BRD – Groupe Société Générale published its sustainability report, Building Tomorrow, which sets out the bank’s non-financial activities for 2021.
Through this report and its new sustainability platform, Lumea9, BRD aims to provide an overview of how addressing sustainability and helping companies and the general public to better understand financial concepts and terms related to sustainability. The world9 describes an ecosystem of values and actions in which initiative, competition, performance, development are judged by the impact they have on the resources we leave to future generations.
“Economic development can no longer be conceived today without taking into account climate change or issues related to inclusion, diversity or a just society. The Romanian economy is signaling that it is aware of the change that is needed, although at the end of last year, green financing accounted for 4% of total loans granted by banks to companies. BRD concluded in 2021 a volume of transactions of over 500 million euros, marking a series of new premieres on the local market, including the largest green credit and the first issue of bonds related to sustainability objectives at the Bucharest Stock Exchange , for which BRD was the sole coordinator. In 2022, BRD launched a comprehensive financing offer for the consumer and real estate markets, while accelerating digitization that will reduce our physical footprint. Our business goals are doubled by key human resources efforts, as being a responsible employer means encouraging and supporting gender diversity and equity. And, last but not least, we will continue with even greater enthusiasm the investment programs in the Romanian society in the fields that we consider fundamental for its future: education, culture, technology & innovation or sport “, said François Bloch, CEO, BRD – Société Générale Group
Building Tomorrow report shows that BRD has supported more than 2.2 million individual customers, businesses (SMEs and large corporations) and institutional investors in 2021, and has structured € 500 million in sustainable financing offerings. With a number of 7,000 employees at the end of 2021, the BRD Group generated a direct economic value of 2.82 billion lei. In the last two years, the bank has increased the number of digital customers by over 48%.
In relation to suppliers, the BRD team has developed the Charter of Responsible Procurement, the internal document that establishes the necessary framework for sustainable procurement. In terms of its own operations, BRD saved 700,000 kWh of energy between 2016 and 2021 through the energy efficiency program and in 2021, the company reduced the amount of paper waste by over 22,000 kg. In addition, BRD organized, through Fundația9, over 100 cultural events, contemporary art, exhibitions, debates, children’s workshops and film and music events and involved more than 12,000 students and 2,050 teachers from 80 cities. within the six editions of the BRD FIRST Tech Challenge Romania program.
The sustainability report details criteria related to environmental protection, social involvement, ethics and governance, detailing based on the 7 values and principles that characterize the financial and non-financial involvement of the bank: prioritizing customers and partners, integrity, care, team spirit , innovation, responsibility and commitment. At the same time, the Building Tomorrow report reflects that the sustainability challenges facing humanity today are major and that climate change, biodiversity loss and depletion of natural resources are destabilizing the prospects of maintaining today’s standard of living while many people live. below the minimum social standards. Thus, the argument for an active contribution of the financial sector to the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy is becoming increasingly convincing.
BRD manages its direct impact on the climate through its own operations, and for its activities related to corporate clients, climate risk is part of the environmental and social risk management (E&S) process approved by the Management Committee, which covers the process. customer and transaction risk assessment within the defined scope. Building Tomorrow report was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Romanian legislation on non-financial reporting, and with the GRI Core Standards and GRI G4 Supplement to the financial services sector.
In preparing the report, the BRD Group benefited from the support of INNOVA Project Consulting, an external sustainability consultant.
Lumea9 is the sustainability platform that brings together all the topics that BRD considers important for building a better future, from sustainable economy, positive impact banking products and services, to education, culture, society, science, technology and environment & biodiversity. As part of the Société Générale Group, a signatory to the 2003 United Nations Global Compact, the BRD Group integrates the principles of human rights, working conditions and the fight against corruption into all its activities and actively participates in promoting the principles of the value.
In addition, the BRD Group supports and contributes to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), recognizing their importance in addressing the world’s greatest societal challenges. The Lumea9 platform also relies on projects founded and financed by BRD – Groupe Société Générale related to the development of Romanian society. In the last 10 years, BRD’s investments in these programs have been over 20 million euros. The main axes have in common the investment in the new generation, whether we are talking about culture, education or technology and innovation or sports.
The bank’s cultural foundation, Fundația9, has programs that bring over 1 million people annually on the Scena9 platforms or at Rezidența9, the cultural center in Bucharest. The BRD music patron offers over 60 concerts to the public, all over the country.
Technology creators have education programs in STEM, research and development in Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and tech entrepreneurship. Among them, BRD First Tech Challenge Romania, robotics laboratories at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Innovation Labs – the tech start-up accelerator, the partnership with Applied Data Science Center and MINDCRAFT Stories, the science and technology media platform launched by BRD. To support education and inclusion, in 2021, BRD is funding Alfabetar, a digital platform with over 10 NGOs participating with resources for teachers, developed by the Association for Values in Education.
In addition, Scoala9, another journalism platform for education that aims to contribute to the modernization of pre-university education, had over 1.5 million readers in 2021. For Volunteering and Solidarity, BRD launched in 2018 Day V, the volunteer program internal that stimulates the involvement of colleagues in volunteer projects that generate change in the local community, in which more than 2,550 BRD employees have signed up, half of them being actively involved in 2021. For the environment and biodiversity, the BRD Forest Fund was launched in 2019. BRD Group companies have been involved in a program to monitor and protect a valuable forest in the Sibiu area, together with the WWF Romania Foundation and a reforestation initiative in Deleni, Iași County, on an area of 60 hectares, part of the an association with several entities from France and Romania.
In terms of sports, BRD has been the official partner of the Romanian Handball Federation for seven years.