Through the implementation of our Environmental and Social (E&S) commitments and our sectorial policy, we work in favour of responsible finance. The economic and social impacts of our activity, the transparency of financial communication and the loyalty of our practices are all concerns that are at the heart of our job as bankers.
The Group strives to act with integrity and in accordance with applicable law in all its activities. The new legislative obligations represent an opportunity for Societe Generale to clarify the articulation between its business model, its CSR ambition and the policies and processes implemented and continuously improved, to manage the Environmental and Social (E&S) risk factors inherent to its activities.
Sector-specific and cross-sector E&S general guidelines
Formalised in a Directive signed by the Chief Executive Officer and applicable to all activities, the E&S General Principles constitute a global framework based on the Group’s institutional commitments and its regulatory obligations.
A set of sector and cross-sector E&S policies supplements the E&S General Principles. They specify the standards that the Bank wishes to apply to sensitive sectors as well as to certain cross-sector issues. The E&S policies now cover 12 sectors in which the Group plays an active role and can be downloaded by clicking on each picture in the below illustration or at the foot of this page.
Adopted by the Group in 2007, and revised in 2013, the Equator Principles (EP) are one of the underlying initiatives of the E&S General Guidelines. Societe Generale has special internal procedures and tools to ensure they are followed. The EP serve as a common framework for the financial sector to identify, assess and manage the E&S risks of projects for which the 101 international financial institutions that have joined the initiative (as of 1 January 2020) provide financing and advice.
Principles for Responsible Banking
Societe Generale is the founding signatory of the Principles for Responsible Banking, signed by 130 banks worldwide, and has joined the Collective Commitment to Climate Action, signed by 34 banks. These principles are designed to define the role of the banking industry in building a sustainable future, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
Soft commodities compact
In 2015, Societe Generale joined the Soft Commodities Compact established by the Banking Environment Initiative and the Consumer Goods Forum. The Soft Commodities Compact is designed to mobilise the banking industry to help transform soft commodity supply chains, thereby helping corporate customers to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.
Societe Generale is one of the founding signatories of the Poseidon Principles, launched in 2019 in collaboration with the Global Maritime Forum, and in association with other banks financing the shipping industry. In addition, the Group has joined the Getting to Zero coalition.
Ethics and compliance
Loyalty of Practices and financial transparency
By ensuring that it abides by the loyalty and integrity rules set for itself, the Group helps to develop a key asset: the trust of customers, other counterparties, staff and the regulatory authorities on which it depends. It has developed tools in this regard and implemented specific actions.
Responsible advocacy activities
Since 2014, Societe Generale has joined Transparency International France's joint declaration to promote transparent and inclusive lobbying. The Group has also published its “Charter for Responsible Advocacy with Public Authorities and Representative Institutions”.
In order to respect these commitments as well as the obligations stemming from the French Sapin II law, the Group has registered with the following registers: European institutions register and register of the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (HATVP).
Societe Generale also publishes the names of its staff carrying out advocacy activities, the associations by which these activities are carried out, the object of these activities as well as the aggregate amount of the related expenses, calculated on a pro rata basis of the time spent by the identified employees for such activities and by the associations themselves.