Sustainable Investment Awards 2021

ESG research of the year: Societe Generale

Societe Generale was recognised for its in-depth reports that dived deep into environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Yannick OuaknineIts 163-page report Air pollution - reclaiming the right to clean air looks at the problems other than climate change caused by air pollution.

The report focuses on four widely dispersed air pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PMs).

"In some way these noxious gases are even worse than carbon dioxide – so this report takes a deep dive to check how industries are responding to the challenge of combatting them," said Societe Generale.

The report aims to provide investors with a succinct overview of the current state of air pollution management in the seven most polluting industry sectors, and then rates the management of these air polluting emissions in 34 companies, giving actionable insights to investors.

Other notable Societe Generale research during the year included:

  • Road to ESG integration – SG walks the talk, embedding ESG into target prices. The report "represents our first attempt to embed ESG sustainability factors into the valuations of almost all the stocks we cover – based on a stock-by-stock, 'qualitative' analysis, to complement the traditional 'top-down' approach to ESG valuation".
  • The evolving ESG regulation - a guide to the ESG legislative framework to reshape investment.

"We are convinced that sustainability has become one of the core components of a company's intrinsic value and performance. In this respect, Societe Generale was the first bank to systematically integrate ESG across its equity research," said Yannick Ouaknine, head of Societe Generale's sustainability research team.