Corporate Social Responsibility
Societe Generale in the UK is committed to having a positive impact on our local communities and on the environment. CSR is embedded in our culture and is a clear demonstration of our core company values of Team Spirit, Commitment, Responsibility and Innovation.
Societe Generale’s aim is to become a benchmark in CSR among Europe’s leading financial institutions. Our global CSR policy focuses on 6 main pillars:
For the latest global CSR report, please click here.
Citizenship in the UK
Societe Generale in the UK is committed to building stronger communities through raising educational aspirations and improving employability prospects. We encourage and support our employees to participate in initiatives that contribute to creating a more inclusive society. As well as having a positive impact locally, our programmes provide benefit to our staff and the Bank as a whole and are a clear demonstration of our core company values of Team Spirit, Commitment, Responsibility and Innovation.
“CITIZENSHIP IS AT THE HEART OF OUR CULTURE HERE IN THE UK, DEMONSTRATED BY THE FACT THAT SO MANY OF OUR STAFF ARE INVOLVED. I AM IMMENSELY PROUD THAT, THROUGH THEIR EFFORTS, WE ARE ABLE TO HAVE A REAL TANGIBLE AND POSITIVE IMPACT ON PEOPLES’ LIVES ACROSS SOCIETY. BUILDING ON OUR CSR AGENDA IN THE UK CONTINUES TO BE A CORE PART OF OUR STRATEGY MOVING FORWARD.” Sadia Ricke, UK Chief Country Officer
In the UK, the main focus of our Charitable Giving programme is the staff selected Charity of the Year. Our most recent partnership with Mind began in March 2015 and ended in February 2017. During this time, Societe Generale raised over £840,000, far exceeding the £600,000 target to support the ‘Advice to Action’ campaign. Our funding has enabled Mind to answer almost 40,000 queries to their helpline and financed 21 projects for people with mental health problems to get support, build confidence and find employment in their communities.
2017 Charities of the Year
During 2017, Societe Generale in the UK is focusing its fundraising efforts on five of our key local community partners, all of whom are helping to build stronger communities and create a more inclusive society.
- The Brokerage Citylink
- City Gateway
- Enabling Enterprise
- East London Business Alliance (ELBA)
- East End Community Foundation (EECF)
2018-20 Charity of the Year
The selection process for the 2018-20 national Charity of the Year partnership commenced in September 2017. Charities that focus on inclusion through education and employability and meet defined criteria were nominated by employees. The new Charity of the Year will be decided by a staff vote taking place in the new year.
Through the SG UK Group Charitable Trust (the Trust), we support staff’s efforts providing matching donations for volunteering, fundraising and payroll donations. The Trust also supports a small number of local programmes including:
The Societe Generale Community Fund
In 2017, the bank set up the Societe Generale Community Fund which aims to support young people on their journey into the world of work by improving their literacy and educational development through sport, the arts or cultural activities. The £100k fund is administered by EECF and was established with monies released from dormant accounts in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements. The first grants fund supported seven innovative grassroots projects using performing arts, boxing, football and other sports to build skills.
Since 2010, together with UBS and Linklaters, Societe Generale have been supporting this volunteering partnership programme delivered by ELBA. Hackney Works aims to share employees time and skills to improve 1) overall performance of voluntary and community sector and 2) the employability and life skills of local residents. During its seven years, Hackney Works has engaged 900 business volunteers, delivered more than 200 different activities, placed 30 board members and supported 125 different community organisations and over 750 beneficiaries.
Enabling Enterprise was founded by teachers in 2009 and now works with over 60,000 students nationally. A not-for-profit social enterprise, their vision is to ensure that, one day, every student will leave school with the skills, experience and aspirations to succeed. In 2016, the Trust donated £25,000 to help Enabling Enterprise to increase their national footprint by enabling a pilot of school engagement in the South West.
Previously the Trust has also supported
- Hackney Giving – a place based giving fund supporting grassroots organisations which increase employability, improve wellbeing and reduce isolation
- Partner primary schools – St Peters and Canon Barnett to fund educational trips to the theatre and Paris.
Globally, Societe Generale’s citizenship progamme includes the Corporate Foundation for Solidarity. Since its creation in 2006, the Foundation has been active in the field of professional integration, focusing on helping young people to start their careers and tackling illiteracy. The foundation’s annual budget of 3 million euros supports approximately 100 projects in France and countries where we operate. This has included a number of our key UK partners such as City Gateway’s project supporting women to improve their literacy and language skills.
Societe Generale in the UK has a Group wide policy of 24 hours per year of volunteering time accessible for all employees. Employees can use this to undertake their own personal volunteering, or to access the range of citizenship programmes organised centrally.
There are opportunities for employees at all levels to engage in; from one-off employability, enterprise and business planning workshops, to ongoing primary tutoring, adult literacy sessions, mentoring and trusteeships. In 2016, over 10,000 hours were volunteered by our staff supporting thousands of beneficiaries from our neighbouring communities including pupils, young people, residents, charities, social enterprises and schools.
Recognising the training potential that volunteering provides, Societe Generale has created a personal development tool that enables employees to select volunteering opportunities which enhance their skills, complementing traditional training and their annual performance objectives.
For further information, please contact LonCSR@socgen.com.