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CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
CSR Online Awards Europe 100 from Lundquist, 73rd place in 2012 and 35th in 2014
Vivendi SA engages in the provision of media and telecommunications services. The main subsidiaries of Vivendi includes Canal+ Group and Universal Music Group. See the following for detail:
- Canal+ is the leading pay-TV operator in France, and also serves markets in Africa, Poland and Vietnam. Canal+ operations include Studiocanal, a leading European player in production, sales and distribution of film and TV series.
- Universal Music Group is the world leader in recorded music, music publishing and merchandising, with more than 50 labels covering all genres. A separate division, Vivendi Village brings together Vivendi Ticketing (ticketing in the UK, the US and France), MyBestPro (experts counseling), Watchever (subscription video-on-demand), Radionomy (digital radio), the Paris-based concert venue L’Olympia, the Canal Olympia venues in Africa and the Théâtre de l‘Œuvre in Paris. With 3.5 billion videos viewed each month, Dailymotion is one of the biggest video content aggregation and distribution platforms in the world.
Company Sustainable Activity
According to the company
“MANAGING AND REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Employee training and awareness about environmental issues
The key to ensuring an environmental policy’s success is to make it part of the company’s culture. This makes commitment from employees essential. With this in mind, Vivendi’s business units take steps to train and/or raise awareness among their employees, firstly to educate them on environmental issues and secondly to give them a better understanding of the environmental impacts of the business and how they can mitigate these effects.
Lastly, BETC has implemented environmental measures to improve waste sorting through specific guidelines for the different categories available (known as “tutotri”). In addition, on the first Tuesday of each month, it organizes presentations of its CSR approach for new arrivals.
Managing and reducing energy consumption
Over the course of 2018, the group put in place a variety of initiatives to reduce its energy consumption, particularly for its IT facilities, which can represent up to 30% of a building’s energy bill. In late 2018, UMG began rolling out a software designed to optimize its computers’ energy consumption. Covering around 3,500 computers in the Americas – Canada, the United States, Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil – the tool should reduce each device’s energy use by around 74 kg of CO2 , representing potential annual savings of nearly 285 tons of CO2 . In Canal+’s three call centers in Poland, an automatic system running the power supply of IT equipment has been rolled out to efficiently manage when the equipment is turned on and off so as to avoid consumption peaks
Use of renewable energy
Increasing use of renewable energy is vital on a global scale. Supplied by the sun, wind, the earth’s natural heat, waterfalls and tides, these energy sources generate little or no waste products or pollution. Using power produced in this way is a means for companies – and even more so for the group – to make a considerable difference in fighting the greenhouse effect and CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. To this end, several of the group’s sites use renewable energy.
Example : 95% of UMG’s electricity consumption in the United Kingdom (including the famous Abbey Road studios) comes from renewable energy ….
Optimization of raw materials consumption (plastic, paper, and cardboard)
The main types of raw materials used at group subsidiaries are:
- plastics, for UMG products (CDs and DVDs) and Canal+ International products in Africa (set-top boxes sold to customers); and
- paper, for advertising media and administrative operations. Plastic consumption decreased by 18% compared with 2018 due to two factors:
- firstly, the ever-increasing popularity of music streaming, which continued to affect sales and therefore production of physical discs; and
- secondly, Canal+’s new 4K set-top box (G9 model) which was launched in 2018 is smaller and more lightweight, requiring less plastic than the previous version. Since the boxes now take up less space, CO2 emissions from delivering them are also reduced as one truck can hold more of them. In addition, they consume nearly 70% less energy on standby.
As well as measures to reduce paper consumption in their communications, the group’s various subsidiaries promote the use of more environmentally friendly resources (FSC/PEFC paper). Therefore, 97% of paper used externally (i.e., excluding office use) is FSC or PEFC certified. In late 2017, BETC took first place in the PAP50 ranking, which assesses the paper policies of companies to encourage them to take responsibility and commit to sustainable practices. At group level, the consumption of cardboard packaging for products on the market fell by 33%. This decrease is largely connected to lower sales of physical media as well as the environmentally friendly design approach Canal+ applied to its set-top boxes to make them more compact.
In 2018, Vivendi launched a joint initiative alongside EVERYBODY.WORLD to recycle unsold t-shirts and turn them into a raw material that can be used again in future products. More than 43,000 t-shirts, or 21 tons of fabric, were recycled by Bravado and EVERYBODY.WORLD.
Management of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment :
To manage end-of-life waste, the group has applied two complementary approaches for several years now:
- Vivendi promotes the reuse of products and equipment to prolong their lifespan; and
- secondly, they optimize the management of ordinary waste (e.g., paper and cardboard), electrical waste and electronic equipment (WEEE) (e.g., computers and printers) from the subsidiaries by implementing appropriate and traceable processing circuits for each type of waste.
Monitoring of ordinary waste (e.g., paper, cardboard and food waste) has been in place since the 2018 reporting period. The recovery rate of nonhazardous waste came to 45% for the year. This average rate takes into account the wide disparity between the networks available in different countries to process this kind of waste and the fact that many entities that lease their buildings are not able to obtain this information from their lessors (partly because the indicator was only rolled out recently so the system for reporting the information is still relatively immature).
Business travel is a regular occurrence in Vivendi’s various business lines. It is an essential part of building and maintaining sound, productive relationships with customers and business partners. However, mindful of the associated carbon footprint, the group looks for ways to optimize business travel to reduce its environmental impact
As a whole, the subsidiaries encourage low-carbon travel and in particular make use of new communication tools and working methods (e.g., remote or peripatetic working) where possible to replace physical meetings by virtual video conference or conference call meetings to communicate with employees on remote sites.
The environmental challenges of digital content
The direct and indirect environmental impacts of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry is estimated to represent 14% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide in 2040 – the equivalent of current emissions generated by the United States.
For UMG, greenhouse gas emissions generated in 2018 through listening to music (by streaming or on physical media) were estimated at more than 350,000 tons of CO2 eq, representing the equivalent of the average greenhouse gas emissions generated by more than 30,000 people in France over a year.
Contributing to local development
Vivendi contributes to the development of the territories in which it operates, not only through employment, but also by promoting local cultures and by sharing its expertise. Whether by supporting artistic talents and working with local producers, investing in infrastructure or helping improve the skills of creative professionals, the group plays an important part in the development of the local creative ecosystem. Its preference for purchasing from local suppliers, supporting associations and helping projects that promote equal opportunities further compound the group’s contribution to the economic and social development of the areas in which it operates.
Combating climate change
In 2018, the main cause of emissions (excluding use of products) was related to business travel (46%), followed by the purchase of raw materials used to manufacture products sold by the group (plastic, cardboard and paper).
Vivendi fights climate change on two levels:
- Reducing the direct and indirect carbon footprint of Vivendi’s activities
Key figure: in 2019, 17% of the electricity used by the group was generated using renewable energy sources.
Reducing Vivendi’s environmental footprint involves rolling out a low-carbon strategy through group initiatives in the following areas:
- Implementing environmental management systems for sites and certification for buildings
- Raising awareness of environmental issues and impacts among employees
- Managing and reducing energy consumption and using low-carbon energy
- Using resources and the circular economy
- Business travel
- Environmental impact of content
- Environmental challenges of digital content
Among the many initiatives taken in 2019, a few examples are set out below:
- Universal Music Group
In 2019, UMG continued with the rollout of software designed to optimize the energy consumption of its computers. Its deployment across some 6,000 computers in the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions in 2019 is expected to save more than 400 kWh of electricity and avoid more than 240 tons of CO2.
- Canal+ Group
In order to limit the environmental impacts of production and co-production filming, in December 2019, Canal+ joined Ecoprod, a collective bringing together public and private broadcasters, production support structures, government experts and other stakeholders. It was created in 2009 to encourage the audiovisual sector to take its environmental footprint into account and unite it around this cause.
Havas has continued to promote the “Climate Solidarity” initiative launched with its clients at the end of 2018 and run by the agencies Havas Paris, Havas Events and BETC to offset the carbon footprint of all their audiovisual, print, digital and events production. In 2019, more than 100 clients were involved in this initiative, which offset nearly 5,600 metric tons of CO2.
- Vivendi Village
Energy supply is a major challenge in Africa. Supported by Vivendi, the CanalOlympia project consists of a series of fully energy-independent movie theaters and performance venues currently being rolled out across the continent.
2. By raising the awareness of its customers, who are first and foremost citizens.
- Tana, an Editis group publishing house, has instituted a responsible label applying to both its editorial line and the production of its works. The editorial line aims to promote the shift towards a more environmentally respectful world by showcasing five “green”trends including practical ecology (cooking, home, nature, well-being, etc.), survivalism and the climate.
- Canal+ Group has produced and broadcast several programs to raise awareness about environmental protection, including the documentaries Terrains brûlants and Energy Observer, les messagers de la Terre. In fiction, the eco-produced mini-series L’Effondrement was inspired by environmental disasters, giving viewers a front-row seat to a hypothetical emergency through an anthology of episodes, including Station-service, which won a prize at the Deauville Green Awards in the Informative Films category.
Alongside the five major international communication groups, Havas has been committed to the Common Ground initiative since 2017, which aims to help achieve the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals. Each group has undertaken to tackle a specific target, with Havas taking on the issue of climate change.
In 2019, Vivendi signed up to the French Business Climate Pledge, and in 2020 the group will commit to the Science Based Target initiative in order to define its low-carbon trajectory in line with the Paris Agreement. With a view to strengthening disclosures on the climate impact of its activities, Vivendi refers to the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.”
- EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme)
- ISO 50001 certifications
- “Very Good” BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certification rating – the Arcs en Seine production studios for Canal+ Group’s channels
- Dailymotion’s Paris headquarters – dual HQE certification: “HQETM Tertiary sector buildings: Construction and Renovation – design and construction phases” and “HQETM Tertiary sector buildings in operation”
- BETC’s premises in the Magasins Généraux in Pantin have Effinergie and HQE renovation certification, along with the BiodiverCity® label awarded by the International Biodiversity and Property Council (IBPC), the first international label that recognizes biodiversity in new build and renovation property projects.
Sustainable Development Goals
How company covers SDGs
The group intends to promote cultural diversity as a lever for growth and a pillar of social cohesion. It endorses the vision of UNESCO which, in its 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, states that cultural diversity is “a mainspring for the sustainable development of communities, peoples and nations”. Encouraging musical, audiovisual and cinematographic creation in all its diversity, promoting local talent and enhancing cultural heritage, all pillars of UNESCO’s action, are objectives shared by all the group’s businesses.
In 2017, UMG signed a partnership agreement with the Annenberg School of the USC (University of Southern California) to launch the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The aim is to improve selection processes in the production and sound engineering professions so that more women occupy these positions. Women represent less than 2% of producers in the music industry according to the USC Annenberg study “Inclusion in the Recording Studio”. UMG is the first record company to become involved in this initiative.
It is with this same goal in mind that UMG wanted to become one of the co-founders of She Is The Music (SITM), a non-profit organization created to promote equality and inclusion of women in creative professions.
The documentary channel Planète+ regularly honors women, particularly on International Women’s Rights Day. On March 8, 2018, it offered a special program, Planète Femmes, with 14 documentaries on women who have marked their era, and the bonus broadcast of the documentary Femmes du Rwanda. The group’s employees and television viewers also experienced a day “in the mirror” as the film was screened the same day in a preview in the presence of its director Sonia Rolland, with the aim of raising awareness among the teams. In March, during “Women’s Month”, Canal+ International also offered programming honoring women on Canal+ in Africa, with films such as Félicité, Jackie, Miss Sloane, Ghost in the Shell, and documentaries such as Mama Colonelle.
The CNews news channel is working for a better representation of women in several ways: by putting women journalists at the head of emblematic programmes and by encouraging journalists to invite women speakers and experts. In 2018, the number of women on the air increased by 5 per cent and the number of women experts by 15 per cent.
Also in 2018, Havas and Universal Music & Brands produced a video clip of “Les Passantes” by George Brassens, which was directed by the young and talented Charlotte Abramow. Conceived as a poem in images, with modern and effective writing, this video is a true ode to women, their freedom and their diversity.
Havas is working more on Objective 13 (fight against climate change). The Palau Pledge campaign is a perfect example of the creativity used to serve this commitment: Winner of three Grand Prizes at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, including one in the Sustainable Development Goals category created in partnership with the United Nations, the campaign also received the Champion for Humanity distinction awarded at the UN Global Goals Week.
The year 2018 marked the 60th anniversary of Paddington, the famous teddy bear whom Vivendi announced in 2017 as the new messenger of children’s rights alongside Unicef. Paddington joined two initiatives generating more than £120,000 for the organization: a connected race sponsored by Vivendi brought together more than 10,000 participants in France and the United Kingdom, and an online virtual donation campaign in the United Kingdom enabled families to send parcels to children in need. The teddy bear also participated in Unicef’s global campaign #GoBlue on the occasion of the International Day of the Rights of the Child on 20 November.
In addition, pro bono campaigns are a key part of the Havas agencies’ approach, which put their resources and creative energy to work free of charge to support associations and causes of general interest and thus make advertising an accelerator of virtuous behavior. 143 pro-bono campaigns were carried out by the Havas Group in 2018, on behalf of charities and NGOs in particular. Within the Canal+ Group, the channels Planète+, Planète+ Crime and Investigation and Planète+ Aventure and Expérience play a major role in the group’s committed content offering. Canal+’s Documentary Creations also contribute to raising public awareness of the challenges of the contemporary world, however diverse they may be. For example, in January 2018, the channel broadcast Exodus, the Odyssey Continues, the second installment of Exodus, a remarkable documentary that won the International Emmy Award for Best Documentary in 2017. In 2019, CANAL+ will broadcast the original eco-produced creation L’Effondrement.
Vivendi seems to have a great sustainable management of office buildings (EMAS, ISO 50001, BiodiverCity, …). On top of that, they seem to get the complexity of environmental challenges for digital content as it is the biggest part of their activity, hoping to see their actions decided from the research they run about it in the near future. An axe of improvement would be to clarify their communication about their sustainable measures and link them to SDGs. They are rated as a B.