Commitments to the fight against climate change - Archive

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

October 2016 - Climate commitments: Societe Generale announces that it will stop dedicated coal financing and step up its support for renewables energies

Ahead of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22), and as a continuation of the commitments it made for COP 21, Societe Generale is announcing that it will stop dedicated coal financings and step up its commitment to renewable energies. By doing this, the bank is consistent with the International Energy Agency’s 2DS scenario, which aims to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

Societe Generale is pursuing its commitment to energy transition, and is announcing that it will no longer finance the coal-fuelled power plants or related infrastructure anywhere in the world. This decision will take effect on 1 January 2017.

This announcement reinforces the decisions made in 2015 to stop project financing for the development of coal mines and coal-fuelled power plants in high-income OECD countries.

These changes have been incorporated into the Group’s sector policies on Mining and Coal-Fuelled Power Plants. The sector policies set out the framework governing the financial services Societe Generale offers in the business sectors in which it operates.

The bank will also scale back its outstanding loans to the coal industry, with a goal of reducing the proportion of coal-fuelled share in power production financed by the bank to 19% by 2020, in line with the International Energy Agency’s 2-degree scenario.

Read the press release

See infographic

November 2015 - Societe Generale commits to the fight against climate change

Societe Generale Group has launched its climate policy, setting out a global framework that pulls together and strengthens the various initiatives taken by the Bank over many years to help finance the energy transition and reduce the carbon footprint of its activities.

Defining the actions needed globally in order to limit the increase in world average temperatures to 2 degrees by the end of the 21st century compared with the pre-industrial era is the key goal of the Conference of the Parties COP 21 global climate summit held in Paris at the end of November 2015. Societe Generale’s climate policy aims to contribute to this goal and is based on the following commitments:

  • A doubling in financing for renewable energy projects by 2020
  • Reduction of Group activities in the coal sector with a view to being in line with the International Energy Agency's 2 degree scenario by 2020
  • End of project financing of the development of coal mines
  • End of project financing of coal-fired power plants in high income OECD countries
  • Adoption of the "Soft Commodities Compact" in order to fight against deforestation
  • Development of Positive Impact financing under the aegis of UNEP-FI
  • Further 20% reduction in the Group's own carbon footprint
  • Introduction of a climate policy monitoring framework consistent with “the Principles for Mainstreaming Climate Actions within Financial Institutions”

Summary of COP21 by Emmanuel Martinez, Environment Director at Societe Generale