How to nudge sustainability through financing

Bpost, Belgium's leading postal operator, shows how banks can incentivise firms to reduce their carbon footprints and realise their sustainability goals.


The increasing corporate focus on the challenges and opportunities of sustainable growth has been a positive development. Many companies – and their stakeholders, investors and banking partners – are nonetheless still only at the initial stages of exploring how to incentivise and embed sustainable behaviours.  

Bpost, Belgium’s leading postal operator, is pioneering a novel approach in working with financing partners and data specialists to help realise its sustainability ambitions. A €300 million sustainability loan in October 2017 provided that incentive: by varying the margin it pays to the lender depending on an independently evaluated annual sustainability score, it has a positive incentive to reduce its carbon footprint – and satisfy the sustainability goals of its stakeholders and investors.

Thibault d’Ursel, Bpost’s Head of CSR, Energy and Environment explains: “The more initiatives we take, the better the interest rate will be. And that is for me an important and interesting lever to push our initiatives within the company.”