Innovation will drive sustainable finance in 2021

BNP Paribas experts discuss the role of sustainable finance for a responsible recovery - and how we innovate to connect issuers and investors' needs.

The financial sector will play a vital role in a post Covid-19 recovery and a decarbonised world. BNP Paribas is shaping its approach to support clients’ needs and accelerate innovation in sustainable finance, to ensure the Bank continues playing a crucial role.

For this year’s Sustainable Bonds Insight, Environmental Finance magazine spoke with BNP Paribas specialists on how the push factors of 2020 to scale up innovation in sustainable finance solutions will continue to shape 2021. Here are our top six takeaways:

1. Finance plays a vital role in a responsible recovery

Constance Chalchat, Head of Company Engagement CIB, on clients’ commitments: “Despite the ongoing economic and social impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are continuing to witness how investors and corporates are ramping up commitments towards tackling environmental and social challenges, while recognising the vital role finance has to play in a responsible recovery.”

2. Transition is going mainstream

Frederic Zorzi, Global Head of Primary Markets, on transition finance: “In terms of a rebalancing, we will likely see some issuers move from traditional financing to transition financing through these approaches. Overall, the objective remains to improve environmental impact and futureproof the business model towards a progressive strategy that aligns to a low carbon economy.”

3. Transition finance scales up across sectors

Delphine Queniart, Global Head of Sustainable Finance & Solutions for Global Markets, on innovation: 
“Having sector expertise and a holistic strategy across sustainable finance is vital to our approach, as it is necessary to scale up transition finance across multiple high emission sectors – from steel and transport, to construction and real estate”

4. Investors look beyond pricing to value ESG

Anjuli Pandit, Primary Markets Sustainability Manager, on investors’ perspective:
“Although there were various market dynamics which contributed to the cheaper [“greenium”] pricing, we heard directly from many key ESG investors that they believe there is a value to be placed on ESG data, on ESG frameworks, and on investing directly in the ESG ambitions of an issuer.”

5. Convergence is key for market integrity

Cécile Moitry, Co-head of Sustainable Finance Markets, on KPI-linked products:
” What we anticipate for the year 2021 is a convergence of the SLL with the SLB. Greater transparency and analysis of the two instruments are now being undertaken. Ultimately it will result in a common and integrated approach adapted to the sustainability strategy of our clients and will bring increased integrity to the market”

6. The ESG bond market is at a crossroads

Agnès Gourc, Co-head of Sustainable Finance Markets, on outlooks for sustainable finance: 
“We are at an interesting crossroad for the ESG bond market, led by regulation on the one hand, investor demand on the other hand, and finally product innovation. The result of these three factors is a greater product and sector diversification.”

Related solutions


ALiX has the full power of Cortex FX in a conveniently small window on your desktop. ALiX is indisputably pixel for pixel the most powerful FX platform on the market. Understanding everything from a spot ticket to a complex option ALiX is there to save you both screen space and time.


BNP Paribas has been present in the Americas for more than a century. It provides capital markets, securities services, financing, treasury and advisory solutions to corporates and institutional investors, together with an extensive retail banking network in the United States.


BNP Paribas has a strong heritage in the Asia-Pacific region, having established our presence over 150 years ago. Today the bank offers one of the region’s most comprehensive branch networks and provides investors with products and solutions tailored specifically to their needs.

Commodity Derivatives

With a global footprint and over 30 years of expertise in the commodities market, we are one of the few banks in the world with a long term commitment to the growth of our commodity derivatives franchise bringing innovative and ground breaking solutions to clients worldwide.

Cortex CD

Cortex CD is our online-cross commodity trading platform. It offers a wide range of hedging solutions for clients who are exposed to the price of physical commodities. The platform provides transparency and live pricing through its accessible interface and helps you track derivatives transactions on a wide range of energy and commodities.

Cortex Deposit

BNP Paribas’ corporate deposits platform, allowing you to quickly consult and securely trade deposits.

Cortex FX

Cortex FX is BNP Paribas’ advanced multi-product FX trading platform

Cortex iX

Cortex intelligent execution (iX) is the cutting edge FX spot algorithm execution service from BNP Paribas

Cortex Listed

Our best-in-class Execution Management System for listed derivatives trading, powered by Fidessa

Cortex Plus

Cortex Plus is our online derivative structures platform, providing live pricing and simple click and trade execution.

Cortex Rates

Cortex Rates offers a comprehensive range of Fixed Income Interest Rates products and services

Cortex Secondary

Cortex Secondary is BNP Paribas’ secondary market trading platform.


BNP Paribas has presence across most financial centres in Europe. Thanks to our strong local representation and long-standing relationships with governments and regulators we can offer unparalleled access to European, Middle Eastern and African markets.

Forex & Local Markets

Our Forex & Local Markets business has been designed to respond to the complex and constantly evolving market. Discover our truly global network which boasts diverse market access capabilities and both onshore and offshore solutions.

G10 Rates

We aim to be a top-3 house in every asset, area and client. Our business has grown substantially and we operate a culture of “shared purpose”. Our focus is aligned around the social and economic outcomes of supporting our broad client base across Corporates and Institutional investors.

Markets 360

A radical new approach to strategy and economics to provide you with top quality views, focusing on evidence-based research and thought leadership. We bring economics and strategy together in thematic notes across asset classes, delivering what you need when you need it and continuously adapting to your needs.

Primary & Credit Markets

Our combined Primary and Credit business enables us to realise synergies while maintaining strict boundaries between the public and private sides. We provide solutions to clients throughout the entire credit continuum from origination through execution to secondary market trading and post trade services.

Prime Solutions & Financing

A global and cross-asset platform for the clearing of listed and OTC products, execution of listed derivatives, prime brokerage services, securities financing through repurchase agreement (repo), and a market leading electronic execution provider. Prime Solutions & Financing (PS&F) is one of four banks globally offering a full suite of investor services, from trading to financing, clearing and custody, in partnership with BNP Paribas Securities Services.

Smart Derivatives

SMART Derivatives is our cutting edge platform providing full integrated services from marketing, primary and secondary trading, to post-trade information on structured products, built around 3 interactive and complementary applications.