As part of its commitment to combat energy and water scarcity in which 40 million of its customers live worldwide, GDF SUEZ launched an in-house International Observatory in 2009 to elicit discussion and encourage the exchange of good practices in its various entities. In France, where GDF SUEZ is the leading provider of natural gas, the company’s Isigaz initiative launched in 2005 is exemplary of what can be done to serve the neediest customers.
GDF SUEZ conducts gas-safety campaigns for families living in poor neighborhoods
6. Clients and consumers
Client and consumer health and safety
- Raise the awareness of families in poor neighborhoods about the safety of their indoor energy installations (natural gas).
Back in 1997, quality diagnostics were offered to all customers of Gaz de France to verify the safety of their installations (4.5 million customers were visited). But further safety initiatives were needed for customers living in Sensitive Urban Areas.
The Isigaz initiative (Indoor Gas Installation Safety) was launched in 2005, targeting such neighborhoods, starting in the cities of Lille, Lyon and Marseille. Renters received information and recommendations on how to be safe when using natural gas and how to save energy. In follow-up to this information campaign, more than 200,000 households received a visit from an Isigaz representative, and 35,000 hoses were replaced with unlimited-life Mechanical Nozzle Flexible Hoses, thereby eliminating that many potentially dangerous situations; this replacement campaign was undertaken at no cost via 70 agreements that made it possible to cover over 100 municipalities.
GDF SUEZ has partnered with 45 canvassing associations and structures that carry out Isigaz field operations. The agreements signed extend to local communities and, upon request, to low-income-housing landlords. Going door to door helps keep tabs on people who are isolated or at risk and provide them with social contact. This initiative received a favorable response from local residents, as well as from program sponsors and the local and regional authorities involved.
Through door-to-door operations rapport is established with all kinds of renters. This involves leveraging the experience of partner associations, offering GDF SUEZ training to more than 300 young canvassers from these neighborhoodstraining young canvassers from these neighborhoods, and providing appropriate materials (pictures, drawings). While the primary aim of this operation is safety, it also prevents or identifies unsecure situations of all sorts, be they medical, psychological, economic or social in nature.
A Best Practice showcased by the World Forum Lille 2010 and updated in 2012
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- 3 million invested in the Isigaz program between 2008 and 2010
- Restored image of natural gas and its use
- Motivation of employees in this sector
- Renters more responsible
- Social cohesion strengthened by local canvassers
- 100 cities and nearly 115 at-risk neighborhoods visited
- 300 canvassers trained, of whom 70% were recruited from at-risk neighborhoods
- Strong show of interest by occupants for the information provided (approx.80% rate of canvassers being invited to enter the unit since 2005)
- Cultural barriers often overcome through the mediation approach