In a responsible manner, and with the will to reinforce our commitment, we have decided to take strong new measures in favour of a less carbon-intensive economy, with on one hand the objective to contribute to raising €100 billion in financing for the energy transition by 2020 and, on the other hand, the strengthening of our sectoral Environmental and Social Oil and Gas policy.

Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive Officer

Climate strategy

Societe Generale is reinforcing its commitments in favour of the fight against climate change, aiming to align our activities to the 2°C scenario of the International Energy Agency. These decisions represent a further step forward for the Bank’s climate change commitments. They are fully in line with our ambition to be a trusted partner committed to positive transformations, with the aim of integrating our Corporate Social Responsibility objectives with the development of our activities.

Development of financing the energy transition

We have set as an 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 among the world leaders - and aims to direct (or co-direct) Green Bond issuances for a cumulative nominal amount of approximately €85 billion in 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 reaching these objectives

We are aware of the role played by economic actors in the transition to a lower carbon economy and intends to be a key player in the energy transition.

The Group actively contributes to the development of the many markets in which it operates and supports governmental and private sector efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy by targeting:

  • the diversification of sources of energy production with increased funding for 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.

As at the end of 2017, the total amount raised was EUR 38.65 billion and breaks down as follows:

  • for advice and financing: a contribution of EUR 8.3 billion to the renewable energies sector (out of EUR 15 billion in commitments);
  • as the lead or co-lead issuer: issues of green bonds for a nominal amount of EUR 30.4 billion (out of EUR 85 billion in commitments).

Strengthening the Group’s E&S policies
Societe Generale will no longer finance the production of oil from oil sands anywhere in the world, nor the production of Arctic oil.
Moreover, the Group will provide its support only to those Oil & Gas companies who implement, or who are committed to implement, the necessary measures to limit routine flaring and gas losses.
The Group will also provide its support only to those companies using hydraulic fracturing (“fracing”) techniques that implement, or are committed to implement, the best Environmental & Social practices, in line with the IEA Golden Rules.

Societe Generale updated its public Oil & Gas E&S Sector Policy by the end of Q1 2018. A methodology will also be developed by the end of 2018 to monitor how the Group’s activities in the energy sector are aligned with a 2°C scenario. The Group also commits to regularly report on its Oil & Gas portfolio E&S performance.

Finally, the Group commits to reinforce worldwide its standards in the respect and rights of indigenous peoples, in line with international standards.

Our "coal" Sector Policy contributes particularly to climate risk management. The Bank has notably ceased the dedicated financing of coal-fuelled power plants, coal mines or related infrastructure anywhere in the world.

Reduction of the Group's carbon footprint
We are reinforcing our goal of reducing our carbon footprint by up to 25% of our CO2 emissions per employee by 2020 compared to 2014, thanks notably to our innovative internal carbon tax initiative. This tax has already generated €95 million in savings and avoided more than 38,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

A driving force in the sustainable and low carbon development of Africa
We have placed the sustainable development of the African continent at the heart of our strategic priorities and we are committed to playing a leading role with private and public-sector actors 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 support dynamic for Africa's development is anchored in the Bank's historic commitments alongside local and international partners, ranging from microfinance institutions to impact funds or international programmes to support local SMEs. We seek sustainable development with a positive impact conceived in a collaborative and inclusive framework.

For further information on Fighting climate change
For further information on Financing the energy transition
More information about the Sectorial policies
For further information on The strength of Africa 
For further information on Building sustainable and positive impact finance

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.

More information about the Sectorial policies

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

More information about the reporting methodology in the heading CSR Ambition and governance

Reducing our environmental footprint

As part of its 2014-2020 carbon reduction programme, Societe Generale has decided to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% 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.
Over the past five years, internal carbon tax revenues have been allocated to 240 initiatives in 27 participating countries over four continents, achieving the following benefits for an average allocation of EUR 3.1 million per year:

  • recurring savings of EUR 95 million in overheads;
  • more than 38,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided over the past five years (i.e. nearly 2.3% of the Group’ s emissions over five years);
  • 220 GWh of energy saved over the past five years (i.e. 5.3% of the Group’s total energy consumption over five years).

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.

To know more about Reducing our carbon footprint

Internal Carbon Tax at Societe Generale