Our Sourcing network is a major player in the CSR strategy of the Société Générale Group, carrying its values and working to ensure that its Environmental and Social commitments are achieved. Initiated as of 2006, our sustainable sourcing policy materializes through long-term actions plans involving all the stakeholders of the value chain (requestors, buyers and suppliers).

A relationship built on trust

For the practices of the Sourcing Division to become a reference in sustainable purchasing, in 2016 we launched our fourth actions plan: the 2018 Positive Sourcing Program.

The 2018 Positive Sourcing Program is based on virtuous sourcing practices which must be followed to achieve the objectives set for 2018.

3 priorities:
In line with the corporate CSR strategy, we defined three priorities to contribute to improving the territorial and environmental footprint of the Group:

  • Contributing to the growth of SMEs and Micro-enterprises
    Société Générale, the 1st bank to have signed the SME Pact in 2007, continues to strenghten its commitment to innovating SMEs with the goal to increase its purchasing expenditure with these companies.

    In this respect, we have taken various actions in cooperation with Pacte PME, e.g.
    • calls for expertise via the open innovation platform of Pacte PME;
    • sponsoring SME suppliers with other member companies of Pacte PME;
    • promoting representative collaborations between Société Générale and SME suppliers: https://www.pactepme.org/grands-comptes/societe-generale (French only);
    • allotting our tenders and encouraging the creation of consortia;
    • the annual supplier survey to assess the quality of our relationships with our SME suppliers, organized in 4 assessment themes: innovation, contractual relations, partnership relations  and leverage.

    More than 30% of the Group's purchasing is made every year with French micro-enterprises and SMEs. Thereby facilitating access to our deals, we contribute to developing the regional economy, within a framework of mutual trust with all our suppliers.
  • Becoming a leading partner of the Social Economy
    In 2015, over 6 million Euros were spent with companies employing handicapped workers. Our goal within 3 years is to double this volume of business with the Social Economy Sector.

    Whenever possible, in collaboration with the social business and our main suppliers, we are looking for solutions that would help build true professional networks.

    For instance we initiated a project to increase the use of social businesses to provide us with IT services. The goal of this initiative is twofold: to support the social business in professionalizing its IT network, and to increase the use of these suppliers in strategic activities for the bank, in relation to the digital transition which represents a significant spending volume for Société Générale. The project should therefore enable us to maintain, or even increase, our expenditure with the social business sector.
  • Always looking for innovative products and services with higher environmental added value
    Our goal is to contribute to the carbon reduction commitments of Société Générale, by including environmental criteria specific to the products or services purchased via RFPs: //www.societegenerale.com/en/measuring-our-performance/csr/environment

Managing risks in our sourcing processes

Over the years, our practices related to the consideration for environmental and social aspects developed to form a base of virtuous practices. Our objective is to strengthen our practices and make them automatic in order to mitigate the CSR risks in our sourcing processes:

  • The KYS (Know Your Supplier) plan:
    We assess your company in relation to the international standards and those of the Group relating to the management of supplier risks. During the requests for proposals and throughout the contract term, we perform regular checks on three specific aspects:
    • Compliance: checking your compliance with the international regulations relating to embargoes and sanctions.
    Operational: assessment of your financial situation and default risk, via specialized and independent agencies. Checks on your economic dependence with the Group and implementation of actions plans when necessary,
    • Reputation: assessment of your reputation via the analysis of public information containing key words, on themes like the Environment,  Social matters and Governance.
  • Introduction of mandatory environmental and social criteria in our RFPs
    For this purpose, we use our map of the CSR risks related to the sourcing categories, to determine the specific criteria which must be taken into account in our RFPs. These CSR criteria are evaluated and the score is taken into account in the selection grids of our RFPs.
    This map of the environmental and social risks of the products and services is regularly updated, translated into English and used by all the buyers in France and abroad.
  • Implementing corrective actions plans in the event of insufficient performances, and commissioning on-site audits for our risky categories
    We encourage our suppliers to engage in continuous progress by inciting those identified as risky (low non-financial rating) to implement a corrective actions plan. We implemented a process to provide support in their implementation of these corrective actions plans to help them improve their non-financial performance. In addition, this process also includes measures for on-site audits which complement the system for our most critical suppliers.
  • Improving supplier payment times by committing to a "30-day payment term"
    Well aware of our suppliers' cash flow requirements, we try to reduce our payment times: the generalization of invoice dematerialization and the simplification of approval processes now enable us to pay 75% of invoices within 30 days. In this regard, in June 2016, the French Ministry for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs awarded to Société Générale the "Prompt Payment Prize" in the "Large Group" category (French only).
    Find out more: interview with Serge Pouhaër, Director of Group "Procure to Pay" Shared Services Centers
  • Inclusion of a Sustainable Development clause in the agreements
    A specific Sustainable Development clause included in 100 % of our Group agreements commits you to complying in the country where you operate with the regulations in force in terms of Labour Law (as a minimum should this not exist the provisions of the ILO) and the environmental laws.
  • Providing support to our buyers regarding CSR expertise and training
    Our specific "Sourcing and Sustainable Development" course included in the internal training program (100 % of our buyers take the training) complements the "Supplier risk management" course also included in the internal training program.

Our continuous progress approach with clear and verifiable objectives

Since 2010, we have been signatories of the Charter of “Responsible Supplier Relations” which includes 10 requirements contributing to building a balanced and sustainable relationship between the major signatory businesses and their suppliers. Further to signing the Charter, we implemented a specific actions plan to meet the 10 requirements, we therefore appointed an internal mediator and introduced a clause promoting the use of mediation in our contracts.

Recognition of our efforts

In 2012, we were the 4th large French company to have received the “Responsible Supplier Relations" label from "Médiation inter-entreprises", "Médiation des Marchés publics" and French purchasing association CDAF ("Compagnie des dirigeants et acheteurs de France"). This label certifies, further to an on-site audit of our practices carried out by a rating agency, that our organisation and managing actions give reasonable guarantee of compliance with the objectives and commitments defined in the requirements of the Label. At the end of 2015, considering the results of the annual follow-up evaluation, the awarding committee decided to renew this label. On this date, only 37 companies hold the label of over 1600 signatories of the Charter.

In order to achieve the objectives set by our Positive Sourcing Program within 2018, all the buyers of the Corporate Sourcing Division in France will be given a CSR target.

The operational deployment of the plan is also scheduled for our international teams, following the implementation of the internal "Conducting Responsible Sourcing" instruction appended to the global agreement on fundamental rights signed in June 2015 with UNI Global Union, showing our intent to implement it everywhere across the Group: //www.societegenerale.com/en/content/societe-generale-signs-global-agreement-uni-global-union-1

Signatory of the SME Pact, of the Charter of “Responsible Supplier relations”, holder of the “Responsible Supplier relations” label , we continue, in France, to use this network to achieve the objectives of our plan, aware that its success is conditional on the participation of all the parties.

In the event of a dispute, you can contact the internal Mediator free of charge at the following address:
Société Générale
Médiateur interne des relations Inter-Entreprises
Tours Société Générale
75886 Paris Cedex 18