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

Regulatory (ESG) commitments

The Bank is determined to act with integrity and in compliance with the applicable laws in all its activities. Societe Generale is in particular subject to certain obligations which have led it to develop policies and processes for managing ESG risks. In order to meet its obligations under section 54 of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act, Societe Generale publishes a statement on slavery and human trafficking.

2018 Duty of care plan

OBJECTIVE

As a French company with over 5,000 employees, Societe Generale is subject to the French Act of 27th March 2017 on the Duty of Care of Parent and Subcontracting Companies (the “Duty of Care Act”). This law requires a duty of care plan to be established and implemented, effectively, with the objective of identifying risks and preventing serious breaches in respect of human rights, fundamental freedoms, the health, safety and security of persons, or the environment as a result of the Group’s activities. In particular, the plan must include mapping of the risks, measures for assessing and mitigating risks of serious breach or harm and an alert mechanism. Over the years, the Societe Generale Group has voluntarily adopted procedures and tools for identifying, assessing and controlling risks relating to human rights and the environment as part of its management of its human resources, its supply chain and its activities. The Group sees this new regulatory obligation as an opportunity to clarify and strengthen its existing duty of care framework.

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2018 Duty of care plan
Modern Slavery Act
Health, safety, security and prevention
The E&S risk assessment procedures and management systems
2018 Positive Sourcing Programme
    Promoting the highest ethical standards
    Manage the Environmental, Social and Governance risks

Voluntary 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 2017 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.

soft commodities compact

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 2018, the oil and gas policy was updated in order to implement the operational roll-out of the Bank’s commitments in terms of climate and energy transition.

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Our Environmental and Social commitments 
Fighting climate change

Biodiversity Forestry Agriculture Dams and Hydropower Oil & Gas Thermal Power Coal-fired Power Mining Shipping Renewable energy Palm Oil Defence Civil Nuclear

In order to enable the implementation of these E&S commitments (E&S General Guidelines, sector policies and Equator Principles), the Group has adopted various procedures to implement its E&S commitments (E&S General Guidelines and policies and the Equator Principles). These procedures explain how to handle the E&S challenges associated with transactions or customers to whom the Bank provides banking and financial services. Initially only applicable to the activities of Corporate and Investment Banking, they are now being developed and gradually rolled out to cover all of the Group’s financing and investment activities. In addition to facilitating the identification, assessment and appropriate handling of potentially negative E&S impacts, these procedures also make it possible to identify transactions and clients having a positive impact in relation to sustainable development. This dual approach is what underpins positive impact.

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Manage the Environmental, Social and Governance risks
Environmental and social general guidelines
THE GROUP’S  CLIMATE STRATEGY

Equator Principles

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.

In 2017, at the General Meeting of the Equator Principles Association, the Bank presented the methodology developed to align its financing portfolio for coal-related activites with IEA’s 2°C scenario.Societe Generale has also been an active member of the “Designated Countries” Working Group, whose objective is, in particular, to propose changes to the framework for assessing risks associated with respecting the rights of indigenous populations.

Visit the space dedicated section to Equator Principles and consult our last EP report
Find out more about E&S PROCEDURES AND TOOLS

Respect for human rights

droits humains

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.

FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION AND PROMOTING DIVERSITY

The Group’s diversity policy aims to fight against preconceptions and to create a culture of inclusion. Guarding against discrimination during recruitment, in particular, is one of the points that has been subject to continuous monitoring within the Group since 2013. To this end, sample checks are carried out to verify that job advertisements do not contain any discriminatory terms, that candidates are assessed on the basis of objective criteria that are commensurate with the position to be filled and that rejection letters do not contain any discriminatory terms. Furthermore, the Group’s commitment to non-discrimination was demonstrated in practical terms in 2016 with the signing of two international charters:
• the Women’s Empowerment Principles, under the aegis of the United Nations Global Compact, promoting gender quality at work, both within the company and in its sphere of influence;
• the Global Business and Disability Charter, under the aegis of the International Labour Organization, promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the world of work.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE VALUE CHAIN

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 Equator Principles cover the issue of human rights through the performance standards of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), which address workers’ rights, population displacement and resettlement, the free, prior informed consent of indigenous populations, and the management of security personnel.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN

In 2015, the Group adopted an instruction on responsible sourcing and a code of ethics relating to sourcing. This instruction is appended to the Global Agreement on fundamental human rights and trade union rights. At present, the implementation processes essentially involve sourcing managed from France and cover:
• the identification of potential environmental and social risks (including in relation to human rights);
• the implementation of a Know Your Supplier (KYS) process, which has been in place since July 2016;
• the extra-financial evaluation of suppliers;
• the gradual introduction of mandatory E&S criteria in specifications for products and services.

Soft commodities compact

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.

 


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Environmental and social (E&S) Commitments, initiatives and standards

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.

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Ethics and Governance 
    Promoting the highest ethical standards

Code of conduct

code de conduite

The Group has set itself the strategic target of protecting its corporate image and ensuring that every employee acts with integrity in their day-to-day activities. A great deal of work has been done since 2011 on Culture & Conduct. The Code of Conduct, which was updated in 2016, is the cornerstone of professional ethics at Societe Generale. It promotes respect for human rights and the environment, the prevention of conflicts of interest and corruption, the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, respect for market integrity, data protection, proper conduct with regard to gifts and invitations and responsible sourcing.

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Code of conduct

Tax code of conduct

code de conduite

The Group’s Tax Code of Conduct, approved by the Board of Directors in November 2010, is part of the worldwide developments to fight harmful tax practices, particularly at the request of the OECD. In addition, since 2003 Societe Generale has laid down strict internal rules designed to prevent the development of any operations in countries that have been designated as noncooperating tax havens by the OECD.

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GROUP'S TAX CODE OF CONDUCT

Responsible lobbying

In 2014, Societe Generale signed the Joint Declaration proposed by Transparency International France to promote honourable, 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 and can be consulted via "Going further".

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.

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    Compliance
Ethics and Governance
PROMOTING THE HIGHEST ETHICAL STANDARDS

Customer satisfaction

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.

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CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    Supporting our clients 

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.

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SUPPORTING SMES AND BUSINESS CREATION