Project snapshot

Providing advisory services to develop a corporate impact strategy

To improve access to education in disadvantaged communities and accelerate sustainability knowledge

14,000 young people are benefitting from sustainability education thanks to a partnership aiming to inspire and equip the next generation towards a net zero future. This is how Charities Aid Foundaction (CAF) helped pave the way for the programme. 

The objectives

BNP Paribas, ‘the bank for a changing world’, aims to promote innovation, sustainable growth and make a positive contribution to society. Working from their global CSR strategy, with their impact aligned to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, BNP Paribas UK were looking to create a high-impact corporate impact strategy across seven UK-based businesses. 

Aiming to be part of the communities they live and work in, rather than separate to them, BNP Paribas UK had already been active with local communities for many years, using their skills, expertise and resources to support local issues. Their support was often co-created with their charity partners to fully understand how best to meet the need.

Looking to introduce a more strategic and targeted approach to increase their impact on social issues (including ongoing offering of CAF Give As You Earn for their employees), they approached CAF for expertise in developing an effective corporate giving strategy.


Our support

Our Impact Advisory support centered around where BNP Paribas UK could have the biggest charitable impact. Our workshops helped identify the issue of education to encourage social mobility, a topic that aligns with their global CSR strategy, that the UK-based teams could focus on. From there, we were able to provide:

A landscape analysis

Conducting research to better understand the social need around education in the UK, the attainment gap and the barriers at each stage, from early years to post-16 education. We found that the UK has a considerable attainment gap, which is disproportionally impacting children from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Reviewing BNP Paribas UK’s giving against commercial competitors, looking at strategy, activities, donation volumes, volunteering and partnerships.

Governance options

Providing insights and options for governance at national, local and hybrid levels to ensure accountability from strategic level to implementation. 


Offering recommendations to take forward including around setting and communicating goals and targets, aligning activities to strategic pillars, measuring impact, following the social need, identifying the right delivery partners, and involving staff in decision making and activities.

Two secondary school pupils working together in a classroom

The impact

BNP Paribas UK now have a three-year sustainability education partnership with charity Teach First and B Corp environmental consultancy Gemserv. 

The ‘Leaders for a Changing World’ programme will run until 2025, enabling Teach First to support 14,000 young people by recruiting, training and placing 110 teachers across their partner schools, specifically serving disadvantaged communities in England. This includes BNP Paribas UK staff being involved in coaching and mentoring teachers.

The programme centres also on delivering a series of four sustainability lessons strategically aligned with the school curriculum lessons across a range of subjects and age groups. The resources will be freely available to all teachers in the UK via the TES platform (Times Education Supplement) and include:


The lessons are produced in partnership with Gemserv and make use of BNP Paribas UK expertise. For example, their sustainable financing lesson is aimed at Business studies students covering sources of finance, and delving into ‘what is sustainable finance’, while their powering a net zero future lesson covers the transition to renewable energy.

Our research and guidance armed the BNP Paribas UK team with the insight needed to work with stakeholders and identify the right delivery partners. Without these partners and the collaboration needed to form this partnership, BNP Paribas UK could not have achieved the impact it is realising today with this important programme. 

“CAF’s consultancy has led us to this partnership, something I directly attribute to those conversations and CAF challenging us to think about where we want to have the biggest impact and how to find our unique role. It was a really insightful process. I had no idea about the attainment gap in education before the research and I still look back on the work CAF delivered and use it to this day.” 

Tracey Fuller, UK Head of Community Engagement and Impact, BNP Paribas UK
BNP programme

Project takeaways

Developing a clear strategy

Creating impact starts with identifying a social need, understanding the issues surrounding it, and aligning your focus to business goals. Your strategy must be clear, focussed and fit your corporate purpose to achieve real impact. 

Collaborating with the right partners

Working with the right partners can help you deliver targeted impact. Each of BNP Paribas UK’s partners – CAF, Gemserv and Teach First – brought unique capabilities enabling them to achieve their goal together. 

Creating unique impact

By tapping into your internal expertise, you can deliver impact that is unique to your business. By challenging BNP Paribas UK on why their impact would be different to others’, we were able to identify their strengths in sustainability, which would inform the direction of their strategy.

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