French and international public opinion are increasingly focused on the environment.
Water and waste are issues of concern and interest for an increasing number of people. The development of knowledge, the transfer of skills and the implementation of partnerships are becoming major challenges, regardless of whether the general public or local operators are involved.
The Group’s research and innovation policy is based on a strong partnership-based approach with universities, technological partners, regulatory bodies and other economic operators in France and abroad, while all of the actors are connected to the Group’s own network of research centers.
The dissemination of this know-how is also firmly in keeping with an outward oriented approach, which creates synergies, builds expertise, and breaks down the borders between various fields.
SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, ParisTech and the SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT Initiatives Fund launched the “SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT – Water for All” ParisTech Teaching and Research Chair in 2009.
The aim of this Masters program is to increase the skills of executives from water and sanitation companies from Chad to Jamaica, including Egypt and Haiti, in order to facilitate universal and sustainable access to water and sanitation in their country of origin. Since the Chair was created, 82 managers from 32 countries and 4 continents – Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe – have been trained with the help of around 20 coaches and over 20 coordinators and trainers from SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT. Buoyed by this success, the partnership was renewed for six years and will be broadened. Forty-five people will attend this course over the 2013-2014 academic year. This means that the Group is well on the way to achieving its target of training over 100 water and sanitation service professionals and managers in developing countries between 2012 and 2016.
Where open innovation is concerned, the Group is involved in many value creating collaborative networks. In France, it participates in about 10 competitiveness clusters focusing on recycling, water, circular economy, and environment. The Group’s experts share their experience with students and researchers at universities throughout the world, through teaching programs and research contributions. Concerning the specific topic of water quality, a network of international experts, the Water Environment and Health Advisory Council, maintains the Group’s head start on this still sensitive issue, but also organizes risks into a hierarchy and thus directs research priorities. Furthermore, Blue Orange, an investment fund dedicated to new waste and water technologies, which was launched by SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT in 2010, is endowed with €50 million and enables the Group to invest in start-up companies; around 300 opportunities are reviewed every year.
Lastly, the Group encourages its employees to volunteer their skills to raise consumer awareness as part of environmental education programs or to train operators in emerging countries.
SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, the SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT Initiatives Fund, and Unesco–IHE (Institute for Water Education) are continuing the cooperation they began in 2003 in the water and sanitation education and research sector. In the context of the Water Summit, which was held in Budapest in October 2013, the SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT Initiatives Fund offered 20 online training scholarchips to students from developing countries. The training covers various subjects, including public-private partnerships, managing policies in developing countries, urban drainage and sanitation, and managing solid waste. The partnership with Unesco-IHE also provides field trips for the organization as part of educational programs, and an opportunity to carry out joint research and innovative projects.
The transfer of expertise between SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT and SEAAL is an important dimension of the Group’s management contract, whose purpose is to support the modernization of water and sanitation services in Algiers. It aims at increasing SEAAL teams’ skills for them to be selfsufficient. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has therefore summarized its technical and managerial expertise in two structured methodologies, WIKTI and OPTI.
WIKTI (Water International Knowledge Transfer Initiative) was rolled out during the first contract, which ran from 2006 to 2011, in order to boost professional know-how. The methodology organizes the transfer of expertise in 38 related business lines and includes an assessment of the progress achieved, based on targets set in advance.
The second program, entitled Optimizing Personal Talent (OPT), which is being rolled out between 2012 and 2016, has been developed in order to boost executives’ managerial skills. Shared Management Guidelines have been drawn up on the basis of their individual potential, as identified by work psychology experts. This initiative is ambitious both in its scope – 250 managers are involved – and regarding its proactive support tools, which include progress contracts, mentoring, e-learning, a pairing initiative with SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT experts, people reviews, etc.
The aim of Lydec’s Training and Development Centre (CFP) is to share the company’s know-how internally as well as with other Moroccan supply authorities. The CFP is a partnership platform that is involved in developing skills in the water and sanitation fields on a national scale. Several authorities contribute to its training program, including those of Agadir, Meknès, Fès, El Jadida and Sidi Bennour, and Taza. In 2013, the CFP provided 2,364 hours of training to 141 people on 41 technical and management issues on behalf of four authorities. At the international level, the CFP began in 2013 a global training assignment for trainers from the JCBU, the operator of the National Water Company for the City of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). The aim is to instruct eight JCBU trainers on health and safety at work issues, as well as on techniques for facilitating training modules. The trainers will then be required to convey this information to JCBU employees.
This experimental project provided an opportunity for Lydec and JCBU to develop a long-term partnership, based on cooperation and exchange of experiences in the knowhow transfer and skills development fields.