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:


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.

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.
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.
Sustainable Investment