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 impact of our activity, the transparency of our financial communication and the fairness of our practices are concerns which strengthen our desire to improve customer satisfaction.
For Societe Generale, being a responsible company lies at the very heart of our business lines’ mission and reflects the essence of the relationship bank of reference that we strive to be. As a key player in financing the economy, operating in 67 countries, our mission is to offer the best solutions to advise and connect individuals, companies and institutions, in order to support them in the development of their projects, the management of their financial means and their risk coverage. Sensitive to the different stakeholders within our ecosystem, we also strive to ensure the generation of a long-term positive impact on the environment surrounding us.
Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive Officer
Affirming our Environmental and Social (E&S) commitments
Formalized 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.
In 2016 the Group reaffirmed its commitment to fighting climate change by establishing a climate strategy that is consistent with the international goal of limiting global warming to 2 °C.
The application of these principles is incorporated into the existing decision-making processes with regard to both knowing the client (Know Your Customer process-KYC) and transaction assessment, depending on the significance of the E&S risks.
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 here below or at the foot of this page. In 2016, five sector policies were updated in order to implement the operational roll-out of the Bank’s commitments in terms of climate and energy transition.
It is important to note that the coal fire thermal power sector policy was updated in 2016 to reflect SG’s decision to stop all new financing for coal-fired thermal power plant.
In order to enable the implementation of these E&S commitments (E&S General Guidelines, sector policies and Equator Principles), the Group established several procedures defining the identification, assessment, and treatment of E&S impacts associated with transactions or clients to whom the Group provided financial services and aims to ensure that all the Group's entities implement the commitments taken in an integrated and coherent way. Compliance with these procedures helps minimize the reputation and credit risks related to Societe Generale’s E&S issues.
To know more about Implementing E&S commitments in relation to our activities.
To know more about the Group’s climate strategy
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 for ensuring they are followed. The EP serve as a common framework for the financial sector to identify, evaluate and manage the E&S risks of projects for which the 87 international financial institutions that have joined the initiative (as of 1st January 2017) provide financing and advice.
In 2015, the EP introduced new obligations in order to improve transparency on transactions financed by members of the association. Since then, Societe Generale has published an annual report on how it has been applying the initiative. In 2016, it also created a new page on its website dedicated to this reporting obligation. This page describes the way in which the principles are implemented and provides a list of the projects that fall within the scope of the EP and which the Bank has helped fund.
To consult our space dedicated section to Equator Principles and consult our last EP report
To know more about E&S procedures and tools
During 2016, for signed off transactions falling within the scope of the Equator Principles, 24% of the Bank’s commitments were allocated to renewable energy development projects, i.e. a 3% increase compared to 2015.
Respect for human rights
With regard to human rights, the General E&S Guidelines list the standards and initiatives that Societe Generale undertakes to respect and has identified as being the most important for the E&S evaluation of its customers. The Group is committed to maintaining and improving the systems and processes that enable it to ensure that human rights are respected in its operations and its human resources management, in its supply chain, and in its products and services.
In order to meet its obligations under chapter 54 of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act, Societe Generale publishes a statement on slavery and human trafficking.
To know more about Human Rights
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, employees and regulatory authorities on which it depends. It has developed tools in this regard and implemented specific actions.
To know more about Loyalty of practices
Charter for a responsible representation
In 2014, Societe Generale signed the Joint Declaration proposed by Transparency International France to promote honorable, transparent lobbying. The Group has also published a Charter for responsible representation before public authorities and representative institutions. The main public stances adopted by the Group in connection with its responsible representation policy are public.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption
Societe Generale operates by very strict anti-corruption principles, which are stated in its Code of Conduct, and abides by the highest possible standards, in particular the UK Bribery Act and the Sapin 2 Law.
Within each of the main France Retail Banking customer segments (individual, professional and corporate customers), Societe Generale, its specialised subsidiaries (Sogécap, Sogessur, Franfinance, etc.) and Credit du Nord have been surveying representative samples of their respective customers – as well as clients of the top 11 French banks – in order to assess their level of relative satisfaction. These polls reveal the overall and detailed level of customer satisfaction across every aspect of the banking relationship.
For its part, in order to refine its products and services offer and to meet at the best its client’s needs, Corporate and Investment Banking conducts annual surveys based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS)
International Retail Banking gradually rollout a programme to mesure clients’ satisfaction, based on the NPS.
To know more about Customer satisfaction
Economic and Social Impacts of our Activities
Through its network of domestic and international subsidiaries, Societe Generale plays a leading role in the development of the regions and/or countries where it operates. Its subsidiaries or branches actively contribute to the economy in their respective countries, fully assume their social and environmental responsibilities and undertake initiatives to promote progress for the communities and the local economy. The bank reinforces its image as a socially responsible bank by offering employment, assisting clients in difficulty, supporting the creation and development of businesses and assisting local authorities with their projects.
To know more about Supporting SMEs and Business creation