Frédéric Oudéa Chief Executive Officer

Committed to the positive transformations of societies and economies, Societe Generale has fully incorporated sustainable development objectives
into our strategy.

Climate strategy

On the occasion of the COP 21 meeting and the Paris Agreement in 2015, Societe Generale made stringent commitments to align our activities by 2020 with the International Energy Agency's (IEA) trajectory to limit global warming to 2°C.

Following this, the Bank adopted a proactive and responsible policy to assist customers in their energy transition by accelerating support for renewable energies, while at the same time gradually reducing our financing of carbon energies activities.

To steer this global commitment, the Group has implemented governance, risk management, measurement and monitoring tools to offer the most suitable responses to the transformation taking place to decarbonise the economy

Commitment to steer its policy in line with the IEA's scenarios
In 2016, the Bank implemented a robust methodology to steer the monitoring of our coal financing with the objective of reducing the share of coal in the electricity production financed by the Bank to 19% by the end of 2020, in line with the IEA's two-degree scenario.

Our achievements by mid-2018

  • the Group is very close to its 2020 target with the share of coal in the energy mix of electricity production being financed reduced to 19.3%
  • the share of low-carbon energies in this mix is 48.7%, of which nearly 42% are renewable energies

The Group strengthened our governance by incorporating a climate-related risk review into its overall risk management policy and by defining vulnerability indicators for customers that operate in carbon intensive sectors.

Societe Generale has committed to adapting aligned strategies by 2020 for each sector vital to the success of the energy transition. And in this regard, the Bank aims to pursue the work initiated with different stakeholders to define common scenarios and methodologies in favour of a responsible energy transition.

The development of energy transition financing 

In 2017, Societe Generale pledged to help raise €100 billion in financing for the energy transition between 2016 and 2020 and to report regularly on achievements.

Societe Generale announced we had achieved 58% of this target at Q3-2018 :

  • €42 billion in green bonds issuances lead or co-lead by the Bank, representing 50 transactions worldwide
  • €16 billion in advisory and financing services in the renewable energies sector

Societe Generale has been supporting renewable energy financing activities for more than 10 years, and today is one of the world's leaders in this domain. The Bank provides support and financing for research and development of new renewable technologies, large-scale infrastructures projects and innovative start-up. We intervened in a total of 36 renewable energy transactions worldwide in 2017.

In 2018, Societe Generale announced we had acquired the pioneering renewable energy crowdfunding platform, Lumo. A French fintech, Lumo has accelerated the energy transition since 2012 by offering individuals and companies alike the opportunity to participate in the financing of a selection of renewable energy projects in France.

These targets were achieved with the help of the “Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance” offer within the global banking and investor solutions activities. Societe Generale is looking to bolster our role as a pioneer in defining Positive Impact Finance alongside UNEP-FI and in relation to the scale-up plans presented at the Global Round Table Summit as a response to the financing required for the sustainable development objectives defined by the United Nations.

Commitment to reduce activities involving fossil fuels
In 2016, Societe Generale was one of the first international banks to scale-back its support for the coal sector (extraction and electricity production).

The Bank has stopped all coal-dedicated financing worldwide.

The Group also adopted in 2018 exclusion policies for oil sands and Arctic oil exploration and extraction activities.

In relation to gas, which is an energy compatible with the world energy transition (cf Sustainable Development Scenario of AIE), in 2017 the Group strengthened its Environmental and Social (E&S) policy concerning the oil and gas sector to better take into account the impacts from the application of best standards, notably concerning measures to limit continuous flaring and methane emissions, compliance with the IEA Golden Rules for companies using hydraulic fracking techniques, and respect for the rights of indigenous people.

For further information on FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE
For further information on FINANCING THE ENERGY TRANSITION
For further information about the SECTORIAL POLICIES
For further information on THE STRENGTH OF AFRICA
See the infographic on our commitments to the fight against climate change

Collective framework
The increasingly urgent challenges of sustainable development, and in particular the fight against global warming are among our top priorities. Societe Generale has accordingly committed to align its strategy, by 2020, for each sector vital to the success of the energy transition. in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, we are convinced that we need to share the same methods and frameworks to measure our results and our progress. We welcome collective work with our peers and many stakeholders.

Common principles for the entire financial sector


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).
Since November 2017, the CSR Department has attended and expressed its opinion in Group Risk Committee meetings for sectors that are sensitive to CSR and climate challenges.

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.

Risks associated with climate change are managed through the ongoing analysis of the credit risk (macro-economic analyses and analysis of the project and/or client), by sector policies (particularly in the coal, oil and gas sectors) and through the management of emissions from proprietary activities.

In ongoing credit risk management, climate change-related risk is integrated into the macro-economic and macro-sector analyses carried out bi-annually, as well as into the individual credit risk analyses for the countries and sectors with the greatest exposure.

In order to set things in motion, the commitment to align with the 2°C global warming trajectory is being gradually implemented across certain business sectors that the Bank supports through its financing portfolio and other services according to priorities that have been identified by the risk management tools and the Risk Division. The energy sector plays a central role due to its significant production of greenhouse gas emissions and its position at the heart of the economy.

The management of our own business establishments helps to prevent the physical risks associated with climate change within our operational risk management framework. The Group carries out an annual campaign in relation to its proprietary activities (operating emissions) to collect all environmental data relating to energy consumption in its buildings and by its IT infrastructure (including hosted data centres), business trips, goods transport (mail, company shop, transport of funds, etc.), paper consumption (office use and paper for customer communications), waste produced and water consumption. Environmental actions and programmes are conducted in order to reduce the Group’s carbon footprint

Fin dout more information about our reporting methodology in the CSR AMBITION AND GOVERNANCE section. 

Commitment to reducing our own carbon footprint

In 2017, Societe Generale decided to accelerate its 2014-2020 carbon reduction programme, and therefore strengthened its objective to reduce its carbon footprint by cutting its CO2 emissions per employee by 25% by 2020. This proactive approach is accompanied by innovative initiatives such as the Bank's pioneering “Internal Carbon Tax” mechanism which today serves as a reference for other major international groups. Enhanced over the years, this win-win programme is based on a twin incentive mechanism: a carbon tax is collected every year from the Group's entities based on their CO2 emissions and is then redistributed to reward the best internal environmental efficiency initiatives.

Find out more about Reducing our carbon footprint
Find out more about Responsible sourcing

Internal Carbon Tax at Societe Generale

Drawing on its long-standing and broad presence across 19 African countries, Societe Generale has made sustainable development on the African continent a core strategic priority. In announcing its Grow with Africa initiative, the Group pledged to play a driving role along with private and public sector players in sustainable and low-carbon development in Africa, notably in relation to energy infrastructures, which are key to the sustainable economic growth of these countries; the development of African SMEs; the development of innovative funding mechanisms for the agricultural and energy sectors to guarantee the broadest possible access; and the development of financial inclusion for the countries’ populations.