Sustainability: Societe Generale Teams Up with Global Startups to Enhance Sustainable, Positive Impact Finance

Eleven new sustainability-focused start-ups joined Societe Generale’s (GLE.PA) flagship Global Markets Incubator (GMI) dedicated “to developing ground-breaking solutions for the financial industry.”

From a selection pool of over 140 applicants, these start-ups are “addressing some of the finance industry’s biggest ESG concerns, including carbon emissions quantification, impact tracking and measurement, Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) and Biodiversity.”

Hacina Py, Group Chief Sustainable Officer, explains:

 “We are proud to welcome within our GMI’s programme these promising start-ups focused on positive impact, which is at the heart of Societe Generale’s ambitions. This cohort reflects the importance of innovation as a leverage for sustainable finance to the benefits of our business and our clients.”

Aspiration, Emmi, BeZero Carbon, Enmacc, Regrow, Net Purpose, Simpl, Greenscope,  YvesBlue, Arboretica, and allcolibri will “participate in a six-month programme to rapidly advance, test, deploy and expose their products and services to Societe Generale’s business environment.”

The Bank initially “launched the GMI programme in 2018 to boost start-ups collaborations, mix expertise and deliver innovative solutions to capital markets.”

This year, the Group “doubled the number of participants and welcomed its first sustainability-focused cohort, in support of its offering for corporate, financial institution and private investor clients, who will benefit from innovative solutions adapted to their ESG goals.”

Isabelle Millat, Head of Sustainability for Global Markets, adds:

“In the global markets industry, innovation is crucial to offer new solutions to our clients, customised to their needs that evolve very quickly, specifically regarding ESG concerns. GMI is a powerful accelerator to answer these needs.”

Following the program, successful companies will “see their solutions implemented across the bank or exposed to clients, as Societe Generale supports them on their path to growth.”

Partnerships with upcoming start-ups provide an exciting opportunity to collaborate in effective ways to support positive impact finance in these key areas:

Financial carbon metrics

Corporate carbon footprint is currently “at the heart of investment decisions. A growing number of companies now reports their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and assesses their contribution to climate change risks.”

Data remain still “often complex, non-standardised or incomplete data, and Societe Generale’s role is to help investors evaluate the progress that companies make to achieve carbon emissions reduction and deliver an impact.”

With Emmi

Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) 

The Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) is “gaining importance in the transition to net zero to offset non-abatable emissions by offering for example opportunities to develop nature-based solutions projects.” The market, however, “faces several challenges, like certification methodologies, liquidity and price transparency.” Some project developers also “still lack access to finance due to market opacity and a low investor risk appetite.”

With Aspiration, BeZero Carbon, Enmacc

Impact investing and financing

The search for positive social and environmental “impacts is at the heart of the decisions of a growing number of investors or lenders, who aim to accelerate the transition of companies.”

Leveraging its own deep sectorial expertise, Societe Generale “has strong expectation from these collaborations to allow rapid progress in the areas of risk management, analytics, insights generation and distribution, across all asset classes in listed and private markets.”

With Net Purpose, Simpl, Greenscope, YvesBlue, Arboretica, allcolibri


While net zero commitments represent a big step forward in the decarbonation trajectories, it is also important “to bear in mind the major challenges of preserving biodiversity and ecosystems.”

Societe Generale can “take concrete actions in favour of biodiversity through dedicated banking solutions and looks to further develop its offering by proposing innovative services.”

With Regrow

Antoine Connault, Head of Global Markets Incubator, explains:

“Whether the challenge is climate change, positive impact or governance-related matters, the GMI’s programme offers a very exciting opportunity to work with top-of-the-class companies and develop out-of-the-box thinking. We look forward to building strong partnerships through the program.”

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