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French bank creates CSR unit

June 2004

The state-owned French investment bank Caisse des Depots et Consignations is to create a sustainable development division.

The bank, which employs more than 41,000 people and holds deposits of €37billion (£24.5bn, $44.3bn), has traditionally lent to socially orientated projects such as urban renewal schemes.

CDC formerly left sustainable development matters to an advisory committee on long-term securities investments, but the new division will now assume this responsibility. Departments that used to work on sustainable development will be grouped into the new unit, which reports to CDC executive committee member Jerome Gallot.

The remit is to improve the bank’s overall social and environmental performance, spanning corporate affairs and SRI products. The bank introduced its first SRI fund in 1994 with the Caisse d’Epargne mutual bank and two unions.

The division will be headed by Jean-Pierre Sicard, chairman of CDC subsidiary Novethic, which provides information on both investment and corporate matters. ‘Like any large business, we must take our direct social and environmental impacts into account,’ he said.




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