Societe Generale has a long history in sustainable financing, starting off by backing wind farms in its home country of France 20 years ago. The organization later expanded to green energy projects across Europe and around the world.
That early experience in wind energy projects spearheaded Societe Generale’s growth in the energy field, initiated the hiring of energy transition specialists, and helped develop a knowledge base across various sectors and regions of the globe.
Societe Generale have been committed as a Group for a long time as they were one of the first banks to join the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), a global effort to develop and promote sustainable finance.
Societe Generale is one of the oldest and largest banks in France, founded in 1864. Today, it’s a world leader in innovative, sustainable financing. The Group has put sustainability at the heart of its strategy and purpose.
Societe Generale recently won seven categories in Global Finance’s 2021 Sustainable Finance Awards, including the Global Award for Outstanding Leadership in Sustainable Finance and Outstanding Sustainable Financing in Emerging Markets.
At Societe Generale, they want to create value for their clients by understanding their specific environmental and social issues and proposing solutions across their sectorial values chains.
Therefore, the organization is rethinking with heavy emitters the entire industrial cycle to address not only the energy consumption and carbon footprint but also the circular sourcing and disposal of materials.
Societe Generale have the ultimate target that is achieving Net Zero by 2050, but several trajectories are possible for industrials and according to the financial instite, they ought to support our clients with innovative solutions while they try to find the right path.
If the organization take the automotive and mobility sector as an example, the entire industry needs to transform into a circular ecosystem as a low carbon electromobility value chain.
This involves capital expenditures to produce electric vehicles and requires investments in charging infrastructure.
As per Societe Generale, manufacturers need price stability and sustainable sourcing of materials for batteries, and then all metals must be recycled and reused in the chain. “Such a cross-sectorial value chain cannot be mastered by one company alone.
All actors need to be put together in the right way so they can co-create the solutions. They have the contacts and the track record to work in each part of the chain.
Focusing on the impact of projects is the way forward, to maximise the different impacts and reduce the overall cost to impact.
RFPs focusing on the final impacts would be more efficient that classical RFPs for mega infrastructure assets as it would open the door to new solutions and potentially more impacts for a given budget.
That is why Societe Generale wants to go beyond green and sustainable finance and develop “impact-based finance” solutions where they focus on impact and work backwards to find the most adapted bankable solutions.
Societe Generale is accelerating and reinventing our business to align with the changing needs of our clients and to support their transformation towards a sustainable future. The goal is that at some point, nobody will talk about sustainable finance.
credit: Global Finance Magazine