1992, it is celebrated every year on March 22.
The Chéran is a river in the northern Pre-Alps, recently awarded the Site Rivières Sauvages (“Wild River Site”) label.
Photo credit: Pascal GRILLET