Ecological transition

Our commitment

“Acting for the climate and the environment by supporting a fair, environmentally-friendly and inclusive energy transition.”

In today's world, economic development goes hand-in-hand with environmental and social progress. We are fully aware of the responsibility of our banking profession. Whatever our business activities, we put all our ability for innovation to work to find responsible and innovative financial solutions to meet the challenges of the ecological transition. As a historic banking partner for the energy sector, we are aware of the responsibility and impact we have throughout the world, and seek to be a key player in the ecological transition.

 

The energy transition must be fair, environmentally-friendly and inclusive.

Our financial solutions offer includes a sustainability aspect, enabling us to support our customers in their ecological transition and involve them with our commitments to sustainable development.

Conviction & approach

We want to help protect the climate by supporting a fair, environmentally-friendly and inclusive transition. However, not all energies cost consumers the same and the energy sector represents hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Societe Generale has been committed to limiting global warming since the Paris Agreement. We are determined to progressively reduce our support for fossil fuels in favour of renewable energies, with the priority being a withdraw from the coal sector.

In this respect, the Group has committed to exiting the thermal coal sector by 2030 for companies in the European Union or OECD member countries, and 2040 for those in the rest of the world. Until then, client companies will be required to generate less than 25% of their revenues in this sector to be eligible for support by the Group. Companies who develop new thermal coal activities or are exposed to the thermal coal sector will no longer receive new financial services and products from the Group.

In the energy sector, we support our clients around the world in their own energy transition and work with all other sectors to promote low-carbon strategies.

Between 2015 and 2030, $2.6 billion in funding will be needed to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and half of this funding will need to be raised for Africa. In response to this major challenge, we launched a programme dedicated to Africa, Grow with Africa, whose aim is to contribute to the sustainable development of the continent through the development of infrastructure and innovative financing for the energy sector, including by promoting renewable energy sources in non-connected rural areas.

In line with our purpose, we are convinced that, for an effective energy transition, we need to join forces with other economic actors. We are building coalitions or participating in partnerships seeking to increase transparency and the impact of positive change.

Sustainable products and services with a positive impact

All around the world, experts working in our various business activities are developing innovative and responsible solutions that meet the three major issues of climate change, sustainable development in Africa and social progress.

This is a commercial goal that supports action favouring initiatives that generate a positive impact on sustainable development for the economy and society. This approach has been developed in the spirit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Our sustainable and responsible finance offer consists of:

  • Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance (SPIF): green, social or sustainable products; sustainable project and asset financing; financial services and leasing;
  • Sustainable Positive Impact Investments (SPII): positive and sustainable investment solutions, sustainable asset management and responsible investing; ESG offering for securities services;
  • Advisory & Business Development: strategic advisory services, corporate finance; ESG advisory services, access to financial markets; impact-based finance; sustainable cities.

Financial commitments and resources put in place

We are committed to the fight against global warming, with high-level commitments to the energy transition:

  • € 100bn

    from 2016 to 2020,
    target reached in 2019

  • € 120bn

    from 2019 to 2023

  

  • ESG criteria integrated into all of the Bank's research
  • A dedicated "sustainable" research team with over 15 years of recognised expertise
  • Experts in sustainable finance
  • Over 15 years of experience in energy-transition financing issues
  • Over 20 years of cutting-edge expertise in the development of renewable energies through varied and innovative financing solutions
  • R&D and responsible and innovative financial solutions for all activities, including letters of credit, loans, bonds, project financing, asset financing, private management, long-term vehicle leasing, research, hedging solutions, asset management, securities services, strategic advisory, solutions for sustainable cities, “green” mobility, infrastructure, crowdfunding, transport and notably maritime transport.

Commitments to the United Nations and all stakeholders

Societe Generale either initiates or participates in the major global cross-disciplinary initiatives in favour of the energy transition.

Through our business activities and geographical footprint, we also make a contribution to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Unilateral commitments 

As part of our 2014-2020 carbon reduction programme, Societe Generale made a commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions per occupant by 25%, and to increase the energy performance per occupant of the Group's buildings by 20% in 2020, when compared to 2014. This goal was achieved in 2019.

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.

Collective action

We are convinced that the establishment of standards, methodologies and joint initiatives will provide the impact and transparency needed to meet the challenges of the ecological transition. Societe Generale either initiates or participates in the major global cross-disciplinary initiatives in this respect.

Find out more

Our CSR commitments

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Sustainable development in Africa

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Social innovations

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