Sustainable Banking

In 2010, a Sustainable Banking team was created within Credit Agricole CIB, with the objective to assist the Bank's key clients for environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible transactions

The team meets the growing needs of Crédit Agricole CIB clients for access to financial advice about projects aimed at both financial profitability and social and/or environmental impact (poverty reduction, job creation in disadvantaged areas, development of renewable energies, carbon footprint minimisation, etc.).

The unit assists the Bank’s clients in arranging these transactions, helps the business lines acting in this field and works closely with Crédit Agricole group entities. Thanks to the synergy developed, it constitutes a centre of expertise on responsible investment within the investment bank.

The Bank’s current main activities are as follows:

  • Green Bonds

    A Green Bond offers the same financial characteristics as a normal bond, but the difference is that the investment must finance projects and businesses with a strong nvironmental and/or social dimension. 

    The Sustainable Banking team played a driving role in the creation and development of this market an is still strongly supporting market innovations. In particular, it was behind the Green Bond Principles initiative that seeks to foster transparency and integrity in this market, and more recently, it-co-drafted the Guidance for Issuers of Social Bond extending best practices of Green Bond market to Social Bond market. 

    CACIB has since 2012 been a world leader in Green, Sustainability and Social Bond structuring and placement, having contributed to major transactions for issuers in all market sgments including EDF, the EIB, Engie, the IFC, the Ile-de-France region, the World Bank.

  • Green Notes

    The Sustainable Banking team also took part in the implementation of Crédit Agricole CIB’s Green Notes issue in 2013, aimed at financing projects that contribute to the fight against climate change and the transition to a decarbonised economy. It also developed a rigorous methodology for selecting the green-certified assets supported by this programme, being still very active since 2013. The programme obtained the second opinion from the Sustainalytics ESG rating agency in 2015. 

  • Impact Investment

    Since its creation, the Sustainable Banking team has worked on investment projects aimed at both financial profitability and social and environmental objectives. Objectives include the reduction of poverty, job creation in disadvantaged areas, and the shrinking of carbon footprints. For example, the Sustainable Banking team structured Livelihoods*, a carbon offsetting fund that works with rural communities, and advised Lafarge on a micro-finance project dedicated to housing. 

*Livelihoods: The purpose of this fund is to improve the living conditions of rural populations in poor countries thanks to carbon financing. For example, one of the fund's projects involves financing the planting of fruit trees in rural African communities and the development of agro forestry. This makes it possible for the populations concerned to increase their income from food and also to stock carbon. The investors are compensated with carbon credits. The first contract will involve Danone, Crédit Agricole S.A., Schneider Electric and CDC Climat. The Sustainable Banking team has assisted with this project from the start and we are in discussions with many companies and institutional investors planning to join the fund.