GDF SUEZ is launching the first intranet site devoted to socially responsible microcredit, a platform developed in cooperation with MicroWorld with which the Group is associated as a founding partner. The new site, GDF SUEZ MicroWorld, brought online in conjunction with Microcredit Week, offers the Group’s 218,000 employees1 for the first time the opportunity through solidarity microcredit to help create and develop viable, long-term micro-businesses throughout the world.
By providing its employees an opportunity to become active in the fight against poverty, GDF SUEZ seeks to encourage the numerous initiatives of local entrepreneurs. Through this new site, Group employees are able to select the projects of entrepreneurs they wish to support, based on their personal preferences. Their aid takes the form of 0% loans in minimum amounts of 20 euros, repayable in 6 to 18 months, which they may then choose to reinvest at maturity. The loans are guaranteed by local Microfinance institutions that have identified the micro-entrepreneurs.
Through this new intranet site, employees are kept informed of the latest news about microfinance and how it operates. The platform is organized as a social network and thus offers users the possibility of creating groups and communicating as a community.
"Since 2006, our partnership with GDF SUEZ, shows a great complementarity between our values and our methods. MicroWorld will also associate all employees of GDF SUEZ with this ethical partnership", declared Jacques Attali, President of PlaNet Finance.
For Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ, this project fits naturally with the Group’s corporate social responsibility policy: “I believe it is essential to establish co-development processes and develop entrepreneurial initiative. A Group such as ours should support the universal values of solidarity and mutual assistance. This is a natural commitment that is intimately tied to our activities.”
GDF SUEZ, a world leader in energy and environment, plays an active role in the development of areas where it is located. For many years the Group has encouraged and supported community-based initiatives and individuals motivated to serve the public interest, in particular social initiatives in favor of underprivileged populations. These initiatives are part of a long-term corporate giving policy whose objective is to support partners over an extended period.
Since 2006, GDF SUEZ has participated with PlaNet Finance reducing poverty. The objectives here are to favor the development of more environment-friendly micro-businesses, to raise environmental awareness and involvement of microfinance institutions, and to propose suitable financial models.
GDF SUEZ is also a partner of 3 PlaNet Finance programs:
• the “Microfinance & Energy” program in Morocco and Egypt;
• the “Entreprendre en Banlieue” program;
• the “FinanCités” program.
Under the auspices of PlaNet Finance, MicroWorld develops turnkey platforms for partner businesses enabling them to offer their employees mechanisms for microcredit initiatives. Since its creation, MicroWorld has brought together a community of lenders committed to turning back poverty and promoting local economic development. With these partnerships, MicroWorld mobilizes a proven formula for new audiences.
PlaNet Finance Group is a leading international aid organization with the mission to alleviate poverty through the development of microfinance, therefore increasing the unbanked and underbanked’s access to financial services. Created in 1998, PlaNet Finance Group provides a diverse set of services thanks to its entities and dedicated staff. Based in Paris, PlaNet Finance Group's international network holds activities in close to 80 countries around the world.
• Visit PlaNet Finance website
1 The platform is initially presented in French, during the year it will also be developed in English
About GDF SUEZ
GDF SUEZ (gdfsuez.com) develops its businesses around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency services, independent power production and environmental services. GDF SUEZ employs 218,350 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €84.5 billion in 2010. The Group is listed on the Brussels, Luxembourg and Paris stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Stoxx 50, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, ASPI Eurozone and ECPI Ethical Index EMU.
Investor relations contact:
T: +33 (0)1 44 22 66 29 / E: E: ir[.]gdfsuez.com.