BRD – Groupe Société Générale today published its sustainability report, Building Tomorrow (full document available here), which outlines the bank’s non-financial activities for the year 2021. Through this report and its new sustainability platform, Lumea9, BRD aims to provide an overview of how to address Sustainability and to help businesses and the general public better understand financial concepts and terms related to sustainability. World 9 describes an ecosystem of values and actions in which initiative, competition, performance and development are judged by their impact on the resources we leave for future generations.
“Economic development today is no longer conceivable without taking into account climate change or issues related to inclusion, diversity or a just society. The Romanian economy indicates that it is aware of the needed change, although at the end of last year green finance accounted for 4% of total loans granted by banks to companies.BRD concluded deals worth more than 500 million euros in 2021, registering a series of awards in the local market, including the largest green credit and the first issuance of bonds related to sustainability objectives on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, of which BRD was the sole coordinator In 2022, BRD launched a comprehensive financing proposition for the consumer and real estate markets, with an acceleration of digitization that will reduce our physical footprint.Our business objectives are multiplied by major HR efforts, because being a responsible business owner means encouraging and supporting diversity and gender equality and last but not least, We will continue with enthusiasm the greatest investment programs in Romanian society, in areas that we consider essential to its future: education, culture, technology and innovation or sport”, said François Bloch, CEO, BRD – Société Générale Collection.
The Building Tomorrow report shows that BRD supported more than 2.2 million individual and corporate clients (SMEs and large corporations) and institutional investors in 2021, orchestrating €500 million in sustainable financing offerings. With its staff of 7,000 employees at the end of 2021, BRD Group has achieved a direct economic value of 2.82 billion lei. In the past two years, the bank has increased the number of digital customers by more than 48%. With respect to suppliers, the BRD team has developed the Charter for Responsible Procurement, the internal document that sets out the necessary framework for sustainable procurement. In terms of its own operations, BRD saved 700,000 kWh of energy between 2016 and 2021 through an energy efficiency program, and in 2021, the company reduced the amount of paper waste by more than 22,000 kg. In addition, BRD, through Fundația9, has organized more than 100 cultural events, contemporary art, exhibitions, discussions, children’s workshops, film and music events, in which more than 12,000 students and 2,050 teachers from 80 cities have participated. Among the six editions of BRD FIRST Tech is the Romania Challenge programme.
The sustainability report details standards related to environmental protection, social engagement, ethics, and governance, and details based on the seven values and principles that characterize the bank’s financial and non-financial engagement: prioritizing customers and partners, integrity, care, and team. Spirit, innovation, responsibility and commitment. At the same time, the “Building Tomorrow” report reflects that the sustainability challenges facing humanity today are significant, and that climate change, loss of biodiversity and depletion of natural resources are destabilizing prospects for maintaining today’s standard of living, while many people live below the minimum standard social. Standards. Thus, the argument for the effective contribution of the financial sector to the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy is becoming increasingly compelling. BRD manages its direct impact on the climate through its own operations, and for its activities relating to corporate clients, climate risk is part of the Management Committee’s approved Environmental and Social (E&S) risk management process, which covers the process. Evaluate the risks of transactions within the specified range.
The report “Building Tomorrow” has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Romanian legislation on non-financial reporting, with the basic standards of the GRI Initiative and the GRI Annex G4 for 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 to building a better future, from sustainable economy and positive impact banking products and services to education, culture, society, science and technology, environment and biodiversity. As part of the Société Générale Group, one of the signatories to the 2003 United Nations Global Compact, the BRD Group integrates the principles of human rights, working conditions and anti-corruption into all its activities and actively participates in the promotion of value principles. In addition, the BRD Group supports and contributes to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), recognizing their importance in addressing the world’s greatest societal challenges. The Lumea9 platform also builds on projects founded and funded by BRD – Groupe Société Générale related to the development of Romanian society. In the past 10 years, BRD’s investment in these programs has amounted to more than €20 million. The main themes are involved in investing in the new generation, whether we are talking about culture, education, technology and innovation, or sports.
The Bank’s cultural institution, Fundația9, has programs that bring in more than 1 million people annually on the Scena9 platforms or in Rezidența9, the cultural center in Bucharest. BRD’s music sponsor offers more than 60 concerts to audiences across the country. Tech innovators have education programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), research and development in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and tech entrepreneurship. Among them, we mention the BRD First Tech Challenge Romania, the Robotics Labs at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, the Innovation Labs – Technology Startup Accelerator, the partnership with the Center for Applied Data Science 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 of over 10 participating NGOs with resources for educators, developed by the Association for Values in Education. In addition, School9, another education journalism platform that aims to contribute to the modernization of pre-university education, had more than 1.5 million readers in 2021. For volunteering and solidarity, in 2018 BRD launched Day 5, the in-house volunteer program that stimulates peer involvement In volunteer projects that make a difference in the local community, over 2,550 BRD employees have been involved, half of whom are actively involved in 2021.
For the environment and biodiversity, the BRD Forest Fund was launched in 2019. BRD Group companies have participated in a program to monitor and protect a valuable forest in Sibiu region, together with WWF Romania and a reforestation initiative in Deleni, Iași province, on an area of 60 hectares, which is Part of the collaboration with several entities from France and Romania. In terms of sport, BRD has been the official partner of the Romanian Handball Federation for seven years.