Companies will have a “green rating”

From 2024, the Banque de France rating should include “climate indicators”, which will be added to the current financial and economic criteria (activity, debt), to give an overall assessment of a company’s ability to honor its commitments. The announcement was made this Thursday, November 17 by the governor of the institution, François Villeroy de Galhau, in front of hundreds of business leaders, during Valpré talksan event held every year in Lyon, in partnership with Challenges.

Absolute reference

The Banque de France rating is a common and recognized reference, free for companies, which facilitates dialogue between the lender and the company. It is a must for companies when it comes to borrowing money. At the Banque de France, it is emphasized that it is also an “external and impartial look at the economic and financial situation of its business.” It will therefore soon also be necessary to add the “environmental situation”. For the moment, the institution’s teams only work a priori on data relating to the climate, the “societal” or “inclusiveness” criteria which are part of the ESG being a priori excluded.

Consideration of the extra-financial

Having objective elements concerning the climate commitments labeled by the Banque de France would be a revolution. And could simplify the work of all those who, like the drafting of Challenges, work on the performance of companies by going beyond economic and financial criteria alone. Challenges is also preparing to publish a list of “high-performance bosses” including extra-financial criteria.

Need for objectivity

The entire world of finance also offers green loans or green investments, the classification of which for the moment obeys various and varied labels, fueling the suspicion of “greenwashing” which hovers over this sector. The Banque de France, via the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR); and the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) have for several years equipped themselves with the means to track down misleading information on the subject. With its “green rating”, the Banque de France is taking a further step by becoming proactive on the subject, via a reference system, the first publications of which should concern the 2023 financial year for companies.

50,000 interviews per year

At the start of the year, the Banque de France had already announced that it was going to increase the “granularity” of its rating, from 13 to 22 levels. The worst being P (“failing”) and 8 (“heavily compromised”), the best rating being 1 (“Excellent ++”). For the time being, this rating, which may prove fatal or open the doors to business paradise, is established from the accounts of companies in their sectors and their markets, but also from a dialogue; Banque de France analysts claiming more than “50,000 rating interviews each year”. All companies with annual turnover of more than 750,000 euros are concerned, ie more than 270,000 companies.

Open site

What will be the weighting of the green criteria in establishing the rating? What will these criteria be (change in CO2 emissions, compliance with commitments, etc.)? For the moment the site is open. But the Governor of the Banque de France considers that it is “priority” and “urgent”, while the European Commission should soon establish a repository of common labels.

Crucial issue

The stakes are very high, because companies with a poor Banque de France rating will find it increasingly difficult to find investors and/or lenders who have increasingly made ESG and compliance with labels. greens a selling point. It will be the same for the shareholders of non-compliant companies as for the owners of thermal strainers: the value of their property will be depreciated. The challenge is of such magnitude that it is not certain that the employers’ organizations, which are not stingy with ESG discourse, look favorably on the Banque de France to look into carbon footprints.

Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by

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