Basic movements | Breton Peasant Magazine

Sustainability, global warming, energy and environmental transformation… Like other areas of activity, the world of finance must adapt to these challenges, which are placed on everyone. An update from Maeva Burel, Sustainable Finance Manager at Crédit Mutuel Arkéa.

Can financial players facilitate the transition to a more sustainable and sustainable model?

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“Sustainable finance is about acting at our level and channeling capital to best support environmental and social transformation,” Maeva Burel, Sustainable Finance Manager at Crédit Mutuel Arkéa.

In the economic system, these are financial entities – banks, insurance companies, management companies, etc. – management capital. It is they who lend, invest and support the real economy, of which they are an important cog. They have many interactions, be it with their clients, businesses, local authorities, institutional investors, etc. Thus, these financial players have a role to play in accelerating the transition to a more sustainable economic growth model. This is a real responsibility to society and, more broadly, to the planet. We are regularly warned about global warming and its consequences. No one can ignore it anymore: from now on, time is running out. Therefore, we must accelerate the ecological transition, taking into account social problems.

How is Crédit Mutuel Arkéa moving towards sustainable financing?

By directing financial flows towards more sustainable initiatives that are more environmentally and socially responsible. By supporting projects that have fewer negative impacts or collateral damage, or even have a positive impact, we are contributing to the transitions of the future. As a local financial player, we also have the ability to support our clients and members, our stakeholders, in their own transitions. We can do this by providing sound advice, connecting you with partners or developing suitable offers and banking services. Sustainable finance, which is a fundamental movement, is about acting at our level to channel capital to best support environmental and social transformation. We are playing our part in this great challenge because we believe it is our responsibility to support the transitions of the future.

How are these attitudes specifically expressed in your activities?

Sustainable finance is reflected in changes in the practices of our professions as financiers and investors. The governing bodies of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, in particular its Board of Directors and Executive Committee, approve directions in accordance with our values, our Purpose and our DNA as a bank of cooperation and cooperation. Then operating devices are deployed. We have an ambitious roadmap that involves us in working with our stakeholders. In line with Crédit Mutuel Arkéa’s climate strategy, we have adopted an industry policy with firm commitments to go completely coal-free by the end of 2027 and non-conventional fossil fuels by the end of 2030. This means, for example, that we will not fund any more new energy projects. extraction of fossil fuels. This course of action includes some waivers, but our goal above all is to support everyone on the path to a more sustainable model.
In general, in the context of our investments and financing, we supplement our financial analysis by taking into account environmental, social and governance criteria (ESG).

What about the product line?

We develop new themed or labeled savings products that allow clients to add more meaning to their investments. In the same vein, we offer subsidized funding for certain companies if they increase their social responsibility, as well as special funding to support the ecological transition of professionals in the agricultural and wine sectors.
In addition, as a debt issuer in the financial markets, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa also meets the requirements of institutional investors who place increasing importance on non-financial indicators in addition to financial indicators.
This is a global dynamic that should be implemented and maintained. The idea is to create a virtuous circle of value creation in order to create a more sustainable economy and finance.

Have you already recorded tangible results?

At Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, at the end of 2021, outstanding loans made to individuals to finance sustainable mobility or energy renewal projects amounted to 560 million euros. On the business side, outstanding debt on the transitional loan was around €516 million, including €506 million of outstanding debt related to renewable energy financing. In the SME, ETI and Local Government segment, the PACT loan, launched in 2020 by our subsidiary Arkéa Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels, had €500 million in outstanding debt.
In addition to these few figures, I especially keep the added value of support in the implementation of projects. Increasing our clients’ awareness of a topic, pedagogy, or support in implementing an approach greatly influences relationships with our various stakeholders. There is a real bond of trust and intimacy. Then the concept of cooperation acquires its full meaning. These are results that are of higher quality but encourage us to continue with our approach. The latter is part of the long term, the results will be obtained over time.

What should be the next step?

I would talk more about the next steps in the plural. The financial sector is gradually mobilizing. Initiatives have emerged in the banking sector. We are also involved in some of them, in particular in the workshops aimed at identifying best practices, choosing common definitions of sustainable finance, developing methodologies for measuring non-financial indicators, etc. The work is very important. They provide an opportunity to share the vision of each actor, their feedback, the difficulties that have arisen. And from there to tweak things. We cannot wait until the system of sustainable finance is completely dry before acting, especially since we are developing in an ever-changing world, troubled by crises, whether medical, geopolitical or otherwise. French and European regulations are also speeding up. On the ground, to support the real economy, our role is essential today and to prepare for tomorrow. We are in the logic of continuous improvement for all group companies. In a sense, an approach of small steps, but which allows us to be on the move from now on.

Interview with Sandra Pellen