As a committed economic player, Groupama is developing an investment policy that takes environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into account. The Group is also offering more green, equitable and sustainable savings scheme products to its customers.
A sustainable savings and investment policy
Groupama is in the process of rolling out a sustainable investment strategy that uses a systematic ESG approach for the financial investments made by its various entities. This approach was strengthened in 2022 with the decision to sustainably invest an additional €1.2 billion between 2022 and 2024, the commitment to reduce the carbon intensity of equity portfolios by 50% between 2021 and 2030, and by reinforcing our exclusion policy on non-conventional energies. The Group has also joined the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance and has signed the United Nation Principles for Responsible Investments as an investor.
High-performance sustainable savings schemes
In order to respond to the growing demand of savers for positive impact vehicles, the Group offers sustainable savings and pension schemes to its members and customers. As such, a sustainable version of all of the multi-vehicle life insurance policy management profiles has been created. As well as developing this responsible savings scheme, Groupama is also rolling out initiatives to its sales force, customers and members aimed at improving the awareness and uptake of these offers.
Helping Emmanuel promote finance with a social impact
Groupama Social Impact Debt* is a private-impact debt fund launched by Groupama Asset Management en 2022. In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals(1), it aims to actively contribute to job creation in the territories in which it operates, and to enhance the purchasing power of the employees in the small, medium- and intermediate-sized companies financed. As Emmanuel Daull, Head of Private Debt at Groupama Asset Management, explains, this Fund has a strong social impact, serving to finance the real economy and demonstrating Groupama’s commitment to sustainable finance.
* This fund is available to professional investors only.
Several reasons led Groupama Asset Management (GAM) to launch the Groupama Social Impact Debt private debt fund. “The aim is both to expand the range of solutions offered to investors and to meet the needs of companies seeking to diversify their sources of financing to establishments other than banks. The loans granted by the Fund have longer terms and are repayable at maturity, which sets them apart from the depreciating loans offered by banks”, explains Emmanuel Daull. In addition to this support for the real economy, GAM wished to go further by creating a fund in line with the Groupama Group’s DNA. “In line with our grass-roots positioning and our proximity to local economies, the Fund will essentially provide financing to small, medium- and intermediate-sized French companies, with a core target of those having a premium income between €20 and €500 million. Because we are a mutualist insurance group, upholding the values of sharing and solidarity, we wanted the Fund to finance companies that make social commitments to their employees”.
« In line with our grass-roots positioning and our proximity to local economies, the Fund will essentially provide financing to small, medium- and intermediate-sized French companies. »EMMANUEL DAULL
“Tailor-made” social impact criteria for each company financed
The social impact of the Groupama Social Impact Debt Fund focuses on two themes:
- job creation
- enhancing employee spending power.
“We only provide funding to companies that are committed to making efforts in one or both of these areas”. For each financing application, ambitious yet realistic customised targets are set, in line with the reality of the company and its prospects. “We completed an initial transaction with an engineering and corporate real estate company. We constructed its objectives and social impact indicators in tandem with its managers”.
The fundamental importance of the human factor
As a result, this social impact strategy requires work upstream to select applications from the pool of funding requests received. “In addition to the standard criteria of good economic health and growth potential, we conduct an in-depth analysis of the social policy of the companies in question. Most importantly, since trust and people-centred relations are fundamental to our private debt business, which is similar to a long-term undertaking, we meet up with management teams and conduct site visits. This means that our discussions are better and more sincere”.
Genuine support for companies for the entire financing period
Groupama Asset Management’s actions are not restricted to granting financing and setting social impact goals. As a creditor, GAM is more involved. “We want to help the companies we fund to improve their CSR policy, specifically – but not only – regarding their social aspect. In particular by inviting them to participate in theme-based workshops where we bring in experts, but also by disseminating information and promoting good CSR practices among the companies financed by the fund. The idea is to create a community, which we would like to see sponsored by someone who is a reference when it comes to these social impact issues”. That should really increase the strength of the Fund’s social impact!
« We want to help the companies we fund to improve their CSR policy, specifically but not only. »EMMANUEL DAULL