Corporate Social Responsibility at the heart of the Group's strategy
A responsible Group
Economic development is no longer possible without environmental and social progress. It is the responsibility of major companies to suggest the next virtuous models, models that encourage positive transformations of the world.
Societe Generale is fully aware of the responsibility of being bankers. Our Group has a leading role to play in helping build greener and more inclusive development models, and enabling the emergence of new drivers of sustainable growth.
Societe Generale's mission is guided by several business focal points, centred around the positive influence the Group seeks to have on the world: climate change, social innovation and sustainable development in Africa, as well as three cross-functional areas that dictate the conduct of our business : customer satisfaction and protection, ethics and governance, our role as a socially responsible employer. All of our staff members are fully aware of their responsibilities and have been made aware of the importance of transparency, compliance, ethics, regulatory requirements and data protection issues (visit the Compliance page).
Organisation and governance
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments involve all levels of the Group’s governance, from entry level staff to the Management Committee, to operational staff to control functions to the Board of Directors. In 2019, pursuing this ambition even further, Societe Generale created the "Group Responsible Commitments Committee", whose mission is to arbitrate and examine complex cases presenting a high risk of reputational damage or non-alignment with the Group's standards regarding CSR, ethics or conduct.
Some of the Group's initiatives
Our Group's CSR commitments are proven: €120 billion has been allocated for the energy transition between 2019 and 2023, and withdrawal from the coal sector is scheduled by 2030 in the European Union and OECD countries, and 2040 in the rest of the world.
As a founding signatory of the Poseidon Principles, alongside ten other banks, the Group supports players in the global shipping sector in their energy transition. In particular, by focusing its funding on more environmentally-friendly ships, it contributes to the objective of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050.
Societe Generale joins the Steel Climate-Aligned Finance Working Group as co-leader, joining five other leading lenders of the steel industry to set the standards paving the way for the decarbonisation of the sector. The objective of the Task Force is to establish a joint climate-aligned finance agreement, modeled after the Poseidon Principles. It will define a framework for assessing and disclosing the degree to which greenhouse gas emissions associated with each financial institution’s portfolio are in line with the United Nation’s 1.5°C climate targets.
The Group has also joined the Hydrogen Council, which brings together 81 international companies contributing to the roll-out of hydrogen as part of the the energy transition. The Bank is committed to providing its expertise in innovative financing and energy advisory to help develop the “low carbon” hydrogen solutions of tomorrow.
Aware of new expectations and requirements, Societe Generale group was involved in writing the Sustainable IT Charter. It aims to limit the environmental impacts of digital technology, share responsible, ethical and inclusive solutions and encourage the emergence of new values.
Societe Generale was one of the founding signatories of the UNEP-FI Principles for Responsible Banking launched at the United Nations General General Assembly in September 2019, with the aim of promoting active coalitions and common international standards. On this occasion, the Group joined the Collective Commitment for Climate Action.
When signing these Principles, the Group committed to publish an annual progress report within 18 months. This first report includes a public and transparent self-assessment of the Goup's alignment with the Principles and thus our commitment to the principals of the Paris Agreement, the definition of impact objectives, details of the consultation and cooperation with ours stakeholders, our gouvernance and responsible banking culture, and transparency regarding the achievement of our targets.
At the COP24 environmental summit of 2018, Societe Generale joined forces with BBVA, BNP Paribas, ING and Standard Chartered to develop methodologies to guide their credit portfolios in line with the objective of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming
to support the energy transition, exceeding the EUR 120bn target (2019-2023)