Coface has set clear social and environmental responsibility (CSR) goals, especially for direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, with the first milestone in 2025.
How does Coface intend to reduce its environmental footprint?
Coface’s CSR commitments are central to its development strategy. Coface wants to participate in restricting global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Coface is adjusting its business model: the company is gradually factoring in the environmental and climate risks of its clients and debtors (the customers of its customers) alongside the environmental and social impact of its investments. The Group has already introduced an initiative to scale up the support we give ESG Single Risk projects (hedging products to protect against medium and long term trade and political risks).
Coface conducted a comprehensive carbon footprint assessment in 2022 (based on 2019) using the Bilan Carbone ® methodology drawn up by the Ecological Transition Agency (ADEME). The aim of the audit was to estimate and address the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated directly and indirectly by the Group's business activities (Scope 1, 2 and 3) in three key areas:
- Investments (source: Amundi).
- The financial support given to customers through credit insurance (the amount of indemnities paid).
- Operations (purchasing, passenger transport, energy and fixed assets).
This process led to an action plan being drawn up to cut the Group's GHG emissions.
Coface is targeting a 30% reduction in investment-related GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2) regarding shares and corporate bonds between 2020 and 2025. To meet this goal, the Group will continue to lobby the 20 largest carbon emitters in its portfolio in all aspects of ESG - including the climate - to encourage them to reduce their GHG emissions. Coface will then focus on setting interim targets - the first will be for 2030 - with the aim of helping to reach neutrality by 2050.
The ESG score for the investment portfolio is now being monitored, and the lowest ratings are ruled out (G) or limited (F). Coface also has a policy of limiting investment in thermal coal.
Use of credit insurance products
As a credit insurer, Coface offers its clients support from a financial perspective by indemnifying their unpaid debts. Under the Bilan Carbone ® methodology, Coface is factoring in the direct financial support given its clients. This means Coface includes the emissions of its clients that have received indemnification when measuring its own GHG emissions (Scope 3).
Between 2019 and 2025, Coface is targeting a 7% drop in its GHG emissions for claims that the company handles in its credit insurance business.
Coface’s strategy for scaling down these indirect emissions is based on atwo-fold approach:
- Actively involving its clients in an emission-reduction process.
- Revising its commercial exclusion policy.
Coface will steadily re-assess these goals in the years ahead as and when appropriate software is developed.
The carbon footprint of Coface's operations totalled 42,762 t CO₂ equivalent in 2019, based on the assessment of the Group's carbon footprint. Coface intends to cut these emissions back by 11% between 2019 and 2025 via the following plan.
- Engage with suppliers and prioritise companies committed to a pathway compatible with the Paris Agreement.
- Roll out responsible digital practices to contain the volume of data used / stored.
- Reduce document printing by 30%.
- Cut back on commuting by maintaining the practice of remote work.
- Encourage more low-carbon mobility by motivating staff to use public transport rather than the car, and the train rather than the plane; in addition, step up the electrification of the fleet of Coface vehicles and make recharging easier.
- Cut back on business travel by 40% compared to 2019 by prioritising remote meetings.
- Encourage a more integrated use of cars that is better suited to needs by training all employees with company cars in eco-driving and offering mobility packs.
Energy and fixed assets
- Reduce total office space by 30%.
- Systematically factor in access to public transport or energy efficiency when selecting the location of new offices.
- Restrict the use of heating and air conditioning.
- Increase the service life of company vehicles.
The action plan may be supplemented by further initiatives over time: Coface's decarbonisation strategy is based on regularly updating the company's carbon audit. The 2025 audit will be used to assess whether Coface has met its commitments.
- Emilie Bertholon, Group CSR Manager.