CSR, a factor of sustainable performance for Crédit Agricole Group
The Crédit Agricole Group, with its cooperative and mutualist roots and history, possesses a DNA and governance that predispose it to investing in the resilience of the territories it works in, the sustainability of the projects that it finances, the usefulness for its clients in the long term, and the sharing of the value created, with a particular emphasis on solidarity.
To that end, corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is a real advantage, one that ties in with and supplements the social, societal and environmental initiatives long carried out by the Group’s entities. CSR is now integrated in Crédit Agricole’s strategy as a whole and considered as a factor that should contribute to the company’s overall performance.
CSR increasingly informs our offering, our services and the constitution of our NBI, as well as the way we control costs and assess risks – in short, our global approach to banking and insurance. All our businesses are concerned, ranging from corporate investment banking, asset management and specialised financial services to retail banking. We are convinced that beyond the positive impacts it generates for the community, CSR needs to be considered as a factor of performance. It is clearly an asset for winning new business and a powerful driver of product innovation. It also helps us to anticipate and reduce risks and stands as a source of commitment and motivation for employees.
In 2015 the Group demonstrated its leadership in climate finance. Above and beyond the commitments made previously, several ambitious objectives were announced during COP21 and integrated in our Medium-Term Plan. We are pursuing this direction and intend to remain a benchmark on support for the energy transition and, more broadly, the decarbonisation of the economy. This is a concrete expression of our determination to be increasingly useful and loyal, in all circumstances, to our clients and the territories in which they invest.
Last year also saw us clarify our CSR ambitions. Crédit Agricole S.A. implemented a programme of progress in early 2012 with FReD (FIDES, RESPECT, DEMETER), an original approach to rallying staff, rolling out CSR initiatives and measuring progress, with an impact on the remuneration of directors. Rounding out FReD, the CSR Strategy was specified following discussions with employee and external stakeholders in early 2015. For the first time, we are publishing a matrix of key CSR issues, established through these different phases. We will regularly discuss the Group’s CSR strategy and the key issues with our stakeholders so as to remain in strict harmony with the ecosystem in which we operate.
We have fully integrated CSR in the company’s overall strategy, as reflected in the Group’s “2020 Strategic Ambition” Plan published in March 2015. Crédit Agricole’s sustainable performance will be reinforced by four key pillars: a demanding, client-centric governance system; a culture of ethics and compliance that constitutes a factor of performance rather than a constraint; strong investments in human resources; and concrete and day-to-day commitments at the service of all our clients in all regions.
In its annual CSR reporting, Crédit Agricole S.A. publishes its vision of the Group’s sustainable development issues and a summary of its results in the field. With global performance as a guiding line, we sought to establish a clearer link between our actions and the major socio-economic changes liable to impact Crédit Agricole. That link must be seen in the light of the reports published by several Group subsidiaries, as well as the Cooperative and Territorial Pacts published by Crédit Agricole Regional Banks documenting their respective CSR commitments and results.
Our CSR performance indicators
► New Transition €28 BN
► Green Bonds €1,1 BN
► Renwable energy financing in France +21%
► € 150 millionFinancing Energy Transition by Amundi
► 777 SMEs and mid-caps supported with €3bn in investments
► 17,000 local projects supported with €30m
► Leading financer of renewable energies and energy efficiency in France
► Over 2,800 MW providing energy to 1.25 million French households
► 75,000 people supported through Crédit Agricole’s “Points Passerelle” network since 1979
► 1,360 professional microloans granted in 2014 as part of the partnership with the ADI association
► Increase in proportion of women in top management over 3 years
► 71% of the high-potential employees participating in the “Move Forward Leadership and Diversity” programme are women
► Employees with disabilities account for 5.27% of the workforce at the Regional Banks
► Increase in social-impact funds managed by Amundi
► Crédit Agricole CIB is the world leader in euro-denominated responsible issues, with nearly $17.5bn in green bonds, social binds and sustainability bonds arranged in 2015
► 33.34%: the Group’s effective tax rate in 2015
FReD, applied CSR for all entities
FReD is the global tool for steering and measuring the Group’s progress in terms of CSR. Its three pillars are trust (FIDES), respect for people and territory (RESPECT), and preservation of the environment (DEMETER). With this we have initiated a CSR approach that is guided by a benchmark organised around 19 commitments, for which each entity continuously deploys 15 very concrete actions.
What is FReD’s part in the Group’s CSR approach?
The Group’s CSR policy provides a course to steer on CSR issues. FReD is the enforcer for Crédit Agricole S.A. and its subsidiaries.
Its aim is to involve and mobilise entities, stimulate their initiatives, and spread the use of CSR practices. FReD has enabled the Group’s entities and business lines to take on board and to understand the CSR topics they are expected to implement. Currently, prioritising concrete CSR targets means adjusting FReD’s orientation and improving its contribution to the Group’s overall performance.
What’s unique about it?
It is an internal system, in a multi-business, multi-cultural, decentralized group, with variable levels of CSR maturity. With FReD we move forward together, keeping the most advanced on their toes without stigmatizing those less advanced, and each one fits into a dynamic of ongoing, participatory progress, sharing the best practices and innovative actions of all.
Being a committed Group
For over 10 years, Crédit Agricole has demonstrated its involvement through its various commitments, many of which have focused on the development of “climate finance”.
Signatory of the:
• United Nations Global Compact since 2003;
• Equator Principles since 2003;
• Principles for Responsible Investment since 2006;
• Diversity Charter since 2008;
• Sustainable Purchasing Charter since 2010;
• Science Based Targets since 2016 ;
• RE 100 since 2016.
Co-founding member of the:
• Green Bonds Principles since 2014;
• Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition since 2014;
• Mainstreaming of Climate Action Within Financial Institutions since 2015;
• Catalytic Finance Initiative since 2015;
• French Business Climate Pledge since 2015;
• BBCA association (low-carbon building) since 2015.
Participant in the:
• Call for carbon pricing at the initiative of the World Bank Group in 2014;
• Montreal Carbon Pledge since 2015;
• Paris Appeal on Climate Change since end 2015.
• IIRC since 2016.
Our policy in 1'30
Our sector policies
The Group integrates social and environmental criteria in its financing choices. It makes those choices on the basis of policies on activity sectors with the greatest potential impacts, such as arms, energy, mining and metals, transport and transport infrastructure, and forests and palm oil.