More than 1.6 billion people across the world do not have access to energy; nearly 900 million people do not have access to clean water. Today, 40 million of Group GDF SUEZ’s domestic customers world-wide are facing energy and water insecurity. Solving these challenges requires the encouragement and integration of low income clients into core business activities.
GDF SUEZ wishes to encourage socially responsible corporate activities in all the countries where it operates. This commitment takes different forms and is adapted to local socio-economic contexts, in order to be as concrete and effective as possible.
The Group has launched an internal Observatory for energy and water insecurity, which offers decision-makers in its entities a simple and flexible tool for understanding the phenomenon of insecurity in the territories where they operate or plan to operate. They will thus be better equipped to offer services to customers in insecure circumstances.
This tool includes: How to monitor documents on insecurity, a listing of GDF SUEZ’s B to C subsidiaries worldwide, and studies conducted in specific countries. Every year the observatory intends to organise a colloquium to allow a qualitative exchange of information between companies and stakeholders.
The observatory on water and energy insecurity will be based on an internal steering committee and a dedicated website. This steering committee will be composed of several representatives of the various business units of the Group as well as the functional departments at headquarter level.
The observatory will present a wide range of data and information including:
• Best practices of GDF SUEZ linked to water and energy access
• Initiatives of main stakeholders related to water and energy insecurity including academics
• Energy and water scarcity observatory will face the challenge of encouraging various internal actors to participate in the initiative in order to adapt the services to low income clients with a proactive and participative approach.
• External stakeholders will also be encouraged to participate in the initiative, in order to share best practices and improve the integration of access to basic service needs at a worldwide level, thus contributing to reducing poverty and increasing inclusiveness for business at a local level.
It is too early to evaluate the impacts of the tool developed to support decision-makers in offering a variety of services to customers that face energy and water insecurity.
The achievements to date are:
• Constitution of the steering committee
• Organization of two preparatory meetings
• Preparation of the website
• Preparation of country profile analysis regarding water and energy insecurity
Organization of the launch event for the observatory (23 November 2010).