Ecological transition

Transition écologique

Our commitment

At Societe Generale, we believe that banks have a key role to play in the positive transformations of the world and the sustainable development of economies. In line with our corporate purpose, we have placed sustainable development – and the energy transition in particular – at the heart of our strategy. We want to contribute to a transition that is both proactive and responsible by supporting our clients and the real economy as they move towards carbon neutrality.

Societe Generale believes in the leading role of banks and alliances in the acceleration needed to achieve the objectives towards carbon neutrality defined in the Paris Agreement. We want to contribute to a transition that is both proactive and responsible, by building together, with our clients, a better and sustainable future with responsible and innovative solutions. This is our corporate purpose. Sustainable development is at the heart of our strategy and involves all our teams across the Group, in every activity, function and geography.

By joining the Net Zero Banking Alliance of the UNEP-FI as a founding member, the Group has pledged to align its portfolios with trajectories aiming at carbon neutrality by 2050 with the ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As such, Societe Generale is aligning its credit and investment portfolios with intermediate targets, starting with the most carbon-intensive sectors. Societe Generale is a part of several international coalitions defining common standards for the implementation of these trajectories.

New commitments

Societe Generale is strengthening its commitments in several segments related to unconventional hydrocarbons and the protection of biodiversity in protected areas.

  • Shale oil and gas, oil sands, extra heavy crude oil, Arctic oil, Ecuadorian Amazon oil – with the exclusion of:
    • new transactions dedicated to the exploration and production of these categories of hydrocarbons;
    • pure upstream players for which the above resources represent more than 30% of their overall production;
    • diversified players (upstream, midstream, downstream) for which exploration and production of the above resources represent more than 30% of their revenues.
  • Liquefied Natural Gas in North America – From now on, there will be no new mandates for new production projects to extend efforts down the value chain.
  • Protected Areas – Supporting the increased protection of biodiversity by expanding the categories of protected areas in which no new hydrocarbon exploration and production projects will be financed.

Commitments to align our portfolio already in progress

  • Coal – The Group has made good progress towards the goal of a complete phase-out by 2030 for companies based in EU and OECD countries, and by 2040 for the rest of the world.
  • Oil and gas extraction – Societe Generale is among the first banks to have announced a reduction in its exposure by 10% in absolute terms by 2025.
  • Maritime transport – We support the application of the Poseidon Principles, which plan for a decarbonisation of the shipping sector in conjunction with the International Maritime Organisation.
  • Steel – The bank is an active contributor to the definition of common standards on associated greenhouse gas emissions through the Steel Climate-Aligned Finance Working Group.
  • The Group is also a founding member of the Aviation Climate-Aligned Finance Working Group and the Aluminium Climate-Aligned Finance Working Group, working in partnership with key actors of these sectors to define common standards, methodologies and roadmaps working to help decarbonise banking portfolios and the transition of these sectors.

A pioneer in supporting the energy transition

  • Financing the energy transition – The Group is ahead of schedule to contribute more than €120bn to the energy transition between 2019 and 2023, through a dedicated range of sustainable financing solutions (loans, bonds, advisory).
  • Renewable energies – To support the transition of the sector, Societe Generale has been supporting the development of renewable energies for more than 20 years; ranked No. 1 in their financing for the EMEA region at the end of June 2021 (Dealogic).
  • Supporting clients' sustainable development issues – In our retail and global banking activities, as well as in our specialized financial services, such as insurance and fleet management, the Group is developing the positive impact dimension through solutions in the areas of consulting, financing and investment.
  • Solutions for the future – Societe Generale is part of various coalitions to find innovative solutions with our clients in their sectors. In particular, the Group was the first European bank to join the Hydrogen Council.
  • € 150bn

    to support the energy transition, exceeding the EUR 120bn target (2019-2023)

CSR governance and own operations

  • Appointment of Chief Sustainability Officer Hacina Py who reports directly to the General management, under the supervision of Diony Lebot, Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
  • Investment in ESG training programs for our 131,000 members of staff, to enable each of them to act responsibly in favour of the climate and become actors of the energy transition.
  • A new commitment to reduce the Group's own carbon emissions by 50% between 2019 and 2030 by acting on the energy required for buildings, IT, air travel and vehicle fleet. The Group has also decided to ban single-use plastics in the workplace by 2025 across the world, and earlier where relevant according to geographies.

Towards inclusive, transparent and accountable digital activity

In November 2019, the Group announced our signature of the Sustainable IT Charter. In doing so, we joined the 28 companies, not-for-profits and public actors who signed these commitments issued by the Institut du Numérique Responsable (Institute for responsible digital activity, or INR) – a think tank for responsible IT – of which the Group is a founding member. This charter is proof of our commitment to a process of digital transformation that fights global warming and promotes social inclusion.