Behaving as a Socially Responsible Company
Acting as a socially responsible company, in the energy and environment fields, means above all promoting access for all to power and water. Wherever the Group has residential customers, it pays particular attention to the poorest among them and implements partnerships of trust with NGOs and associations.
Helping low-income customers
In terms of access to power and water for the poorest, GDF SUEZ has developed economically viable solutions that have been tested in many countries with the support of leaseholders, social entrepreneurs and businesses.
Its community support policy is based on three principles:
- compliance with legal requirements governing assistance to low-income customers;
- implementation of additional measures;
- compliance with the Group’s ethics principles.
The Group is developing a number of initiatives, many af which are socially innovative. This approach involves significant resources to further socially responsible aims, both centrally and within the Group’s operational entities.
- GDF SUEZ participates in the amount of €5.8 million a year in implementing the Housing Solidarity Fund (FSL), which reduces bills. This commitment was reaffirmed as a part of the 2010-2013 Public Service Contract signed at the end of 2009.
- To reinforce its involvement in community support and to build closer relationships with local authorities, in July 2009 GDF SUEZ entered into partnership with the French National Union of Community Action Centers (UNCCAS) to benefit 300,000 customers in difficulty through a Special Solidarity Tariff (TSS), which for the Group represents approximately €22 million paid out to subsidize the poorest households.
- In 2011, the France Energy business line continued its community partnership by developing its network of Solidarity Mediation Partners (PMS). The number of customer contacts showed very strong growth in 2011: over 30,000 customers met with one of the Group’s partners.
- GDF SUEZ has also set up a program aimed at educating families in low-income neighborhoods about gas safety in the home (ISIGAZ). Through this program, 160,000 households in deprived urban areas received visits from mediators of partner associations to educate them in gas safety in the home and dispense advice about saving energy.
- In Morocco, Lydec, a subsidiary of SUEZ Environnement, has been a delegated manager since 1997 of public water, sewage and electricity services in the Greater Casablanca region, which has a population of 5 million, 20% of whom live in unhealthy conditions. Lydec provides access to power, water and sanitation for the disadvantaged of Casablanca. These actions are part of a national Moroccan program called the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH). This programs aims to eradicate unhealthy conditions and social exclusion. At the end of 2010, Lydec’s INDH-INMAW operations had achieved results or were in the process of achieving results for 32,000 households.
- In Vanuatu, UNELCO, a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ, in 2007 put forward a plan to provide access to electricity to 80% of the populations of the Vanuatu Islands which extend across 900 kilometers in the Pacific. This involved more than 3,000 sites and 116,000 people. This program included conducting a prior analysis of needs, selecting the appropriate technology, a special study to ensure the business model would be viable, and a project presentation to public funding agencies.
Internal monitoring of water and energy insecurity
In December 2009 the Group set up an internal monitor of water and energy insecurity. The purpose of this structure is to study, measure, and understand the mechanisms of energy and water insecurity with the aim of taking action in all the countries where GDF SUEZ is present.
In December 2011, this monitoring entity, known as the Observatoire, organized its second conference in Paris, with almost 150 participants acting on an international scale. The Group aims to highlight local initiatives and promote best practices among the various players involved.