Bruno VAQUETTE, Country President of Sodexo China, was interviewed by, introduced Sodexo's sustainable development objective, and how Sodexo supports local enterprises on energy saving and emission reduction.

The World Environment Day is an annual event on June 5 each year. The Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China has revealed that the theme of World Environment Day 2017 is “Lucid Waters and Lush Mountains Are Invaluable Assets”, aiming to guide people of all circles to firmly foster the strong awareness of “Lucid Waters and Lush Mountains Are Invaluable Assets”, respect, comply with and protect the nature, and consciously lead a green life, so as to jointly build China as a land of natural beauty. The reporter of learned that, 2017 is the 22nd year for Sodexo to step into China’s market. In the future, Sodexo will help clients and itself to achieve higher targets of energy saving and emission reduction in four key areas, namely, sustainable supplies, energy and emission, water and effluents, and materials and waters, which aims at reducing carbon emission  34% by 2020 with reaching sustainable purchasing in all countries it operates.
Establishing sustainable development mechanism from source
When the blueprint of global sustainable development is projected onto implementation level, it is composed of various parts, including enterprises, groups and individuals. As the main driving force for social development, the enterprises’ sustainable development plays a vital role in protecting the lucid waters and lush mountains of the whole society. “When all kinds of organizations can establish a sustainable development mechanism from source, and integrate the environmental protection strategy into the strategic development of organizations for consideration, an environmental protection mechanism with more effects and far-reaching influence will be formed.” Bruno VAQUETTE, Country President of Sodexo China, has deep feelings towards it. Since its entry into China in 1995, Sodexo has witnessed significant changes in the process of offering comprehensive facility management services (catering service, engineering management, building service, equipment maintenance, and landscaping): from lacking environmental protection awareness, to strengthening improvement, and to requiring all domestic enterprises to integrate the “energy saving and emission reduction” into the whole building and organization from the beginning of development at present. The reference significance of these experiences for corporate development today speaks for itself.

Bruno VAQUETTE, Country President of Sodexo China.

Bruno maintains that in the mid-1990s when Sodexo started entering Chinese market, although its background as one of Fortune 500 has brought large quantities of global resources, various cases, rich experience, and leading experts, enterprise that appreciates the energy efficiency of environmental protection is rare to be seen. “During the process of designing overall service for clients, we are more concerned with meeting some rigid regulations in environmental protection.” He says that for years, Sodexo has undergone dual transformation in action and thinking with its clients. For instance, they went from requiring the installation of air cleaner, to considering the setting up of primary air system in the beginning of corporate decoration. “Now, more clients voluntarily ask for green efficiency. In the process of building it, basically all clients discover and develop more advantages, and then devote themselves again to more sophisticated and comprehensive corporate environmental protection strategies and measures.”
How green efficiency builds “invaluable assets”
The theme of World Environment Day 2017 “Lucid Waters and Lush Mountains Are Invaluable Assets” is an embodiment of this point from a more direct angle. The official from the Ministry of Environment Protection indicates when illustrating the theme of this year that, “Lucid Waters and Lush Mountains Are Invaluable Assets” is designed to advocate the lifestyle and consumption mode of frugality, green low-carbon, civilization and health. It aims at firmly establishing the concept that “protecting ecological environment equals protecting productivity, and improving ecological environment equals developing productivity”, more consciously promoting green, circular and low-carbon development, and constantly enhancing people’s sense of gaining in ecological environment.

“Protecting environment equals protecting productivity, and improving environment equals developing productivity”, this point is fully reflected in promoting the green efficiency of enterprises: green efficiency practically saves operation costs for enterprises.
Having stationed at a global pharmaceutical company at Zhangjiang Park in 2013, Sodexo provided the company’s over 1,000 employees with quality of life services including engineering management, cleaning, and business support. During the period, Sodexo team and client jointly launched “Energy Saving Project” which reduced 12% of energy consumption in 3 years; from 2013 to 2015, Sodexo helped its client to reduce energy consumption (water, electricity, and natural gas) costs of 1.15 million yuan.

At the R&D Center of another large pharmaceutical company that it served, Sodexo team managed to control logic through adjusting battery control system, and coordinated with the routine maintenance from cleaning, security, administrative support and other soft service teams to save more than 350,000 kilowatt-hour for this center in one year; by transforming humidification system, it changed directly-discharged water into circulating water, and controlled logic optimization, saving nearly 40% of water in one year.

“Looking forward, we will endeavor to cut carbon emissions, water resource consumption, and waste emissions in all operation units. Our goal is to reduce 34% of emissions in general before 2020, and realize sustainable purchasing in all countries.” Bruno says that Sodexo will help clients and itself to achieve higher targets of energy saving and emission reduction in four key areas, namely, sustainable supplies, energy and emission, water and effluents, and materials and waters.
“Invaluable assets” benefit enterprises in multiple dimensions
Apart from directly saving costs for enterprises and improving operation efficiency, green efficiency also creates intangible wealth for enterprises from other “soft” dimension: more and better talents. “As we commit ourselves to improving quality of life, we must consider green efficiency when serving clients.” Bruno believes that green working environment will benefit society, enterprises and talents, forming 3-win situation.
Previously, a survey on the employees of millennial generation found out that if enterprises can undertake more social responsibilities, employees are willing to seek positions at these enterprises even with pay cuts; the 2017 Global Workplace Trends issued by Sodexo at the beginning of the year also showed that now, employees prefer to become a part of corporate social responsibility solution. They increasingly demand the enterprises to make contributions to the sustainable development of society. This means that the enterprises founded on the sustainable concept will be in a better position to attract and retain best talents in the future, especially younger ones.

Meanwhile, the working environment built on green efficiency is one of the major strategies of talent recruitment. Committed to improving the quality of life of consumers, clients, and employees, Sodexo’s primary target of building “green” offices for enterprises is to elevate the comfort level of working environment while saving energy and reducing emissions to a maximum extent; comfort of working environment will make employees more dynamic, efficient, and happier, which serves to improve the overall efficiency of enterprises.
Proceeding from energy saving and emission reduction, we achieve more results than just environmental protection and energy consumption reduction. Through building corporate green efficiency and establishing green working environment, we hope to form a pattern that has positive impact on environment and facilitates the sustainable development of enterprises for a long time. This pattern expands our scope of “invaluable assets” further. It is not as simple as “saving money”. While saving costs and creating wealth, it tirelessly serves for lucid waters and lush mountains in China, countries along “the Belt and Road” and even the entire world. In effect, these lucid waters and lush mountains are the “invaluable assets” of the whole humankind.

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