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.
We support the global CSR strategy focusing on – Responsible Finance, Solidarity Banking, Responsible Employer, Environment and Responsible Sourcing and Active in Civil Society.
See more achievements in our 2015 CSR report here.
Our charitable giving and volunteering programmes aim to raise educational aspirations, improve employability prospects and build stronger communities. As well as having a positive impact locally, our programmes provide benefit to our staff and the Bank as a whole.
In the UK, the main focus of our Charitable Giving is the staff selected Charity of the Year. In March 2015 Societe Generale employees voted for Mind, the mental health charity, and after a fantastic two years the partnership has raised £750,000, far exceeding the £600,000 target.
Funds raised by Societe Generale colleagues are already supporting the ‘Advice to Action’ campaign, helping Mind to:
- Answer almost 40,000 queries to their helpline, providing advice and information so that people can choose support which is right for them
- Fund 21 local Mind projects across the UK for people with mental health problems to get support, build confidence and find employment in their local communities
The additional funds raised over the £600,000 target will continue to support Mind’s helplines, as well as fund at least 7 further Local Mind projects in 2017/18, which will help people with mental health issues move into employment.
Charity of the Year 2017-19
The SG Charity of the Year process is currently under review. The charity nomination process is expected to launch later this year. Please check this page for updates, or contact us for further information.
Through the SG UK Group Charitable 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:
- Hackney Works – a partnership programme between Societe Generale, UBS, Linklaters and ELBA sharing employees time and skills.
- Hackney Giving – a place based giving fund supporting grassroots organisations which increase employability, improve wellbeing and reduce isolation
Globally, Societe Generale’s citizenship progamme includes a corporate Foundation supporting professional integration and inclusion through sport and cultural practice. The Bank has also partnered with CARE International since 2008, donating over €4 million towards to global projects empowering women, improving education and economic inclusion in eight countries.
We have 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 programmes organised by Societe Generale.
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. We work with a huge range of people 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.
The UK supports the Group’s policy to minimise the environment impact of our activities and to decrease the costs associated with the consumption of natural resources through rational, optimised use.
Societe Generale has proactively sought to minimise its CO2 emissions, resulting in a 5% reduction per employee at Group level compared to 2012. Since achieving carbon neutrality in 2012, we have implemented an innovative internal Carbon tax, the funds of which are used to finance in house environmental efficiency projects.
SG’s Environmental Efficiency Awards programme supports projects which decrease environmental impact and improve efficiency in Real Estate, IT, Transport or Paper. In 2014, 35 initiatives were awarded with a total amount of €3.2 million resulting in an annual reduction of 0.7% of the Group emissions and yearly savings of €14 million.
GLOBAL CSR STRATEGY
Societe Generale’s aim is to become a responsible bank to serve its customers as well as a benchmark reference in Corporate Social Responsibility amongst leading financial institutions.
Our global CSR policy ensures that the Group upholds each of its commitments and makes sustainable progress according to five strategic priorities:
- Developing responsible finance, notably through enforcement of the Environmental and Social General Guidelines in all business activities;
- Implementing a responsible and solidarity based banking offer;
- Being a responsible employer;
- Setting an example in managing our environmental impact and purchasing policy;
- Reinforcing our role as a responsible actor at the heart of today’s society.
To read the Group 2015 CSR report click here.
Environmental and social guidelines (E&S) apply to all financing and are fully in line with the Equator Principles framework which govern project finance transactions and to which Societe Generale and all the major project finance banks adhere.
For further information, please contact LonCSR@socgen.com.