Following the commitments we made within the scope of the COP21 climate change conference, the decision to stop all new financing for coal-fired thermal power plant projects or associated infrastructures constitutes a new phase for Societe Generale in the fight against climate change. It reflects our desire to contribute – thanks to responsible financing – to developing a lower carbon economy. Benefiting from an historical presence and recognised in the energy sector, Societe Generale is committed to supporting its customers in this necessary approach. We want to be a major player in financing energy transition. Our commitment to align our financing to the International Energy Agency’s 2°C scenario attests to this, as does our signing of the Manifesto on Positive Impact Finance of the United Nations Environment Programme in 2015.
Séverin Cabannes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Societe Generale has made commitments
Following the commitments we made within the scope of the COP21 climate change conference, the decision to stop all new financing for coal-fired thermal power plant projects or associated infrastructures constitutes a new phase for the bank in the fight against climate change.
In line with its commitments, Societe Generale, together with 25 other major international financial institutions, has supported the Voluntary Principles for Mainstreaming Climate Action since December 2015. The Group has been responding to the Carbone Disclosure Project (CDP) Climate questionnaire since 2005. It has committed itself to the CDP in order to strengthen its commitment to climate by becoming a signatory to the CDP Climat, CDP Water, CDP Forest and CDP Action on Carbon, joining 822 members worldwide and more than 5,500 companies that share their information today with the CDP.
At the end of 2015, Societe Generale strengthened its commitment to forest conservation by adopting the Soft Commodities Compact of the Banking Environment Initiative and the Consumer Goods Forum, which aims to achieve zero net deforestation of tropical rainforests by 2020.
Notably, the Group is striving for a twofold increase in the funding of renewable energy projects and the capacity to access up to EUR 10 billion of funding for projects in the renewable energy sector by 2020. Furthermore, Societe Generale has set a new objective to reduce its CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020, compared to 2014. In order to achieve this objective the Group is extending its “internal carbon tax” incentive scheme based on the emissions made by each Group entity, which are then redistributed to finance internal environmental efficiency initiatives
A system for managing climate change risks
An in-depth analysis was carried out in 2016 by the Risk Division in collaboration with the CSR Department and presented to the Risk Committee in early 2017. Risks related to climate change (physical and transition risks) are not a new risk category, but rather an aggravating factor for the types of risks included in the risk management plan (particularly credit and operational risks and risk related to insurance activities).
Furthermore, Societe Generale has developed a methodology for monitoring its credit exposure to the coal sector for the purposes of implementing its commitment to the IEA’s 2DS plan for 2020.
To know more about: Attention to climate change issues associated with financing and other services
Actor for a low-carbon economy
Societe Generale is aware of the role played by economic actor in the transition to a lower carbon economy and intends to be a key player in the energy transition. Strengthened by its presence in 67 countries, the Group actively contributes to the development of the many markets in which it operates. It supports governmental and private sector efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy by targeting:
- the diversification of sources of energy generation with increased funding in the renewable energy sector;
- the reduction of its clients’ energy consumption;
- the increase of its energy transition and climate change adaptation efforts in developing countries, particularly in Africa, where Societe Generale has a strong presence, and attracting investors for these projects.
In total over 2016, the green funding supplied by Societe Generale to private or public sector undertakings amounted to around EUR 3.12 billion and the Group granted funding for renewable energy projects to the tune of EUR 1.26 billion.
Innovative solutions to rise to the challenges of energy transition
Societe Generale uses its structuring and distribution expertise to provide innovative solutions responding to risk/profitability concerns and integrating the ESG criteria required by investors, notably through Positive Impact Financing under the auspices of UNEPFI. In response to the needs of low carbon investors, the Group issued a second positive impact bond for a EUR 500 million fixed-rate senior note with a 5-years maturity and the funds raised will serve to finance renewable energy projects.
To support its “Corporate” clients, the Group intends to contribute to the development of a Green Bonds market with a view to financing projects and acquisitions in the renewable energy and energy efficiency domains. In 2016, Societe Generale contributed to the issue of 8 Green Bonds for a total of EUR 6 billion.
In its French banking networks, Societe Generale also promotes funding to improve energy efficiency, and offers a range of specific services through its subsidiaries, including property development and car leasing.
Finally, since 2012 Societe Generale has had a Biodiversity Policy, applicable to all Group banking and financial operations. The bank ensures that it will assess the impacts of projects it may fund on biodiversity, with the search for mitigation measures, if needed, or withdrawal from the bank if necessary.
Partnerships to support low - carbon development policies
In keeping with its global strategy, Societe Generale strives to forge and develop partnerships, in the other countries where it operates, with International Financial Institutions (AFD, EBRD, EIB, World Bank, etc.) to propose financing solutions that respond to the needs of the local businesses and stakeholders it works with, with a particular focus on energy transition projects.
To know more about Partnership
Reducing our environmental footprint
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
As part of its 2014-2020 carbon reduction programme, Societe Generale has decided to reduce its CO2 emissions by 20% and, from 2017, to include its waste in the Group’s carbon footprint.
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, integrated governance tool based on an “internal carbon tax”, currently EUR 10 per ton of CO2 emitted. The proceeds raised in the business units are used to fund internal environmental efficiency initiatives.
The Sourcing Department plays a significant role in the Group’s CSR strategy, and is committed to reducing the environmental footprint of the Bank’s procurement.
The objective of this scheme shows that environmental measures also represent value creation and innovation opportunities for the Bank.
To know more about Reducing the Group’s carbon footprint
Documents to download - Greenhouse gas emissions reports (currently available only in French)
Greenhouse gas emissions report - Banque Courtois
Greenhouse gas emissions report - Banque Rhône Alpes
Greenhouse gas emissions report - Banque Tarneaud
Greenhouse gas emissions report - CGL
Greenhouse gas emissions report - Crédit du Nord
Greenhouse gas emissions report - Franfinance
Greenhouse gas emissions report - Societe Generale
Greenhouse gas emissions report- SOGECAP
Greenhouse gas emissions report - SOGESSUR