The internal environmental efficiency awards to encourage change

The 8th edition of the internal Environmental Efficiency Awards rewards the best environmental efficiency initiatives launched by staff in the areas of real estate, IT, paper, transport and waste management. Based on an original internal carbon tax scheme, these awards aim to reduce the Group’s carbon footprint.

“Banks are playing a key role in accelerating the ecological transition”, Frédéric Oudéa asserts. By supporting their clients with their transformation, they are participating in individual and collective efforts to achieve the carbon neutrality targets set by the Paris Agreement. However, banks are also businesses like any other. They therefore have a responsibility on their own behalf, whether it be their real-estate stock, IT, transport or waste management. 

To improve its carbon footprint at its level, Societe Generale draws on the spirit of innovation and enthusiasm of its members of staff. Over the last decade, the Group has been encouraging the most virtuous initiatives via an original internal carbon tax scheme, this tax being collected from and redistributed amongst Group entities in accordance with their CO2 emissions. Some 2.7 million euros a year are thus rerouted to encourage changes in behaviour. 

The 8th edition of the internal Environmental Efficiency Awards, handed out a few days ago, helped highlight and reward the best initiatives undertaken in 2020 and 2021. Reflecting the enthusiasm of our staff, almost 200 applications were submitted in 23 countries in response to a dual inducement: reduce the Group’s carbon emissions by 2030 whilst ensuring long-term financial savings. 

Hence, in January 2020 in Romania, Societe Generale group subsidiary BRD renovated the ventilation and air-conditioning system in the building that houses its head offices. This building now uses a “natural cold” system allowing it to reduce its annual electricity consumption by 25%. 

ALD Automotive’s subsidiary in Turkey similarly looked at one of its primary sources of carbon emissions. By analysing and digitising tyres’ life cycle, the vehicle fleet management specialist was able to upgrade their recycling, reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and cut costs for its clients. 

Other initiatives, in the field of mobility management, the dematerialisation of paper documents and the optimisation of data centres for responsible IT, have also been rewarded for the scaling up on pivotal issues for the bank. 

Altogether, the 68 eligible initiatives have helped reduce CO2 emissions by almost 22,000 tonnes (or the equivalent of the annual emissions of close to 1,800 French households) and cut costs by some 17.8 million euros.