Crédit Agricole and Société Générale offer ESG credit

French banks offer loans that get cheaper as companies’ ESG profiles improve


Joe McGrath

French banks Crédit Agricole and Société Générale are providing €300m in lending to energy giant EDF energy, where the borrowing becomes cheaper if the company’s sustainability profile improves.

The latest agreements take the total number of ‘sustainability-linked loans’ being used by EDF to €5bn, which the company says illustrates its commitment to transitioning to a low carbon economy.

The latest €300m revolving credit facilities have a pricing adjustment which is linked to the company’s CO2 emissions, its customers’ use of online consumption monitoring tools and the electrification of its light vehicle fleet.

“Crédit Agricole group is very proud of supporting EDF in its sustainability finance strategy by providing this sustainability-indexed revolving credit facility of €300m,” said Laurent Capès, a senior banker at Crédit Agricole.

“This transaction, involving Crédit Agricole CIB, LCL and Credit Agricole d’Ile-de-France, demonstrates the willingness of both groups to actively participate to a more sustainable environment.”

Carl Bassili, a senior banker at Société Générale CIB, added that the bank is “strongly committed” to meeting its clients’ sustainable finance and impact finance needs. He said: “The bank aims at contributing €100bn to energy transition between 2016 and 2020.”

Energy group EDF said that responsible finance is now an integral part of the company’s long-term financing strategy, with ESG-indexed revolving credit financing now representing about 45% of the company’s credit lines.

“These two new facilities demonstrate EDF’s strong commitments in terms of corporate social responsibility by strengthening the link between its sustainability performance and financing strategy,” Xavier Girre, senior executive VP and chief financial officer of EDF, said.

“With over €5bn of sustainability-linked credit facilities and €4.5 billion in outstanding green bonds, sustainable finance instruments have become ever more core to EDF’s financing.”




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