Natixis Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) was praised by the IMPACT awards judges for its efforts to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics within the bank's internal credit processes and IT systems.
One judge said it is "unique" for a bank to do this as "a mandatory and systematic step ahead of credit decisions".
Natixis' proprietary analytical tool, the Green Weighting Factor (GWF), actively manages and steers the transition of Natixis CIB's loan book in line with Paris Agreement objectives.
In 2021, Natixis said it moved beyond being a deal-by-deal decision making tool to being a transition steering mechanism.
Anne-Christine Champion, co-head of Natixis Corporate and Investment Banking, commented: "At Natixis CIB we have accelerated the integration of ESG in our solutions across all asset classes to reflect the changing needs of our clients.
"This has contributed to the various successes we had in sustainable finance, with many impactful firsts over the past year.
"We recognise that, as a bank, we are at the centre of the financial ecosystem, and therefore it is our responsibility to design innovative solutions and drive robust market standards that connect investments and projects."
Judges also noted the achievements of the Impact Hypotheken Investment platform, which Natixis launched alongside Dutch financial services company CMIS Group in November 2021.
The platform provides financing for energy efficient Dutch residential properties or borrowers that commit to improving the energy performance of their properties by at least 30%.
Another IMPACT awards judge called Natixis a "green and sustainable leader on ESG finance," praising its Green and Sustainable Hub (GSH) and "innovative instruments".
Launched in 2017, the GSH is designed to provide multi-asset expertise in green and sustainable financing and investment solutions.
The GSH team now consists of more than 30 specialists and, in the period under consideration for the award, expanded to include a presence in the Middle East, in addition to the Americas and Asia Pacific.
"Being named as investment bank of the year by Environmental Finance is an important achievement and testament to the conviction, rigor and concrete efforts Natixis CIB has mobilised to make sustainable finance a key pillar of its strategy, and sustainability and climate change in particular a core topic of its strategic dialogue with clients," commented Orith Azoulay, global head of Natixis CIB's Green & Sustainable Hub.