Contribution to the Equator principles development
Since the adoption in 2007, Societe Generale is actively involved in the work performed by the Equator Principles Association, for instance through its participation to the EP Association Annual Meetings every year and the EP workshops held for the occasion.
In 2016, experience has highlighted the challenges of a differentiated approach between Designated and non-Designated countries in the Equator Principles.
As a result, in May 2017, Societe Generale teamed up with 9 other EPFIs to raise to the EP Association our concerns on the subject and to ask the Association to rapidly adapt the current risk assessment framework, in line with international best practices. This is crucial with respect to critical issues such as the rights of indigenous peoples and biodiversity conservation.
This led first to the formation of the Designated Countries Working Group that re-examined the distinction between Designated (i.e. High Income OECD) and non-Designated countries in the EPs, including with the specific objective to study opportunity of proposing changes to the framework for assessing risks associated with respecting rights of indigenous populations. Societe Generale has been deeply involved within this working group.
Following these discussions; during its 2017 General Meeting, the EP Association decided to start a process of updating the Equator Principles on key thematic areas including: Social impact and human rights, Climate change, Designated Countries and Applicable Standards and Scope of applicability of the EPs.
Specific working groups on key topics and thematic areas have been formed as part of the update process planned activities. Societe Generale intends to pursue its active participation within the Designated Countries and Applicable Standards Working Group as well as within the Climate Change Working Group.
In this context, Societe Generale presented during the EP Association General Meeting an overview of its developments carried out in 2016 and 2017 in relation with the implementation of the Group’s climate commitments related to coal and in particular the methodology developed to align its financing portfolio for coal-related activities with the International Energy Agency’s 2°C scenario. This first presentation aroused the interest of EP members and Societe Generale was asked to present its methodology and works in more details during 2 webinars organized by the Climate Change Working Group.