The Dakota Access Pipeline project in the USA

22/05/2017 - Societe Generale is one of the 17 banks initially involved in the financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project located in the United States of America.

In the framework of its business activities, Societe Generale only supports projects that are in compliance with all the rules and regulations in the jurisdiction in which it operates and in accordance with the Group’s Environmental and Social General Guidelines and the Equator Principles adopted by 90 financial institutions for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk. In all of its business activities, Societe Generale condemns violence and violation of human rights.

The decision to support the DAPL project was made on the basis of a comprehensive due diligence process that included independent reviews from various counsels, and that legal, technical, environmental, social and regulatory matters were and continue to be in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.  In light of protests following the project financing, Societe Generale carried out discussions with a representative of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to better understand their concerns. Alongside the other lending banks, we also supported the commissioning of an independent human rights expert, Foley Hoag LLP, to conduct a further social impact study on the project, advise the lenders in their understanding of the complexities of the DAPL situation and provide recommendations to sponsors to consider in the future.

A summary of these recommendations was made public. Societe Generale will take them into account in the future when reviewing projects with similar issues.

In February 2017, the US Administration confirmed the project’s satisfaction of all regulatory requirements and granted the final easement to the project. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has since exercised the recourse afforded to it by the US judicial system. We continue to closely monitor the situation and urge all parties to reach a peaceful resolution.

In line with its business practices, Societe Generale explores ways to positively influence the projects it is involved in and help the industry evolve. Our bank believes it is important that lessons learned by all stakeholders in the Dakota Access Pipeline are considered in projects and project financings going forward.

As a result, Societe Generale has teamed up with other members of the Equator Principles Association to ask the association to rapidly adapt the current risk assessment framework with regard to the rights of indigenous peoples, in line with international best practices.

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22/02/2017 - Societe Generale is one of several banks involved in the financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline project located in the United States of America.

In the framework of its business activities, Societe Generale only supports projects that are in compliance with all the rules and regulations in the jurisdiction in which it operates, and in accordance with the Group’s Environmental and Social General Guidelines and with the Equator Principles adopted by financial institutions for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk.

The Bank is however concerned by the protests this project has generated, and has raised theses views with the client and the other lenders. Furthermore, Societe Generale is one of the banks that had discussions with a representative of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Societe Generale took note of the recent US government decision to issue all necessary easements which give the green light to complete the construction of the project.

The Bank cannot withdraw from the project due to its contractual commitment to the financing alongside other French and international banks. It is therefore not legally possible to step away at this stage.

Societe Generale will continue to closely monitor the situation. The Bank urges all parties to reach a peaceful resolution within respect of the rule of law, through processes afforded by the Court system.

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02/12/2016 - Financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline project in the USA

Societe Generale is one of several banks involved in the financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline project located in the United States of America.

In the framework of its business activities, Societe Generale only supports projects that are in compliance with all the rules and regulations in the jurisdiction in which it operates and in accordance with the Group’s Environmental and Social (E&S) General Guidelines and with the risk management framework of the Equator Principles adopted by financial institutions for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk. These principles include respect of human rights, and in particular of the rights of indigenous people.

In light of the protests against the construction of the project, and in particular the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s views that their rights have not been respected, Societe Generale has raised these views with the project’s sponsors. The bank will continue to closely monitor the situation with the project’s sponsors and the other lenders.

On 4th December , US federal administration decided to halt construction, calling for a full environmental review and re-evaluation of whether the pipeline’s route should be altered. (Updated 12/04/2016)

In order to assist and seek a resolution, Foley Hoag LLP, an independent human rights expert, has been retained to advise the lenders to the Dakota Access Pipeline and to review various matters related to the permitting process, including compliance with applicable law related to consultations with Native Americans. This review will include the evaluation of policies and procedures employed by the project’s sponsors, in the areas of security, human rights, community engagement and cultural heritage. Following this review, the independent expert will develop recommendations for improvements in line with international standards with respect to the sponsors’ social policies and procedures going forward. The lenders understand that the sponsors will review and consider all of the recommendations.