Sustainable finance

Because rail is the most eco-friendly form of transport, it has a vital role to play in the ecological transition—and at SNCF, we’re committed to doing everything we can to make it a success. In 2016 we launched a major green bond programme, and today we’re a leading issuer of these innovative financial instruments in France and Europe.

Download our Green Bonds report (pdf, English, 17 MB)

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Our sustainable finance strategy

Reducing the carbon footprint of the world’s economies is a growing concern for investors, and there’s an urgent need to direct financing to the most eco-friendly industries.

As the leading green bond issuer in the transport and logistics sector, SNCF Group is a major player in the sustainable finance market, backed by high-quality green assets and a strong spirit of innovation.

With eligible assets on the order of €2.5 billion annually, we’re launching a 100% green finance strategy. By 2025, we plan to convert all financing products and investments—for SNCF Group and its subsidiaries—to responsible investing criteria.

Our Green Bond Program

In 2016, SNCF Group embarked on a green bond programme to develop and upgrade French rail infrastructure.

In early 2021, we expanded it to rolling stock, making it the world’s first green bond programme to offer an investment product that covers both infrastructure and operations.

Our green bond issues

Between 2016 and 2021, SNCF Group carried out 22 green bond operations, raising a total of €7.6 billion. This positions us as the third-largest issuer in France and the six-largest worldwide, excluding sovereign debt and financial institutions.

SNCF SA green bond issues

Issuer Amount (in millions) Currency Coupon Issue date Maturity
SNCF SA 100 USD 100 May 2021 May 2031
SNCF SA 500 SEK 500 Apr 2021 Nov 2029
SNCF SA 70 AUD 70 Apr 2021 Apr 2036
SNCF SA 120 AUD 120 Mar 2021 Mar 2036
SNCF SA 100 EUR 100 Jan 2021 Apr 2030
SNCF SA 50 USD 50 Dec 2020 Dec 2050
SNCF SA 200 EUR 200 Dec 2020 Apr 2030
SNCF SA 1250 EUR 1250 Apr 2020 Apr 2030
SNCF SA 50 EUR 50 Mar 2020 Mar 2020


Powerful impact

Since 2016, the investments funded by our green bonds have prevented 33.5 million tonnes of CO2e from being released into the air, or about 4.4 million tonnes per billion euros invested.

That’s equal to the carbon footprint of around 70,000 people in France over 40 years.

Making a difference

  2016-2018 2019 2020 2021 Total
Allocations 2 620 3 181 1 542 361 7 343
Million tonnes of CO2e avoided 8.8 17.1 7.6 1.9 33.5
Time to carbon neutrality (years) NA 2.7 3.4 NA NA


Expanding our reach

In line with our commitment to gradually convert all of our financing to green criteria, SNCF Group is working to develop new indicators and strategies that will expand our base of eligible assets. These will be covered by a new methodology or an addition to existing methodologies.

We’ll keep investors informed with regular progress reports.

2021 Green Bond Framework (SNCF)

Financing Programmes

Published on 28 January 2021 at 16:17

3rd-largest issuer of green bonds in France and 6th-largest worldwide

Our new ESG-linked revolving credit facility

In late 2019, SNCF Group signed a new €3.5 billion revolving credit facility (RCF), available for use at any time from January 2020. The RCF was intended to guarantee the short-term liquidity of the newly formed Group and form a basis for future financings.

In keeping with our green financing policy, we structured this RCF so that its cost changes in response to our progress towards sustainability targets (ESG indicators):

  • shrinking our carbon footprint by cutting greenhouse gas emissions
  • giving renewable energies a larger share in the traction power we consume
  • making our procurement more responsible by making better use of ESG criteria in scoring tenders

Twenty French and other banks helped set up the credit facility.

Our green commercial paper programme

In late 2021, we launched a new programme of green commercial paper—the first to meet Green Bond Principles.

Totalling €50bn, these 3-month debt instruments are designed to finance sustainable investments made by SNCF Group under its Green Bond Framework. To develop the product, we worked with Mirova, a Natixis Investment Managers subsidiary dedicated to sustainable investment and a green bond pioneer. Mirova has also subscribed to this ground-breaking global issue.

We plan to use the funds from this new debt instrument to finance sustainable investments and operations contributing to our energy transition, including recycling, decontamination and power purchase agreements for renewable energies.

Non-financial ratings and CSR strategy

In addition to championing low-carbon mobilities, SNCF is actively committed to social responsibility, working to benefit users, local communities and our employees. Our achievements in this area have earned us the highest non-financial ratings in the market.

  Non-financial rating agency 2018 score 2019 score 2020 score 2021 score 2021 score
Groupe SNCF MOODY'S ESG (former VIGEO EIRIS) 66/100 72/100 74/100 75/100 77/100
Groupe SNCF ECOVADIS 75/100 79/100 77/100 77/100 79/100

SNCF Group’s green bond programme is part of our broader commitment to take an active role in the transport industry’s ecological transition. We’re working toward this goal in many ways.

Finding new sources of clean energy

Making our assets more eco-friendly

  • make continuous improvements to the environmental quality of our rolling stock
  • earn HEQ (High Environmental Quality) certification for new stations 
  • capture braking energy from our trains and use it to power stations and neighbourhoods

Promoting all forms of shared mobility

  • at SNCF Voyageurs SA, practice continuous improvement, increase occupancy rates and boost energy efficiency
  • at Keolis, expand any of a wide range of green transport solutions, including natural gas-powered buses in Tours (France), electric vehicles in Orléans (also in France) and 100% electric school buses in Canada