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Sustainable and positive impact finance

Supporting the positive impact of your business: Societe Generale pioneers 'positive impact finance' solutions

As the global population approaches eight billion, today’s world is one of increasing needs, decreasing natural resources and rapid technological change.

Finance is at the heart of an essential shift to more sustainable development, based on a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Solutions should be looked at through the prism of their holistic impacts on the society, taking into account the positives ones while identifying and mitigating the negative. Business as usual is not an option. We need to change the model.

Societe Generale is a pioneer of banking’s response. Since our inception over 150 years ago, Societe Generale has supported the economy. Today, we are committed to strengthening sustainable finance solutions for our clients — from economic, social and environmental perspectives. In order to have a positive impact on society, Societe Generale has been at the origin of the concept of ‘Positive Impact Finance’ which calls for a new financing paradigm*, and is part of the United Nations Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

Beyond our own commitment in the way we conduct our business, in recent decades we have developed in-depth environmental and social expertise across our business-to-business offerings, to help our clients make the deep transformation to tomorrow’s world. We have done so across finance’s value chain: from research and advisory, to financing and capital markets, as well as investor solutions and services.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals require an estimated US$5-7 trillion a year in finance until 2030 – much of it from the private sector. We can help facilitate the transition to a fairer, greener economy by supporting our clients’ financing and investments needs as they tackle environmental and social challenges.

* www.unepfi.org/positive-impact/positive-impact-manifesto/

Three factors are driving Societe Generale to focus on sustainable finance:

1

We believe that integrating positive impact criteria in financing and investment solutions generates long term outperformance. For our clients, ‘sustainable investment’ improves the long-term returns of their businesses and portfolios, while meeting the demands of end investors, regulators and other stakeholders.

2

Our clients’ growing demand. For the past years, the growth of sustainable investment has outpaced that of the rest of the market. For example, over a quarter of professionally managed assets globally are invested according to responsible investment strategies**. Client needs are growing exponentially; we have the solutions to meet them.

3

Our staff is extremely motivated to address these challenges to prove the positive role they play, individually and collectively, in the economy.

** 2016 Global Sustainable Investment Review, Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.

Advocating the concept of ‘positive impact finance’

Societe Generale was a pioneer in the creation of the United Nations Environmental Program “Positive Impact Finance Initiative”, that aims to foster the transition to a green and inclusive economy meeting with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Societe Generale now sits on the initative’s steering committee.

About the Positive Impact Initiative

 The Positive Impact initiative is a collaborative movement to foster the business and financial ecosystem we need to achieve a sustainable world. As per the Positive Impact Manifesto, it is based on the idea that addressing global economic, social and environmental issues is a matter of strategic concern to the finance sector and to the private sector more broadly, and that a new, impact-based approach is needed.

Through the Principles for Positive Impact Finance, the initiative promotes a holistic yet practical framework for impact-based business development. Through its working groups, is pursuing an open-source research and development approach towards materializing its vision for an impact-based financing paradigm.

Positive Impact Finance serves to finance positive impact business.

It delivers a positive contribution to one or more of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social) once any potential negative impacts to any of the pillars have been duly identified and mitigated.

By virtue of this holistic appraisal of sustainability issues, Positive Impact Finance constitutes a direct response to the challenge of financing the SDGs.

Inspired by the spirit of Positive Impact Finance, we have developed a full range of solutions:

From corporates to investors, Societe Generale supports clients across the full spectrum of sustainable finance: 

Supporting our clients' transformation through a full spectrum of solutions

To support our clients’ transformation, we trust in the full expertise of our business lines and have launched a “positive impact development offering”. This brings together all our environmental and social expertise across investment and financing solutions.

Global Finance
Building on our historical skills in environmental and social risk management, structured finance and capital markets,...
Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance
Building on our historical skills in environmental and social risk management, structured finance and capital markets, we have developed an expertise that is essential for meeting the increasing demand of our clients for financial solutions that match their sustainability agendas.
en/our-offering/sustainable-and-positive-impact-finance/global-finance/
Sustainable Investment
An offer combining financial performance with environmental, social & governance (ESG) parameters.
Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance
An offer combining financial performance with environmental, social & governance (ESG) parameters.
en/sustainable-investment/

Views on #PositiveImpactFinance and #Sustainability

16
Apr
2018
Why issuing green bonds is worthwhile for businesses, despite extensive reporting requirements.
Sustainability and the fight against climate change have become mainstream values in a positive sense – both in...
Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance
Sustainability and the fight against climate change have become mainstream values in a positive sense – both in society and on the stock market. Martin Wagenknecht, head of debt capital markets for Germany, Austria and Switzerland at Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking, explains why issuing green bonds is worthwhile for businesses, despite...
en/our-market-views/views/news/why-issuing-green-bonds-worthwhile-for-businesses-despite-extensive-reporting-requirements/
29
Dec
2017
Paris offers a new model for the world
The front line in the war on carbon emissions is in cities. More than half of the world's population live in urban...
Positive Impact Finance
The front line in the war on carbon emissions is in cities. More than half of the world's population live in urban areas, and 1.5 million people are added to the city total each week. Cities produce 85 per cent of global GDP, and whilst they occupy only 0.5 per cent of the world's land, they produce 80% of emissions.
en/press-room/latest-news/news-details/news/paris-offers-new-model-for-the-world/
12
Dec
2017
Green bonds: A real deal for sustainable and positive impact finance
Anyone needing proof of how serious the finance industry is about environmental issues should be directed to green...
Positive Impact Finance
Anyone needing proof of how serious the finance industry is about environmental issues should be directed to green bonds. The impact is visible. The asset class is well defined and mature. Green bonds are clearly a real deal.
en/our-market-views/views/news/green-bonds-real-deal-sustainable-positive-impact-finance/
06
Dec
2017
A path towards more sustainability and responsability in asset management
If the finance industry is to support the achievement of the 2030 targets set by the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable...
Positive Impact Finance
If the finance industry is to support the achievement of the 2030 targets set by the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, then asset management is one of the key. The capital sums controlled by the sector are vast. The cultural and commercial influence of big investors and leading fund managers is tremendous.
en/our-market-views/views/news/path-towards-more-sustainability-and-responsability-asset-management/
04
Dec
2017
How a sustainable approach to business leads to financial outperformance
“Investors don't need to believe. They simply have to look at the evidence.” #PositiveImpactFinance #Sustainability
Positive Impact Finance
“Investors don't need to believe. They simply have to look at the evidence.” #PositiveImpactFinance #Sustainability
en/our-market-views/views/news/how-sustainable-approach-business-leads-financial-outperformance/
29
Nov
2017
Coming together in support of sustainability
After a first successful edition last year, Societe Generale, who is pioneering Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance,...
Positive Impact Finance
After a first successful edition last year, Societe Generale, who is pioneering Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance, brought together international ESG finance leaders in Paris on November 9 to discuss what is at stake and what still needs to be done to tackle climate change, finance being at the heart of this essential shift.
en/our-market-views/views/news/coming-together-support-sustainability/

Videos #PositiveImpactFinance

27
Dec
2017
Positive Impact Finance: Looking towards the future
As we look to the future of Positive Impact Finance, Isabelle Millat, Head of Sustainable Investment Solutions at...
ESGDAYS
As we look to the future of Positive Impact Finance, Isabelle Millat, Head of Sustainable Investment Solutions at Societe Generale, looks at millennial investors and the impact their investments have as well as how they look for more meaningful investments. Eric Van La Beck, Head of SRI Research & Development at OFI AM, then goes into how modern investors are...
en/video/video/positive-impact-finance-looking-towards-the-future/
27
Dec
2017
Environmental, Social and Governance
Careen Abb, Positive Impact Finance, Program Lead - United Nations Environment Programme, explains the need for...
ESGDAYS
Careen Abb, Positive Impact Finance, Program Lead - United Nations Environment Programme, explains the need for combining considerations around environmental, social and economic development issues affecting sustainable finance, Jerome Deflesselles, Head of Renewable Energy – Europe at Societe Generale, looks into where future energy growth is likely to come...
en/video/video/environmental-social-and-governance/
27
Dec
2017
Applying a long term, sustainable approach to investing
Wim Van Hyfte, Global Head of Responsible Investments & Research at Candriam Investors Group talks about impact...
ESGDAYS
Wim Van Hyfte, Global Head of Responsible Investments & Research at Candriam Investors Group talks about impact investments and the metrics used to define performance, as well as the environmental, social and governance issues related to investment risk. Michael Schmidt, Head of Asset Servicing & Alternative Investments at Deka Investment GmbH, also explains...
en/video/video/applying-long-term-sustainable-approach-investing/
27
Dec
2017
Exploring ongoing developments in the green bonds market
Petra Wehlert, Head of Capital Markets – KfW, and Willem Little, Senior Manager Capital Markets Funding & Investor...
ESGDAYS
Petra Wehlert, Head of Capital Markets – KfW, and Willem Little, Senior Manager Capital Markets Funding & Investor Relations – BNG explore the long term goals and guidelines they adhere to before issuing a sustainable bond.
en/video/video/exploring-ongoing-developments-the-green-bonds-market/
27
Dec
2017
Positive Investment is about long-term planning for the next generations
Jaques Attali, economist & president of Positive Planet, explains some of the areas covered by positive investment and...
ESGDAYS
Jaques Attali, economist & president of Positive Planet, explains some of the areas covered by positive investment and highlights where to look for the best examples of planning ahead for future generations.
en/video/video/positive-investment-about-long-term-planning-for-the-next-generations/
27
Dec
2017
Highlights from the ESG and SRI Conference 2017
Discover the highlights of the latest European Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance Conference, which took place in...
ESGDAYS
Discover the highlights of the latest European Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance Conference, which took place in Paris. Attendees discussed the changes related to the climate challenge and how companies are coming together to align their businesses towards a more sustainable future.
en/video/video/highlights-esg-sri-conference-2017/
09
Nov
2017
Jacques Attali, President of Positive Planet is interviewed by Didier Valet on sustainable finance
Jacques Attali, President of Positive Planet is interviewed by Didier Valet on his views about sustainable finance...
ESGDAYS
Jacques Attali, President of Positive Planet is interviewed by Didier Valet on his views about sustainable finance during 2nd edition of the European Sustainable and #PositiveImpactFinance Conference https://cib.societegenerale.com/en/our-offering/sustainable-and-positive-impact-finance/european-sustainable-positive-impact-finance-2017-conference/ ...
en/video/video/jacques-attali-president-positive-planet-interviewed-didier-valet-sustainable-finance/
09
Nov
2017
Didier Valet's speech at the European Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance 2017 Conference
Didier Valet, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, welcomes nearly 200 Corporates & Financial Institutions to discuss the...
ESGDAYS
Didier Valet, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, welcomes nearly 200 Corporates & Financial Institutions to discuss the market trends in the #ESG space and offer solutions to transform #ESG principles into financial reality ...
en/video/video/didier-valet-speech-the-european-sustainable-positive-impact-finance-2017-conference/

Conferences

European Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance 2017 Conference
Adopting the Environmental, Social & Governance parameters paradigm Paris conference: Thursday 9th November 2017
ESG & SRI Conference
Adopting the Environmental, Social & Governance parameters paradigm Paris conference: Thursday 9th November 2017
en/our-offering/sustainable-and-positive-impact-finance/european-sustainable-positive-impact-finance-2017-conference/
European ESG & SRI Conference 2016
Societe Generale Corporate & Investment banking holds the European ESG & SRI Conference to share, inspire and engage...
Conference
Societe Generale Corporate & Investment banking holds the European ESG & SRI Conference to share, inspire and engage with many key speakers on the full spectrum of solutions to transform ESG principles into financial reality.
en/european-esg-sri-conference-2016/

Societe Generale key milestones

Key Milestones

  • Societe Generale participates in the United Nations Environment Program Finance initiative (UNEP FI).

  • The Societe Generale ESG Research is shaped. The team is ranked #1 by Extel in 2015 and 2016 for its SRI/Sustainable development research.

    Societe Generale creates a dedicated team for renewable energy financing.

  • Launch of a range of SRI indices supporting companies in sustainable development on water, photovoltaic, environment and alternative energy.

  • Adoption of the Equator Principles.

    Launch by Lyxor of SRI thematic ETFs.

  • Societe Generale supports Air Liquide, the 1st corporate in Europe to issue a SRI bond

  • A dedicated Positive Impact Finance team is created within Societe Generale.
    Societe Generale leads a working Group within ORSE* on Positive Impact.
    * Observatoire de la responsabilité sociale des entreprises

  • Societe Generale and ORSE release a methodological guidance on Positive Impact

    70% of the Group's new lending to the power generation sector goes to renewables. Societe Generale ranks in the world's top ten financers of renewable energies.

    Societe Generale announces the launch of the first socially responsible cash deposits for corporates.

    Lyxor signs to the Principles for Responsible Investment set out by the United Nations

  • Further to Societe Generale’s proposal, the UNEP FI Banking Commission launches the Positive Impact Initiative.

    Societe Generale issues its first Positive Impact Bond.

  • Societe Generale & the European Investment Bank sign a framework guarantee agreement to support shipbuilding projects promoting sustainable transport and environmental protection.

    Societe Generale advises and finances almost all the offshore wind farms in Europe.

    Launch of Lyxor products with ESG integration (Lyxor Gari fund, Socially responsible strategy).

    Implementation of ESG & carbon rating on Lyxor funds.

    Societe Generale stops dedicated coal financing and targets doubling its funding allocation for renewable energy client projects by 2020 (€ 10bn).

  • Lyxor launches the world's first ETF offering investors exposure to investment grade green bonds market.

    Societe Generale advises the Republic of France on executing the first Euro-zone government green benchmark, which is also the largest green bond ever (EUR 7bn).