Reconciling Planet, People and Profit for a positive impact

By ENGIE - 22 January 2020 - 15:18

It's referred to as the "triple bottom line". “Planet, People, Profit” is the corporate interpretation of the three mainstays of sustainable development: environmental, social and financial considerations. For ENGIE, its social and ecological performance are just as important as its traditional financial performance.


We've all been carried away by a model that does not take social and environmental performance into account” said CEO Isabelle Kocher in November at the Forum of the Americas.


The Triple Bottom Line (People, Planet, Profit) framework (or the TBL or 3BL) devised by John Elkington in 1994 has never been more relevant. As far as ENGIE is concerned, the common good is compatible with financial performance. And it can even improve it. We firmly believe that the company can reconcile the common good and business achievements, and we have placed this belief at the core of our strategy.


P for Planet


P for Planet means factoring the climate change emergency into everything that the company does. Three years ago, ENGIE made the zero-carbon transition the core of its strategy. Since then, the Group's carbon emissions have fallen by 50%. And the Group helps its clients to have a positive impact, reducing their environmental impact: “We have gone from being fundamentally an energy producer to operating such that our core business now involves helping our customers consume less energy”, said Isabelle Kocher at the UN’s Climate Week in September 2019.


P for People


P for People, means considering employees’ well-being and factoring stakeholders and societal impact into the company's choices. Because thinking about the Planet also means thinking about the people who are extremely keen for companies to take action in relation to climate change. ENGIE therefore helps to reduce energy consumption and guarantee green energy that everyone can afford so as to speed up the zero-carbon transition. For example, ENGIE has connected 4 million people up to electricity grids in Africa. The Group also strives to be inclusive, particularly in relation to young people and women. We want parity in the numbers of women and men in managerial positions by 2030. We want 10% of our European workforce to be made up of work-study trainees, the aim being to keep at least 50% of them at the end of their contracts.


P for Profit


P for Profit, means the financial performance that we are looking for, just like any other company. ENGIE has defined its aim of being the world leader in the zero-carbon energy transition for companies and regional authorities. This strategic decision, made three years ago, has resulted in a return to growth and net profit that is 20% higher than in 2016. More widely, companies which emit less CO2 perform 12% better than median companies from a climate perspective, according to a recent study conducted by the BCG.


Combined, performance in these three areas makes our group more attractive. From a financial perspective, but also in terms of our ability to hire talented people. In 4 years, ENGIE has tripled the number of CVs it receives – the number has grown from 250,000 in 2015 to more than 770,000 today. A sign that we are on the right track with our strategic vision.