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The benefits and challenges of following a clear CSR strategy

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a key part of CACEIS' corporate strategy, and concerns staff, clients, shareholders and our suppliers for the benefit of society as a whole. CACEIS’ CSR strategy is aligned with Crédit Agricole Group's own CSR strategy which comes under the umbrella of its “Social Project”.

CACEIS' CSR strategy commitments are founded on 3 pillars:

  • Being a responsible and committed employer 
  • Supporting clients with ethics, trust and security 
  • Acting to promote the energy and environmental transition.

At the end of 2023, CACEIS took steps to further anchor its commitment to CSR in its business practices by creating a group-level CSR division, headed by Géraldine Valentini, who reports directly to General Management.

The challenges in this area are becoming more numerous and complex by the day.

Regulatory Issues

A major challenge is ensuring compliance with European and local regulations around sustainable finance that are constantly evolving.

Géraldine Valentini - Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility CSR/ESGThe first reports for the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which replaced the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) will have to be produced from 2025. The Directive on corporate sustainability sets the standard for non-financial reporting, bringing its importance in line with regular financial reporting.

While such regulatory measures may be perceived as an additional administrative burden and consumer of resources, they are also, and above all, an opportunity for the financial sector to redirect financing towards sustainable activities and to promote robust governance practices.

Promoting a Low-Carbon Economy

Within the framework of the 2015 Paris Climate Accords, the Crédit Agricole Group joined a coalition of financial institutions called the Net Zero Banking Alliance, committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. As a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole, CACEIS has also adopted the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 for Scope 1 (direct emissions related to energy consumption), Scope 2 (indirect emissions related to energy consumption) and Scope 3 (Greenhouse Gas emissions from travel, waste, transport etc.) This should enable the group to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. CACEIS has regularly measured the extent of its carbon footprint since 2019 using GreenWay’s non-financial reporting platform, which has been rolled out throughout our global network.

Green IT - Sustainability in our Technology Infrastructure

The asset servicing industry is highly dependent on IT. Generating, storing and analysing data requires cutting-edge, robust technology that is well maintained and constantly upgraded to keep pace with growing data storage and processing needs. To monitor the environmental impact of this business component, CACEIS has launched a ‘Green IT’ plan covering 2023 to 2025.

The five core elements of our Green IT plan are Sustainable IT Procurement, Data Centre Optimisation, Sustainability in Software Design, API Access for Carbon Footprint Monitoring, and Continuous Professional Development for IT staff. We have also partnered with French IT equipment lifecycle management specialist, ATF Gaia, to extend the lifespan of our equipment.

With ‘Green IT’ as a central part of our CSR strategy, CACEIS is clearly demonstrating its commitment to both maintaining a high-performance IT infrastructure and minimising its carbon footprint.

EcoVadis Certification

EcoVadis is a market-leading provider of Eco-Label certification and CSR ratings that CACEIS has worked with since 2014. CACEIS undergoes a voluntary annual assessment which reviews the group’s business activities, as well as those of its suppliers. The assessment looks at 21 different criteria across environmental, social, human rights, ethical, and responsible purchasing factors.

EcoVadis’ 2023 assessment saw CACEIS awarded a gold medal for its business and CSR commitments, scoring an impressive 73 points out of 100.

For the 2024 assessment, Ecovadis is changing from a points-based threshold rating to a percentile ranking across all sectors. Now only the top 5% of companies in all sectors combined will receive a gold medal and criteria for eligibility have become stricter. Companies seeking certification must now demonstrate that they adhere to a continuous improvement process, are an exemplary company for CSR, and are making more rapid progress than their peers.

CACEIS’ CSR Services

CACEIS strictly adheres to its CSR commitments and at the same time offers comprehensive services designed to help clients achieve their own CSR targets and comply with related regulatory requirements.

CACEIS’ ESG & Climate reporting offer is available through the OLIS portal and via the Connect Store. It gives access to high-quality non-financial data and provides tools to generate reports in line with regulatory requirements.

We offer a two-part service combining a 'Risk monitoring' section to help visualise exposure to and change in portfolios’ ESG risk, and a 'Regulatory reporting' section which generates pre-configured risk reports that comply with regulatory and market requirements.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

With the recent acquisition of RBC’s European activities and staff, CACEIS created a ‘One CACEIS’ framework to pool the best practices from both companies. The analysis identified three core shared cultural pillars: Client Servicing Excellence, Staff Empowerment, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion means embracing cultural, social and personal differences and making them the foundation of our business to benefit from the insight, creativity and opportunities that they offer. The goal of our ‘Youth Plan’ is to recruit, train and retain talented young people who will be the leaders of the future to bring their insight to the group. From cultural diversity, to age inclusivity, and gender equity, we are an equal opportunity employer, keen to promote high performers from every part of society.These actions are supported by the Group's Human Centric Project.

"CSR at CACEIS involves all internal stakeholders in the group as well as our external partners and suppliers. The cross-functional nature of CACEIS’ CSR strategy and plan demonstrates our group’s commitment to integrating and monitoring ESG factors across all our business lines, and we require the same from our partners and suppliers”, concludes Géraldine Valentini.

Important information – CACEIS’ corporate identity is currently being used to sell fraudulent term deposit products. CACEIS has nothing to do with such offers and does not even sell investment products. Please be vigilant and avoid becoming the victim of this type of fraud.