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The “usefulness to society” of our raison d’être: how can we measure it?

As part of its Societal Project, the Crédit Agricole group is developing an ESG* performance management platform. This innovative tool offers an accurate view of the Group’s non-financial performance. It brings together data from internal and external sources to calculate and output key indicators of the social and environmental impact of our business lines. The platform – a very valuable asset – also hosts the climate transition score, created by the Group to support and promote dialogue with customers.

* Environmental, social and governance performance

In 2020, the Group implemented a new system for managing ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance to strengthen commitments entered into as part of the Societal Project, with a threefold aim:

- To provide a quantified, transparent and auditable way to report non-financial performance;

- To provide entities with a decision support tool to help them manage their strategy, trajectory and non-financial performance;

- To generate a score measuring how successfully businesses are navigating climate transition.

This ESG platform collects and processes data from internal and external sources, offering an accurate view of the non-financial performance of Group entities based on key societal and economic indicators. It also offers a consolidated view across the whole of the Crédit Agricole group. Lastly, it generates a score measuring how successfully businesses are navigating climate transition. This score, intended to foster dialogue with customers and help them adapt to climate change, has high commercial potential.

This platform is a very valuable asset for the Group. It will enable us to meet regulatory requirements, measure our usefulness to society (our societal and environmental impact), identify growth opportunities, deepen our non-financial knowledge of our customers, improve the efficiency and agility of our non-financial reporting processes and give meaning to our employees’ day-to-day activities.

 

Phased development and rollout

Launched in March 2020 using agile methods, the platform was built using a co-development approach. New functionality and indicators were added as pilot entities were taken on (CACIB, Amundi, CAA, LCL and the Nord de France, Centre-Est and Ile-de-France Regional Banks). The platform is now in an operational continuous improvement phase and is being gradually rolled out across the whole of the Group.

A strategic asset

The platform will allow each Group entity to:

-             monitor strategic indicators of its environmental and social impact (e.g. breakdown of the energy mix showing the share of primary energy – renewables, fossil fuels and nuclear power – in financing and investment; health sector financing; financing for energy retrofitting; direct environmental footprint, i.e. greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the company’s operations; etc.);

-             access climate transition scores for all the Group’s listed company customers, with unlisted companies to follow at a later stage;

-             quickly access high-quality information to respond to questions from stakeholders (customers, media, statutory auditors, etc.);

-             prepare to meet future regulatory reporting requirements, notably resulting from implementation of the EU Taxonomy Regulation with effect from January 2022.

 

At the international level, there is currently no standard covering the production of non-financial reporting or the harmonised measurement of businesses’ social and environmental impact analogous to financial reporting standards. The goal of European regulations that are gradually being implemented is to normalise non-financial reporting so investors and consumers can assess and compare companies and thus make better decisions (when choosing an investment portfolio, consumers goods or products and services).

 
This will be a key issue over the coming years and a differentiating factor for companies. With this in mind, this platform is a truly strategic asset that will help the Group not only incorporate non-financial performance into its operating model but also position itself as a benchmark in the field and increase its influence as a stakeholder committed to socially acceptable green transition.

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