CSR ambition & governance
Societe Generale CSR ambition
Societe Generale launched a more extensive and targeted initiative in 2017 for listening to its internal stakeholders to anchor and reinforce the Bank’s CSR vision. This enabled the creation of a materiality matrix which ranks sustainable development issues in light of the priorities expressed by the internal and external stakeholders. Societe Generale’s new CSR ambition has been developed on the basis of the results of this matrix.
The CSR ambition is structured around the following six themes: three general themes (customer satisfaction, employer responsibility, ethics and governance, including the management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks), two more specifically CSR themes (climate change, supporting societal trends) and a transversal theme (the development of Africa).
The aim of this CSR ambition is to create added value for stakeholders and support positive societal transformation, including with regard to energy transition and sustainable cities, by offering sustainable products and services whilst prioritising customer satisfaction.
The involvement and commitment of the Group’s employees is a major component of the plan. Societe Generale undertakes to be a responsible employer, offering its employees an inclusive work environment, conducive to well-being and individual development.
As a trusted partner, committed to positive transformation, the Group is guided by four fundamental values (Team Spirit, Innovation, Responsibility and Commitment) and promotes the corresponding behaviour and skills it wishes to see in its employees.
The Group’s goal is to establish a culture of responsibility and the strictest control and compliance framework in the banking sector.
Organisation and governance
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.
The recent evolution of the legislation on non-financial reporting (Declaration of Non-Financial Performance, or DPEF, as it is known in France) is fully in tune with Societe Generale’s commitment to transparency. It requires companies to focus non-financial reporting on their key non-financial risk factors, confirming the relevance of the materiality analysis conducted by Societe Generale in 2017, as well as of its CSR ambition, which is based on the environmental, social and human rights issues that are material to the Group.
These developments are also in line with anti-corruption obligations (as introduced under the Sapin II Act, in particular) and the obligations introduced by the Duty of Care Act of 27th March 2017, pursuant to which companies must establish and implement a duty of care plan to identify risks and prevent serious breaches in respect of human rights, fundamental freedoms, the health, safety and security of persons, and also the environment.
The Chief Executive Officer appointed the Group’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the Bank’s Management Committee with effect from 1st January 2017, thereby demonstrating Societe Generale’s intention to further develop and integrate CSR issues into its strategy.
The Board of Directors has validated the 2017-2020 CSR ambition, which is aligned with the overall strategy of the Group for 2020. The Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility Department is responsible for defining and proposing a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy for Societe Generale. In addition, the CSR Department is responsible for monitoring CSR actions, although the Group’s entities remain responsible for implementation and for aligning their actions with the Bank CSR policy.
Moreover, The CSR department implemented a reporting system in 2005 to track progress on our CSR policy using five indicator categories:
- Governance indicators: governance, ethics, compliance, risk culture, etc.
- Business indicators: new methodology implemented in 2018 to collect indicators on Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance (SPIF) to monitor credit, leasing and customer support in the growing of their positive impact activities and indicators on Sustainable and Positive Investments (SPI) for wealth and asset management activities, including the structuring of products aimed at institutional and individual investors.
- Social indicators: employment, career and skill management, remuneration, working time, internal dialogue, health, safety, etc.
- Environmental indicators: environmental management system, environmental awareness, water and energy consumption, transport, paper, waste, etc.
- Sponsorship indicators.