BPCE - 2019 Universal Registration Document



NEW ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND SOCIETAL CONCERNS THROUGHOUT THE ECONOMY The expectations of Groupe BPCE’s clients have changed considerably in recent years, in particular with regard to environmental, social and societal concerns. Groupe BPCE’s management, business lines, CSR & Sustainable Development, Research and Risk divisions monitor these changes in order to adapt its products and services. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES 2018 marked a turning point in the recognition of climate and environment-related issues in businesses’ and consumers’ concerns, investment decisions and consumption habits. This trend was confirmed and intensified in 2019. The environment is among French people’s main concerns. The Sociovision 2019 survey showed that 46% of French people listed “Air, water and soil pollution” as their main concern (compared with 19% in 2015, when it was the fifth biggest concern). This trend is reflected in consumption habits, with a shift towards use rather than ownership, resulting from growing awareness of climate change and plastic pollution in particular. The conclusions of the 15th Greenflex survey of responsible consumption showed a trend of ‘Consuming better and consuming less’. This survey showed that 60% of French people believe it is urgent to take action to save the planet and that climate change, the loss of biodiversity and waste management are key issues. Nearly 80% of consumers have already changed their consumption habits in light of these issues. Healthcare, local employment and animal well-being are cited as concerns alongside these issues relating to climate change and pollution. EXPECTATIONS AMONG SOCIETY VIS-À-VIS COMPANIES Society’s expectations regarding the role of companies has also changed considerably. With widespread distrust of large corporate brands, 69% of French people pay attention to companies’ commitments to the environment and social aspects (Sociovision 2019 survey). Research into investor interest in the incorporation of ESG issues in savings products has confirmed these trends for the banking industry. The latest research by the FIR (Forum for Responsible Investment) and the AMF (French financial markets

authority) shows that nearly 60% of savers believe it is important to consider environmental and social aspects when investing. Savers are unfamiliar with these issues and would like their banks to give them more information. COMPANIES EVER MORE COMMITTED The feeling of responsibility among leaders of small, medium and intermediate sized enterprises goes beyond economic concerns – over 80% of business leaders feel responsible for their employees’ well-being, local society and environmental protection. According to a survey by BPIFrance (1) , 50% of heads of small, medium and intermediate sized enterprises have a CSR policy and 26% have a structured approach with action plans. The portion of companies with CSR policies increases with the number of employees, from 23% in very small enterprises to 54% in intermediate sized enterprises. In small, medium and intermediate sized enterprises, CSR often takes the form of more open governance and improved working conditions. Environmental concerns are less of a priority. However, there are significant disparities between sectors: the services sector is committed to social aspects, while the transport and tourism sectors are more focused on the environment. After issuing its first green bond to finance renewable energy projects in December 2015, Groupe BPCE doubled down on its green bond activity with a new €500 million issue in November 2019. This issue was a big success and was oversubscribed more than four times. In accordance with the legal framework published in 2018, Groupe BPCE also completed several issues in other formats, referred to as social bonds (Human Development Bonds and Local Economic Development Bonds) in 2017 and 2018, when three issues were made in this category. In January 2019, Groupe BPCE issued a Local Economic Development bond for JPY 50 billion (€404 million) on the Japanese domestic market. Following on from these successes, Groupe BPCE is pursuing its strategy of focusing on sustainable development issues in different markets and has met its goal of making at least two green or social bond issues per year by 2020. STRONG DEMAND FROM INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS


(1) A human adventure: SMEs, mid-sized companies, and CSR - https://www.bpifrance.fr/A-la-une/Actualites/Etude-Une-aventure-humaine.-Les-PME-ETI-et-la-RSE-39531



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