“Positive Impact Support Notes – Africa”, combining financial performance and commitment to sustainability


In 2020, private investors subscribed for nearly 170 million euros of these innovative structured notes, which are the result of a collaboration between different departments of the bank and that respond to our strategic “Grow with Africa” and “Positive Impact Finance” axes.

These investment solutions make it possible to promote and support “Positive Impact Financing” that concerns any activity that has a positive impact on one of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic convergence/economy, society, environment), while ensuring that potential negative impacts have been correctly identified and managed.

For Hacina Py, Head of Export Finance and Head of Impact Finance Solutions:  “The strong client appetite for these innovative products is a recognition of the Group’s pioneering Positive Impact Financing strategy that was launched in 2017 to contribute to the financing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The success of these products also testifies to the bank’s leading position in export finance (#2 in the world in 2020 and #1 in Africa - source TXF League tables 2020), with a long-standing presence in Africa, and to its proven environmental expertise  and  in structuring of sustainable operations”. This cooperation is perfectly in line with Societe Generale’ strategy “Grow with Africa” which aims to support the growth dynamics of its activities on the African continent by contributing to positive transformation and sustainable development in Africa. 

“Private bankers, in close proximity to their wealthy clients, can thus explain, in addition to the financial mechanisms, the societal impact the bank is having in Africa. They have created an enthusiasm for this engaging solution that gives meaning,” adds Claire Douchy, Head of Philanthropic Offers and Socially Responsible Investments at Societe Generale Private Banking.

While Societe Generale is committed to monitoring its Positive Impact Financing throughout the investment period via a rigorous internal environmental and social risk management process, Claire Douchy underlines that these investment solutions have “the advantage of being able to offer clients a traceability of the commitments made by the Bank through an annual report sent to them”. This includes an independent sustainability assessment of the projects supported by these notes, which is conducted by the independent auditor Vigeo-Eiris. 

“Combining financial performance and commitment to sustainability, this bespoke investment product enables the Bank’s investor clients to support its real economy and sustainable development financing projects in Africa,” adds Isabelle Millat, Head of Sustainable Investment Solutions within Societe Generale’s market activities

Since 2017 Societe Generale has issued Positive Impact Support Notes worth more than €1.3 billion. These investment solutions are part of Societe Generale’s “Sustainable and Positive Impact Finance” offering which includes a wide range of innovative financial solutions and meets the needs of issuer and investor clients. This field mobilizes all the Bank’s environmental and social expertise

“Placing nearly 170 million euros of Positive Impact Support Notes – Africa in the very difficult market conditions and not very conducive to the launch of new products that we experienced in 2020, is the sign of a remarkable client interest and commercial commitment. This success is the result of effective cooperation within the Bank between the Export Finance and Impact Structuring teams, Market Activities and Private Banking,” concludes Isabelle Millat.