The environmental policy of the Group has two goals: to reduce the environmental impact of its activities and to promote a rational, optimized use of natural resources and energy.
Our commitment to reduce our energy consumption is a day-to-day work. There is no conflict between our strategic objectives and our environmental objectives. Not only there is no conflict, but we can even use environmental initiatives to reach our objectives faster.
Séverin Cabannes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Reducing our environmental footprint
Having reached carbon neutrality in 2012 (excl. Rosbank), Societe Generale aims by the end of 2015, to reduce its CO2 emissions per occupant by 11% and its energy consumption by 13% compared to 2012, the reference year.
Concerning greenhouse gases emissions reduction, Societe Generale implemented an incentive scheme which explicitly relies on the creativity of its teams. Indeed, the Group is one of the first banks to have implemented in 2011 an "Internal Carbon Tax", currently amounting to EUR 10 per ton emitted. The proceeds raised in the business lines are used to fund internal environmental efficiency initiatives.
The goal of this scheme is to show that environmental measures are also opportunities to create value and innovation for the bank.
Internal Carbon Tax: a scheme that continues to create employees’ enthusiasm
In 2014, 35 initiatives (vs. 28 en 2013) were selected and were granted an overall sum of EUR 3.2 million. These combined actions have led to annual recurring savings of EUR 14 million for the Group.
Similarly the Buildings and IT Infrastructures divisions, whose energy consumption account for 71% of the Group’s GHG emissions, incorporate and steer the environmental aspects of their activities. Societe Generale has set the objective to increase the energy performance of its central buildings by15% (in 3 years).
As a consequence of its environmental policy, the bank provide provisions for water use decrease and transports reduction (either professional, or regarding commuting or freight transportation) and paper consumption optimization and waste valorization.
IT infrastructures account for nearly 50% of the Group’s energy consumption. In light of this fact the IT Division has adopted an environmental strategy that gives greater consideration to environmental aspects when managing its IT stock.
Energy transition actor
Societe Generale has recently reaffirmed its commitments to sustainable development and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): the bank aims at being a leading player in CSR amongst European financial institutions.
For more information please read the press release: Societe Generale reaffirms its commitments during European Sustainable Development Week
The Group is committed to limiting its direct emissions and its natural resources consumption (water, energy, paper), to do so it set up an internal carbon tax that finances environmental efficiency initiatives. For the third year, EUR 3.2 million were allocated to performing projects funding in order to reduce by 6% carbon emissions in 2015.
The Bank pursues its ambition to finance green projects (EUR 1.4 billion in 2014 including EUR 300 million for individuals) thus giving access to its expertise in energy to all economic players. ALD leases to companies 23,100 green cars including 6,000 electric cars and everyday PEMA puts 3,600 trucks on European roads, all in accordance with the EURO6 standard.
To go further, Societe Generale promoted a Positive Impact Finance approach to avoid the potential negative impacts of its financing, even if they are declared environment-friendly (EUR 958 million in 2014).
Actor for a low-carbon economy
Climate issues related to global warming beyond 2 degrees require actions at all level. On May 20th the Group committed itself alongside with 59 international companies and 7 organizations to move forward in the implementation of low carbon solutions in supporting the measures taken by the states notably in the context of the COP 21, by stating the importance of a carbon price to guide economic players.
For more information: Societe Generale commits to the fight against climate change
Societe Generale, aware that all economic players have a role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy, supports the governments and private sector efforts in its numerous markets to diversify the energy sources and raise the use of renewable energies.
Group Societe Generale ensures the application of strict environmental and social (E&S) criteria in its financing. 160 projects led to a deep analysis in 2014, by ensuring the respect of biodiversity or the minimum performance of the thermal plants funded by the Group in order to limit CO2 emissions.
However, coal being one of the most accessible fossil fuel for the production of electricity, particularly in developing countries, electricity production from coal will still be part of the energy mix of numerous countries.
Sensitive to the importance of the E&S risks and impacts related to extractive activities and to the use of coal, and among them the climate change impacts, the Bank developed in 2011 a sector E&S policy on the coal-fired power. In addition to an E&S sector policy on the mining sector supplements the system.
Finally, Societe Generale, since 2012, has a policy on biodiversity, applicable to all the Group banking and financial operations. The bank ensures to assess the impacts on biodiversity of projects that it may fund, with the research for mitigation measures, or if needed, the Bank’s withdrawal.
Furthermore, the Group who has been responding to the CDP questionnaire since 2005 wished to reinforce its commitment for the climate in the COP 21. Thus, the Group officially committed to the CDP by becoming a CDP Climate, CDP Water, CDP Forest and CDP Carbon signatory, joining 822 financial institutions around the world.