BIC uses its share buyback programme to support education

With its €40 million impact share buyback programme, BIC is integrating sustainability goals into its finance and shareholding management.

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On 12 March, BIC launched Europe’s first impact share buyback programme. Exane BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas will execute the programme on behalf of BIC through the end of 2021.

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Through this mechanism, BIC aims to contribute to the wider community. As part of the programme, BIC will use the outperformance in purchasing the shares over the programme’s execution to fund projects from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), the global research centre led by professors Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Ben Olken, and the BIC Corporation Foundation for Education.

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“This generous contribution will allow us to extend the progress we have made in evaluating the relative effectiveness of different measures for promoting skills development and high-quality education opportunities for all,” said J-PAL co-founder and co-director Esther Duflo.

The projects will focus on education, including reducing school dropout, promoting soft skills and reducing inequalities, to support the United Nation’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal on quality education.

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“Since its creation, BIC has maintained a strong commitment to education throughout the world, including our Writing the Future, Together commitment to improve lives through education, and the BIC Corporate Foundation for Education. We are proud to pioneer this impact share buyback programme with Exane BNP Paribas in support of the work of J-PAL. In an environment where long-term sustainability and corporate purpose become increasingly meaningful for companies, this innovative program is a catalyst to genuine long-term stakeholder value creation,” said Gonzalve Bich, BIC’s Chief Executive Officer.

The latest impact share buyback programme is consistent with BIC’s Capital Allocation policy to fund profitable growth and create value for all stakeholders, and with BIC’s values, vision and mission to act as a responsible corporate citizen.

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“BIC showed that by aligning its share buyback programme to the company’s engagement objectives, it truly put sustainability in everything the company does and stands for,” said Barbara Genicot, Head of Strategic Equity Corporate Sales France, Benelux & Switzerland at BNP Paribas.

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“Integrating an impact component to a share buyback allows companies to be more inclusive and share value with other stakeholders, beyond shareholders. We are proud to accompany BIC, knowing that, as we execute the programme, the best outperformance we achieve will directly benefit the research work of the J-PAL lab and the BIC Foundation,” added Benedicte Thibord, Head of Corporate Broking and Business Development at Exane BNP Paribas.