Corporate & Social Responsability
Dialogue & transparency

Dialogue & transparency

Societe Generale’s position in response to Oxfam’s report


We regret the systematic opposition and biased methodology of this latest OXFAM report. This report does not objectively take into account the concrete progress achieved by Societe Generale. We are actively committed to supporting our clients in a pro-active and responsible way with their ecological transition, seeking to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.  The Group has set intermediary targets to both reduce our most carbon-intensive activities and promote the financing and use of renewable energies. After having made a good start with our complete withdrawal from coal in 2030-2040, as well as with our objective of reducing exposure to oil and gas extraction by 10% by 2025, the Group is accelerating in conjunction with other French banks to reduce our exposure to activities notably related to shale oil and gas.

We have carefully read the latest OXFAM report on the banking sector’s carbon footprint. We regret that once again this report does not take into account the major progress made by the banking sector and the companies its supports in terms of ecological transition. The French banking sector has established itself as a leader in green finance, recognised as such by numerous extra-financial rating agencies.

Societe Generale is already committed to achieving the objectives defined by the Paris Agreement. Since 2015, the Group has repeatedly clarified and strengthened its measures to reduce exposure to the most carbon-intensive sectors and support the development of renewable energies. In recent months, we’ve accelerated on our commitments, demonstrating Societe Generale's concrete contribution to collective ambitions for the energy transition.
Societe Generale is one of the founding members of the Net Zero Banking Alliance, which we joined last April. Through this alliance, the Group is committed to aiming for carbon neutrality in all its portfolios by 2050. We prioritise dealing with the most carbon-intensive portfolios, focusing on defining intermediate alignment objectives and supporting our clients in a proactive and responsible manner with their transition.
This is also the sense of the efforts undertaken by Societe Generale, alongside four other European banks under the Katowice agreement, which created a robust, dynamic methodology applicable in all sectors - cf. creation of an open source credit portfolio measurement tool based on the PACTA for Banks methodology of the Think tank 2 Degrees Investing Initiative.

The financial sector acts in support of an economy which is admittedly still very carbon-intensive, so it is no surprise that a leading diversified and integrated banking group’s  scope 3 emissions may still appear important. In addition, the CO2 emissions associated with banking activities in no way reflect the logic of supporting our clients with their transition, in which we are thoroughly engaged.
A more appropriate analysis of the Group's action should therefore not focus on the scope3 emissions but rather on the alignment of portfolios at an acceptable pace with regard to climate scenarios, on a bank’s ability to support its most carbon-intensive clients with their energy transition, and in full awareness of the social impacts generated by this transition.

Societe Generale has just announced the strengthening of our energy commitments by extending its efforts to reduce exposure to all shale oil and gas, oil sands, Arctic oil, Ecuadorian Amazon oil, and heavy crude oil, for both upstream pure players and diversified players.
We have one of the strictest thermal coal policies in the banking sector, to ensure our actual withdrawal from the coal industry in 2030 in the countries of the European Union and the OECD, and in 2040 in the rest of the world. Societe Generale is one of the first global banks to announce a concrete, near-term goal of reducing our global exposure to the oil and gas extraction sector by 10% by 2025. We are ahead of the target of actively supporting the development of renewable energies with €120 bn dedicated to financing the energy transition between 2019 and 2023. To achieve the ambitious and necessary objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C, CSR is indeed a central pillar of Societe Generale group's strategy, and at the very heart of our businesses.