Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Lead manager of the year, sustainability-linked bonds: Societe Generale

In a year where the market experienced declining volumes Societe Generale (SG) was able to increase its sustainability-linked bond (SLB) market share.

Last September, SG announced a new strategic plan with new decarbonisation targets across all its activities, in which SLBs would play an essential role in order to achieve them.

Stéphane MarcielHaving been the ESG structuring advisor and active bookrunner to Swiss building materials and aggregates company Holcim's 2020 SLB, SG was last year mandated to expand Holcim's previous SLB-only framework to be a combined sustainability-linked and green framework.

In transport, SG was lead manager on SLBs issued by Heathrow Airport, Air-France KLM, Aeroporti di Roma and Autostrade per I'talia.

SLBs SG worked on were not limited to just targeting carbon emissions. Noting that gender equality key performance indicators (KPI) are underrepresented in SLB issuances, SG was lead manager for a Republic of Chile bond that was the first to include a gender quality KPI in a sovereign SLB. The issue also had greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets.

"We are proud to contribute to the sustainability journeys of our clients by advising and assisting them in embedding best market practices in their sustainable financing instruments, including sustainability-linked bonds," said Stéphane Marciel, head of sustainable bonds, debt capital markets at Societe General.

"Societe Generale has demonstrated] industry and SDG diversification as well as having secured a number of landmark transactions," said one Sustainable Debt Awards judge.