Supporting our clients in financing projects with environmental or social benefit thanks to new a €1 billion positive-impact Green Bond


Societe Generale issues a €1 billion green bond under its new Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance framework aligned with the Group’s ESG strategy.

Societe Generale has issued a new positive-impact Green Bond for a total of €1 billion, aimed at refinancing renewable energy projects.  The transaction was well-received by the market, attracting more than €5 billion in orders! This marks the first bond issued under Societe Generale’s new Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance framework, launched in July 2020. This framework serves as a vehicle for the Group to refinance loans, at competitive rates, granted to clients with the goal of helping them fund projects generating an environmental and/or social benefit (renewable energy, low-carbon transport, support for employment by funding SMEs, access to education, etc.).  Through the application of clearly defined principles certified by an external specialised agency, this framework also aims to help the business lines roll out responsible and innovative financial solutions aligned with the Group’s ESG strategy (investment solutions, responsible and sustainable project financing). 

Developed from an extensive and effective co-building initiative involving multiple Group business lines and departments, this framework provides a detailed description - in accordance with unique, structured principles - of the criteria that assets originated by all Group business lines (retail and wholesale) are required to meet in order to qualify for social or environmental refinancing operations, along with the governance measures associated with asset selection and fund management, as well as reporting obligations.  It is aligned with the highest standards currently practised by the market (such as the ICMA Green Bond Principles applicable to green, social and sustainability bonds, the UNEP FI Principles for Positive Impact Finance) and designed to comply with the future European taxonomy. By meeting the strictest standards, it establishes Societe Generale as a pioneering bank in the field of responsible refinancing operations.

 This type of framework lays an ambitious foundation in terms of methodology, on which the Group can build to initiate environmental and social refinancing operations meeting the highest ESG standards (including in particular money market and bond products, securitisations and deposits). It also makes it possible to meet growing investor demand for ESG products, explained Agathe Zinzindohoue and Vincent Robillard, Group Treasury department. 

This €1bn Positive Impact Green Bond was a phenomenal success, attracting more than €5 billion in orders from over 240 investors. More than 75% of the funds raised were allocated to “green” investors. The quality of the order book and significant investor participation showcase the effectiveness and strength of the new Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance framework and highlight the growing demand for green bonds on the financial markets.

The framework’s success can be attributed to the collaboration of multiple teams: The Group Treasury department, the Head of ESG for the Group Investor Relations and Financial Communication department as well as the Environment and Financial and Structuring Advisory teams.