Social responsibility

Meeting present needs without jeopardizing the needs of future generations

Socially responsible

What could be more legitimate for a local cooperative banking group than to take account of the potential impact of each of its activities on its human or natural environment? What could be less surprising for Groupe BPCE, whose entire history has been shaped by its cooperative values and its commitment to economic and social progress, than its concern for the consequences of its decisions on its different stakeholders: customers, cooperative shareholders, employees and the wider civil society?

This is why Groupe BPCE has put sustainable development at the very heart of its activities.

This commitment is given concrete expression within the Group in two different ways:

- In the everyday lives of its different companies (human resources, organization, logistics, purchasing, etc.),

- In the pursuit of its business activities as a banker: green and responsible growth, focus on the local, social and solidarity-based economy.

 

Major commitments Another form of commitment

- The banks belonging to Groupe BPCE are signatories to the United Nations Global Compact and have undertaken to comply with its ten principles, all derived from major international agreements,

- The Group supports and takes part in the principal initiatives and working groups in the French financial market devoted to socially responsible investment (SRI). Its status as a member of the Observatory of Corporate Social Responsibility (ORSE) and of the Finansol label used to identify solidarity-based investments, and its membership of Avise, an association set up to support the development of initiatives designed to create new jobs and promote social cohesion, enables it to share ideas and experiences with other socially committed groups,

- Natixis has signed up to the Equator Principles that stipulate that the project financing selection process should include, among other things, a concern for sustainable development and the use of renewable natural resources, the protection of human health, cultural heritage and biodiversity.

Groupe BPCE has translated these commitments into a series of structural measures:

An in-house "regulatory and environmental" Charter adopted by the Group’s companies that summarizes and analyzes existing regulations and standards related to environmental certifications. It enjoys reference status in the real-estate industry.

A policy of gender diversity, a key pillar of the Group’s social policy. Action plans or agreements have been adopted by each company. As a signatory of the Diversity Charter, Groupe BPCE is also committed to promoting equal opportunities among social categories facing barriers to the world of work.

A policy promoting the employment of people with disabilities. Two agreements already exist within the Caisses d'Epargne and Banque Populaire banks that were recently renewed for the 2014/2017 period. At the end of 2013, more than 4% of the Group’s employees were people with disabilities. In this context, the PHARE program (from the French Politique Handicap et Achats Responsables or “Disabilities and Responsible Purchasing Policy”) encourages the use of suppliers in the “protected sector” promoting the professional integration of the disabled.

The “AgiR” approach (from the French Achats Responsables or ‘Act’) that embodies the seven core subjects of the ISO 26000 standard as applied to procurement: environmental footprint, community involvement and development, and fair operating practices... representing a binding set of principles for the Group’s buyers, business divisions and suppliers.

A set of cooperative indicators have been defined to gauge the support measures taken in favor of economic and social agents active at a local and regional level: the presence of our branches in sensitive urban areas, the stimulation of entrepreneurship, support for education and research.

A carbon audit tailored for our retail banking activities. This initiative is currently being adopted by the French authorities with a view to covering the entire banking industry.

A branch automation project. This system consists in the remote management of technical equipment with a view to reducing the energy consumed by our branches by 15-20% in line with the future regulatory constraints imposed by the Grenelle Environment Forum.