The environmental part of FReD: DEMETER (the Greek goddess of agriculture and the harvest) entails a number of initiatives relating to the environment, from reducing our energy and paper consumption to the launch of new green products and the gradual integration of environmental criteria into all financing activities.
As environmental issues affect everyone, Credit Agricole has a policy of developing the awareness of its employees and partners about these matters.
We have introduced a number of initiatives in order to make our employees, customers and suppliers aware of environmental issues.
CONCRETE ACTIONS: « REFOREST’ACTION IN SENEGAL »
At part of the 2011 sustainable development week, Crédit Agricole S.A., four subsidiaries and 18 Regional Banks launched the Reforest’action campaign in Senegal. This project, run by 400 farmers in the Saloum region, south of Dakar, consists of planting trees, in order to help the environment and improve the living conditions of 4,000 people. In total, around 33,000 trees have been planted by the Crédit Agricole Group and close to 1,000 employees have participated in this charitable operation. This effort was acknowledged by the Ministry of the Environment and included in company commitments as part of the sustainable development week.
AN ECOACT PEDAGOGY
The “Greenpix” contest is a photo contest that aims to promote eco-friendly practices in the workplace in order to make our employees aware of the impact such daily practices can have. This public contest has been launched in cooperation with our partner WWF France.
To raise awareness amongst Group suppliers about CSR, the Group’s Purchasing department organised the third Horizon awards ceremony. Open to the Group’s suppliers, it is intended to reward suppliers with outstanding sustainable development strategies. This event brought together around 200 suppliers. Combined with a responsible purchasing policy, this prize is in line with the Group’s strategy.
The Group’s strategy is reflected by the signature of the “Charte des Achats Responsables”: the responsible purchasing charter between major buyers and SMEs at end-2010, thus committing itself to 10 principles, notably including working on environmental issues with suppliers and economic aspects so as to ensure financial equity vis-à-vis suppliers and to reduce the risk of mutual dependence.
CONTRIBUTION TO RESEARCH
Crédit Agricole CIB has participated, since its creation, in the Chair of Quantitative Finance and Sustainable Development at the Paris Dauphine University and the École Polytechnique.
The Chair: collaboration between finances, economics and sustainable development
The aim of the Chair is to bring together quantitative finance specialists, economists and sustainable development experts to re-examine financial and economic instruments from the standpoint of sustainable development.
Furthermore, Crédit Agricole CIB began to work on quantifying CO2 emissions associated with the bank’s financing and investment projects. The goal is to assess whether it is ultimately feasible to map the emissions generated.
Initial results made it possible to assess the order of magnitude of annual emissions generated, reflecting the carbon intensity of the activities financed by Crédit Agricole CIB and corresponding to the active role played by the bank in financing the global economy. Additional work needs to be done in 2012 to take on board recent recommendations published by the GHG Protocol.
How to calculate CO2 emissions?
Measuring emissions of greenhouse gases caused by our financing and investing activities is an important issue. First of all, growing pressure from society led by the NGOs is creating a real image risk for financial institutions. But more fundamentally, we firmly believe that measuring our carbon emissions has a more important role to play than simply reflecting our environmental conscience; it could become a real decision-aid tool. However, this is not an easy exercise.
The climate data required is still disparate and of varying quality depending on the bank’s country of exposure. Emissions then have to be allocated to the business activities financed. The nomenclatures used for monetary and physical systems for measuring greenhouse gases are not compatible. Lastly, the allocation rule is a crucial issue to avoid multiple counting and ensure the additionality of the portfolio’s carbon footprints.
The methods developed by some consultants and NGOs that we have studied suggest aggregating the carbon footprints of the various assets financed by the Bank. But this raises a number of issues including non-existent or unreliable data, multiple counting of emissions and numerous inconsistencies. All in all, these methods, which we can classify as “bottom-up”, are difficult to apply to investment banking in their current state.
We recently succeeded in overcoming these difficulties to draw up a method of estimating the emissions caused by our portfolio.
This “top-down” approach is rigorous, simple, clear and transparent.
Doctoral candidate, Finance & Sustainable Development Chair, CA-CIB/ Europlace
As part of its shareholder dialogue policy, Amundi supports a certain number of collective initiatives that are coordinated at international level, and aim to encourage companies to improve their practices and their communication in the areas of climate change, water, deforestation, and health problems in developing countries.
Examples of supporty: Carbon Disclosure Project, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Global Compact Investor’s Initiative, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Global Water Disclosure Project, Forest Footprint Disclosure Project, CDP Water Disclosure and Access to Medicine Index.