Commitments to the fight against climate change

December 2017 - Societe Generale strengthens its commitments in the fight against climate change

  • €100 billion contribution to the financing of the energy transition between 2016 and 2020
  • Strengthening the environmental and social (E&S) sectoral oil and gas policy
  • Disengagement from oil sands anywhere in the world and from Arctic oil
  • Reinforcing Societe Generale standards regarding respect of the indigenous populations’ rights
  • 25% reduction in CO2 emissions per employee by 2020
  • Driving force in the sustainable and low carbon development of Africa

In line with the commitments made at COP 21, Societe Generale marks a new stage in its proactive climate policy, which aims to align its activities by 2020 with the International Energy Agency (IEA) scenario to limit global warming to 2°c.

Societe Generale reinforces the support of its clients in their energy transition, while continuing to reduce emissions related to its own activities.

Development of financing the energy transition

To support its clients in financing a less carbon-intensive economy:

  • Societe Generale announces that it has set itself the objective to contribute to raising €100 billion in financing for the energy transition between 2016 and 2020. The Group will provide, through advisory and financing, a contribution of approximately €15 billion to the renewable energy sector - a sector in which the bank is one of the world leaders - and aims to direct (or co-direct) Green Bond issues for a nominal amount of approximately €85 billion on the same period. Societe Generale undertakes to regularly report the amounts realised.

The consolidated "Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance" offering within the global banking and investor solutions activities will contribute to these new objectives. Societe Generale aims to strengthen its pioneering position in the definition of the Positive Impact Finance*, which is a response to the funding of Sustainable Development Goals as defined by the United Nations, thereby supporting the positive impact of its clients' activities.

Strengthening the Group’s E&S policies

  • Societe Generale will no longer finance production of oil from oil sands anywhere in the world, and no longer finance the production of Arctic oil.
  • The Group will provide its support only to oil and gas companies who implement, or commit to implement the necessary measures to limit routine flaring and gas losses.
  • The Group will provide its support only to companies using hydraulic fracturing techniques that implement, or commit to implement, the best Environmental & Social practices, in line with the IEA Golden Rules.
  • The Group commits to regularly report on its Oil & Gas portfolio E&S performance.
  • Finally, the Group commits to reinforce its standards for the respect of indigenous populations’ rights, in line with international standards, on a global basis.

The Group also has 11 sector policies covering environmentally and socially sensitive sectors. Its "coal" policy contributes particularly to climate risk management. The Bank has ceased the dedicated financing of coal-fuelled power plants, coal mines or related infrastructures anywhere in the world.

Reduction of the Group's carbon footprint

  • Societe Generale reinforces its goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 25% of its CO2 emissions per employee by 2020 compared to 2014. This desire to reduce emissions is accompanied by innovative initiatives such as the internal carbon tax applied to all entities based on their carbon footprint, which finances internal programs for environmental efficiency. Over the past five years, this tax has generated €95 million in savings, avoided more than 38,000 tons of CO2 and saved 220 GWh, the annual consumption of about 30,000 French households.

Driving force in the sustainable and low carbon development of Africa

  • Building on its broad historical presence in 19 African countries, Societe Generale has placed the sustainable development of the African continent at the heart of its strategic priorities. The Group is committed to playing a leading role with private and public sector players in Africa's low carbon development, particularly in the area of energy infrastructure, which is essential for the sustainable economic growth of these countries. This dynamic of support for Africa's development is anchored in the Bank's historic commitments alongside local and international partners such as microfinance institutions, impact funds or international programs to support local SMEs. It aims at a sustainable development with a positive impact designed in a collaborative and inclusive framework.

Read the press release