Corporate Social Responsibility
“We are fully committed to contributing to the positive transformations of our economies and societies. We want to provide innovative, responsible solutions with a positive impact.”
Our Commitments as a Global Bank
Societe Generale’s CSR ambition is a fundamental part of our Transform to Grow 2020 strategic plan.
Our CSR commitments are built on six key pillars: Climate Change, Social Trends & Innovation, Client Satisfaction, Ethics & Governance, being a Responsible Employer and Contributing to the Sustainable Development of Africa.
We’re proud to integrate them into our business activities across the globe. To read more about our commitments click here.
Our CSR commitments include numerous Citizenship engagements, from supporting local educational and employability charities, to our cultural patronage and our long-standing commitment to accompanying the development of rugby. For more details on our active contribution to society, please click here.
Making a Difference in the UK
We believe that everyone should have equal access to career opportunities, and thus have the chance to reach their potential. We also believe that a diverse workforce is key to a thriving business.
So, we’ve focused our CSR strategy on making the banking sector more accessible to individuals who are under-represented in financial services - BAME, women, and those from low-socio economic backgrounds. We’re benchmarking our programmes against the Sustainable Development Goals in alignment with the bank’s priority – to contribute to the positive transformations of our economies and societies - and are centring them around the skills development of these groups to increase employment opportunities for them in both the banking sector and beyond.
Through this, we aim to enhance the diversity of our workforce, as well as empower our staff to contribute to our overall goal by sharing their own skills and experiences, so that together, we can make a positive impact on the community.
Being a Good Corporate Citizen
Societe Generale is committed to being a responsible Bank and positively contributing to the development of our communities. In the UK, we aim to raise educational aspirations and improve employability prospects in line with our global citizenship commitments. 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 citizenship programmes benefit our staff (both individually and at a team level) and the Bank as a whole and are a clear demonstration of our core company values: Team Spirit, Commitment, Responsibility and Innovation.
Our achievements in 2018 highlight the range of ways in which we contribute to society. Over the course of the year, we:
• shared over 10,000 hours of employee time with our communities;
• donated over £1 million to charitable causes (from employees and the Bank);
• delivered over 4,300 hours of education and employability learning and skills development to community organisations and individuals;
• dedicated more than 500 staff hours to share strategic, leadership and management skills in the community;
• provided education and employment support to over 1,000 young people through our partnership with CLIC Sargent;
• supported nearly 1,500 beneficiaries and 70 organisations.
Our Support for CLIC Sargent
In the UK, we collectively support our staff-selected strategic charity partner through various initiatives. In March 2018, we were delighted to announce our partnership with CLIC Sargent.
When cancer strikes young lives, CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage it causes beyond their health. They know young cancer patients’ education, employment and futures can falter. CLIC Sargent provides specialist support to guide each young cancer patient and their family. They fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally, so they can focus on the important things, like getting well.
Over the next three years, we will be working together to ensure a young person’s potential isn’t limited by a cancer diagnosis, supporting our global commitment to inclusion through education and employability.
Through the generosity of our staff, company donations and matching from the SG UK Foundation, we’re aiming to raise £1million. This will fund the brand new ‘Thrive, not just Survive’ grant programme which was launched in October 2018, to support young cancer patients aged between 14 and 24-years-old to get an education or career ambition back on track. We’ll also be supporting young people to achieve their education and employment ambitions through specialist care teams. And we’re also proud to be funding a new research project, delivered by young people, to understand more about the impact of cancer and how employers can best support.
As part of our three-year commitment, we will support CLIC Sargent by sharing our employees’ time, skills and experience as well as in-kind support. One example is the transfer of part of our apprentice levy funds to support building data science capability at the charity. Read more here.
“At Societe Generale we have a strong belief in supporting our charity partners beyond fundraising, helping them to build their capacity and grow as an organisation.”
Ben Higgins, Head of Human Resources for the UK and Ireland.
Sharing our Talents, Building our Skills
We have a talented, knowledgeable and valuable team of employees who are keen to share that wealth of expertise and experience to positively impact our local communities. So we offer all employees 24 hours per year of volunteering time. 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 share their time, skills and experience; from one-off employability, enterprise and business planning workshops, to ongoing primary tutoring, adult literacy sessions, mentoring and trusteeships. In 2018, over 10,000 hours were volunteered by our staff supporting thousands of beneficiaries from our neighbouring communities including pupils, young people, local residents, charities, social enterprises and schools.
We recognise that employees can also enhance their skills and personal development through volunteering. In fact, 80% of staff in our annual volunteer survey attributed improved communication, leadership and people management skills to their involvement in CSR, while more than 70% said they had improved problem solving, time management and adopted new ways of working.
Widening Access to the Banking Sector
We are committed to supporting people from all backgrounds to access the financial services and through our social mobility programmes, we encourage and support young people to access alternative routes into banking. Through summer internships and apprentices, we have provided work placement and training opportunities as well as creating a diverse talent pipeline for the Bank.
Societe Generale UK Foundation
Our corporate foundation, The Societe Generale UK Foundation, is a separate registered charity governed by a Board of Trustees. The SG UK Foundation funds a number of key strategic projects as well as providing matching donations to support staff’s charitable, fundraising and volunteering efforts.