Which banks in France are most focused on climate?


“Before the labels, even if a saver said he wanted sustainable funds, he relied on information that his bank adviser wanted to let him know about the nature of the payment. Labels were a way for those. public authority to offer visibility to savers, ”Paul Kielwasser explains. And this is thanks to accurate details and promises.

As Novethic attests in its latest study on various European labels of sustainable finance, “France is the only country that currently has two labels supported by different ministries. On the one hand, the SRI label , which guarantees a quality SRI/ESG management process, is currently being redesigned, and on the other hand, the Greenfin label, which specializes in environmentally themed investments. »

Today, the most prevalent label in France and Europe is socially responsible investment (SRI). It is managed by the Ministry of the Economy and promotes a finance that is “more sustainable than green”, according to experts. “Funding must take into account the environment, society and governance. […] But when you have the SRI label, there is no ban on investing in fossil fuels, ”lamented Paul Kielwasser.

An Oxfam spokesman warned about many existing forms of greenwashing, such as the case of the SRI label and investments for fossil fuels. “There is generally a problem with regulation. Banking establishments are not forced to provide documentation of their policy to their customers.»

More in favor of environment -related funding, the Greenfin label was created in 2015 by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. “It is a green finance label. The positive impact on the environment is the main goal of the strategy of the funds that will benefit from the certification. Greenfin aims at investment funds that will finance infrastructures such as wind farms or solar panels, ”testifies Alexandre Poidatz.

Some structures invest in themes that are less easily identifiable as sustainable and green. Alexandre Poidatz discusses the conditions for obtaining the Greenfin label. “It is strictly forbidden to invest in companies with more than 5% of their turnover associated with either the nuclear sector or with fossil fuels, gas or coal. Often, it is impossible to have a Total share. The second aspect needs to be handled, in In proportion to all fund investments, companies generate more than 50% of their turnover in green activities. »

A Novethic spokesperson advises to “be interested in the practices of the bank where you spend your money” while relying on labels like Greenfin or “popularity tools intended for the general public, to help people who don’t financial specialists to have a more positive impact on the environment. »

Among these tools, the Rift application makes it possible to scan the environmental and social impact of everyone’s savings to determine, in case of the desire for sustainable finance, which options should be opened.

“We would rather say we need to switch banks than switch banks! The goal is for all finances to get to the ecological transition, ”Alexandre Poidatz concludes.

“We recommend talking to your banker to find suitable financial products within your bank. We think that’s how big banks start to create financial products that perform well from an environmental and social perspective. For several years, major banks have been in this dynamic, ”added Léo Garnier of the Rift application.

To conclude, sustainable finance experts advise choosing from the following three options. Ask your banker, act directly on your savings, and when none of these options are appropriate, there is also the possibility to put your savings in ethical banks, such as Crédit Coopératif or NEF, which guarantee green financing.

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