Towards an inclusive and green economy

The 13th October saw the launch in Paris of the Positive Impact Manifesto by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative* (UNEP FI) with the support of Societe Generale and 9 other leading financial intuitions. The Manifesto invites banks and other financial sector players to think more holistically about their role in the economy, society and the broader environment, and proposes a ‘Roadmap’ to establishing a new, impact-based and market driven paradigm: Positive Impact Finance.

The transition to a green, inclusive economy requires considerable finance and significant efforts are already underway to promote and enable the financial sector’s participation in funding the transition to a ‘green’ economy. Yet, despite these efforts, the availability of private finance for clean, inclusive investments remains limited. Indeed, a persisting core obstacle is the elusiveness of the commercial viability and “bankability” of many of the products, activities and services that define this new economy. It is precisely this challenge that the Group and other members of the UNEP FI are pledging to take on in the Manifesto.

With the ambition to be a key player in the transition to a low-carbon economy, Societe Generale will continue its role as a leader in Positive Impact Finance by jointly steering, alongside ING and Triodos Bank, the UNEP FI’s Positive Impact Working Group on developing a roadmap to Positive Impact Finance, with the aim of delivering a vibrant market place where needs, solutions and financing can all be matched effectively by 2017.

Download the Positive Impact Manifesto

Read the UNEP FI Press Release

Séverin Cabannes Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale

The Positive Impact Manifesto launched today is a real milestone which will help us make decisive progress towards sustainable development goals and shows the willingness of the banks to engage in order to address the challenges of evolving towards a more inclusive and greener economy.

Positive Impact Finance - The next steps

Develop a set of Positive Impact Principles that will guide providers of financial services in their efforts to increase their positive impact on the economy, society and the broader environment.

Establish a Positive Impact Incubator where new business models and financing approaches can be tested by financiers and corporates to improve the bankability of positive impact transactions.

Find out more about Positive Impact Finance at Societe Generale

Long-standing Environment & Social commitments

Societe Generale began taking into account Environment & Social factors in its business decisions as early as in 2000. The Group joined UN initiatives such as the Global Compact and UNEP-FI, and also private initiatives such as the Equator Principles, before developing its own standards through 12 sector and cross-sector policies.

In 2014 Societe Generale’s Corporate and Investment Banking division approved €958 million in new Positive Impact Financing transactions, an increase of around 37% compared to 2013.

Further information

Watch the video on Positive Impact Finance

Denis Childs, Head of Positive Impact Finance and Environmental and Social Advisory at Societe Generale, explains the aims  of this new approach to financing which seeks to connect the needs of investors and issuers at the same time as meeting sustainable dfevelopment requirements, central to the COP21 climate conference. 

A trusted partnership at the centre of Europe’s 1st high yield green bond issue

Societe Generale Corporate Investment Banking (SG CIB) participated in the issue of the 1st green bond issued by a European issuer rated in the high yield category: the Spanish company Abengoa, which raised €265 million and US$300 million as a result.
To support the development of this market even more effectively SG CIB is part of the group of 20 major investment banks that published the Green Bond Principles in 2014, which serve as a guide for issuers of green bonds.

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