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.
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.
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.
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.
Views on #PositiveImpactFinance and #Sustainability
Societe Generale 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).