What inspires you?
Leaders in business, politics, NGOs and more who strive to transform the world and focus on repairing the rifts in our world.
Which B Team cause are you motivated by most, and how is your company helping to lead on this issue?
The Climate cause. Three years ago, ENGIE decided to become a leader of the energy transition. We divested from coal and exploration and production and invested in renewables and energy efficiency.
What convinced you to take on this challenge? Why do you believe that it cannot be achieved without business engagement and leadership?
We need to create sustainable business models to effectively drive change. Governments can give orientation and support, but it is business which will create and develop sustainable innovations at scale.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned on this journey?
When we decided this strategic shift, we were told that it would have damaging impacts on our business. In fact, it is the opposite. Three years ago, our activities and results were shrinking, because we were positioned on activities that were bound to decline. Today, our organic growth is strong.
What is the first thing you read every morning?
The press review. It is essential for business leaders to keep in touch with what is happening around them and remain aware of their environment.
What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur seeking to start a new company today?
I would tell them to dare and be bold. Concentrate your efforts and attention on activities and innovations that will have a positive, long-lasting impact on people.
If there is one big change you could make in the world today, what would it be?
Universal access to modern, sustainable energy. Over 1 billion people on our planet do not have access to power. 2.3 billion people have no access to clean cooking. Modern energy is not just any commodity. It is the stepping stone to human and economic progress.
If you were given an extra day next week, how would you spend it?
I would go swimming and then spend the rest of the day with my family.
What one thing would you change to help more companies go further, faster toward sustainable business?
We need to create attractive business models to drive investments in energy efficiency. This means inventing models to mitigate high upfront costs, which are the main obstacle for these investments.
This interview is part of a series to help you get to know The B Team Leaders, what they are working on and what they are passionate about. You can read Richard Branson’s interview here, Yolanda Kakabadse’s interview here, Sharan Burrow’s interview here, Bob Collymore’s interview here, David Crane’s here, Christiana Figueres’ here, Arianna Huffington’s here, Guilherme Leal’s here, Mats Granryd’s here, Oliver Bäte's here, Mo Ibrahim's here and Joshua Oigara's here.