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Creation of the first Semi-Public Company with a Single Operation (SemOp) drinking water benefit corporation

France: The Syndicat du Bas Languedoc has entrusted the public service delegation of drinking water for the 27 municipalities that make up the semi-public company with a single operation (SemOp) “Eau du Bas Languedoc”, 40% owned by the local community and 60% by SUEZ. This new contract, generating cumulative revenue of €130 million, started on January 1, 2022, for a period of 13 years.

In order to measure its impact on the planet and society, the SemOp “Eau du Bas Languedoc” becomes the first benefit corporation, under France’s 2019 Pact Law, in the field of drinking water. Its purpose is to: “Ensure access for all to a public drinking water supply service, managed in a sustainable manner.” The SemOp is committed in favor of sustainable development: preserving resources by improving the performance of the service and encouraging consumption control, reducing CO2 emissions, improving energy efficiency, and protecting biodiversity.

To achieve these objectives, the SemOp will invest €26 million, over the duration of the contract, in the renewal and modernization of the Syndicat du Bas Languedoc facilities.

Solidarity Pricing
Among the new features of the contract, households will benefit from a 10% reduction in their drinking water bill. This is made possible by a reduction in the drinking water fee and the rate for the first cubic meters consumed (from 0 to 120 m3). This pricing encourages users – whether residents or tourists – to participate in resource preservation by opting for reasonable water consumption.

In addition, a solidarity fund, to which the SemOp and the Syndicat du Bas Languedoc contribute up to €10,000 per year, will be set up to help the most disadvantaged people.

Resource Preservation
To cope with climate change and population variations, the “Eau du Bas Languedoc” company plans to implement an ambitious action plan to reduce water losses: increased leak detection, network monitoring with acoustic sensors, renewal of connections, remote reading of consumption and expert tools for real-time monitoring of installations are factors that will improve the network’s performance and thus ensure availability of water resources and its preservation.

Modernized Customer Relations Adapted to All
SemOp will provide its subscribers with traditional physical customer reception desks as well as the most modern videoconferencing tools, adapted to all audiences (foreign languages, people with disabilities).

Thanks to the high performance of remote meter reading, an application will allow users who so wish to have access to personalized advice to reduce their consumption and their water and electricity bills.

The Illiwap application and the animation of social networks will ensure dynamic communication, to address more connected audiences.

Maximilien Pellegrini, SUEZ Executive Vice President in charge of France: “Among the various innovations that SUEZ develops for its clients, contractual innovation is a particularly important one. I am proud to deploy today, with the Syndicat du Bas Languedoc, the first SemOp with a mission in France in the field of drinking water. This new contract demonstrates the authority’s confidence in SUEZ’s teams, and our Group’s ability to design solutions that meet the needs of the territories.”

 

Yves Michel, President of the Syndicat du Bas Languedoc: “We are pleased to renew our partnership with SUEZ in a shared governance arrangement within a SemOp. The Group’s technological expertise and the pursuit of the general interest in a company with a mission enable the Syndicat du Bas Languedoc to meet its social and environmental objectives.”

Eau Du Bas Languedoc” SemOp – Key Figures:

  • 30 dedicated employees at the SemOp
  • Target of 91.5% total network yield by 2034
  • 850 km drinking water network
  • 50,465 connected meters serving 220,000 permanent residents, and more than 500,000 in the summer season

Since the end of the 19th century, SUEZ has built expertise aimed at helping people to constantly improve their quality of life by protecting their health and supporting economic growth. With an active presence on five continents, SUEZ and its 90,000 employees strive to preserve our environment’s natural capital: water, soil, and air. SUEZ provides innovative and resilient solutions in water management, waste recovery, site remediation and air treatment, optimizing municipalities’ and industries’ resource management through “smart” cities and improving their environmental and economic performance. The Group delivers sanitation services to 64 million people and produces 7.1 billion m3 of drinking water. SUEZ is also a contributor to economic growth, with more than 200,000 jobs created directly and indirectly on an annual basis, and a provider of new resources, with 4.2 million tons of secondary raw materials produced. By 2030, the group is targeting 100% sustainable solutions, with a positive impact on our environment, health and climate. SUEZ generated total revenue of €17,2 billion in 2020.

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