Corporate Social Responsibility at the heart of the Group's strategy
A responsible Group
Economic development is no longer possible without environmental and social progress. It is the responsibility of major companies to suggest the next virtuous models, models that encourage positive transformations of the world.
Societe Generale is fully aware of the responsibility of being bankers. Our Group has a leading role to play in helping build greener and more inclusive development models, and to enable the emergence of new sustainable growth drivers.
Societe Generale's ambition is based both on the business orientations that guide the influence that the Group seeks to have on the world: climate change, social innovation and sustainable development in Africa, and three cross-functional areas that dictate the conduct of our business : customer satisfaction and protection, ethics and governance, and responsible employer matters. All of our staff members are fully aware of their responsibilities and have been made aware of the importance of transparency, compliance, ethics, regulatory requirements and data protection issues (visit the Compliance page).
Organisation and governance
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments involve all levels of the Group’s governance, from entry level staff to the Management Committee, from operational staff to control functions to the Board of Directors. In 2019, to go even further in following this ambition, Societe Generale created the "Group Responsible Commitments Committee", whose mission is to arbitrate and examine complex cases presenting a high risk of reputational damage or non-alignment with the Group's standards regarding CSR, ethics or conduct.
Some of the Group's initiatives
Our Group's CSR commitments are proven: €120 billion has been allocated for the energy transition between 2019 and 2023, and withdrawal from the coal sector is scheduled by 2030 in the European Union and OECD countries, and 2040 in the rest of the world.
As a founding signatory of the Poseidon Principles, alongside ten other banks, the Group supports players in the global shipping sector in their energy transition. In particular, through its promotion of financing for more environmentally-friendly ships, it contributes to the objective of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050.
Societe Generale joins the Steel Climate-Aligned Finance Working Group as co-leader, joining five other leading lenders of the steel industry to define standards advancing the decarbonisation of the sector. The objective of the working group is to establish a joint climate-aligned finance agreement, modeled after the Poseidon Principles. It will define a framework for assessing and disclosing the degree to which greenhouse gas emissions associated with each financial institution’s portfolio are in line with the United Nation’s 1.5°C climate targets.
The Group has also joined the Hydrogen Council, which brings together 81 international companies contributing to the development of hydrogen to aid the energy transition. The Bank is committed to providing its expertise in innovative financing and energy advisory to help develop the “low carbon” hydrogen solutions of tomorrow.
Aware of new expectations and requirements, Societe Generale group was involved in writing the Sustainable IT Charter. It aims to limit the environmental impacts of digital technology, share responsible, ethical and inclusive best practice and encourage the emergence of new values.
Societe Generale was one of the founding signatories of the UNEP-FI Principles for Responsible Banking launched at the United Nations General General Assembly in September 2019, with the aim of promoting active coalitions and common international standards. On this occasion, the Group joined the Collective Commitment for Climate Action.
When signing these Principles, the Group committed to publish an annual progress report within 18 months. This first report includes a public and transparent self-assessment on the alignment with these Principles which encompasses alignment with the Paris Agreement, the definition of impact targets, the consultation and cooperation with its stakeholders, responsible banking culture and governance or transparency regarding the reach of the targets.
Now, more than ever, CSR is a driver of future performance, which is at the heart of our strategy, in line with our purpose and our values, and gives the banking business its full meaning.
At the COP24 environmental summit of 2018, Societe Generale joined forces with BBVA, BNP Paribas, ING and Standard Chartered to develop methodologies to guide their credit portfolios in line with the objective of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming
in the world for respect for the environment according to RobecoSAM
in Europe for our CSR policy as a whole
dedicated to financing the energy transition 2019 - 2023