Climate change: the Caisse des Dépôts Group at the front lines for a low-carbon economy


Since the early 2000s, the Caisse des Dépôts Group has been working to anticipate, support and accelerate the changes in French society towards sustainable and inclusive development. A long-term process that also involves the definition of diagnoses and demanding market standards (labels, studies) to enable the players to identify more easily good practices in order to support their deployment.

How can transitioning the economy towards less wastefulness be anticipated and how can financial institutions and companies be assisted towards a new low-carbon economy? The Caisse des Dépôts teams are working on finding answers to these questions, in partnership with stock exchange working groups and in association with its subsidiary Novethic and its I4CE think-tank.

Novethic: an accelerator of sustainable transformation

Since its creation in 2001, Novethic has guided committed financial institutions, companies and citizens in their responsible transformation, particularly through its activity as an independent medium and research centre. As a pioneer in the labelling of responsible investment funds in Europe, Novethic has accompanied both financial institutions and savers with respectively developing and selecting responsible investment products. Today, Novethic is an auditor for the public ecological and energy transition fund label (TEEC label). By developing and auditing ambitious and demanding responsible financial labels, Novethic contributes towards signalling to private and professional investors which financial products and practices have a positive societal impact for transition towards a low-carbon and inclusive economy. It completes this service with training offers on practices for financial decision-makers.

I4CE: a think-tank to accompany green finance

Providing private and public decision-makers with expertise on economic and financial issues related to ecological transition is the mission of the Institute For Climate Economics (I4CE) which was launched in 2015 by Caisse des Dépôts and Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Production of studies, organisation of public debates and training actions are some of its means of action, often in partnership with other organisations. Each year, the think-tank produces a panorama of funding for the climate, presented to the Parliament and which has become a key element in monitoring French plans for the climate. It is now focusing on issues such as funding allocated to positive climate use or to the management of risks related to climate change. 

Climate Action 100+: a collaborative initiative by investors to encourage compan

Caisse des Dépôts has joined the Climate Action 100+ initiative which brings together many French and international investors who all share the target of applying pressure on the main greenhouse gas emitters to encourage them to assess and adapt their strategy to the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate. Launched in December 2017, and based on the combined expertise of its members, it is one of the twelve iconic initiatives presented during the One Planet Summit, to propel a transition towards a low-carbon model. This dialogue - which is very demanding of company investors - has already aroused stronger climate ambitions in some companies. 

Tools to promote the resilience of territories to climate change. In 2016, CDC Biodiversité, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts, launched the first post-COP21 programme to adapt territories to climate change. Developed in partnership with environmental associations, scientists and public establishments, the aim is to improve territories’ adjustment to climate change by 2050 and to restore biodiversity. 26 projects have been launched across France, focused around five issues: wetlands, ecological continuity, agricultural and forest transitions, urban biodiversity, and marine and coastal ecosystem. The programme relies on the voluntary commitment of economic stakeholders to act beyond their regulatory obligations. The principle is simple: for every €5 collected today, 1m2 of the territory is adapted to climate change and monitored until 2050. Outside of the Caisse des Dépôts group, major companies are becoming involved, such as AccorHotels, BNP Paribas Real Estate but also SMEs and local authorities.