Consume Less, Consume Better: Towards COP25

Banner image: Ashes Sitoula
Consume Less, Consume Better: Towards COP25

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In 2019, ENGIE stated its strategic ambition: to become a global leader for the zero-carbon transition.

Wherever we look – in industry, services, government or civil society – the issue of energy is everywhere. Whatever the policy of the national government, there is not a country in the world where my peers do not care about the security of their energy supply, or its sustainability and the reduction of its carbon footprint.

Choose Your Future: Why cities matter when tackling climate change by Leah LazerResearch Analyst and Project Coordinator, Coalition for Urban Transitions

Choose Your Future: Why cities matter when tackling climate change by Leah Lazer, Research Analyst and Project Coordinator, Coalition for Urban Transitions

We anticipated it at ENGIE: a second wave of the energy transition began, no longer driven by nation states but by large companies and local authorities. This is a significant economic opportunity and everyone should seize it fully, especially entrepreneurs from the younger generation. At ENGIE, we are better positioned than ever to do so. Indeed, since 2016, we have undertaken and led an unprecedented transformation: our model was to sell energy and be paid for it; now, we help our customers consume less and consume better and we are paid for it.

Get more facts and compare your country on the OECD Energy Data Portal

When we said that, at the time we were thought naïve – but the results are there. Our bet was that we would be preferred by customers, by talent, by everyone. And within three years we have seen -50% of CO2 emissions, a return to growth – -14% in 2015 compared to +5% in 2018  – and better profitability. Public interest and the economy should not be set against each other. Common good and good business. In today's world, the more we align ourselves with the public interest, the more attractive we are.

Climate change works like a photographic developer for global society: it reveals the world's economic, social and environmental imbalances.

We develop our "as-a-service" model because it is an accelerator of value creation. By managing our clients' energy-consuming assets under long-term contracts, by investing our own money, we unlock the desire to invest and guarantee state of the art technology at any given time. To do this, we follow three principles of action:

  • sufficiency: only using what is necessary for the desired level of comfort
  • efficiency: considerably reducing energy needs using the best heating and cooling systems, optimised with digital technology to control consumption
  • circularity: developing renewable sources, including on our customers' sites, for essential energy needs

This model is highly value-creating:

  • for the customer: because our expertise supports their transition to become more economic with, and conscious of their energy use
  • for us: because by encouraging this transition we increase our revenue
  • for society: because we accelerate the wider transition to zero-carbon world

Finally, for our customers as well as for ourselves, showing our commitment to responsible energy production helps us to attract the best talent and employees.

Our strategy demonstrates a deeper economic shift towards the only rational models for today: those that contribute to sustainable – and healing – growth.

We have reached the end of a cycle, one started by the first industrial revolution that allowed the massive creation of wealth at the same time as the unreasonable exploitation of natural resources, especially fossil fuels. Climate change works like a photographic developer for global society: it reveals the world's economic, social and environmental imbalances. This is the first time that any decision, anywhere in the world, by anyone, has an impact on everyone through CO2. This is absolutely unprecedented. This has led to a change of focus all over the world and an awakening that goes much further than reinventing the energy system and its link with the climate.

2020 Vision: The super year for the planet (and ourselves) by Marco LambertiniDirector General, WWF International

2020 Vision: The super year for the planet (and ourselves) by Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International

The transition to a sustainable model will require solutions that combine answers to end-of-the-world and end-of-the-month anxieties. It will be necessary to develop access to energy in developing countries, reduce poverty in developed countries and decarbonise. The transition can only be made – and will only be accepted in the long term – if it enables cohesion between generations, territorial solidarity, global development and a shared prosperity.

Read the free OECD report Taxing Energy Use 2019: Using Taxes for Climate Action

Taxing Energy Use 2019: Using Taxes for Climate Action

The creative power of the market must now be unleashed to create offers that will consume less energy and natural resources without altering the consumer experience, and perhaps even improving it. Aligned with the interests of people and the planet, companies have the ability to develop solutions suitable for the new world, spread them on the right scale and to mainstream responsible climate actions. 

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