Societe Generale’s commitments to human rights are guided by the following conventions, standards and initiatives:
- the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
- the Fundamental Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which cover, in particular, the elimination of forced labour and child labour, discrimination in employment as well as the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
- the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;
- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises;
- the United Nations Global Compact.
GLOBAL AGREEMENT ON FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
(HUMAN RIGHTS AND TRADE UNION RIGHTS)
In June 2015, Societe Generale and the UNI Global Union signed a global agreement on fundamental human rights and the freedom of association, thereby making Societe Generale the first French bank to sign such an agreement. This agreement applies to all Group entities. It reinforces the commitments made in Societe Generale’s Code of Conduct to respect human rights and recognise fundamental rights in the workplace by making sure employment and working conditions are fair, adopting a zero-discrimination policy for work relationships, and complying with all health and safety regulations. With respect to freedom of association, Societe Generale is committed to respecting the right of all employees to establish and join organisations, to unionise and to bargain collectively. Furthermore, it contains provisions allowing unions that are affiliated with the UNI to meet employees at the company site in order to make themselves known to them.
FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION AND PROMOTING DIVERSITY
The Group’s diversity policy aims to fight against preconceptions and to create a culture of inclusion. Guarding against discrimination during recruitment, in particular, is one of the points that has been subject to continuous monitoring within the Group since 2013. To this end, sample checks are carried out to verify that job advertisements do not contain any discriminatory terms, that candidates are assessed on the basis of objective criteria that are commensurate with the position to be filled and that rejection letters do not contain any discriminatory terms. Furthermore, the Group’s commitment to non-discrimination was demonstrated in practical terms in 2016 with the signing of two international charters:
- the Women’s Empowerment Principles, under the aegis of the United Nations Global Compact, promoting gender quality at work, both within the company and in its sphere of influence;
- the Global Business and Disability Charter, under the aegis of the International Labour Organization, promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the world of work.
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE VALUE CHAIN
With regard to human rights, the General E&S Guidelines list the standards and initiatives that Societe Generale undertakes to respect and has identified as being the most important for the E&S evaluation of its customers. The Equator Principles cover the issue of human rights through the performance standards of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), which address workers’ rights, population displacement and resettlement, the free, prior informed consent of indigenous populations, and the management of security personnel.
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
In 2015, the Group adopted an instruction on responsible sourcing and a code of ethics relating to sourcing. This instruction is appended to the Global Agreement on fundamental human rights and trade union rights. At present, the implementation processes essentially involve sourcing managed from France and cover:
- the identification of potential environmental and social risks (including in relation to human rights);
- the implementation of a Know Your Supplier (KYS) process, which has been in place since July 2016;
- the extra-financial evaluation of suppliers;
- the gradual introduction of mandatory E&S criteria in specifications for products and services.
For more information : see CSR report p.32