Methodology factors relating to the 2013 Social Report

1 — Scope

The employment analyses carried out in this report correspond solely to fully consolidated (FC) entities, companies that SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT COMPANY controls in terms of share capital and management. When a company is fully consolidated in the financial statements of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT COMPANY, 100% of its social data are included, regardless of the percentage of share capital held. Except as noted below, the reporting scope in 2013 (reporting of the indicator as a percentage of the Group’s workforce) is 100% for all indicators.

2 — Tools and methods

Social reporting is based on:

  • a network of 220 individuals around the world who collect and monitor their own entities’ indicators at each quarterly HR reporting campaign. This provides feedback through approximately 260 (full consolidation) reporting packages every quarter, corresponding to data from over 400 companies. This network is managed through quarterly meetings (physical meetings for correspondents at French entities and web conferences for international correspondents). These meetings provide an opportunity for top-down communication, for clarifying the definition of some indicators, sharing best practices and reviewing major points of concern. A collaborative space is also available to all correspondents;
  • the “User Guide” which consolidates all definitions and procedures comprising the Group’s common reference system, i.e. some 50 primary indicators with various collection criteria (age, gender, etc.) producing approximately 250 social criteria. This guide is available in French and English and is distributed to all contributors;
  • Magnitude, a financial consolidation software application based on a dedicated social indicators package, enables the collection, processing, and reporting of data entered by the local legal entities, subsidiaries of the Group. Each of these entities, including the Human Resources phase, is allocated the appropriate financial consolidation method: full consolidation (FC), proportional consolidation (PC), or the equity method (EM). An online self-training tool for Magnitude is available to contributors.

3 — Consolidation and internal control

Once collected, the data are consolidated by the subsidiaries and the Group Human Resources Department (HRD), in accordance with clearly defined procedures and criteria. These data are controlled internally during the following stages:

  • automated controls: the Magnitude packages incorporate a certain number of automated controls that allow contributors to ensure the reliability of the information entered at the most detailed level. Contributors also have access to the comments sections where they can explain significant changes or circumstances specific to their entity;
  • subsidiary-level controls: the main subsidiaries also check the consistency of the data from their entities;
  • controls at Group HRD level: Group HRD applies consistency controls to the data of all the entities. These controls consist specifically of analyzing changes in indicators from one period to another. In the event of a significant change, the contributor in question is asked to provide a more in-depth analysis, which may result in a correction.

4 — Methodology definitions and limits

We would like to highlight the following points in relation to the data published in this report:

  • unlike social reporting, Health and Safety reports take into account operational control criteria. This leads to a slight difference in the scope of the workforce covered by the two reporting systems, calculated at -5%. This is because the Health and Safety results of entities joining the Group are not included in the reporting group for three years;
  • the breakdown of workforce by geographical area is in line with the reporting segments used in the IFRS financial statements. Accordingly, some Agbar companies located outside Europe are assigned to Spain. This concerns 2,272 employees;
  • the notion of executives (“cadres”) is sometimes difficult to understand in countries other than France, where the Group operates. This may lead to a slight underestimation of the number of executives;
  • due to the reporting deadlines, the data related to training and hours worked are not always finalized and therefore relate only to the most recent situation;
  • as regards training, while retrieving the number of training hours via e-learning is relatively easy in the entities, it is not always as easy to reconcile the number of trainees who received in-person training with the number of trainees who received e-learning training. The risk lies in overestimating the total number of trainees due to double-counting of employees who have received training both in-person and via e-learning. Therefore, only two entities (Agbar and United Water) count “e-learning” trainees in their trained workforce, because their internal tracking systems enable them to avoid the risk of double-counting;
  • note that the figures on occupational illness are now reported on a global basis. Nevertheless, the Group continues to improve the organization and the quality of its reporting on this subject. In fact, the concept of employer recognition of occupational illness, which applies in France, is not found in most countries worldwide. As a result, there may be discrepancies in the way data on occupational illnesses are calculated owing to differences in local practices and regulations.
GRI Indicators
2.5 — 2.9 — 3.6 — 3.7 — 3.9 — 3.10