Working towards a more sustainable development implies environmental, economic and social responsibilities for the company in the territories where it operates.
SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT aims to contribute to a responsible economy through local employment and development by leveraging several kinds of drivers. The primary driver involves a responsible purchasing policy, which binds the Group’s sub-contractors and suppliers to its Sustainable Development Policies, contributes to the overall sector’s progress, and encourages the emergence of eco-industries. The second driver involves creating and maintaining jobs, either directly or through collaborating with social economy organizations, and with organizations that employ people with disabilities. The final driver involves the inclusion of young people in the professional world (see commitment No. 7).
Concerned about contributing to the economic momentum and balanced development of territories, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT’s purchasing policy includes collaborating with SMEs and local suppliers.
In this regard, the Group signed the SME Pact in 2013, a system that boosts its collaboration with SMEs. Concerning the French perimeter in 2013, 24% of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT’s purchasing volumes were generated with SMEs, which account for 69.5% of the suppliers registered with the Group. After drawing up a review of existing best practices in this area, the Group will roll out a specific action plan in 2014.
Furthermore, the Group is increasing its partnerships with local inclusion operators in order to create jobs. As an example, SITA France has been awarded the public textile collection and sorting contract for the Orleans Open Area for the next five years in partnership with two local inclusion operators (Orléans Insertion Emploi and Le Tremplin). The textiles will be collected via 51 textile bins fitted with smart sensors in order to monitor their fill-in rates in real-time. SITA France and its local partners have planned to set up an inclusion workshop for sorting the textiles, as well as a socially inclusive retail outlet to resell second-hand clothing. The project will create around 10 jobs among which inclusion contracts.
Lastly, in keeping with one of its commitments, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT conducted in 2013 a study on monetizing the social and economic benefits associated with the activities of Eaux du Nord, a subsidiary of Lyonnaise des Eaux. This study assessed the economic flows generated by the company’s overall activity in the Nord-Pas de Calais region and the economic impact of the implementation of the CSR policy on the territory, notably as regards priority resort to local suppliers. The methodology of this pilot study will be sharpened and rolled out to several other sites in 2014.
SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT was closely involved in drawing up the Water sector contract, which was launched by various industrial operators in the sector and by representatives of the Ministries of Economic Recovery and of the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Energy in October 2013. The aim of the contract is to support and develop employment and expertise in the sector based on five priorities, namely innovation, training, funding, social inclusion, and internationalization. The strategy also includes the increase of business volumes between key accounts and small and medium sized businesses.
As part of an unprecedented public-private partnership, Lyonnaise des Eaux, a SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT subsidiary, the Ile-de-France Region, the Yvelines General Council, and DIRECCTE* are financing an inclusion workshop intended to redevelop green spaces at the Flins-Aubergenville drinking water production facility. The aim is to provide environmental expertise training in urban environments for 12 people and therefore contribute to their integration through employment. The hiring of the employees, their management, and their training has been entrusted to Croix-Rouge Insertion-IDEMU, in partnership with local employment and inclusion organizations. The project aims at redeveloping part of the green spaces at the facility, which provides drinking water to 400,000 Ile-de-France residents, by promoting fauna and flora as well as landscape integrity. Lyonnaise des Eaux wants to improve the facility’s integration into the region by opening it to the general public.