Long-standing Environment & Social commitments

Societe Generale began to take environmental and social concerns into account in its activities in 2000 and its commitment to a greener and more inclusive economy has grown continuously ever since. To reinforce its CSR policy, which now incorporates 12 sector and inter-sector policies, the Group recently made further climate-protection commitments during the COP 21 Climate Conference. It is involved in a number of private-sector and industry-wide initiatives (for example as a signatory of the Equator Principles). Societe Generale also participates in United Nations programmes such as the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) and the Global Compact. It played a pioneering role in defining and applying the Positive Impact Manifesto within the UNEP-FI. This is an innovative project that aims to establish a common language shared throughout the financial industry and among other stakeholders such as public sector institutions, companies and development agencies. It marks a key milestone that will facilitate the raising of private funds, which are needed to achieve the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations, in particular by improving transparency for investors.

UNEP Principles for Positive Impact Finance

Nearly 20 leading global banks and investors, totalling $6.6 trillion in assets, launched on 30 January 2017 the Principles for Positive Impact Finance - a first of its kind set of criteria for investments to be considered sustainable. The Principles provide financiers and investors with a global framework applicable across their different business lines, including retail and wholesale lending, corporate and investment lending and asset management.

Read the Press Release by United Nations Environment Programme

Séverin Cabannes Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale

The Principles for Positive Impact Finance provide an ambitious yet practical framework by which we can take the broader angle view we need to meet the deeply complex and interconnected challenges of our time.

Watch the video on Positive Impact Finance

Denis Childs, Head of Positive Impact Finance and Environmental and Social Advisory at Societe Generale, explains the aims  of this new approach to financing which seeks to connect the needs of investors and issuers at the same time as meeting sustainable dfevelopment requirements. 

ESG Days

Societe Generale is a committed actor in favour of energy transition and a key player in "Sustainable Positive Impact Finance". For the second year in a row, the Group has organised the ESG Days: Environment, Social and Governance conferences in the presence of international finance leaders, including participation by Careen Abb, Programme Lead for the Positive Impact Initiative at the United Nations Environment Programme, Philippe Le Houérou, Chief Executive Officer at the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) and Jacques Attali, President of Positive Planet.

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Positive Impact Finance pioneers

Societe Generale successfully issued the second Positive Impact Bond. These proceeds will be used to fund new renewable energy projects in order to contribute to the fight against climate change. The issuance of this bond is a continuation of Societe Generale’s commitments presented at the COP21 in Paris in 2015.

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Success of the first major climate-friendly Green Bond

The French Republic has issued on 24 January 2017 its first and emblematic sovereign green bond, for a record raise of 7 billion euros with a maturity of 22 years, thus becoming the first country in the world to issue a sovereign green benchmark bond, both in terms of its size and maturity.

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Positive Impact Finance - The next steps

Develop a set of Positive Impact Principles that will guide providers of financial services in their efforts to increase their positive impact on the economy, society and the broader environment.

Establish a Positive Impact Incubator where new business models and financing approaches can be tested by financiers and corporates to improve the bankability of positive impact transactions.

Find out more about Positive Impact Finance at Societe Generale