I N F O french chamber of commerce in great britain the magazine for anglo-french business
november / december 2011 www.ccfgb.co.uk
Private sector moves to the fore as green investors
Why the green economy? by Andrew ZP Smith, Senior Research Associate at the UCL Energy Institute
5 minutes with Jacques Garaïalde, KKR
Linked by Luxury Relais & Château
Winner of veolia environnement wildlife competition mazars takes our intercultural trophy for Business excellence chamber’s gala with Paul Deighton, CEO of LOCOG
north road awarded michelin star
ght A frequent Fren ch traveller, on his way back hom e from a busine ss trip in ^ŚĂŶŐŚĂŝ͕ ƐƵī ĞƌĞĚ Ă ŵŝůĚ ŚĞĂ ƌƚ ĂƩĂĐŬ ĂŶĚ ƐƚƌŽŬĞ ŵŝĚ ͲŇŝŐŚƚ͘ ,ŝƐ Ğŵ ƉůŽǇĞƌ ŚĂĚ ƌĞƋƵŝƌĞĚ Ăůů ĞŵƉůŽǇĞĞƐ ƚŽ ŇǇ ĞĐŽŶŽŵǇ ĐůĂƐ Ɛ ĞǀĞŶ ŽŶ ůŽŶŐ ͲŚĂƵů ŇŝŐŚƚƐ ĂŶĚ ŶŽƚ ƉƌŽǀŝƐŝŽŶĞĚ ĨŽ ƌ ĂŶǇ ĞŵĞƌŐĞŶĐǇ ŵ ĞĚŝĐĂů ƐĞƌǀŝĐĞ Ɛ ĨŽƌ ŝƚƐ ďƵƐŝŶĞƐƐ ƚƌĂǀĞů ůĞƌƐ͘
radio Threat from
l assignees in h internationa it w s as C N M n A its employee erned about nc co e is iv n ct pa oa Ja radi ks out about r the news brea Daiichi nuclea a m hi us uk F e th leaks from recent following the power plant Japan. d tsunami in earthquake an
Stranded in Lib ya
© 2011 AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd.
A South African ex ecutive and his fa mily had been living an d working in Libya for the past three an d a half years. He was shocked when ne ws came of violen ce against citizens. “T hat’s when I reali zed I had to get out an d get my family to safety,” he says. Hi s company is unab le to arrange for them a flight back hom e and he waits for the Go vernment to rescue him and his family .
President, French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain, and Chairman & CEO, International SOS
Surviving in a cold climate
oday’s economic environment must give all companies pause for thought. The issue is one of uncertainty: about the depth and length of the economic crisis, about the measures that are going to take us out of the crisis, and about the shape of our companies and our wider markets, once we do come through the crisis. Much of the current stress relates to Eurozone debt, and we note that the French Presidency of the G20, just concluded, has raised the country’s profile as an intermediary in the troubled negotiations involving the Eurozone. The country has provided a steadying hand during a period of great difficulty. Yet, the crisis of sovereign debt and low growth continues to haunt the developed world. Our instincts, as businessmen, are to think positively, about growth, about creating new products or new services, about hiring more people, about looking forward to our next challenge. That works well when the messages we receive are oriented to growth. But a new set of instincts come into play when we have such difficulty reading the future. These relate to survival. Now we are thinking about costs and overheads, as we seek to preserve what we have. As our profits are squeezed by the contracting economies, we look for elements of waste or excess to cut, as we all have to ‘batten down the hatches’ for the economic, not to say environmental winter, that awaits us. This takes us to the topic of the Focus in this issue. The environment has been a catalyst for growth. Government and industry’s need to raise standards of industrial behaviour and domestic practice has been a great motor of economic activity. Money has been ploughed into research for energy-saving techniques and new power sources. The excitement of the new green movement has infused the global economy, even as we confront the seriousness of global warming. This Focus shows that the environment remains no less a power for business activity, although it is not clear yet what impact today’s low-growth economy will have on innovation on the one hand, and the take-up of more expensive but green options on the other. One indication of the new climate which can scarcely be welcomed by supporters of investment in climate change is the UK government’s decision to abandon plans to fit carbon capture technology to a UK coal-fired plant. Despite this, we see considerable evidence that private companies are pioneering green products and processes, adapting them both to their own and client requirements. Our Focus presents a range of companies, from those engaged in waste management, to others in power generation and building, where the environment is now a key strategic driver. There can be no retreat from these objectives, as they must protect the health of the planet for generations to come. I
info - november / december 2011 -
issue 198 / November - December 2011
Chamber’s Gala with Paul Deighton, CEO of LOCOG
10 Approach the Libyan opportunity with care
5 Minutes With...
12 Jacques Garaïalde: Guiding companies along the private route
Winners of Veolia Environnement wildlife competition
Eurostar shapes up for competition
Why the Green Economy?
Mazars takes our Intercultural Trophy
25 26 28 29
Schools UFE corporate conference in Ashford UK Regional Review Gender diversity or more of the same?
30 Linked by Luxury
News in the City
15 The menace of a simple solution to banking meltdown 17 The SFO opens its doors 18 The Euro: the need for a drastic rethink
19 Revolution at Air France 20 London tech scene thriving as Deloitte announces the winners of its UK technology Fast 50 awards International SOS wins EMMA award for Most Innovative Use of Technology 21 Winners of Veolia Environnement wildlife photography competition announced 22 easyJet to open two new bases in France at Nice and Toulouse French Ambassador gives VIE Awards 2011 at Wallace Collection 23 Accor signs major UK hotel deal North Road awarded a Michelin Star 24 Rooftop Bees Add Buzz to St Ermin’s Hotel 24 hello, goodbye... Managing Director: Florence Gomez Editor-in-chief: Nicolas Kochan Assistant Editor: Lawrence Joffe Corp Communications Exec: Hannah Medioni Graphic Designer: Prima Hevawitharane Advertising: David Lislet - Tel: (020) 7092 6651 Publications Assistant: Agnieszka Karch Cover picture: © Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0 Printed by: Headley Brothers Ltd Subscription: INFO is published every 2 months.
50 Think long-term when building green… Green values and business 52 Master of all trades 53 Working green at the Lee Tunnel construction site: a case study 54 Turning green desires into economic realities 55 Bringing nuclear into the mainstream of power generation
32 Private sector moves to the fore as green investors 33 Green Timeline
Overview of the green economy 34 Taking the Lead: The Chamber’s Climate Change Forum 35 Different paths towards a common goal: UK vs. France 36 Why the Green Economy? 38 Business from scratch
Investing in Green Energy 40 Renewables take the brunt 42 Green is cheaper 43 Funding renewables in the UK 44 Investors tell a warming tale 46 $46 trillion investment needed for a clean environment 48 Looking at clean technology through a public market lens
Editorial Committee: - Peter Bragg, Holly Conolly, Jon Hampson, Pierre Jeannin, Jonathan Levy, Dominique Lin, Anne-Sophie Monnier, Simon Myers, Anna Simpson & Andrew Smith. Contributors: Joost Bergsma, Peter Bragg, Richard Brown, Romain Daumont, Simon Evans, Cécile Fénérole, Phil Heptonstall, Richard Kirkman, Thibault Lavergne, Dominque Lin, MVB, Simon Myers, Nick Robins, Anne Roques, Anna Simpson, Andrew ZP Smith, Paul Spence, Jean-Philippe Verdier & Lindsey Walker.
57 Exhibitions 58 What’s on? 59 Book reviews 60
News @ the Chamber
63 64 New Members 66 Wealth management, the subject of highly successful Chamber Cocktail 67 Learning from disasters - Areva CEO hails nuclear future 68 Eurostar shapes up for competition 70 Mazars takes our Intercultural Trophy for business excellence 72 Paul Deighton, CEO of LOCOG, addresses Chamber members at Annual Gala Dinner 75 Forthcoming events 76 Forums Distribution: CCFGB members, Franco-British decision makers, Business Class lounges of Eurostar, Eurotunnel & Air France in London, Paris and Manchester. Editorial and Publishing Offices: French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain Lincoln House, 300 High Holborn London WC1V 7JH Tel: (020) 7092 6600; Fax: (020) 7092 6601 www.ccfgb.co.uk
info - november / december 2011 -
Patron Members of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain
LOGO Nยบ dossier : 20110049E Date : 31/05/11 Validation DA/DC : Validation Client
- info - november / december 2011
h P f c b T ]S^] CWTR Q W X] ;^
] T a 5 T W c c^ cPaVTc
5^[[^f db ^] <PVPiX]T XRX ;^]SaTb ^UUXRXT[
h^da [TPSX]V 5aT]RW \PVPiX]T P]S fTQbXcT X] ;^]S^] fff XRX [^]SaTb R^\
X]U^/XRX [^]SaTb R^\
## ! &$' $''
Approach the Libyan opportunity with care Opportunities abound in a country that has been starved of investment and long-term planning. But companies are advised not to be hasty in seeking to profit from Libya’s freedom from tyranny
s the world absorbs the gruesome pictures of the killing of Muammar Gaddafi, pragmatic businessmen are already pondering the prospects for doing business in a country that was under his control for some 42 years. The appointment of Abdurrahim El-Keib as the leader of the National Transitional Council has introduced a semblance of normality. However, many issues present themselves, and very few are clear-cut, for this is a particularly complex scenario. There is one certainty in the Libyan farrago. That is that the country is massively oil-rich and can look forward to receiving a huge influx of petrodollars for many decades to come. Indeed, it is reported that Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa and the ninth largest in the world with 41.5 billion barrels as of 2007. Oil production was 1.8 million barrels per day as of 2006, giving Libya 23 years of reserves at current production rates if no new reserves were to be found. Libya is considered a highly attractive oil area due to its low cost of oil production and proximity to European markets. Most of Libya remains unexplored as a result of past sanctions and disagreements with foreign oil companies. In short, the country will, over time, have the financial resources, running to many billions of dollars, to buy in the products and services of many global companies. Demand will initially be greatest for products and services that can restore the battered infrastructure. Companies with expertise in road building, power utilities and of course the oil sector will be in greatest demand at first. But over time, Libya
10 - info - november / december 2011
will want companies to invest in its educational and human resource sector, in its industrial base, and in its transportation and shipping infrastructure. Investment here has lagged as a result of short-sighted political interference, but now the country will wish to catch up. It has an unparalleled opportunity to do so. Companies who have had dealings with Gaddafi’s regime in the past will need to carry out particularly careful analysis of their prospects and current position. They must suspect that they are unlikely to win contracts, if the inevitable investigations disclose any improper relationships or payments. On the other hand, companies linked to governments who have actively supported the National Transitional Council, in particular France and the UK, in the ousting of the previous regime, can hope to expect a preferential hearing. Those governments will undoubtedly have considerable clout, at least in the early stages of the new regime, in lobbying on their companies’ behalf with the Libyan authorities. But little dependence can be placed on these legacy relationships, as Libya will quickly have many friends and sources of investment and expertise banging at its door. For example, it would be very surprising if China were not already offering some very attractive deals to rebuild its infrastructure, much as it has done elsewhere in Africa. China will look with particular interest at the Libyan petrochemical resource – something it lacks. Yet any company seeking a long-term relationship with Libya will have many challenges that they now have to grapple with. The first and most basic issue is the level of physical security. Companies seeking to deal
with Libya will want to be assured that their staff can travel and reside there in sufficiently safe conditions. According to one reliable source, direct air travel was being hampered by some pockets of pro-Gaddafi militia on the ground. Gaddafi’s death, while dealing a blow to his supporters, cannot be guaranteed to restore complete calm. So physical security will be critical to the resumption of stable commercial relations. The second factor is the establishment of a coherent and stable political and economic structure. The Gaddafi political and economic legacy is one of corruption, nepotism and cronyism. The family of the dictator held the purse strings and political instruments to determine who worked in the country and who gained licences to production. Much evidence has already been discovered of the power and influence of the family in international institutions. For example, global investment banks managed much of Libya’s money, while the country also supported the London School of Economics, with sponsorship. This family and their billions have now gone, but the country faces the challenge of putting in place accountable structures to take over where they left off. This is a very sensitive mission, as the population will demand and has every right to see how their resources are being allocated. Moreover, the Libyan Treasury needs to gain control over their revenues. The issue is one of timing, but until companies know what sorts of agencies and which individuals have responsibility for government and commercial agencies, liaison with key Government Ministries will be difficult. Once the government can show it has stable institutions, it will be in a better position to bid for the return of the billions secreted in international banks, by the members of the former leader’s corrupt family. Political stability will be a pre-requisite for Libya’s return to the economic fold, although there is a chicken and egg problem here. The expertise of global companies will be essential to provide the infrastructure for this battered country. Yet, companies will be reluctant to engage with Libya until they can be guaranteed a measure of stability. Libya’s authorities face the challenge over the coming period of giving the international community a degree of confidence in their competence and commitment to stability. There are a number of points where companies will look for clarification and comfort. For example, companies need to know the personnel on whom they can rely to deliver results, who are likely to stay in their jobs and have the authority to deliver on their promises. Until these people are in place, it is not realistic to expect sensible business activity to resume. It s likely
© wikipedia/James (Jim) Gordon from Manhattan, New York City, USA
Colonel Gaddafi in Damascus, 2009 with one of his Amazonian bodyguards
to take some time for people to come forward, prove themselves and establish a government administration. Another element essential to commercial activity is the creation of structures to make decisions that have the binding power of law. This will be largely dependent on the country’s gaining a stable judicial and political system. This is undoubtedly a long-term process, as Libya assembles a body of law but it is critical to the building of an infrastructure on which contracts can be based and enforced. Beyond that, courts will need to be re-instated with independent personnel, who can enforce the law. Such law will likewise be needed to guarantee property rights, both for local property owners, and international companies buying properties like prospecting licences. Further down the road, the Libyan government can be expected to set up a market infrastructure to allocate local capital to projects and development. In due course international investors will have the opportunity to negotiate and work with local Libyan companies. That will regularise much of the commercial activity in a country which will be eager not merely to obtain the involvement of international capital in its own activities, but also export its own capital and competence to African and international markets. I NK
info - november / december 2011 - 11
5 m i n ute s w i t h . . .
Jacques Gara誰alde: Guiding companies along the private route When a company is facing a major transition, it may be appropriate to partner with a private investor to make the necessary long term changes. That is where private equity comes in, says Jacques Gara誰alde, a managing director of KKR
Could you describe your career, please?
I worked at the Boston Consulting Group for 18 years, between 1982 and 2000. I moved up the ranks, being a partner and then head of France. In 2000, I left consulting to become the head of technology investments at the Carlyle Group. In 2003, I was approached by KKR and decided to join the leader in the Private Equity domain. Could you describe the type of companies that you partner with?
Amongst others, we work with companies that larger corporations might want to divest from, or with family businesses helping them to move into the next stage of development. Non-core affiliates of larger corporations often come last in the line-up for investments. So managers in these businesses are happy to see people like us becoming shareholders, developing businesses the way they should be developed in terms of geographic expansion, acquisition and product development. Family-owned companies need new capital to grow. This is not always evident with a wide family-based shareholder structure and we can be part of the solution. So you come in when change is needed?
Yes, whenever there is a big transition required for a company and a current ownership structure does not allow it. We become partners of these companies,
12 - info - november / december 2011
providing capital, operational expertise and a global network. And we work closely with the management to be a guide and sounding board on where to go, bringing the resources on board, defining priorities, and supporting the action plan. It is a sort of active shareholder position, working in partnership with the management in order to make that transition. And that can be with a minority or a majority stake. We are flexible with regard to that. In periods of change, private equity might be a good partner. A strong shareholder base with large operational expertise certainly helps a company to go through such a period. What proportion of your investments are in private companies versus listed companies?
Probably 80% of our cases have been investments in private companies. We have invested in cases where a public company was struggling and where we felt the private route might work better, which is called a Public-to-Private situation. A good example of that is Alliance Boots, a famous British company which was on the stock market. We partnered with a major shareholder and entrepreneur to take it private and to drive all the changes needed to make Alliance Boots a global healthcare champion, with a speed and intensity that might not have been possible if the company had still been public. We see it happen again and again. Private equity
5 m i nutes with Jacques Garaïalde
What also does not change is the accountability, intrinsic to our investment model. We always coinvest a substantial amount of our own funds and we share pain and gain with the investors who have entrusted us with their capital. We don’t win if our investors don’t win. And we ask the top managers of our companies to do the same. Those basic mechanics have not changed, but the public context in which we operate has changed. Stakeholders, from employee representatives to governments, scrutinise whether and how the interests of the world of investment are aligned with theirs. Alignment of interests is also about treating environmental, social and governance issues, which are material in the investment process, with the same diligence as any other financial or operational performance indicator. At KKR we launched a programme to make sure that the companies in which we invest have best practices in terms of eco-efficiency. What sort of relationship do you keep with companies when you have brought them to the stock market?
Jacques Garaïalde, managing director of KKR
is valuable when it can partner with a company to go through a very significant step, be it geographic expansion, becoming independent from the mother company, consolidating the space, facing a sudden change like globalisation – all cases where it can be better to have a strong shareholder on board with whom you can work and manage the change. You are long-term investors, clearly?
We typically invest in a company for seven years. You really need that time to make changes in the companies in which we invest. How has private equity evolved?
What has not changed, is the ultimate red-face test: are we able to deliver superior, long-term, sustainable financial returns for our investors? In our business, we have to go back every few years to ask investors to commit new capital. If they think we’re unlikely to deliver long-term returns, the funding stops – plain and simple.
Very often when we IPO1 a company, we do not sell shares. By selling new shares, the company gets cash, sometimes to pay off part of its debt or to make acquisitions. Very often we remain involved with our partner-companies for several years following the IPO. Take the company called Legrand in which we invested in 2002, IPO-ed in 2006 and still today we have a third of what we invested. How has private equity adapted to globalisation?
KKR was purely American up to 15 years ago. We opened offices in Europe twelve years ago, then in Asia six years ago. So now we have a global team of around 900 people. Our team in China makes local investments but also helps our European companies to look for Chinese partners. I think that is pretty unique with KKR. Our global team really has that double focus: invest locally, and at the same time help companies from other regions to be successful in that local market. It creates a pretty powerful network that our companies have access to. It is important that the CEOs of our portfolio companies feel: “it makes a hell of a difference being supported by KKR, rather than tackle the world by oneself.” I Interview by Nicolas Kochan An initial public offering: the first sale of stock by a formerly private company.
info - november / december 2011 - 13
NOTHING IS AS STRONG AS TEAM SPIRIT
This document is issued in the UK by the London Branch of Société Générale. Société Générale is a French credit institution (bank) authorised by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel (the French Prudential Control Authority). Société Générale is subject to limited regulation by the Financial Services Authority in the UK. Details of the extent of our regulation by the Financial Services Authority are available from us on request. © GettyImages - FRED & FARID
FF_INFO MAG_198X230_RUGBY_GB_V2.indd 1
news in the city
by Nicolas Kochan
The menace of a simple solution to banking meltdown
ne of the great defences against contagion hitting banks has been the introduction of stress tests. These have been monitored by regulators, both national, European, and global, and they are imposed on banks to discover how well the bank would hold up when the external conditions impose pressure on their balance sheets. The results of the tests are used to assess the point at which a bank will get into difficulty, even fail. The concept appears to be as simple as that of the testing of a car to check it is roadworthy, or indeed of a student to see how prepared he is for a job. In fact, those tests are now themselves being tested, and appearing to fail dismally. The latest evidence is the disclosure that when European regulators ran stress tests on European banks in July, Dexia, the Franco-Belgian lender, not only passed the exercise, but emerged as one of the safest banks in Europe. Out of 91 institutions scrutinised by the European Banking Authority, Dexia came 12th with a forecast consolidated core tier one ratio – a key measure of financial strength – of 10.2% in 2012. This was more than double the 5% required to pass the test, which was designed to replicate an ‘adverse scenario’ including an extended shock to the financial system. Now, less than three months later, we see that the bank is being broken up and had to call on state guarantees from the French and Belgian governments. So what went wrong with the stress tests? Well, one explanation lies in the technical composition of the tests. One analyst put it into that jargon that befuddles not merely ordinary mortals, but one suspects the practitioners themselves. The parameters of the stress tests were clearly not sufficient to identify banks at risk. They focussed on capital levels without looking enough at solvency or liquidity issues. What the regulators and stress testers appeared to miss was the fact that Dexia had a large amount
of sovereign debt, no less than €20.9 billion, on its balance sheet. This was exposed to European countries; yet, even when the stress testers moved in, they had made no provision to write down this debt in line with expectations of a Greek default. The regulators were also over-easily impressed by the bank’s capacity to meet Basle Two criteria, as if this was some holy grail that would provide it with a passport through the meltdown seen over the last few months in weak European countries. The failure of yet another ‘testing’ mechanism for the financial system, following that of the rating agencies in 2007, will lead many to ask, ‘who guards the guards?’ And more worrying still, ‘who guards the guards of the guards?’ Others will say that an easier solution to ensuring survivability of banks is simply to make them simpler. That will ease the jobs of managers, who will make fewer mistakes, it will ease the job of regulators, who will more quickly see if banks are doing what they say they are and will allow everyone to sleep more easily at night. Now there’s a simple solution. I NK
The Dexia Tower in Brussels © flickr/Marc Wathieu
info - november / december 2011 - 15
news in the cit y
Fear the Greeks, especially when they bear gifts ||| The members of the Eurozone have taken much criticism for their inability to make decisions. But it seems that when their backs are to the wall and they are under pressure, they have the capacity to find some of the right answers. This is the conclusion of the Brussels Summit at the end of October which resolved that the banks that had lent to Greece and had Greek sovereign debt on their books would have to give up half the value of the debt. They also agreed (to German chagrin) to allow the European Central Bank to raise 1 trillion €, to cushion the blow. The markets reacted with fear to the announcement of a referendum over the bailout – a plan
which was very quickly dropped due to pressures mainly from France and Germany, and led George Papandreou to step down. He is now replaced by Lucas Papadémos, former vice-president of European Central Bank. The total amount of Greek debt held by French banks has been put at 14 billion € (out of total lending exposure to Greece of 56 billion €). On this basis, French banks will take a 7 billion € hit. Some French banks have said they can manage this loss, without resorting to local or international support. For instance BNP Paribas has announced it has written down 3.5 billion € of Greek debt, on it books taking a 60 per cent hit. I
Financial Times launches new business networking book
© flickr/Dirk Valentine
||| The Financial Times Guides tend to hit the right nerves with their titles, so we awaited with interest their new title called ‘Business Networking’. It does not disappoint. Author Heather Townsend says: ‘You’ve got to treat networking as if it’s as important as work. Give it the time it’s due and don’t try and crush everything into it. You’ve got to be at your best. Going on feeling grumpy is not good for the personal brand.’ The big no-no in networking is trying to sell yourself too hard. Well, this may not be rocket science, but we have all made the mistakes. I
New name for Volcker rule? ||| Another warning that regulators are putting pressure on investment banks round the world to curb their more speculative activity. International regulators are thought to be pondering extending a ban on proprietary trading from banks operating
in the United States market, to all countries. This regulation is presently called the Volcker rule, after its American creator. Perhaps it will need a new name when it hits every global institution. I
© flickr/Catherine Joll
Austerity measures take their toll
16 - info - november / december 2011
||| The bitter fruits of austerity are taking their toll in different ways. So on the one hand, a report from Halfords, the car parts and bicycle retailer finds that Britons are responding to the high price of petrol by driving some 4% to 5% fewer miles. On the other we learn that Greggs, the budget retailer and food shop, incidentally a rising star in the recession, has sold 1.5 million ‘superstar doughnuts’ in the five weeks since they were launched. This was greatly ahead of expectations. A case perhaps of ‘let them eat doughnuts’? I
news in the cit y
The SFO opens its doors A new spirit of co-operation pervades today’s law enforcement community. But that doesn’t mean they are any less tough, says Richard Alderman, director of the Serious Fraud Office
e have an open door. Companies are free to come in to consult us on fraud risks in their business or industry.’ That is the message of Richard Alderman, the director of the Serious Fraud Office, and one of the country’s leading investigators of financial crime. ‘People used to think that we only got involved where there was a problem. Those days are gone,’ he continues. Alderman says he has ushered in an era of a new openness and responsiveness to an Richard Alderman organisation that had a reputation for remoteness. The staff of the SFO are actively encouraged to serve as corporate mentors in the area of fraud. He wants the ‘Office’ to ‘reach out into the marketplace and society’ and understand the current issues of concern to members. His advice to corporates eager to batten down the hatches against fraudsters is practical. The decision to involve the business community in the pursuit of fraud was taken by Alderman when he joined the SFO as director in April 2008. Alderman had formerly headed the special compliance office at Revenue and Customs. It marks a sharp shift for an organisation noted for its legalistic and judicial activity rather than openness. The move was initially controversial, but now widely accepted, says Alderman. The SFO’s 300-strong team of police, lawyers, accountants and administrative staff investigate and prosecute cases of serious or complex fraud where £1 million or more is involved. Cases must also cover more than one national jurisdiction. It works to a budget of £42 million, 22% less than the previous year and set to shrink further, says the Director. Alderman is eager to stress the links he and his team
are building with the commercial community, ‘We meet corporates very, very regularly. There are lots of discussions at various levels, from board level down to compliance officers and others - and if people doing compliance work would like to talk to us, the door is open. We’ve gone past the position 18 months ago where people only got involved with the SFO once there was a problem and the SFO was caught knocking on the door.’ He continues, ‘We quite often find that corporates, chief executive officers and others contact us because they will derive business benefit and value from a discussion with us. And it’s not because they have an issue, they’re not coming to say, we found this. They’re coming to us to talk about the threats to their business, and our views on whether or not their procedures are right. We can give no unqualified assurances’. Advice available from the SFO is most likely to include information about corporate preparedness against fraud and other forms of economic attack. Alderman is in no doubt that internal compliance and audit departments are critical to the preemption of fraud and dishonesty. The compliance executives will be critical in drawing this to the attention of the board. ‘The compliance committee needs to be on top of the threats and they know the people to contact where necessary to have that sort of regular discussion with them. That discussion should be fed through in higher levels.’ I NK Mr Alderman has written a foreword to ‘Corruption: the new corporate challenge’, written by Nick Kochan, just published by Palgrave Macmillan
info - november / december 2011 - 17
news in the cit y
The Euro: the need for a drastic rethink
hat is one to make of the gyrations of the Euro debate? What are its implications for the stability of the Eurozone? And for the stability of the Euro itself? The issue has profound implications for not just the European economy, but surely for the global economy. The Eurozone is a currency bloc, on a par with that of the dollar zone, the yen and the Chinese Renminbi. There has even been talk of the Euro replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This would raise the status of the currency to a level few dreamed of in its short life. But it is now inconceivable that this will be achieved in the medium term, given the zone’s inability to discipline its weaker members. The group of weaker members extends far wider than that of Greece, although that country is proving most fragile at the moment. The travails of Spain, Portugal and Ireland have been cast into the shadows, but they are merely lurking, waiting to blow up, when Greece is solved. The route that Greece takes to deal with the pressures of the larger European countries will have a dramatic impact on the way the problems of those countries are resolved. So, one can be sure if Greece leaves, or is excluded from the zone, the likelihood that other weak countries will do the same is greatly increased. That is of course the reason why Germany and France have put such pressures on Greece. Now that Greece has decided, at least for the time being to take its very bitter and painful medicine - resulting in the departure of George Papandreou - other countries flirting with the possibility of quitting the Euro will be more likely to fall in line. For example, Italy appears to have taken the message of the Greek climb-down by delivering the head the markets wanted of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. This has been in response to the rising cost of their bond insurance. Italy still faces pressure to put through an austerity programme but the political pre-conditions look more likely to fall into place.
18 - info - november / december 2011
This brings one back to the issue posed at the opening of this account. A currency is more than merely a financial instrument of trade and exchange. It represents the concerted will of the institutions, political as well as economic, that compose its member countries. Those institutions set interest rates, have means of pulling together fiscal policy – the terms under which government spends and borrows – and they have a coherent and consensual basis for the exchange of political ideas. The Eurozone does not have this fundamental strength to guarantee a global currency. But it is now widely accepted that the terms under which smaller countries were admitted to the zone need to be questioned. The differential between their productivity and that of German industry, in hindsight looks unbridgeable. In that sense, the euro has a flaw in its structure and this flaw is now breaking open. It is now necessary to rebuild the Euro edifice, rethinking the Eurozone, its membership, its scope for institutional change, its validity and future as a currency bloc. The stakes could indeed, not be higher. I NK
Bridging the Cultural Gap
SALES - ACQUISITIONS - LETTINGS - EXPAT SERVICE CALL US AND HEAR THE DIFFERENCE!
0207 221 5429
news Compiled by Hannah Medioni
Revolution at Air France A commercial Offensive in Marseille ||| The keys of the new Air France base in Marseille were revealed on Wednesday 28 September, marking the kick-off of Air France’s new organisation in the French regions. Since 2 October 2011, Air France is offering 13 new non-stop routes on departure from Marseille: Bâle Mulhouse, Biarritz, Brest, Athens, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow, Prague, Beirut, Istanbul, Casablanca. Air France will also be increasing capacity on existing domestic routes, with an increase in the number of seats greater than 80% in some cases. In this way, Air France is preserving the products and services which are its mark of recognition on this market and will continue this strategy in spring 2012 in Toulouse and Nice and next summer in Bordeaux. The first lowest Co2 emissions flight Early October, Air France organised the first lowest CO2 emissions flight with biofuel from Toulouse to Paris. The emissions on this flight amounted to 54g of CO2 per passenger, half that emitted on a conventional flight. This innovative project encapsulates Air France
Air France 747
initiatives in the sustainable development sphere. This fully-optimised flight shows that the Company intends to reconcile the development of air transport with control over its CO2 emissions.
The appointment of a new CEO On the 17 of October, the board of directors of Air FranceKLM has determined the orientations in relation to the organisation and governance of Air France and of the Air France-KLM group, as well as to the appointment of its senior executives. The aim is to improve the group’s operating and financial performance in a context of economic uncertainties affecting the European air traffic, as well as the position of Air France in respect of increased competition from new entrants. In these circumstances, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon has resigned from his duties as CEO of Air France and Air FranceKLM. The Board of Directors has paid tribute to the action that he took with courage and to the numerous measures efficiently implemented within difficult conditions since he took up his duties on January 1, 2009. The Appointment Committee of Air France-KLM has put forward to the Board of Directors of Air FranceKLM, which approved it, the candidacy of Alexandre de Juniac to the duties of Chairman and CEO of Air France. During the period prior to the settingup of the Air France-KLM fully dedicated holding, Jean-Cyril Spinetta and Leo Van Wijk, who presided the setting up of the Air France-KLM group, will be in charge of its strategic coordination. JeanCyril Spinetta, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Air France-KLM group, has been appointed as Chairman and CEO of the Air France-KLM group. Leo Van Wijk has been appointed as Deputy CEOof the Air France-KLM group. I For more information please visit http:// corporate.airfrance.com /en /press/pressreleases/
info - november / december 2011 - 19
London tech scene thriving as Deloitte announces the winners of its UK technology Fast 50 awards ||| Deloitte recently announced the results of its 2011 UK Technology Fast 50 awards, an independent ranking of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies. This year’s winner is Fixnetix, a trading technology company, with a growth of 24557% per cent over the last five years. The average growth rate of the winning Fast 50 companies has increased to 2820%, a fifth (21%) higher than 2010 (2321%). The company was founded in London in 2006 and its growth has been driven by a massive expansion of computerised trading and the increasing role of technology in global markets. In June 2011, Fixnetix developed a microchip that can execute trades in nanoseconds, replacing the need for separate software. The chip is able to process trades at 740 nanoseconds. Speed is vital in the fast moving trading industry as hundreds of thousands of deals are done every second. Internet and software sectors are showing particular strength and making up over half (56%) of
the companies in the Fast 50 ranking. The Technology Fast 50 awards are an opportunity for businesses to gain recognition for their successes and achievements over the last five years. This year’s ranking highlights the importance of finding a niche product or service to beat the recession. This year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50 highlights the dominance of London, with eight of the top ten companies coming from the capital. The large number of successful London-based internet companies in this year’s Fast 50 reflects the importance of providing something bespoke, be it the ability to play 3D poker online, to find good trades people or buy a distinctive gift online. The successful Fast 50 companies have combined winning ideas with successful business models. The high number (52%) of Fast 50 companies based in London demonstrates the importance of the right infrastructure and easy access to overseas markets. I For more information please visit http://www. deloitte.co.uk/Fast50/
BNP Paribas launches Dr. Job, an app to prepare for interviews ||| BNP Paribas has launched Dr. Job, a new iPhone app which aims to help job-seekers prepare for interviews. Too often, candidates fail due to insufficient interview preparation, as they don’t practise what they are going to say, they don’t have enough understanding of what is expected of them by prospective employers, or they are simply taken by surprise with bizarre questions.
The new app addresses all of these points and offers advice on how to structure interview answers. It even provides a diary full of recruiters’ details and addresses, which means that candidates will not get lost on the way to their interview. What seems like the most useful feature is an option to subscribe to post-interview feedback. I To download the app visit http://bit.ly/drjob
International SOS wins EMMA award for Most Innovative Use of Technology ||| International SOS, the world’s leading international healthcare, medical and security assistance and concierge services company, announced on the 21 October that it was awarded the “Most Innovative Use of Technology” EMMA Award from the Forum for Expatriate Management, a global HR association, during its US Global Mobility Summit in downtown Chicago on September 12, 2011. “As a pioneer in traveller tracking technology, International SOS has continued down this innovative path by providing tracking technology
20 - info - november / december 2011
and assistance via mobile applications,” said Suzanne Garber, Chief Operating Officer, Americas Region, International SOS, who accepted the award on behalf of the company. More than 500 entries from corporate human resources and service providers were submitted, resulting in just over 20 international awards independently judged and presented at the Summit by some of the most respected names in the global mobility profession. I For more information please visit www.internationalsos.com
Winners of Veolia Environnement wildlife photography competition announced ||| The coveted title of Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year was presented to Daniel Beltrá from Spain for Still life in oil, a striking image of eight brown pelicans rescued from an oil spill, from his six-image portfolio for the Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award. Daniel took the image at a temporary bird-rescue facility in Fort Jackson, Louisiana. He describes how ‘crude oil trickles off the feathers of the rescued brown pelicans, turning the white lining sheets into a sticky, stinking mess. The pelicans are going through the first stage of cleaning. These images will be among more than 100 acclaimed photographs from the competition’s 17 categories, and present a huge variety of stunning and inspiring photographs capturing nature’s rich diversity. The exhibition opened at the Natural History Museum on 21 October 2011 before embarking on an ever-popular tour of the UK and abroad. Now in its 47th year, the competition is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine and is sponsored by Veolia Environnement. It is internationally recognised for taking a lead in the artistic representation of the natural world and continues to be held in high esteem with a reputation for being the Oscars of the wildlife photographic calendar. I For more information about the exhibition please visit www.nhm.ac.uk
Still life in oil Daniel Beltrá - Spain Winner: Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award
Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style ||| Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel was, without doubt, the most influential designer of the 20th century. This book honours her influence by celebrating the key elements that defined and still define her style, through inspired pairings of classic and contemporary photographs. Cecil Beaton’s portrait of Coco Chanel for example, combines with one of Cate Blanchett by Karl Lagerfeld; a classic plate by Henry Clarke meets an image by Jürgen Teller. Juxtaposing fashion plates from Chanel’s own time with the most recent creations by Karl Lagerfeld,
the resonance between archive and contemporary photographs becomes sharp, vibrant and telling. The vocabulary of Chanel’s style – the little black dress, jersey, tweed, the camelia, baroque inspirations, androgynous chic – is revealed in eleven chapters that compare original forms in the 1920s with the full range of their later expressions through every fashion era. Chanel’s legendary fashion house continues to captivate a huge audience with an insatiable appetite for one of fashion’s undisputed style perennials. I Out on November 7th, Written by Jérôme Gautier
info - november / december 2011 - 21
easyJet to open two new bases in France at Nice and Toulouse
The easyJet fleet
||| On the 6 of October easyJet, the second largest airline in France, announced another step in its expansion in France with the opening of two new permanent bases in Nice and Toulouse - its 21st and 22nd network bases - to
be operational by summer season 2012. With this investment easyJet demonstrates its intention to grow in the French regions and in the country as a whole. The bases in Nice and Toulouse will open during the 2012 summer season with two Airbus 319 aircraft in each base and will bring to five the number of easyJet bases in France (in addition to Orly, Charles de Gaulle and Lyon) with a total fleet of 24 aircraft. Following the opening of the two new bases, easyJet expects to increase by 10 its regional and European routes (from 27 to 37) on top of its existing operations. Already the second largest airline by market share in France, and the second biggest at both Nice and Toulouse, easyJet flew 12m passengers to and from France in 2011. I For more information please visit www. easyjet.co.uk
French Ambassador gives VIE Awards 2011 at Wallace Collection ||| On 16 September, Mr Bernard Emié, France’s Ambassador to the UK, unveiled the VIE awards 2011. The awards ceremony was organised by the French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE and the British chapter of French Foreign Trade Advisors (CCE) on the 10th anniversary of the launch of the VIE programme by the French government. “The submissions reflected the diversity of the profiles and the range of competences that our young talents make the most of, as part of the VIE programme,” explained Hervé Ochsenbein, Director of From left: Jean-Michel Ditner (Jury’s President), Hervé Ochsenbein (French Trade the French Trade Commission Mission Director), Antoine Quentin (Winner of the VIE awards 2011), Bruno Deschamps (CCEF UK President), HE Mr Bernard Emié (French Ambassador to the UK) UBIFRANCE in London. The candidates for the awards had to hand in a dossier of £700. Magellium is a medium-sized company specialising in imaging technology for the aerospace in print together with a video-clip presenting their project and achievements. As the judges underlined, the and defence sector. The second prize in this category decision was not easy to make, since all the applicants went to Solène Doukhan of automotive group PSA. showed a wide range of skills and qualities. The prize for best Entrepreneurial Project was given Rémi Campagne has successfully developed the to Antoine Quentin, who works for Mobilitas, the operations of Magellium’s British subsidiary and international furniture remover. The prize included a coaching session with a member of CCEF, as well as won the prize for best Professional Project. The prize included a one-day high-performance car experience, a cash prize of £1,200. I For more information about the courtesy of Renault UK, together with a cash prize exhibition please visit www.ubifrance.com/uk
22 - info - november / december 2011
||| Accor is set to realise its ambition to increase its UK network to 300 hotels by 2015 with the signing of a franchise agreement with Jupiter Hotels Ltd, the new owners of the former Jarvis hotels. This is a landmark deal for the UK hotel industry in 2011. In what is the biggest franchise deal for Accor this year, 24 hotels - or 2,664 rooms - will open under the Mercure hotel brand across the UK, bringing the total number of Mercure hotels in the UK to 68. The deal is the latest in a series of franchise agreements which has seen the Mercure brand expand rapidly in the UK in recent months, making Mercure a major player in the local mid-scale market. The new hotels are located in a range of locations across the UK, including popular tourist destinations like Brighton, York, Edinburgh and Inverness, and key towns such as London, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Bristol, Gloucester and Leicester. The partnership with Mercure will allow the hotels to retain their individuality and style whilst joining an established network of over 700 midscale hotels operating in more than 50 countries across the world. “This major franchise agreement is a significant
Accor signs major UK hotel deal
Bristol, home of the Clifton suspension bridge, is one of the many locations where Accor will open a new hotel
milestone for Accor in the realisation of our ambitious growth targets. This expansion further demonstrates our commitment to building the Mercure hotel brand in the UK, which is such an important market for Accor. We will continue to pursue further franchise growth opportunities this year and beyond” said Jean-Jacques Dessors, Chief Operating Officer of Accor UK and Ireland. I For more information please visit www.accor.com
North Road awarded a Michelin Star ||| This year’s Michelin Guide has awarded their first star to North Road Restaurant, a member of the French Chamber located in Clerkenwell. Opening their doors just eleven months earlier, the celebrated restaurant serves Modern European food with a strong Scandinavian influence. Head Chef Christoffer Hruskova was born and raised in Odense, Denmark and learned his trade in such establishments as the Michelin starred Kong Hans in Copenhagen before setting off to explore the culinary world. After time spent at Tetsuya in Sydney, The American Club in Hong Kong, Jardinere in San Francisco and many other stops along the way, Christoffer finally settled in London. In November 2010 Christoffer and business partner Viviane Lorans opened North Road on St. John Street. The influence of Scandinavia is immediately recognisable on the menu - burnt hay, pickled vegetables - but the ingredients themselves speak of this country and of the season. The best ingredients from around the British Isles are sourced by Christoffer and his team, direct from small suppliers, with foraged herbs and berries inspiring dishes. The wine list is predominantly French with an enviable
selection of wines from small growers and biodynamic producers, in particular from the Loire and Bordeaux regions, chosen to compliment Christoffer’s dishes. Five and Seven Course Tasting Menus paired with wine are available in addition to the a la carte and set lunch menus. I For more information please visit www. northroadrestaurant.co.uk
info - november / december 2011 - 23
Rooftop Bees Add Buzz to St Ermin’s Hotel ||| The newly transformed St Ermin’s Hotel in St James’s Park recently welcomed some 75,000 Buckfast bees to their roof from where they’ll forage across central London’s major parks and gardens, producing a honey distinctive to the hotel. The bees are capable of travelling three miles or more, bringing all of central London’s gardens from Buckingham Palace to Eton Square, the royal parks and the window boxes of Mayfair well in range. Though the first full harvest of honey won’t be until July next year there’s enough this Summer for the hotel’s Head Chef, Hus Vedat to declare this September honey month with a special honey-inspired menu at the hotel’s Caxton Grill. And as next year’s harvest becomes available the hotel is planning its own brand of honey, honey chocolates and fresh honey on the
breakfast tables. The St Ermin’s, a member of the Chamber is an ardent follower of the ‘Field to Fork’ movement, with a real mission to offer fresh, local produce whenever possible. And they now have 75,000 honey suppliers all with the same thought in mind. I For more information contact email@example.com or visit www.sterminshotel.co.uk
Hats off to... Olivier Cadic, Managing Director of Cinebook, awarded the « médaille de l’Ordre National du Mérite” On Monday 3rd October 2011, Olivier Cadic received the medal of the “Ordre National du Mérite” from the French Ambassador to the UK, HE Mr Bernard Emié. The latter praised Cadic’s extraordinary achievements and commitment to the Franco-British Community. Calling him a self-made man, he referred to the entrepreneur’s early days when he created his business at 20, but also to his political commitment and his responsibility in the Franco British community as an elected member of the Assemblée des Français de l’Etranger. He praised Cadic’s work and life ethics, portraying him as a man of consensus and honour. In his acceptance speech, Olivier Cadic paid glowing tribute to all the people who had supported and helped him throughout his career, and expressed his dedication to always place the general interest above individual ambitions. I
he French Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome the new representatives of existing member companies. We would also like to express our gratitude to members who have made outstanding contributions to the Chamber, but who are now moving on to different destinations. We wish them all the best in their new posts.
Tim Zimmerman replaces Managing Director of Peugeot UK
||| After two and a half years as Managing Director of Peugeot UK, Jon Goodman returned to Paris at the beginning of October to take on the role of Director of Media Relations for the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group. His replacement, Tim Zimmerman, another Brit has returned from just over two years in China where he was General Manager of the Peugeot Tim Zimmerman Operation in the world’s largest car market. I
24 - info - november / december 2011
||| Total and Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po), France’s leading social sciences university, signed a three-year corporate philanthropy agreement covering the period 2011 to 2013. The strategic partnership aims to educate and recruit the best students, regardless of nationality or social background. Sharing the belief that diversity in recruitment offers invaluable benefits, Total and Sciences Po are pursuing two core commitments: - The “Conventions Education Prioritaire1” (CEP) programme, which Total has supported since it was introduced, in particular by recruiting Sciences Po students from diverse backgrounds. - Scholarships for international students demonstrating academic excellence, in particular those enrolled in the Master of Public Affairs programme and the new Europe-Africa programme at Sciences Po. As part of the strategic partnership, Total also supports the Center for International Studies and Research
ESCP Europe master in management ranked 1st
Patrick Gougeon, UK Director of ESCP Europe
||| ESCP Europe’s Master in Management programme has been ranked 1st in the ‘International Course Experience’ category of the Financial Times’ 2011 league table. Placed 3rd overall, ESCP Europe remains among the Top 3 schools worldwide for the fourth year in a row, a result which recognises the School’s unique European model and the remarkable international course experience offered to its students. Beyond the School’s consistent level of excellence, the result of the Financial Times ranking acknowledges ESCP Europe’s international orientation and diversity, as well as its Alumni’s professional success. I
Total and Sciences Po sign a partnership
Total headquarters in Paris
(CERI), France’s leading social sciences research center dedicated to international social policy, and actively participates in the Observatoire Mondial des Enjeux et des Risques (OMER), a global observatory that tracks issues and risks in emerging economies. I special educational support for students attending high schools in underprivileged areas
Launching of the ESSEC Foundation ||| As a joint initiative of the School and its graduates, the ESSEC Foundation has been established, sponsored by the Fondation de France, to support the development and influence of ESSEC. This initiative comes from five ESSEC graduates who are its first founders and donors. The goal of the Foundation is to mobilise students and friends of ESSEC based on the idea of obtaining funds parallel to the School’s classic funds and to collaborate in the execution of major social, international and academic projects. Its goal is to obtain thirty million euro in the next five years. The ESSEC Foundation is fully committed to the development of knowledge and philanthropy and as such, has been placed under the protection of the Fondation de France. It has received the support of graduates from all backgrounds, who live in France and abroad, eager to become personally involved and to collaborate financially in executing specific and ambitious projects. I
info - november / december 2011 - 25
news Bilateral News
UFE corporate conference in Ashford: 15 years later…. the French saw the light at the end of the tunnel As interest in employment abroad among both the French and the English increases, Olivier Cadic, a councillor for The Assembly of French Citizens Abroad (AFE), explains the benefits of a metro system linking the north of France to the south of England ||| The Union of French People Abroad (Union des Français de l’Etranger) Corporate conference took place in Ashford on October 20th, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the association ‘’La France libre… d’entreprendre’’ founded by Olivier Cadic, president of UFE UK. An outstanding selection of speakers was invited on four panels to address the topics of employment, entrepreneurship, finance and the ‘’métro transmanche’’.
The debates revealed both the extraordinary dynamism of French entrepreneurs who, for the last 15 years, have been relocating to the UK, as well as the continuing difficulties in France due to the highly competitive fiscal and social environment there. It also highlighted the increasing number of those in favour of a ‘’métro transmanche”, a tube that would cross the Channel thus encouraging transborder exchanges and providing an answer to the unemployment crisis
Theodore Zeldin, Olivier Cadic, Edouard Braine, Joelle Gariaud-Maylam and Catherine Fournier
26 - info - november / december 2011
news that has struck the Calais region. Several managers - most of them members of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain - spoke about their experiences. Bruno Deschamps, president of the UK section of the French Foreign Trade Advisors, provided details from a recently-concluded survey on the financing of small French and British businesses. The capital of an average UK firm, seven years after its launch, is five times higher than that of its French competitor, and the firm will generate four times more employment opportunities. According to Deschamps, this disparity is due, in part, to British tax incentives to encourage investment in small businesses. In order to illustrate these ideas and to inspire conference participants, Stéphane Rambosson of Veni Partners, Alexis Grabar of Avolus Group, and Christophe Gasc of IBM Europe shared their achievements as entrepreneurs based in the UK.
Five voices for a “métro transmanche” Another crucial step was taken towards the kick-off of the “métro transmanche”. Today, this exciting project seems feasible thanks to the united efforts of five influential people: Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, senator for the AFE, Edouard Braine, General Consul of France, Catherine Fournier, Mayor of Frethun, Theodore Zeldin, historian and philosopher, and Olivier Cadic. By way of introduction, David Rosenberg, CEO of SBE UK Ltd, announced that he could immediately create between 100 and 150 jobs in Ashford. His comment provoked a sense of urgency within the audience, since unemployed French people currently don’t have a cheap option for commuting to Kent on a daily basis. The first to benefit from this project would be the young people coming from the Calais region. ‘’Everything starts with the mobility of the young people,’’ said Catherine Fournier. She emphasised the need for English-speaking people in many different professions living on the Coast between Calais and Dieppe. “In diversity lies richness,’’ said Edouard Braine, who identified a ‘’craving for the South’’ among the English, versus a ‘’need for the North’’ among the French victims of a persistently high unemployment rate, particularly in the Calais region. Helping to decrease the unemployment rate in France is the main goal of the jobs scheme set out by the French Consulate in the UK. To that end, one of its objectives is to launch a ‘’métro transmanche.’’ It is understood that only fifty per cent of the Channel Tunnel’s capacity is being used. Moreover, there is enough time and space to make use of the
Olivier Cadic, Publisher
French railway service (SNCF) regional trains (TER). Jacques Gounon, CEO of Eurotunnel, who is a strong supporter of the project, recently noted that Eight TER trains were available and ready to use! Olivier Cadic and Edouard Braine are confident that a summit will soon take place with Jacques Gounon and the elected representatives and decisionmakers concerned by the issue, such as Guillaume Pepy, president of the SNCF, Daniel Percheron, a senator and president of the Nord-Pas-De-Calais region and Michel Delabarre, a senator and Mayor of Dunkerque. Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam enthusiastically committed herself to presenting this project to the Senate, as she said: ‘’It is not a dream, it is do-able.’’ ‘’Synergy will eventually triumph”, said Edouard Braine, “as soon as all the protagonists are reunited.’’ Olivier Cadic concluded the day of the debate by telling the audience that ‘’we have a tunnel, an operator, available trains, jobs on one side, and people looking for them on the other. A wait-and-see Delahaye_Ad_82_62 19/1/09 17:13 Page 1 attitude isn’t an option.’’ I
Worldwide and local removals, relocations & storage. Serving the French community in London for over 30 years. +44 20 8687 0400 firstname.lastname@example.org
info - november / december 2011 - 27
news UK Regional Review
||| BP has announced a £4.5bn offshore investment west of the Shetland Islands. BP chief executive Bob Dudley forecast a period of prosperity after a decade of decline as he proclaimed that reserves will last until at least 2050. The North Sea is now likely to maintain production of up to 250,000 barrels a day until 2030, considerably more than earlier forecasts which predicted that supplies would run out by 2028. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond sees North Sea reserves as key to improving the life of future Scottish generations. He will certainly use this argument in the coming Scottish independence referendum, yet a fluctuating oil price may prove an obstacle. Prime Minister David Cameron, who was in Aberdeen for BP’s announcement, insisted that only development by the
© wikipedia/JD Ratter
Scottish oil to keep flowing till 2050
The Shetland Islands
UK as a whole could truly exploit North Sea resources and share the benefits equitably. Nonetheless both leaders agreed that investment will massively boost jobs and growth. I
Belfast looks to Titanic for economic boost ||| On the banks of the Lagan where the Titanic was constructed, the Titanic Quarter is almost complete. The centre’s opening will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic next April and is expected to attract 50,000 extra tourists a year. The gleaming building on the river represents a society moving on from ethnic conflict. It also symbolises Northern Ireland’s need for a significant long-term boost to its chronically weak economy. The region depends more on public spending than any other part of the UK. It has been badly affected by the
cuts and its private sector has already contracted at twice the rate of the UK average. Yet the waterfront regeneration project has fuelled a mini construction boom at a time when the building trade is in the doldrums on both sides of the Irish border. A decade ago the eastern bank of the Lagan was an industrial graveyard with rusting cranes, empty warehouses and acres of desolate open spaces. Today it is a hive of artistic, business and creative enterprises. Analysts predict that new leisure and education attractions should bring in an extra £45m annually, and conferencing and dining facilities are already booked up until close to Christmas 2012. I
Wales to ban cigarette vending machines ||| A ban on the sale of cigarettes from vending machines will come into force on February 1, 2012 following the introduction of a similar ban in England this month. Vending machines account for less than 1% market share of total sales of cigarettes. However, the tobacco industry argues that the ban can have an adverse impact on businesses that currently host machines on their premises.
28 - info - november / december 2011
The new regulations are aimed at protecting teenagers from having easy access to cigarettes and reversing the normalisation of the habit. The Welsh Government also wants to cut the number of adult smokers from the current 23% to just 16% by 2020. This is an ambitious task given that despite the introduction of the smoking ban four years ago, the number of adult smokers has fallen only slightly from 25%. I
Open house: INFO is pleased to announce the launch of its Open House column, where we will publish the contributions of members who submit articles on subjects relevant to their expertise and interest. Please send such articles (of between 150 and 450 words in length) to the Editor-in-Chief, at email@example.com. INFO reserves the right to edit and to publish submissions.
Gender diversity or more of the same? by Anne Roques
he Davis report and other initiatives have brought to the attention of large corporations the need to be seen as a gender balanced organisation and to “walk the talk” on the gender balance matter across all hierarchical levels. Here Anne Roques shows the importance of diversity and how it can be attained The question of diversity is still perceived as a struggle for many women in executive positions. It is shocking to listen to female executives today opening up about what they go through on a daily basis and having to prove themselves constantly. Men and women bring different assets to leadership and the corporate world needs more women to help the change process and make organisations more human. The following challenges are faced by women: • Their struggle to be leaders in a world designed and ruled by the other gender for millennia • Having to take on the mantle of the “alpha male” to survive • The reality and denial of differences in life cycles of men versus women • The unawareness of men on the subject of what it means to be a woman in business Women need to (re)gain their presence and leadership while encompassing their femininity and dealing with all the aspects of their lives. Both genders can learn from each other and evolve next to each other in a balanced manner, both for themselves and for the business itself. Some tough questions need to be faced: • Do you agree with quotas and are you clear on how to implement them in your organisation? • Are you curious about your way of walking the talk in terms of gender diversity?
• Are you paying female executives at the same level as male? • As a member of a senior management team, what value do you place on the concept of gender-balanced leadership? • Looking at the women/men ratio in your organisation and at your clients’ own ratios, why should it become a business priority? Solutions for people, both men and women, trying to overcome their blocks so that they can improve their performance may be found in taking a coach. This way they can examine both their organisation’s systems and how they work within them. They will discuss the pressures the organisation puts on them when they have to report to the board, and how they deal and respond to these pressures. There may be factors limiting his or her effectiveness because of some accepted or long-established behaviour. This may be the result of a family background or learnt from previous jobs. The key for the coach is to raise her effectiveness and remove the barriers to better performance. The coach is a partner with the person receiving coaching, not a superior handing down lessons. The two parties work together. That relationship is wideranging, so they will look at the person’s relationships within the company. The coach reminds the person that both he or she and the company will benefit from her greater effectiveness, and this will lead to longer-term personal satisfaction. The coach facilitates diversity and inclusiveness, the keys to a successful organisation and successful individuals within it. I Anne Roques is the Founder of Evolution Coaching, a FrancoBritish executive coaching boutique and Founder of a francophone and francophile network of coaches in London. www.evolution-coaching.org
info - november / december 2011 - 29
Linked by Luxury Relais & Chateaux provides the stamp of luxury to its five hundred-strong member hotels. But more than that, this unique association provides booking, communications and branding support
elais & Châteaux brings luxury service and branding to the many independent hotels across the world that pursue the highest standards, but need external support and back-up. This association conveys its own sense of style to customers of these hotels through its prestige branding which its members enjoy and identify with. On the other hand, Relais & Châteaux also furnishes the hotels with technological and marketing support that, as independents, they lack. Relais & Châteaux is infused with standards as powerful as those of its members, and these range from high profile establishments like Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons to the smaller and lower profile Chewton Glen (see box opposite). Relais & Châteaux in fact originated not in England, but in France, back in 1954. And according to Nicola Liddiard, UK & Ireland director of Relais & Châteaux affiliates in the UK, a French sensibility informs all the association’s members, whether in England, Austria, India, South Africa or Canada. Still today 140 Relais & Châteaux members – or a third of the total – are located in France. The binding concept is what they call l’art de vivre, or “the art of living”, and what Nicola describes as “a real camaraderie amongst members”. What that means in practice becomes clearer when you hear what qualities the association expects of member establishments and potential members.
International brand with family feeling The “British and Irish delegation” of Relais & Châteaux consists of 35 outstanding member hotels and restaurants, including such idylls as Marlfield House and Chewton Glen. It is part of a stable of more than 500 establishments spread over 61 countries on five continents. Some are remote castles pressed into service as hotels; others are iconic city centre establishments. Variety and individuality are key to the Relais
30 - info - november / december 2011
Nicola Liddiard, European Director, Relais & Châteaux
& Châteaux philosophy. Calling it a “chain” sounds somewhat brusque. Nicola Liddiard prefers to think of the association as a fellowship, a bond of affection between staff and guests who return time and again to relive pleasant experiences. As Nicola says of the hoteliers: “It is their livelihood, their family business. So when people come and stay, it is almost like inviting them into their home.” Take, for instance, Farlham Hall in Cumbria, run by the entire Quinion family – Barry the head chef, his wife Lynn and sister Helen in charge of the front desk. Guests get to know them personally, which makes them quite distinct from larger, arguably more corporate international hotel chains.
Joining the club Relais & Châteaux definitely seems to have alighted upon a formula that works. Essentially, it is based on what Relais calls “the five Cs” – courtesy, calm, character, charm and cuisine. Out of this concept Relais
& Châteaux has spawned the exclusive “Club 5C” for seasoned visitors to Relais & Châteaux outlets. To the five Cs one might add another: consistency. As Nicola explains, hotels are inspected once every three years and advised about possible paths to improvement. When reviewing existing members or scouting out potential new hotelier members, seven or eight inspectors travel incognito, usually as couples, and report on the whole experience, and how it fits Relais & Châteaux’s stringent quality charter. These club members number 154,000 across the world – an exclusive body, perhaps, but by no means snobbish. Luxury is not a word Relais & Châteaux like to use. Relais & Châteaux prefer to think of the Relais stress being on “software” – the experience, unexpected details, discreet yet caring staff service – rather than the “hardware” of glitz and labels; even though Relais & Châteaux does gently promote affiliated quality brands, such as American Express and Hennessy. “Real luxury should be an intent – we want to take you beyond your expectations, and leave you with a powerful memory.” Admirably the organisation is strictly nonprofit making: all moneys are ploughed back into the collective for the betterment of all. Central to the Relais ethos is food and the love of food. No surprise that it includes such a magnet for the culinary curious as Raymond Blanc’s Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – a Chamber member in its own right. Other top chefs associated with Relais include Heston Blumental and Michel Roux. The Relais concept of fine cuisine, encapsulated in
the concept of “The Soul of the Innkeeper”, also lives on strongly north of the border. One fine example of the association’s pedigree is Glenapp Castle, the highest ranking hotel in Scotland, nestling in the natural beauty of Ayrshire and Galloway. Just this year it was one of only three places to win three Michelin stars, following its award of AA 4 Rosettes. The Relais concept originated in 1954, when Marcel and Nelly Tilloy turned their “La Cardinale”, an estate in the Rhône Valley, into the fulcrum of eight related hotels along the road between Paris and the French Riviera. All eight shared a passion for fine cuisine and creating a route du bonheur. The idea was that a visitor could visit each establishment in turn, while leisurely travelling down to the Mediterranean. Nicola believes the total number of hotels will remain stable at approximately 500 worldwide. These days it appears that much future growth lies in Asia, as China and her neighbours are defying the global economic slowdown, and newly wealthy entrepreneurs have developed a taste for relaxing pleasures that Relais & Châteaux has to offer. In 2011 their 680-page guidebook, for instance, comes out in Chinese translation. And as borders dissolve, Relais notes that many Chinese are holidaying in Relais spas, hotels and nature resorts on Canada’s west coast. Nicola says that clients are amazed by the new networks of clients they gain when they join the circle. Yet in the end, the key ingredient is that intangible feeling – “the people in a place, the taste of the land, the desire to return to relive a special experience”. I NK
Chewton Glen Chewton Glen is a hotel offering it in every R&C hotel bedroom. So if luxury accommodation, with 58 you like the style and are planning bedrooms and suites. It has its to visit Britain, you will consult it own 9-hole golf course. Through “almost like your travel bible”. the Relais & Chateaux association, Relais’ international conferences Andrew Stembridge, the managing also allow all members to compare director of Chewton Glen, says that notes, not to look over their establishments gain an international shoulder at local competitors, but breadth. “Relais allows each and to think internationally, and ask: every one of its hotels, whether 58What are they doing in China, in roomers like ours, or small 11-roomed America? “That allows for a great establishments, to put themselves on rate of change. It breeds success and an international platform”. It does stops anyone who feels remotely so especially through the vehicle of Andrew Stembridge complacent or provincial.” And if you its excellent annual international run a tiny establishment, it offers a guide, published annually, with all 500 properties brand on top of your existing identity – “a stamp of listed. Whether you are in India or China, you will see approval, a badge of assurance”.
info - november / december 2011 - 31
Private sector moves to the fore as green investors
usiness is in the lead in driving the green agenda, as government’s capacity in the greening of the environment appears to wane. Up to now, companies and public bodies have worked very closely together, supporting each other’s projects. Government indeed has been a key funder of environmentally progressive schemes. We have only to look at the very important Green Investment Bank for evidence of creative state initiatives in the UK to drive forward environmentally beneficial schemes. It is quite possible, indeed likely, that politicians still have goodwill towards the environmental project, but they are postponing making the massive expenditure it requires to fund projects that have more immediate attractiveness in political terms. They have lowered the priority of the environment as a destination for scarce public money. There will always be those who continue to deny that global warming is man-made (and therefore reversible by our endeavours). Meantime, the great majority of private companies remain committed to their environmental projects. Two factors will be driving these. First, they have made long-term financial commitments to such projects, from which they cannot retreat. Second, it will be argued that customers are pressing for environmentally sound projects and firms are doing no more than responding to this. Indeed, their commercial interests are met by maintaining their green programmes. We see in this Focus the key role of the private sector as pioneers of ideas and projects for the green economy. The private sector comes at this from two directions; first as investors; second as practitioners and builders. As investors, private funds are being allocated in their billions through firms like BNP Paribas Clean
32 - info - november / december 2011
Energy Partners to energy efficient projects. But firms are putting their own funds into massive green projects. Veolia Environmental Service’s Magpie project described in our Focus shows how environmental requirements can stimulate both pioneering industrial work and have a strong commercial rationale. Vinci Construction Grands Projets has likewise made environmental elements an intrinsic part of their building of the Lee Tunnel, an important project, which in its own right, has an overwhelming environmental rationale. Consumers will increasingly turn to experts such as Faseo Energy and their pioneering technology for making houses more energy-efficient as regulatory and cost constraints increasingly reflect true costs. We also see how Eurostar has turned environmental issues to its commercial advantage by regularly reminding customers that travelling by train expels a tenth of the CO2 emissions compared to travel by air. Likewise energy generated by nuclear fission puts a fraction of CO2 emissions into environment, compared to coal and gas fired power stations, says EDF Energy. There may be fewer public subsidies in future for firms that service the environmental space. But they can be reassured there is a pressure from the marketplace for such products. They will also see that China has targeted this market, ensuring that competition will be fierce, but the fruits for successful green investment considerable. I I
© istockphoto/Rich Seymour
Green Timeline 1970
UK Prime Minister Edward Heath creates the office of Secretary of State for the Environment
Norman Phillips develops the first mathematical model to predict seasonal patterns in the troposphere
Arthur Cecil Pigou, an English economist, mentions the ‘polluter pays principle’ in his work The Economics of Welfare
The first UN Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm, Sweden, marks a turning point in international environmental politics
British Environment Act mandates a non-departmental Environment Agency, which starts work the following year
160 nations meet in Kyoto, Japan, to limit CO2 emissions in developed nations
Copenhagen hosts the UN Climate Summit. This comes two years after leading figures in business and science joined together to form the Copenhagen Climate Council
Instigated by Nicolas Sarkozy, Le Grenelle Environnement is a multi-party debate defining actions to tackle environmental issues
British Antarctic Survey reports CO2 levels ‘substantially higher now than at any time in the past 800,000 years’
Green Party wins its first seat in the British Parliament when party leader Caroline Lucas is elected MP for Brighton Pavilion
The European Commission launches the 2020 Strategy and sets the following targets: greenhouse gas emissions 20% lower than 1990, 20% energy from renewables, and a 20% increase in energy efficiency
The United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Cancún, Mexico
Future Key Events 2011
The United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in November and December in Durban, South Africa
Rio Earth Summit, referred to as the Rio+20 or the Earth Summit 2012 due to the initial conference held in Rio in 1992. The objectives of the Summit are: to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; to assess progress towards internationally agreed goals and to address new and emerging challenges.
Focus Contents Part one: Overview of the green economy 34 Taking the Lead: The Chamber’s Climate Change Forum
44 Investors tell a warming tale
35 Different paths towards a common goal: UK vs. France
48 Looking at clean technology through a public market lens
36 Why the Green Economy?
50 Think long-term when building green…
46 $46 trillion investment needed for a clean environment
38 Business from scratch Part two: Investing in Green Energy 40 Renewables take the brunt
Part three: Green values and business 52 Master of all trades 53 Working green at the Lee Tunnel construction site: a case study
42 Green is cheaper
54 Turning green desires into economic realities
43 Funding renewables in the UK
55 Bringing nuclear into the mainstream of power generation info - november / december 2011 - 33
focus Part one: Overview of the green economy
Taking the Lead: The Chamber’s Climate Change Forum The pressure for businesses to raise green issues to the top of their agendas is unabated, despite concerns about wider economic issues. Here, Richard Brown, Chairman of Eurostar International and of the French Chamber’s Climate Chamber Forum, outlines the seriousness of the issue
acklingclimatechange may be, temporarily, off the political agenda, but it is still very much on most corporate radars. There is a huge amount of change underway, with large investments planned in new technologies, in recycling systems, and in improving industrial Richard Brown and business processes to increase energy and resource efficiency. Businesses are increasingly ahead of governments in taking practical action to tackle climate change. What is driving all this? For many businesses, it is quite simply their customers. Most supermarket groups, for instance, have extensive carbon reduction and environmental programmes in order to satisfy more environmentally conscious consumers and differentiate themselves competitively. Even if only 10 per cent of consumers are “shopping around” for greener products and services, in a competitive market, a 10 per cent swing in customer demand can have a huge impact on business results. The supermarkets are in turn leveraging their buying power as customers to drive carbon reduction and better environmental practices right through their extensive supply chains. In our case at Eurostar, it was our business customers who required and inspired us to develop our “Tread Lightly” programme to reduce our carbon footprint and tackle other, more visible waste streams by reuse and recycling. Many businesses see the transition to a lowcarbon economy as a good business opportunity. This is certainly the case for a number of the founder members of our Forum. Renault is determined to ensure it is a leader in the electric car market. EDF sees
34 - info - november / december 2011
great opportunity to apply its experience to the next generation of nuclear power plants in the UK. Veolia is applying its longstanding skills in waste management, to offer increasingly sophisticated recycling and recovery systems. There are many other examples. For other businesses, the drivers are more defensive. High energy and commodity prices are forcing an increasing emphasis on energy and resource efficiency to keep costs down. Most businesses have found they can improve their process efficiency and save costs, and at the same time reduce their environmental impact. But in relatively few businesses is government policy and regulation the main driver. This may change in the future as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme is extended to many more sectors, and policies such as the UK’s Carbon Reduction Commitment kick in. It will be important to ensure government initiatives reinforce, not hinder, what businesses are already doing on carbon reduction. In short, there is a lot going on right across the business world. Many businesses are reasonably aware of what is happening in their own sector, via industry research organisations, trade associations and their trade press. But frequently, they are much less aware of what is happening in other sectors. This is an important gap which the Chamber’s Climate Change Forum is aiming to fill – by sharing experience and progress between sectors, encouraging the cross-fertilisation of ideas and showcasing the inspiring work being done by individual companies to all Chamber Members. With its broad and diverse membership, and many leading companies from both France and the UK, the Chamber is uniquely placed to offer a broad comparative perspective, and cross–fertilise experience in what works best. It is also potentially well placed to make representations to either government on how policy can best reinforce the efforts businesses are making to reduce their carbon impact. I
Different paths towards a common goal: UK vs. France We need to move towards a more sustainable economic model, but whose responsibility is it? asks Simon Myers, CEO of Figtree, as he compares the British and French approaches to green economy
espite the current financial crisis, there is widespread understanding at a consumer level in both the UK and France that we need to move towards a more sustainable economic model operating within the constraints of one planet for the good of all. The big questions are: how are we going to get there? Who is going to make this happen? Both countries’ approach to bringing about a more sustainable economy have a lot in common, both being mature economies, part of the EU and subject to the relevant environmental directives and laws. However, it is interesting to reflect on the differences and how they are influenced by French and British socio-cultural and political traditions. For years in the UK, the change has been led by think-tanks and independent campaign groups such as Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Earth and Christian Aid. Vocal and relatively well funded, they have attempted to capture the imagination of the public as a means of putting pressure on UK government to take specific action. Recently, all the main supermarkets have been engaged in implementing (and celebrating) programmes that reduce their carbon footprint and introducing more sustainable practices (e.g. M&S Plan A). This represents a British belief that no government can really be trusted to take the necessary action if left to its own devices. It will be up to individuals, consumers, us, and business. Many government announcements confirm this situation by seeking to find ways to get businesses and consumers to “share the burden”. Leadership, in short, comes from below, not above. In France, there seems to be a more confident state apparatus as well as a long list of global environment and energy business players – Veolia, GDF SUEZ, Schneider Electric and EDF are all pursuing a more technocratic approach to building a more sustainable economy. With a powerful engineering heritage and an arguably more powerful and confident state function, the answer lies not in getting consumers to
change their behaviour, but in providing big and bold solutions. From an incredible railway infrastructure to nuclear plants, to electric cars, to strong government encouragement of “bio”. So, while Britain makes an emotional appeal to the individual to get involved, the French are busy taking huge collective decisions to produce the necessary change. Perhaps these different nuances make sense in that the UK is a more consumer and consumptionorientated society than France and therefore personal behaviour is an issue. Both countries face the challenge of finding mass solutions, and to that end getting people to move from passive consumers to “consum-actors” who are part of change is a big part of a sustainable future. The most encouraging sign has been the rise of an entrepreneurial class determined to be “bright green” and use new business models and innovative approaches to shift consumption patterns. Here are two to cheer on: in France – Tristan Lecomte and www.altereco.com/fr, in the UK – www.goodenergy. co.uk led by Juliet Davenport. And my favourite in a tough sector with a radical business model – the People’s Supermarket, set up by Arthur Potts Dawson, chef-turned-social business leader at www. thepeoplessupermarket.org. Why don’t you pop in, buy something and become a “consum-actor”? I
info - november / december 2011 - 35
Why the Green Economy? Andrew ZP Smith, Senior Research Associate at the UCL Energy Institute speaks of the need for revolutionary changes to how we generate energy, and explains why the green economy leaves us better off
© wikipedia/Eric Kounce TexasRaiser
he Green Economy is worth hundreds of billions of pounds (euros/dollars) each year; it spans many sectors including the most fundamental ones of energy, food and water supplies, and in the last fifty years, it’s gone from fringe to mainstream, growing in value and coverage each year. For example, in 2010, global investment in renewable power was €150bn and there are electric cars on the market that can outrun a Porsche. But the Green Economy has been around for quite some time and its academic foundations, such as the “polluter pays principle”, date back to the early decades of the twentieth century. However, more recently, the problems have become global in scale, and the solutions have required international co-operation, for example in banning the industrial production of some of the worst ozone-depleting chemicals. The next wave of problems and solutions dwarfs what has gone before, requiring revolutionary changes to how we generate electricity, how we heat our homes and offices, how we power our transport systems, how we manage our livestock and fertilise our crops. The economic risks (and opportunities) are orders of magnitude greater than what has gone before.
Over-investment in traditional sources of energy, such as oil, has led to under-investment in green substitutes
36 - info - november / december 2011
But how did we get to this state?
The market encourages innovation to bring down costs. One way to do this, is to externalise them: that is to say, to get others to pay them so that the costs are removed from the chain of production which ends up as goods on the shelf. That way, the costs can be removed from the price that the customer pays at time of purchase, leaving a lower price and higher profit. If a change in production would result in lower costs and higher pollution, then that change will happen whenever that pollution is unregulated and untaxed. Economists have a phrase for these externalised costs: negative externalities. Profit-maximising must lead to costs being externalised wherever possible – at least, insofar as risks to corporate reputation allow. But these negative externalities have consequences that are not just environmental, but economic too. When some costs are ignored, the result is an inefficient allocation of resources. Environmental economics, a theoretical foundation stone of the Green Economy, frames the situation in terms of an additional body of assets in addition to the capital found on companies’ balance sheets: these additional assets are those common to all of us – the oceans, the atmosphere, and so on – they are our natural capital. Just as corporate capital, natural capital has an economic value. And activities that decrease the value of our natural capital damage humankind’s balance sheet. For example, negative externalities in power generation have resulted in a situation where the price of electricity has been low, relative to its actual cost. Now, that’s small comfort when people are facing the coming winter with rising utility bills, but nevertheless true: a large part of the cost of our electricity has been externalised, so that we don’t pay for it in our bills. We pay for it instead in environmental degradation, in the dangerously rising emissions of greenhouse gases. And, as with any normal product, under-pricing leads to overconsumption of that product, and under-consumption
CO2 emissions worldwide have risen by 45% since 1990
of the substitutes. This, in turn, leads to overinvestment in its production and under-investment in production of the substitutes. In the case of power generation, that means we’ve systematically underinvested in renewables and energy efficiency, and over-invested in the oil, coal and gas industries. This is economically inefficient, and has run up large debts on our environmental balance sheet: we have depleted some of our natural capital (the finite reserves of fossil fuels), and degraded our atmosphere (again, reducing the value of natural capital). And those debts will have to be paid for, out of future economic productivity. We risk losing all that we have built up to date, if we carry on with business as usual: the impact assessments for higher climate sensitivities and higher impact sensitivities show a loss of global GDP that could exceed 90%. We don’t know how likely these higher sensitivities are: we are tangoing through a minefield. We do know that the costs of avoiding climate change crisis, (even at much lower impact sensitivities), are much lower than the costs incurred as a result of such a crisis. The economic imperatives that lead to the spiralling of negative externalities into an environmental crisis is well-documented: back in 1968, the inevitable tragedy of the commons1 was first written of in scientific journals: that a resource used by all but owned by none, would inevitably be over-used until it turned to dust. Though this was not the first description of the phenomenon; approximately 2300 years previously, Aristotle wrote: “that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it.”
The inevitability of the tragedy of the commons became economic orthodoxy. However, more recently, Elinor Ostrom has documented several cases showing that the tragedy of the commons was not inevitable. In many cases, communities had formed joint-stewardship agreements to sustainably manage common resources, such as fishing grounds, groundwater supplies, and grazing commons. They used frequent mutual monitoring and discussions between themselves to ensure that agreements were kept and offenders were sanctioned with penalties determined and agreed in advance by all. Ostrom won a share of the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in economics for her work. This common stewardship is one form of Green Economy complementing other solutions to the problems of negative externalities: those other solutions include taxing or imposing quotas on pollutants, subsidising cleaner alternatives, privatising property rights, and nationalising industries that need cleaning up. Even without a crisis, negative externalities are economically inefficient: when pollution goes unpriced, we’re all worse off. The Green Economy, in all those forms, is here because it fixes problems that have been accumulating for decades. Why the Green Economy? Because in the long run, the Green Economy leaves us better off, environmentally and economically. I 1 Tragedy of the commons: a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource, even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest for this to happen.
info - november / december 2011 - 37
Business from scratch Established brands and start-ups alike are taking a look at the big picture, and finding new ways to prosper, says Anna Simpson, the Managing Editor of Green Futures
n recent years, we’ve sent the fixed-line phone, the fax machine and the CD player to the dinosaur graveyard. Once at the forefront of technology, these devices have fallen by the wayside thanks to rapid changes in how we store and share information. Brands that failed to question, for instance, the future of the camera film, or to foresee the shift of the camera itself from a stand-alone gadget to a smartphone feature, have found themselves without a market. There’s a growing appetite among leading businesses to anticipate change, and even to be the driving force behind it. It’s partly down to increased awareness of unsustainable pressures on natural resources, and the need to defend against sudden supply shortages or price hikes. Recent research by WWF documents this
appetite for change in a series of interviews with Chief Executives called ‘Talking Transformations’. As Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, puts it, “We need to grow responsibly, we need to grow differently.” This means looking beyond the immediate interests of the company, to the bigger picture: the social, environmental and financial systems in which it plays a part and on which it depends. Unilever and Sainsbury’s have been working with Forum for the Future on a project called ‘Consumer Futures’, which asks what consumerism might mean come the year 2020. What will consumers actually want? What difference will new regulations make? What will smart technology do for us? When you hold a whole system up to the light
© wikipedia/Mholland / CC BY-SA 3.0
A banking pioneer whose time has come
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne
38 - info - november / december 2011
The UK’s Green Investment Bank, announced in 2010, will provide a fund of £3 billion, dedicated solely to the financing of the transition to a green economy. The brief of the Green Investment Bank is to put private funds to work financing private sector investments related to environmental preservation and improvement. This fulfils UK government goals of injecting private capital into green projects. The fund is intended to overcome private sector concerns about the viability and risk entailed in clean energy projects. The bank could also play a role in financing the Green Deal home energy efficiency scheme, which aims at reducing the UK’s energy bill. The government’s most optimistic scenario sees the bank raising extra capital and borrowing just like a private sector bank. However, this idea remains politically controversial. Critics insist that the bank will not be able to borrow until the UK debt mountain is falling, which the Chancellor says might not happen until 2015. It therefore remains to be seen when and if banking will turn green. One agent of this is likely to be this innovative project. I AK
in this way, inefficiencies become apparent, and opportunities shine through the cracks. More often than not, the outcome is an original idea: a practical innovation for doing things differently. Take transport. For decades, the assumption has been that the most freedom and highest quality of experience come from owning your own wheels. But newcomers like Zipcar and WhipCar remind us that ownership itself can be more a hassle than a help. Why pay parking and maintenance costs when you can use your neighbour’s car for the weekly trip to the game? Or why not lease your own car and let it earn some pocket money for you, while you’re stuck in the office? The potential for sharing resources goes far beyond transport. “Businesses can cut their use of natural resources dramatically by harnessing the value of things we, as individuals or communities, already own”, Dax Lovegrove, Head of Business and Industry at WWF, writes in Green Futures [see Issue 82, p43]. He cites peer-to-peer lending and leasing schemes, facilitated by start-ups Ecomodo and Zilok, which simply take a cut from the fee at the expense of the
borrower. Some high street retailers, most notably DIY giant B&Q, are considering a shift away from the traditional ‘buy and sell’ model, in favour of leasing and maintenance services. “There’s plenty of evidence that simply acquiring more and more ‘stuff’ doesn’t make us any happier”, says Sally Uren, Deputy Chief Executive at Forum for the Future [see ‘Shopping for tomorrow’, Green Futures 82, p27]. “In a sustainable future, we might find that the endless search for novelty and the implied personal status that goes with it are far less important than they are today. Instead, we could find ourselves buying local food from inner-city vertical farms, say, which provide jobs for our unemployed neighbours and fresh veg for our children’s school.” We may find that our future economy depends much less on stuff and more on services: from entertainment to education to health and wellbeing. We can’t predict the future, but we can count on change. Some resources will become too expensive or disappear altogether; new sources of energy and income will become mainstream. The winners are already preparing for tomorrow’s world. I
Don’t throw – pass it on A throwaway economy that grew out of the western industrial societies is no longer a viable model. Now, what has been used once, should, and often can, be re-used. And increasingly, recycling is not limited to sorting plastic bottles and cardboard, but extends to services. Take the concept of carpooling. Whilst in France, it is known to be the domain of students looking for ways to travel on the budget, Britons too have in recent years embraced this economically, and above all environmentally, beneficial idea. The concept is not new, but it is only recently that collaborative consumption has been theorised and publicised by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, co-authors of “What Is Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption” (2010). Based around the idea of goods being passed on to members of a group, the system of sharing prevents over-consumption and helps reduce the amount of waste created. The popularisation of the idea has already led to the creation of online platforms facilitating shared usage, many of them based in the US, which can be an inspiration for the creation of similar initiatives on this side of the Atlantic. Most common examples include peer-to-peer rental of household appliances and gardening equipment (thesharehood.org, neighborrow.com), textbook rental (chegg.com) and the good old car sharing (e.g. zilok.com). There is even something for the little ones as websites offering toy rental grow in number (dimdom.fr). Perhaps sharing is the new recycling, and the prevention of environmental damage might work better than trying to fix it. I AK
info - november / december 2011 - 39
Part two: Investing in Green Energy
Renewables take the brunt As we look forward ten years, the share of renewables in the energy mix grows. But the availability of each power source is constrained by costs amongst other factors, says Phil Heptonstall, Research Associate at Imperial College London
he UK Government has set ambitious targets for electricity generation from renewable sources during the next decade, and the UK’s national target under the EU 2008 Renewables Directive is for 15% of total energy consumption to come from renewable sources by 2020. The relative cost and difficulty of increasing the share of energy from renewables in other sectors, such as transport, means that it is expected that electricity generation will have to bear a greater proportion of this target than other sectors. It is anticipated that more than 30% of electricity will have to be generated from renewable sources by 2020 if the Renewables Directive target is to be met, compared to a current figure of around 7%. Whilst the UK Government does not have specific targets for the share of this total that will come from each resource or technology, it is widely expected that by far the largest share will come from wind power. Offshore wind in particular is expected to make a major contribution, partly because of the abundant offshore wind resources which the UK has, and partly because moving offshore avoids some (but not all) of the issues which have led to public opposition to onshore wind farms. Some commentators suggest that if the renewables targets are to be met, then the UK will require more than 15 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind generation installed by 2020, with further substantial increases in installed capacity beyond this date (for comparison, a typical large coal or gas-fired power station in the UK is around 1.5-2GW, and current peak demand for the whole of the UK is around 60 GW). The current installed capacity for UK offshore wind is around 1.3 GW, compared to around 3.9 GW of onshore wind. Development rights for offshore wind in the UK have been awarded in three rounds to date. Rounds one and two granted rights for a total of around 8 GW of development, and round three rights, awarded in early 2010, were for over 30 GW of potential development.
40 - info - november / december 2011
Much of the focus for the offshore wind industry is on driving down the costs of the technology, through a combination of incremental improvements in design, installation techniques and maintenance regimes. Further cost reductions in the medium and longer term are hoped for with increasing turbine unit size and more radical departures from current designs. The onshore wind industry is usually considered to be relatively mature, as although it may benefit from incremental improvements, radical changes seem unlikely at this stage since there are practical constraints related to turbine size (for example, the limit on the size of a turbine blade that can be moved by road). The view that wind is likely to make the major contribution to the UK targets is a recognition of the fact that the UK resources for other large-scale renewables are more constrained. In the case of hydro power, most of the large sites have already been developed, and the remaining potential sites are located in environmentally sensitive areas where large-scale development is highly unlikely. As a result, this technology is unlikely to make any additional major contribution to the UK’s renewable targets, although large-scale hydro does, of course, continue to make a valuable contribution to the generating mix, and there is still scope for development in small-scale hydro in the UK. The potential contribution from solar power in the UK (more specifically photovoltaic (PV) arrays that convert sunlight directly into electricity) is not, in principle, limited primarily by the resource so much as the current high cost and the mismatch between generation and demand patterns; peak electricity demand in the UK is on winter evenings when it is dark so no solar PV-generated electricity will be available. Solar PV does, however, offer the advantage of being particularly suitable for ‘decentralised’ generation with, for example, small arrays on domestic roofs.
ÂŠ wikipedia/Eric Kounce TexasRaiser
Wind power is set to lead the way if the Government expects to reach its Renewables Directive target
Nevertheless, major contributions from solar PV are likely to require a combination of substantial cost reductions (certainly possible) and more sophisticated electricity grid and demand management processes. Some commentators have suggested that over 10% of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual electricity demand could be met from tidal power, exploiting either the tidal range in locations such as the Severn estuary or the energy in tidal streams. The technology for electricity from tidal range schemes is well proven, not least by the La Rance scheme in northern France, which has run successfully for over 40 years. Devices to exploit tidal streams are currently in the early stages of deployment in pilot schemes, although they are not expected to reach the commercial deployment stage for some time. The primary limiting factors for tidal range schemes are the very high capital costs of the civil engineering works to build the barrages required, and the fact that the proposed schemes typically involve the permanent flooding of large areas of environmentally sensitive inter-tidal zones. Whilst the resource potential from wave power is very considerable, with some suggesting that it too could contribute over 10% of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s electricity needs, the major obstacle is that the technologies are still at a very early stage of development. The emergent industry
is characterised by a plethora of different approaches and designs, and whilst this is certainly encouraging for the long-term prospects of the sector, it is too early for a clear leader, capable of full commercial deployment, to emerge. Lastly, some large UK coal-fired power stations have plans to substantially increase the amount of biomass that they burn with the coal, and this may turn out to make a significant contribution to renewable electricity generation. However, the major constraint is on the domestic availability of the biomass resources and the potential need to import large quantities from overseas. The overall picture that emerges is one where all these technologies either have the portential or are already making a significant contribution to renewable electricity generation in the UK. Wind power is likely to make by far the largest contribution, with solar PV occupying something of a niche and the marine renewables options of wave and tidal power representing a longer term prospect. All these technologies (alongside options such as nuclear power, and carbon capture and storage) will require a supportive policy environment if they are to fulfil their potential. I Phil Heptonstall, Research Associate, Centre for Energy Policy and Technology, Imperial College London
info - november / december 2011 - 41
Green is cheaper Most shoppers acknowledge that green products are better for the planet and our health, but very few would agree that they are cheap, and certainly not cheaper than mainstream products. Do companies share the same view when they invest in green solutions and technologies?, asks Romain Daumont, International Business Development Director of LowendalMasaï
In 2006, Green to Gold, a best-selling book by Daniel C. Esty and Andrew Weston made quite a change in the perception of what ‘being green’ meant for companies. Until then, promoting sustainable business had been seen as a costly advertisement for brand image purposes or at best as a way of pleasing governments, employees and environmentalists. Now, green could lead to gold: projects reducing CO2 emissions could also bring massive cost reduction through a smarter use of resources. To convert green to gold, the secret is to be really serious about green: if the upfront investment is significant enough, the reward will naturally flow. Look, for example, at Adobe: in 2001, their investment of $1.4m to improve energy efficiency at their San Jose headquarters reduced their annual operating costs by $1.2m, and since they also received about $0.4m in energy rebates, they managed to get a nine-month payback. Not too bad. Cash-rich multinationals clearly have an advantage when it comes to significant investments. When IKEA
Adobe invested $1.4M to improve the energy efficiency of their San Jose headquarters
42 - info - november / december 2011
in the UK goes greener, they aim to power all their stores with renewable energy and then decide to install 39,000 solar panels as well as purchase a 12.3 megawatt wind farm in Scotland: you can’t get much more serious than that. And for the small and mid-cap, there is no reason to stay behind: they just have to be more agile and think outside the box. Look at what Pure Impression did in 2008: this €11m French printing company closed an 8-year deal with its waste management supplier who invested €310K to install an on-site, centralised paper waste vacuum system. By having different types of paper waste automatically sorted, Pure Impression gains a total of €123K annual savings. In return, the waste management supplier purchases the paper waste at a discounted price, saving them €84K. In other words, the outcome is a win-win situation, which for Pure Impression adds up to positive annual savings of €39K – a huge benefit for such a company. Since green projects can generate gold, there is always a way to finance them. The key is to take a good look at the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the entire portfolio of goods or services being produced, including all the waste and recycling costs right from the conception. In others words, adopting the so-called ‘eco-design’ that companies like General Electric live and breathe by today, embedding green and sustainability at the company’s core strategy. So, back to our lives as consumers; would our shopping habits change if we were to apply this TCO approach? Think of it this way: take palm oil-based crisps, cheaper than the ones containing organic, ecofriendly oil - if we were to value the number of days we might lose by clogging up our arteries with their high level of saturated fat and the associated medical costs, wouldn’t we agree that the extra cost of buying green is actually the golden choice? I
Funding renewables in the UK As the government begins to encourage green action, it remains unclear how the development of renewables will be funded. Simon Evans, a Director in the London corporate finance team at BDO, explores available options
t is a time of change in the UK renewables market. With the introduction of the Feed-In Tariff1 (FiT) in 2010 and the Renewable Heat Incentive2 (RHI) this year, government climate change policy has moved away from penalty-based measures, such as landfill taxes, the Renewables Obligation and the Code for Sustainable Homes, to measures which promote positive action by companies and individuals. Despite such encouraging initiatives, questions remain about how renewables development will be funded. Even solar PV, generally thought of as a relatively low-cost renewable solution, still has an upfront capital cost of approximately £10,000 for the average home. That is beyond the financial means of most British householders.
in exchange for the guaranteed 25-year Feed-In-Tariff income. The householder benefits from the free electricity generated by the solar panels, which provides a creative solution to his or her funding problems. To retain complete control of the project and maximise return, the business/individual needs to develop the project themselves. And which option is most suitable depends on how much capital the project developer is willing to invest. Venture capital trusts (VCTs) can offer up to 100 percent of a project’s funding, compared to approximately 70 per cent for a bank. However, under applicable tax legislation only certain types of investment qualify for VCTs; and from April 2012 FiT investments will not qualify, although RHI still will.
Getting the banks interested… Investing in a low-risk technology asset with a 20-25 year guaranteed income stream should be straightforward. British banks and finance houses, however, have yet to see it in these terms. Businesses looking to finance a FiT or RHI investment have to enter a process similar to normal corporate lending, which requires credit committee approval, business plans, detailed financial models, due diligence and so on. Incentives are relatively new and are subject to change, so many banks favour an off-the-shelf financing solution. Most will only provide standard products when the market is large enough to warrant the investment. As the cost of renewable technology falls (think solar PV) and parts of the sector reach grid parity, the market may increase sufficiently – but this may be several years away. So what financing options are open to businesses and individuals in the meantime?
Pension funds are another potential source of finance as they are interested in the kinds of long-term, stable returns provided by FiT or RHI-backed projects. Both VCTs and pension funds can be flexible in terms of deal size if the projects can be bundled together – as is the case in the “rent a roof” model. In lease finance, by contrast, lending is based on the value of the underlying assets. So the quantum of financing available is usually lower than that supplied by VCT or a pension fund, and will require a greater level of funding from the developer. Overall, although the government has finally put in place a workable incentive scheme for renewables, the financing structures to support the exploitation of these incentives are still in their infancy and are likely to be the real brake on renewables development for the foreseeable future. I
Solar bounty for householders In solar PV, a “rent a roof” model allows a developer to put free solar PV panels on a householder’s roof
1 Feed-In Tariff - a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies by offering long-term contracts to renewable energy producers. 2 Renewable Heat Incentive - a payment system for the generation of heat from renewable energy sources due to be introduced in the UK on 30 November 2011. In the first phase of the RHI, cash payments will be eligible to owners who install renewable heat generation equipment in non-domestic buildings.
info - november / december 2011 - 43
Investors tell a warming tale Some initial scepticism about the promise of investing in the clean energy sector has been overcome, as regulations and technologies have ironed out the bugs, says Joost Bergsma, Founder of BNP Paribas clean Energy Partners
© wikipedia/Windtech / CC-BY-3.0
he clean energy sector has attracted significant investment from the private sector. It is important to note that the above subsidies such as the Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) are not actually borne by the relevant EU member states. The local utility is required by law to purchase the electricity from the wind farm (or solar park) owner. The costs of the electricity are then passed on and charged to electricity users. In other words, governments are shaping the framework to invest in clean energy rather than providing the actual capital and making the investments themselves. Investing in clean energy has, to a very large extent, come from the private sector. Investments have come from utility companies who need to reshape their power generation mix and attain a certain proportion of clean energy by 2020, as well as financial institutions who are debt-financing many projects. For equity investors, there are opportunities across the listed space mostly in the form of environmentally focused funds. However, the universe of pure play, clean energy investment has been small on the listed side. The short track record has made clean energy a natural sector to attract private equity. On the unlisted side – there
Wind power can be intermittent
44 - info - november / december 2011
are investment opportunities in venture to fund new technologies (ranging from batteries, smart grid to new fuels, to infrastructure). The backdrop of Feed-in Tariffs makes this a natural haven for infrastructure investing. Many institutional investors, such as ATP, PGGM, AXA and Allianz, have all made significant investments in clean energy. These investments were not made for a green feel-good factor or to include a nice wind farm picture in the annual report. Given the structure of Feed-In Tariffs (fixed price for a long period and inflation-protected) the revenue lines of wind farms and solar parks are very predictable. As such, wind farms, solar parks and biomass power plants are producing stable cash and long-term cash flows for equity investors. These cash flows are very attractive to investors who require regular dividends and a steady long-term return without too much risk. So is the sector meeting expectations? On the whole, yes – the sector is delivering. Nonetheless there have been a number of challenges to overcome.
Green promise – gold diggers flushed out Particularly pre-financial crisis, the clean technology sector was characterised by a flurry of investment opportunities looking for capital jumping on the green bandwagon. These were often very high-risk and of a holy grail type promising very high growth and providing the world with an endless supply of clean zero-carbon energy. Naturally, some equity investors turned somewhat sceptical. However, the financial crisis has accelerated the flight to quality investments and investors have particularly focused on the assetheavy infrastructure side, away from very speculative technology plays. Wind farms and solar parks, when well structured legally, are proving their reliability. Resource forecasting - learning curve completed Particularly wind can be intermittent (solar less so) and
© wikipedia/U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Nadine Y. Barclay
70,000 solar panels configured to form a giant photovoltaic array collecting solar energy at the Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada
wind varies not just throughout the year but also year by year (in the same way as we have good summers and bad summers). The performance of a wind farm cannot be judged on a single year but should really be ranked on the basis of at least a five-year analysis and ideally longer. A thorough so-called MCP (Measure, Correlate Predict) analysis using statistical data and tools to predict the wind for the specific site where the wind farm will be built is critical. In the early days, the tools used and the analyses were not very robust. As a result, in recent poorer wind years, some older wind farms have somewhat under-delivered compared to their forecasted mean. However, the statistical tools and analysis have significantly improved, and the database to correlate data is today much deeper than five years ago. As a result, wind forecasting has become more accurate and we are less likely to see great deviations from predicted means over a five-year performance.
Rapid change in regulations – more volume at lower pricing Although the longer-term EU commitment to clean energy is legally underpinned – the individual countries’ Feed-In Tariffs have changed more quickly
than expected. This is particularly true with respect to solar, which is understandable because the price differential between solar and the market power price is largest. Germany, France, the UK, Spain and Italy (the five largest EU economies) have all changed their solar FITs in the last twelve months. It should be noted that – with the exception of Spain – all changes were made forward looking and are not affecting existing investments which have been fully grandfathered. With respect to new regulations applying to new projects – investors typically were given the time to reflect and incorporate the new economics of these FITs prior to deciding to invest. Generally, the purpose of the changes in the framework is to reduce the costs for new projects and force the market to produce solar electricity more cheaply. The purpose is not necessarily to cap or reduce solar investment. So, Feed-in Tariffs have worked in attracting investment capital. The regulation is now becoming more mature and thus, if anything, more predictable, and we see volumes of new solar projects rising despite the lower Feed-In Tariffs. I Joost Bergsma founded BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners in mid-2008 whilst working at ABN AMRO Asset Management. BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners is owned by BNP Paribas Investment Partners.
info - november / december 2011 - 45
$46 trillion investment needed for a clean environment The burden of investing in the energy infrastructure for a low-carbon economy until 2050 will fall on the private sector. Rewards for such investment may be as high as $112 trillion in savings, together with a cleaner environment. But will companies be prepared to pick up the bill? Nick Robins, the Head of the HSBC Climate Change Centre of Excellence, enquires
lobal energy markets are in a state of increasing stress. The age of “easy oil” is over, with oil prices up 60 per cent in the year to the end of May. Much of this increase took place before the “Arab Spring”, at a time of anaemic growth in the industrialised world – with higher energy costs in turn dampening future economic prospects. The incidents at Fukushima since the tsunami in March have compounded this stress, challenging the growing global consensus around nuclear as an important low-carbon energy source. And the “arid spring” in Europe and Asia has highlighted the vulnerability of power systems to water stress, with China’s worst drought in 50 years depressing production from the country’s hydroelectric facilities. But this is only the beginning. By 2050, a tripling in global economic output doubling energy demand seems likely. In our “if only” scenario, where environmental factors are not a constraint, oil demand would grow to 190 million barrels per day to fuel the extra one billion cars on the global highways. Annual CO2 emissions from energy would soar to 56 billion tonnes, more than five times the threshold needed to restrain global warming to the 2°C target agreed in Cancun last year. And climate change would intensify water constraints. In India, for example, the World Resources Institute estimates that 79 per cent of new power capacity will be built in areas that are already water-stressed. The good news is that there is growing agreement that a more resource-efficient, low-carbon energy future is not just necessary, but also entirely possible and highly cost-effective. In HSBC’s “solution” scenario for 2050, energy efficiency takes the strain, with demand from buildings, industry and transport 37 per cent lower than in the “if only” world. The energy mix
46 - info - november / december 2011
also shifts, with the proportion of fossil fuels declining from today’s 81 per cent share to just 43 per cent – and most of this deployed with carbon capture and storage technology. Renewable energy, notably solar and wind, grows to fill the gap, rising from 3 per cent to 23 per cent of the total; energy from biomass also climbs, excluding “first generation” biofuels which compete with food production. A doubling of the share of nuclear power in the global mix, in spite of Fukushima, is expected, reflecting strong projected growth in emerging economies such as China and India. Three forces are likely to get us from here to there: energy security concerns, the search for new sources of industrial competitiveness, and the climate imperative. In the next decade alone, we expect the global market for low-carbon energy to triple from $740bn to $2.2trn. Importantly, the demand-side becomes the largest market segment, on the back of rising energy costs and government programmes to improve building efficiency and roll out electric vehicles. On the supply side, we expect renewable energy to show the largest growth. In 2020, we still expect the European Union to be the largest market for lowcarbon energy solutions, but its share will slip as China overtakes the US and India overtakes Japan. To avoid a bumpy ride on global markets, governments will need to deliver pre-emptive policy reforms. The major policy levers are familiar: remove perverse subsidies for fossil fuels, price carbon, and regulate energy performance in buildings, industry and transport. We see particular scope for greater efforts to improve energy efficiency; in Germany, the accelerated exit from nuclear will intensify the existing emphasis
© wikipedia/Noodle snacks http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License_1.2
on demand reduction, with the government aiming to cut power consumption by 10 per cent by 2020. Critically, a more concerted approach to energy innovation and deployment is required. Globally, energy’s relative share of total research and development fell from 12 per cent in 1981 to just 4 per cent in 2008. The “green stimulus” that followed in the wake of the global economic crisis boosted public spending on energy innovation, but as these programmes come to an end, they are being replaced by “green austerity” in much of the industrialised world. By contrast, China’s commitment to lowcarbon growth is laid out in its new five-year plan (2011-2015) approved in March. Along with goals to improve energy efficiency, and reduce the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix, China is also launching an unprecedented programme to place low-carbon innovation at the heart of its economic model. By the end of the decade, China wants the share of seven “emerging strategic industries” to expand from 3 per cent of GDP today to 15 per cent in 2020, at a time when the economy is growing rapidly. All seven sectors are powerfully aligned with the climate agenda: energysaving and environmental protection, nextgeneration IT, biotechnology, high-end manufacturing (including high-speed rail), new energy, new materials (including rare earth metals) and clean-energy vehicles. The biggest challenge in making the Hydroelectric power offshore wind as well as the roll-out of the Green Deal transition happen is no longer technological but financial. A low-carbon economy is generally a more capitalefficiency programme. For the UK, the prize is to build on London’s traditional intensive economy, substituting the consumption of leadership in carbon trading and climate investing on natural resources with technology and brainpower. The International Energy Agency has estimated that global stock markets, to develop a new market in fixedincome bonds aligned to the low-carbon economy. an extra $46trn in upfront investment is required by 2050 to improve energy efficiency and decarbonise Across the world, a shift is under way – away from a energy supply. But this will deliver $112trn in fuel narrow climate agenda focused solely on carbon costs to a development strategy designed to deliver a package savings, along with enhanced energy security and reduced emissions. The bulk of this capital will need to of economic, industrial and environmental outcomes. come from private sources, with public finance helping East Asia is in the vanguard, with South Korea committing to invest 2 per cent of GDP in its “green to “crowd in” private capital. In Germany, for example, the country’s infrastructure growth” ambitions. The task is to bring this new bank, KfW, provided €25bn for the environmental perspective to the global climate talks, which are sector in 2010, up from €19bn in 2009. In the UK, the in need of a new narrative following the setbacks at new Green Investment Bank is being positioned to Copenhagen. We need to deliver real results before the play an equivalent role, supporting the expansion of commodity crunch really begins to bite. I
info - november / december 2011 - 47
Looking at clean technology through a public market lens The clean technology and renewable energy sectors have underperformed with the burst of a bubble formed in 2008. Jean-Philippe Verdier , Director of Global Mergers and Acquisitions at Jefferies International, presents a diagnosis and estimates whether recovery is a likely scenario
ismal share price performance has come to characterise a sector once hailed as the wave of the future. The CleanTech index, a global stock market indicator of clean technology firms, has lost 34 percent of its value since 1st January 2007, compared to the 13 percent loss registered by the FTSE 100 over the same period. A peak-and-trough analysis shows an even more dramatic picture, with a 70 percent decrease in value. Many recent IPOs1 have not made millionaires with share price falls of 50 percent.
Disappointing valuation levels
ÂŠ flickr/Bernt Rostad
The business models of a US wind developer, a European solar integrator and an energy storage company
arguably have little in common. Indeed, valuation levels vary significantly (see chart). What is common to these companies, however, is that all trade at low levels: most companies are at par or at a discount to a traditional index like the FTSE 100 (10.8x), and at an even bigger discount when compared to higher growth companies listed on the NASDAQ at 18.4x. This indicates that investors worry about growth prospects and still perceive a high level of risk, even after a significant correction. Investors crave clarity and stability, notably in terms of regulatory environment. The retroactive cuts to Feed-In Tariffs for solar projects in Spain last year, for instance, have hit investment in this area. It appears that business models are not
Chinese companies attract precious capital and build a platform for future expansion
48 - info - november / december 2011
focus Price Earning Ratio
20 15 6.3
si lic on )
N as da q
0 10 FT SE
te gr at io n) So la r( O EM ) W in d (O EM ) Et ha no l( U S) Sm ar tG En rid er gy St or LE ag D e C om po ne Ef nt fic s ie nt Li Re gh ne tin w g ab le Av Pr oj er ec ag ts e Re ne w ab le s
So la r(
So la r(
So la r(
m od u
CleanTech index vs FTSE 100
250 FTSE 100
immune to reappraisal of regulatory risk, and that governments currently have different priorities, such as budgetary discipline. In light of the turbulence in the equity and debt markets, the poor share price performance of many players in the sector and the current valuation levels, most clean-tech companies see access to funding as virtually shut.
Hopeful signs from China… One notable exception has been Chinese companies that still dominate the public capital-raising market with several successful IPOs. In that field Chinese companies attract precious capital and build a platform for future expansion, including overseas. Europe, for instance, is expected to become a destination for investment by Chinese renewable energy companies that seek technology play for their home market, and to meet the demands of the new five-year plan, such as the $2.1bn acquisition of Elkem by ChemChina Corp. Beyond China, there are potentially hopeful signs
from multinationals seeking lucrative mergers. So while the level of activity has generally been subdued and transaction size have been at the lower end of the scale, non-renewable energy companies do make strategic acquisitions. For instance, there is the oil major Total’s purchase of a 60 percent stake in a USbased manufacturer of silicon cells, modules and trackers, SunPower Corp, for $1.6bn. This deal has a lot to do with strategic diversification and leveraging Total’s balance sheet and financing capabilities. Equally, utilities are expected to remain very active as they optimise their portfolio of renewable energy assets but also take the opportunity to snap up attractive targets that fit their strategic requirements. Let’s hope the annus horribilis is over. There are reasons to believe a recovery would be on the cards, although probably not back to previous levels over the short term. There are some increasingly attractive projects out there, and long-term investors, such as pension funds, are beginning to look at them anew. I Initial Public Offerings: the first sale of stock by a formerly private company
info - november / december 2011 - 49
Think long-term when building green… Planning ahead and harnessing the latest technology means we can build structures that are both greener and save money in the long run. So argue Cécile Fénérole, energy and environment engineer, and Dominique Lin, business manager, both of Faseo Energy
ndustry and transport play a key role regarding climate change, pollution and the depletion of natural resources. However, we often forget the building sector, which accounts for 45 per cent of all energy consumption in the UK. About half of this is used for heating purposes and our picture illustrates how much thermal depletion of a house is important. The good news is that European governments have begun to address this area. France, for instance, has
Thermal simulation of a house
50 - info - november / december 2011
recently tightened its thermal regulation (RT2012) and reduced by three the maximum average rate of consumption of primary energy in new buildings. Now the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will enable the UK to be the first country to provide a support scheme for renewable heat.
Hi-tech breakthroughs Legal regulations and political incentives are one way of reaching the ambitious objectives of sustainability.
Upfront cost / Ongoing cost Naturally, contractors worry about paying a higher upfront cost for sustainable building while the building sector is still facing economic difficulties. Yet even if construction costs seem high, efficient design can generate significant operation savings if we consider the whole life cost (WLC) of a building. Today, maintenance, energy consumption and insurance represent up to 75 per cent of a building’s WLC. A close-knit partnership between different services and structural elements thus helps us better quantify the economic effect of an alternative design – an important consideration given that the prices of fossil fuels will continue to increase in the future... Communicating opportunities… Property owners concerned about market position and rental premium can also benefit from a project’s environmental performance, as assessed by a green building rating scheme such as BREEAM1 or HQE2. We can do more to raise public awareness about ‘green building’ and to change both the way we build and our financial approach to building. The economic crisis has at least taught us that we should not focus exclusively on short-term profit. We are now taking the first steps in this new area. I 1 BRE Environmental Assessment Method - a voluntary measurement rating for green buildings. It was established in the UK by the Building Research Establishment in 1990 as a tool to measure the sustainability of new non-domestic buildings. 2 High Quality Environmental standard - a standard for green building in France, based on the principles of sustainable development first set out at the 1992 Earth Summit.
Innovation in waste technologies
Another is technology; think of high-performance interior and exterior insulation, double-glazing, renewable energy, high-efficiency equipment and condensing boilers. Nor should we ignore domotics, essentially domestic robotics, or the fully integrated hi-tech home. Consumers can now choose the right technology for a specific project at the design stage and also consider ecological aspects. Plus wise site choice or building orientation at conception can reduce the building’s impact on the environment and add value for the end user. These days, a good design integrates all the interactions between architecture, mechanical heating systems and electrical equipment, thereby rendering a selective approach irrelevant. The UK’s retrofit sector, for instance, clearly shows how complementary technologies can achieve sustainable building. Energy savings through insulation, renewable solar energy from photovoltaic cells, or thermal devices, improve environmental performance and also benefit from the RHI and FeedIn-Tariffs (FITs).
Cross-section of a metal core catalytic converter
Innovation is crucial in increasing recycling rates. Currently on trial at Veolia Environmental Services UK is the Magpie – a new way of sorting mixed plastics. The device is designed like a luggage carousel, and the waste passes at high speed under an infra-red scanner, which fires a beam at the item. The beam bounces back and tells the Magpie what type of plastic it is by the wavelength and it is then deposited into the appropriate bin by an air nozzle. The scanner counts each piece of material to identify the most common types of waste on the belt. The device can sort up to five tonnes of different types of plastic per hour. Recycling just 1% more plastics, cuts carbon emissions by 300,000 tonnes. When it comes to recycling, every little counts and so Veolia has been researching a new and innovative street cleaning technique. Recycling street litter is tricky because all the waste gets mixed up: cigarette butts, twigs, leaves or food. Whilst some of this can be manually separated by street cleaners at source, what is left is then sent to landfill or burned at an Energy Recovery Facility. 90% of the waste collected by street cleaning has value and can be recycled. Veolia’s innovative technique means valuable materials from the waste and street sweepings can be extracted. Notably, palladium, a rare and precious metal, which is deposited on the streets from catalytic converters in cars, can be segregated from the sweepings. The palladium recovered from road dust has a market value of many tens of thousands of pounds. Such innovative approaches to environmental issues are highly valuable. In the case of Veolia, they will enable us to turn more waste into a resource and prove Dick Whittington was right – the streets of London really are paved with gold. I Richard Kirkman, Head of Technology, Veolia Environmental Services (UK) Plc
info - november / december 2011 - 51
focus Part three: Green values and business
Master of all trades The green economy offers tremendous opportunities for construction industry professionals, yet can they meet 2020 energy efficiency targets? Lindsey Walker, strategic marketing leader for construction materials company Saint-Gobain, explains how training can unlock a low-carbon future
s the target for achieving low or zero-carbon standards fast approaches, there has been a definite shift in the way the construction industry operates – we’re now seeing more collaboration across all levels of the supply chain, as well as greater integration between different product sectors, as the industry gets to grips with a more systems-led approach to construction. The trend towards the use of comprehensive systems and solutions, as opposed to products in isolation, is echoed throughout the supply chain as the industry adopts a joined-up approach to meet legislative requirements. As a result of legislative changes, builders and contractors are faced with the need to adopt new construction techniques to comply with tighter standards in relation to, for example, air tightness and thermal performance. Ensuring the workforce is equipped with the skills and knowledge is therefore vital if the UK and France are to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Already, we are seeing changes in the industry as a
Education is helping the construction industry to go green
52 - info - november / december 2011
result of the move towards systems-led specification. For example, solid wall or ‘hard to treat’ properties make up a large proportion of the existing housing stock in both the UK and France. To improve their energy efficiency, the insulating properties of the outer walls are typically improved using external or internal wall insulation or, increasingly, a combination of the two. As a result, we are already seeing a number of companies branching out and extending their offer, such as drywall contractors offering External Wall Insulation (EWI) expertise. Despite this, we simply don’t have enough trained practitioners to meet the likely demand over the next few years. This was a key driver behind our decision to launch a UK network of Technical Academies earlier this year – so far one in Leicestershire and one in Bristol. Last year, we also launched the Greenworks Training Academy in Birmingham, which offers a range of courses on sustainable product solutions and a renewable technologies, such as solar PV and thermal systems, heat pumps and biomass boilers. They bring together expertise and knowledge from across our UK manufacturing businesses to give customers access to up-to-the-minute information and training on a wide range of products and systems that will enable them to meet the requirements of the sustainable building agenda. Ultimately, if we are to comply with increasingly stringent requirements on the journey to low or zero-carbon construction, it will be essential for all elements of the supply chain, Government and local communities to work together to develop solutions that will not just meet this target but which will leave a legacy of sustainable, comfortable living environments for future generations. I
Working green at the Lee Tunnel construction site: a case study MVB, a joint venture of Morgan Sindall, VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche, have announced the completion of the excavation of the first shaft at the Beckton site. The shaft is part of the £635m Lee Tunnel project currently underway by Thames Water
he four-mile Lee Tunnel will help prevent 16 million tonnes of sewage entering the River Lee each year during heavy rainfall – a result of London’s Victorian sewers not being big enough to cope with a 21st century city which has trebled in size and continues to grow, and has areas of natural drainage concreted over. The seven-meter diameter tunnel - the width of three London buses – will capture discharges from London’s largest combined sewer overflow at Abbey Mills Pumping Station in Stratford, following heavy rain. The tunnel will transfer the flows to Beckton sewage works, which is being expanded by 60 per cent to deal with the increased volumes. The tunnel will reach depths of up to 75 metres. The Lee Tunnel is one of three schemes that make up Thames Water’s London Tideway Improvements programme, to create a cleaner, healthier River Thames. It is the largest project awarded in the UK water industry since its privatisation in 1989. Whilst it remains true that its aim is to improve environmental sustainability, its scale and duration (its completion is expected for 2014) inevitably entail negative consequences for the environment itself. MVB have liaised with the Local Authority to discuss ways in which the disturbance to wildlife could be mitigated. The initiatives that have already been implemented seem simple, but their overall impact should not be underestimated. The most important project was to compensate for the loss of potential habitats as a result of the works. On the Beckton site, the company has created what they call a ‘Hotspot’ – an area where around thirty fruit and nut-bearing trees and shrubs have been planted. Bird boxes have also been erected and bird feeders
sited outside the main office kitchen window to the delight of the office staff. MVB’s green initiatives are not limited to the construction site itself – their offices too are equally important sites of green activity. One of the initiatives, in which all staff are involved, is the composting of biodegradable waste. The compost produced has been used in on-site planters in which the Environment Team have grown vegetables to distribute among the employees. Apart from the obvious environmental benefits coming from recycling, there is the benefit of having fresh food straight from the garden! Environmentally-friendly waste disposal options are also in place. For the waste from the main site office, instead of using skips, which need to be emptied frequently thus increasing the company’s carbon footprint, MVB opted for two recycling containers (one of them being a combi container), which have only been emptied twice since last August. As a result, the company’s choice proved beneficial, both economically and environmentally. The green spirit of the people working on the Lee Tunnel site is also evident in the company’s sustainable travel scheme, encouraging employees to car share or cycle to work. Details of every sustainable journey are recorded and £1 is given to a nominated charity for each of them. This led to £716 being donated to MacMillan Cancer Support in 2010. The lesson that can be drawn from this case study is that potential side-effects of green projects, such as the Lee Tunnel, can indeed be balanced by positive green initiatives. And it is not only up to companies, but individual staff too, as the MVB example demonstrates. I AK
info - november / december 2011 - 53
Turning green desires into economic realities What can corporations do to encourage consumers to choose the sustainable option? More than you may imagine, argues Peter Bragg, General Manager - Environment & Energy at Eurostar International Limited
sk any group of consumers whether they care about the environment, if climate change concerns them, and whether we should be doing more, and the resounding answer will almost certainly be ‘yes’. Even ignoring the limited effect of the voices of ‘climate change denial’, most people still recognise a need to act for reasons of energy cost and future supply worries, protecting against loss of biodiversity and habitat, water shortages and ever diminishing landfill space. And if you ask those people, across different sectors, what they are doing about it, most will mention home recycling of their waste, use of energy-efficient light bulbs and perhaps washing clothes at 30˚C. Those are the easy questions for consumers to answer. From then on, it gets more difficult. If you ask people what more they think should be done, and what they could do, most start to struggle and wonder if their own small actions really make any difference.
Why pay more for green? These days many consumers expect corporate organisations to help them to become more sustainable. Perhaps the most poignant question is whether people are prepared to spend more to achieve this goal. Research has shown that in most consumer groups, there are perhaps 10-15 percent of people who are committed to buying green products and services and are prepared to pay extra to do so. On the flip side, 5-10 percent will refuse to engage in any way with the green debate and will absolutely refuse to pay more for a so-called ‘greener’ product. This group can pretty much be ignored as no matter what you offer them, it is highly unlikely to make a difference to their buying habits or behaviours. The challenge for organisations today is what to do with the large group in the middle – the 80 percent
54 - info - november / december 2011
of people who want to do the right thing but they are unsure where to start, and are unwilling to pay a large premium to do so. Affordability is ever more critical in these difficult economic times and it is patently unrealistic to expect people to pay a premium to be green when many are struggling to afford the basics.
Guaranteed sustainability So what is the answer? Clearly, offering two products where one is green (but expensive) and another is less sustainable (but cheaper) will have predictable results. However, what many organisations are now doing is helping the consumer by making it simple and only offering products and services that are sustainable. For instance, on a Eurostar journey, a large majority of the food is locally sourced from the country of departure, and it is organic or Fairtrade. Marks and Spencer have committed themselves to ensure that every product has a sustainable attribute by 2020 as part of their ‘Plan A’ initiative. By making sustainability the only choice, consumers can be sure that by buying from that retailer, or travelling by Eurostar, they are buying into a sustainable ethos. Of course the immediate concern is that a premium then has to be paid across the board, but this does not have to be the case. More and more organisations are realising that the new Green Economy provides huge opportunities, not just because it increases revenue on the basis of green credentials and reputation, but also because it delivers significant cost efficiencies (both direct and in the supply chain). In that way, a price premium does not have to be passed on to the customer. By changing the whole organisation to a more sustainable business model, offering a greener product can instead offer real opportunities to gain competitive advantage – and ensure the business’s future viability and success. I
Bringing nuclear into the mainstream of power generation The industry is facing fewer challenges from political campaigners. Today the core issue for the industry is pricing, and even here, obstacles are being overcome
uclear power is expected to account for up to 40% of the British energy mix by 2030. This will be the culmination of a remarkable leap for a fuel source which has been a steady but relatively limited part of the UK scene. Other energy sources on the ascendant alongside nuclear are similarly low-carbon – in particular wind and carbon capture. The UK’s position on winddriven energy is regarded as having great potential, particularly wind harnessed through offshore turbines. The technology of carbon capture lags the two other sources; indeed, some informed industry observers question whether it will perform the part suggested for it by the British government. This will open the way for other energy sources, perhaps including wave, to play a greater role in the mix. The success of the nuclear component will be adjudged by the speed and efficiency of the primary builder and operator, EDF Energy, to put in place four new facilities in an affordable and timely fashion. The challenge to the nuclear industry is to show that it can handle a new design, namely the European Pressurised Water Reactor, successfully. The UK units built by EDF Energy, working with its co-investor Centrica, will be using a similar design to EDF’s Flamanville facility, and Paul Spence, the Director of Strategy and Regulation at EDF Energy argues that by the time the units will be up and running in the UK, the company will benefit from the experience of building and operating it elsewhere. Further benefits will accrue as each plant is built, using the experience gained in the construction of each previous plant. Mr Spence accepts that electricity produced by the first plant will be more expensive, but as each successive plant is built and operated, the cost per unit will decline. He expects electricity created from nuclear power to compare very favourably to the £140 to £150 per unit cost for offshore wind-generated electricity. The value of multiple units was discovered by the company from its long-established experience in France, where it found costs falling with each unit constructed. ‘France built three generations of standard families of the same design and they were able to get the benefits of how quickly and
how cost-effectively they could do it.’ The nuclear industry has clearly had to rebuff critics who have been particularly vociferous following the Tsunami and consequent problems at the Fukushima nuclear station in Japan. Here, Mr Spence says that the company has studied the lessons to be learned from what happened in Japan and implemented some protective measures. The industry’s strongest riposte to the critics is quite simply the security of supply that nuclear provides, combined with the very low carbon levels emitted, as opposed to gas or coal-fired stations. He says nuclear produces twenty times less carbon than gas, and fifty less than coal. Nuclear is on a par with offshore wind in terms of carbon output. While the nuclear industry has won the argument with the environmentalists over carbon output, it has still to prove that it can make the technology profitable in a UK environment. But here the industry has welcomed the UK Government’s ‘Electricity Market Reform’ programme. This includes the option of a fixed price for electricity from new low-carbon technologies, an emissions performance standard and capacity payments. It has put a predictable price – the so-called carbon price floor – on carbon emissions. These moves are vital steps to give industry confidence to make the massive and long-term investment that will see a nuclear Britain take off at the time when the country needs it. I NK
© wikipedia/kawamoto takuo
Unit 1 Fukushima before the disaster
info - november / december 2011 - 55
Marks & Spencer is leading the way in greening the retail sector. Their Plan A, launched in 2007 with a view to becoming the most sustainable major retailer, revolves around five major themes: combating climate change, waste reduction, the use of sustainable raw materials, ethical trade and encouraging customers to lead healthy lifestyles. These, in turn, are divided into as many as 180 specific points, which have to be ticked off by 2015. Among the many commitments the company has made to tackle climate change are: working towards carbon-neutral operations, energy efficiency in stores, warehouses and offices, and turning their transport green. The project is vast and the deadline is looming. To facilitate the work towards a greener and more sustainable future, the retailer has put a number of partnerships at the heart of Plan A. The World Wildlife Fund, for example, is one of the partners who are helping the change happen. The Fund provides the company with necessary knowledge associated with sustainable sourcing of raw materials. Oxfam, the leader of second-hand retail, has contributed to the plan by sharing their priceless expertise in clothes recycling. Marks and Spencer’s carrier bag charging scheme, in turn, has contributed to the work of the environmental charity Groundwork. Little did customers realise that the pennies they spent on plastic bags would help improve parks, play areas and public gardens around the country. And this is all thanks to the customers themselves – as the company says, it was their own customers’ willingness to green their local shop that provided inspiration for the project. I AK
56 - info - november / december 2011
Why recycle when you can upcycle?
M&S: because there is no Plan B
Upcycling simply means reusing unwanted items by turning them into new products. As opposed to recycling, which relies on extracting useful materials from a product to create a new product of lesser quality, upcycling allows for the creation of a product of better quality or a higher environmental value. Such a system can help reduce the use of raw materials and the energy used in the process of the manufacturing of raw materials. Apart from being green, upcycling is also economically viable. In developing countries, this method is favoured due to the high cost of raw materials. Apart from the obvious practical reasons, however, upcycling encourages creativity and innovation. This aspect of upcycling is highly valued in the world of design. One example is Inhabitat, a design blog with environmental leanings, which holds an annual upcycling design competition with entries submitted from around the globe (inhabitat.com). Europe-based businesses with an interest in sustainability could have a chance to bring this rather niche trend into mainstream by creating partnerships with upcycling groups. This has already been attempted with a success in the US, where a creative company Terra Cycle co-operated with brands such as Kraft-Foods, BIC and Aveeno to turn their packaging into items such as bags, toys and garden decorations, and thus contributing to the elimination of waste which is difficult to recycle (terracycle.net). I AK
ex hibit ions
Balance alcove shelving, designed by Terence Conran
Terence Conran: the way we live now 16 November – 04 March 2012 ||| The Design Museum marks Sir Terence Conran’s 80th birthday with a major exhibition that explores his unique impact on contemporary life in Britain. Through his own design work, and also through his entrepreneurial flair, Conran has transformed the British way of life. The Way We Live Now explores Conran’s impact and legacy, whilst also showing his design approach and inspirations I
info - november / december 2011 - 57
What’s on? A selection of exhibitions COURTAULD GALLERY The Spanish Line: Drawings from Ribera to Picasso Supported by the International Music and Art Foundation and the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica The exhibition presents highlights from The Courtauld Gallery’s collection of Spanish drawings, one of the most important in Britain. Comprising some 120 works, the collection ranges from the 16th to the 20th centuries and features examples by many of Spain’s greatest artists, including Ribera, Murillo, Goya and Picasso. I 13 October 2011 – 15 January 2012
Museum of London Dickens and London Recreating the atmosphere of Victorian London through sound and projections, the visitor will be taken on a haunting journey to discover the city that inspired his writings. Paintings, photographs, costumes and objects will illustrate themes that Dickens wove into his works, while rarely seen manuscripts including Bleak House and David Copperfield – written in the author’s own hand – will offer clues to his creative genius. I 9 December 2011 - 10 June 2012
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 Marvel at the best nature photographs on the planet in this celebrated annual wildlife photography exhibition opening in October. I 21 October 2011 - 12 March 2012
NATIONAL GALLERY Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan ‘Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan’ is the most complete display of Leonardo’s rare surviving paintings ever held. This unprecedented exhibition – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – brings together sensational international loans never before seen in the UK. I
OXFORD’S ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM
made during a brief but intense period of design and construction that took place from c.1922 to 1935. Fired by the Constructivist art that emerged in Russia from c.1915, architects transformed this radical artistic language into three dimensions, creating structures whose innovative style embodied the energy and optimism of the new Soviet Socialist state. I
Claude Lorrain: the enchanted landscape
29 October 2011—22 January 2012 / In the Sackler Wing of Galleries
9 November 2011 – 5 February 2012
The Ashmolean’s major exhibition this autumn will be Claude Lorrain: The Enchanted Landscape, rediscovering the father of European landscape painting, Claude Gellée (c.1600–1682), or Claude Lorrain as he is best known. I 6 October 2011 to 8 January 2012
Royal Academy of Arts Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935 Cyril Ruoso, France Cold Embrace
58 - info - november / december 2011
Richard Pare Shabolovka Radio Tower, 1998 Photograph, 154.8 x 121.9 cm
This exhibition will examine Russian avant-garde architecture
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 Supported by the Friends of the V&A V&A’s major autumn exhibition will be the first in-depth survey of art, design and architecture of the 1970s and 1980s, examining one of the most contentious phenomena in recent art and design history: Postmodernism. I 24 September 2011 – 15 January 2012 / Rooms 38 and 39, and North Court / Admission charge will apply
South ken Kids Festival Institut Français ||| From Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 November 2011, the Institut français in London will be staging the 14th annual South Ken Kids Festival devoted to children’s literature. Four whole days of fun with more than 30 public events including workshops, drawing duels, talks, films, theatre performances, book signings... and lots more! The festival will feature workshops, drawing duels, author talks, films and theatre. Quentin Blake, Stephanie Blake, Marc Boutavant, Lauren Child, Kitty Crowther, Polly Dunbar, Sara Fanelli, Chris Haughton, John Hegley, Joëlle Jolivet, David McKee, Julien Neel, Axel Scheffler, Viviane Schwarz, Hannah Shaw and Olivier Tallec and many other famous illustrators will perform live drawings and animate workshops. Drawing duels will be the exclusivity of this festival and will delight and amaze children of all ages: they consist in live drawing session, in which British and French illustrators make their drawings interact. I
bo ok r e v i e w s
The Breaker by Gabriel Chevallier, translated
by Claudie Gallay, translated
by Malcolm Imrie. Serpent’s Tail.
by Alison Anderson. Maclehose Press.
||| This is a rediscovered and controversial - classic of war literature, semiautobiographical, and published for the first time in English. It is 1915. Jean Dartemont is just a young man. He is not a rebel, but neither is he awed by authority and when he’s called up and given only the most rudimentary training, he refuses to follow his platoon. Instead, he is sent to Artois, where he experiences the relentless death and violence of the trenches. “Fear” is both graphic and clear-eyed in its depiction of the terrible experiences of soldiers during the First World War. I
||| Following the death of her lover, an unnamed woman moves to a fishing village on the Brittany coast, where she spends her days cataloguing seabirds and nursing her sadness. But she is not the only one burdened by loss: the sea has claimed several local lives over the years, and gradually a complex net of grief and recrimination begins to surface. Gallay’s book was hugely popular in France and garlanded with prizes. I
These books, written in french and recently translated into english, were selected by the French Institute
info - november / december 2011 - 59
w i n e p r ess
Made well in Maghreb Algeria has a long history of wine-making, although today its produce is limited. However, there are signs of a rebirth in quality as well as quantity, says Thibault Lavergne, Managing Director of Wine Story
lot of people associate Algeria with the “Sidi Brahim”, which are the branded wines produced in the Atlas Mountains in Algeria. They are one of the best selling foreign wines in the French market (although some come from Morocco and Tunisia) with a production of more than three million bottles. The brand is currently owned by the Castel Group, which acquired it in 2003 from William Pitters, another big wine group founded by Bernard Magrez. There were even discussions between the latter and Gérard Depardieu, the actor and wine-grower, to invest in creating an Algerian Grand Cru, although these came to nothing. Algerian wines are in fact one of the unsung wines, but with a distinguished history. Algeria is one of the oldest wine-producing countries in the world. The Romans used Algeria as their vineyard as well as their breadbasket, prolonging a history of viticulture, which began before the Roman Empire. Ruins and mosaics in Tipaza, Cherchell, Timgad, and Tebessa illustrate the presence of the different grape varieties introduced
London’s best cheesemonger
Delicious and unique CHEESES to impress your guests for any event www.la-cave.co.uk
60 - info - november / december 2011
by the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. In the 12th century, new varieties of grapes were introduced from Egypt and Northern Arabia, also from Spain and Portugal by the Moors, and later by the Turks. The golden age of Algerian winemaking lasted in total for less than 70 years and ran from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1960s. Accordingly, there are only a few words written about Algerian wine in André Jullien’s famous book published in 1866. The last edition of the World Atlas of Wine published in 2004 also has very little about Algerian wines. However, Algerian winemaking has not always had so low a profile. When the French came to Algeria in the nineteenth century, they brought grapes from the South of France such as Cinsault, Alicante-Bouschet and Carignan. They also brought the French wine-making techniques. Algeria was fortunate not to have been affected by Phylloxera, so, while the French vineyards were almost completely devastated by the epidemic in the middle of the 19th century, Algerian vines continued to prosper. By 1935 the wine industry had reached a peak of 400,000 hectares and 22 million hectolitres in 1934, making Algeria the biggest wine exporter and the fifth biggest wine producer in the world. Before Algeria was granted its independence, its wines were exported by the shipload for blending with wines produced in other countries. The destiny of the Domaine de La Trappe – a leading Algerian wine – perfectly illustrates the history of winemaking under French colonialism. In 1840, an Algerian religious congregation was entrusted with creating a farm, which aim was to become a model Christian community under the colonial rulers. The first monks arrived in 1843 to manage a 1000-hectare Domaine located in Staouéli on the edge of the Mediterranean near Algiers. In 1880, more than 300 people, including 120
w i n e p r e ss
religious members, worked on the vineyard, which was considered as a model of colonial agriculture. In 1904, following the passing of French anti-clerical laws, the vineyard was put up for sale and was bought by the Borgeaud brothers, who were Swiss. In 60 years, under the exceptional leadership of Lucien Borgeaud and his son Henri, the La Trappe vineyard became the biggest private Algerian vineyard (500 hectares) and one of the biggest agricultural producers as well (1224 hectares in total), producing large numbers of clementines, for example. The Domaine included a state-of-the-art research laboratory, a school and a pharmacy. Workers – regardless of their origin – were given free vaccinations and received free medical care, housing was provided for them and their families, and they were given clothes for their children. The La Trappe Domaine became like a small town and a model social enterprise, such as those seen in the industrial period. La Trappe was the first large vineyard to be nationalised in 1963 and was rapidly broken up and dismantled by the new regime. During the first years of independence, the USSR became the main importer of Algerian wines. Then,
during the 1970s, the vast majority of Algerian vines were pulled up to please the Islamic lobbyists. It wasn’t until 2000 when the Algerian state started believing again in the economic potential of winemaking and began giving subsidies to enable people to replant vines and to reinstigate private sector winemaking. Today, there are 69,000 hectares of vines in Algeria and they produce 500,000 hectolitres of wine per year. There are 7 different appellations. Since 1968, the ONCV, which works under the remit of the Ministry of Agriculture, has become the national marketing organisation in Algeria for agricultural products such as wine, and it has become responsible for the majority of the export market. The main wine-growing regions are traditionally situated in the west of Algeria (Mascara, Tlemcen, Mostaganem, Ain-Témouchent) and also in the centre (Médéa). With its history, its variety of soils and its Mediterranean climate, Algeria has the potential to be a key player in the world wine industry of tomorrow and maybe the Domaine de La Trappe could be back on our wine lists at some point soon. I Thibault Lavergne is the managing director of Wine Story Ltd
Cheese of the month by La Cave à Fromage: Tomme au marc de raisin ||| When cheese meets alcohol, Tomme au marc de raisin represents a formidable ambassador – especially now that seasonality has become such a cherished element of modern food. If the Haute Savoie region summons up images of mountains, the end of summer evokes the last few weeks of animals grazing at altitude. Now is the time when fully ripe grapes are picked and the last rich cheeses are made. Similarly this unique cheese combines the best features of dairy and grape. For two to four weeks a young Tomme de Savoie is soaked in Marc de raisin, a powerful grappa obtained from fermented grape skins. After absorbing the alcohol, the cheese is then coated with “mout”, a mixture of all the dried grapes Tomme au marc de raisin used to make the Marc, and matures for another few days. These raisins are edible and add a crunch to the cheese’s smooth rich texture. The result is a great flavoursome winter cheese. Just taste it to savour how its deep dairy aromas melt along with fruity notes from the alcohol… what a way to finish a warm winter meal. I
Wine to accompany Tomme au marc de raisin by Wine Story ||| Almost all wine regions produce ‘’eau de vie’’ called Marc in Burgundy or Grappa in Italy. General De Gaulle liked the ‘’ fine de Bordeaux”, the local spirit that he would cut with water as the Scots often do with their cask strength Whisky. There are three ways to enjoy a Tomme au Marc de Raisin. The gentle way - with a local white wine from Savoie, such as Altesse, for example. The rustic way, which is to match the strength of the mature cheese with a Marc itself. And then the adventurous way, which is to marry the sweetness of the grapes with a dessert wine made by blending the Marc with the required French wine from the same area: a Ratafia. I
info - november / december 2011 - 61
The stormy world economy. Get the trusted, global guide. Our unrivalled network of journalists provides essential international coverage. For a 4-week trial, go to www.ft.com/FT4
62 - info - november / december 2011
News @ the Chamber T
he Chamber is seeking to optimise the opportunities of new technology. We feel it is our duty to ensure that our systems keep up to speed with those of our members’ to ensure that we bring them the latest information in a form that is both usable and helpful. Members are aware of our website and regular newsletter. Now, the possibility that INFO itself might become a web-based publication is being discussed in the context of online reading and on-line magazines. The question for us and for the recipients of our communications is how we can use technology to ensure we are hitting the right buttons. You will be aware that the Chamber has a LinkedIn group for those users of social media. We also have links on our website for you to purchase tickets to our events and to share information with us. The key is for you to talk to us, as much as for us to talk to you. Indeed, this is truly something we want to encourage. New technology and social networking opens up the two-way traffic of experience, of data and of opinion. The thoughts that you pass to us, in confidence, but which reflect on your daily experience of Chamber events, communications, services and so on, are invaluable contributors to the services we provide. Facilities are provided on all our communication tools
to enable you to make contact, and this we urge you to do. Yet, although technology is our aid and support, it is no substitute for actual contact. That is one key reason why we note that the number of members of the Chamber is growing. We are particularly pleased to welcome five new Patron members since the last edition of INFO. These are easyjet, the Financial Times, Portland Communications, Van Cleef and Arpels and Societe Generale Equipment Finance. The range of new members as well as the number indicates the Chamber’s success in providing a forum for highly diverse topics of great importance and relevance. This is nowhere better demonstrated than in the subjects tackled by our Forums and Clubs, which now have dedicated LinkedIn groups. These cover Economy, Human Resources, CSR, Climate Change, Luxury, cross-cultural relations and SMEs entrepreneurs. You will find reports on recent events at the Chamber in the forthcoming pages. Our Dîner de la Rentrée with guest speaker Nicolas Petrovic, CEO of Eurostar, or our hugely successful Gala Dinner, addressed by Paul Deighton, CEO of Locog. This is a highlight of our year and will point the way forward to the overwhelming subject of 2012, namely the Olympic Games. I
info - november / december 2011 - 63
5 New patron members:
EASYjET represented by Carolyn
McCall OBE, Chief Executive |
easyJet is a pan-European airline operating Europe’s No. 1 air transport network with a leading presence on Europe’s top 100 routes and at Europe’s 50 largest airports. easyJet’s mission is to make travel easy and affordable, by serving to Europe’s most convenient airports, and catering for business and leisure travel alike. easyJet flies on more than 570 routes between 129 airports in 29 countries. More than 300 million Europeans live within one hour’s drive of an easyJet airport, more than any other airline. The airline takes sustainability seriously. easyJet invests in the latest technology, operates efficiently and fills most of its seats which means that an easyJet passenger’s carbon footprint is 22% less than a passenger on a traditional airline, flying the same aircraft on the same route.
Financial Times represented by Ben Hughes, Global Commercial Director and Deputy CEO |
The FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 585,681 (Deloitte assured, 4 April 2011 to 3 July 2011). This is made up of the FT newspaper’s daily circulation of 331, 883 (ABC figures August 2011) and 229,000 paying FT digital subscribers. The FT has a combined print and online average daily readership of 2.1 million people worldwide. (ADGA, PwC assured, November 2010). The FT newspaper is printed at 23 print sites across the world and has a global print circulation of 331,883 (ABC, August 2011). FT.com has over 3.7 million registered users.
Portland Communications represented by Steve Morris, Managing director |
Portland is an independent strategic communications consultancy providing media relations and public affairs advice to some of the world’s biggest brands, international organisations and high-profile individuals. We are pioneers in integrated communications campaigns. Through our offices and a network of affiliates across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, we deliver outreach and impact in the UK and around the world. Over the last decade, Portland has earned a reputation for the high quality of our work, our team and the results we deliver. Set up in 2001 by Tim Allan, a former senior adviser to Tony Blair and Director of Communications at BSkyB, Portland now has over 70 staff with offices in London, New York and Nairobi.
Societe Generale Equipment Finance represented by Giles Turner, Managing Director |
Societe Generale Equipment Finance is a leading global provider of business equipment finance. We are part of the renowned financial services group, Société Générale. Our financing, leasing and vendor programmes are available in 25 countries. Our expertise and experience in providing finance solutions covers many sectors, including Information Technology, Construction, Transportation, Materials Handling, Executive Jets, Printing, Medical Equipment, Agricultural Equipment and Renewable Energies. We have a comprehensive range of financial solutions to help suppliers and vendors offer the right finance package for their equipment which will help underpin stronger and longer lasting customer relationships.
64 - info - november / december 2011
Van Cleef & Arpels represented by Geoffroy Medinger, Director |
In 1896, Estelle - born Esther - Arpels, daughter of a precious stone dealer, married Alfred Van Cleef, son of a stonecutter. In 1906, they registered the ‘Van Cleef & Arpels’ name and set up their business at 22, place Vendôme, Paris, with Estelle’s brothers as partners. Rare gems, exceptional settings and timeless creations define the art of High Jewellery by Van Cleef & Arpels. Along with its rigorous standards, the Maison is known for its spirit of innovation, eternal creations and wonderful stories. Van Cleef & Arpels is now part of the Richemont group, with 89 boutiques and 3 Maisons worldwide.
2 New Corporate members:
Lowendalmasaï UK Ltd | www.lowendalmasai.com Lowendalmasaï is an operationally focused management consultancy with offices in nine countries. It helps companies boost performance through enterprise cost management initiatives of varying complexity and magnitude. We bring a multi-disciplinary team with expertise across Procurement, Working Capital, Tax and Finance. Represented by Romain Daumont, Manager, International Business Development Director
Beaufort Prestige International | www.beaufort-international.com Based in London, Beaufort Prestige International is a premier boutique search agency, providing a dedicated service on an international level. Our extensive list of contacts provides us with access to properties for sale or for rent that are not commonly available on the open market or represented on our website for reasons of confidentiality. We specialise in sourcing luxury French properties including bastides, chateaux, vineyards, villas of character, hotels and penthouse apartments. Represented by Eve de Beaufort, Managing Director
25 new Active members: 40-30
Providing solutions to manufacturing and research
Represented by Véronique Lamberdiere, President www.40-30.fr
Wireless products and solutions
Represented by Antoine Peyrard, Responsable Export www.adeunis-rf.com
BMI System Software Edition
Represented by Sylvain Hubert, Sales Manager www.bmi-system.co.uk
BMM connection Limited Luxor – Luxury to drink
Represented by Bruno Mebenga, Director www.bmmconnection.co.uk
Circles Concierge services
Represented by Clément Saint Olive, General Manager www.circles.co.uk
Coles Trading Limited
Distributor of luxury French foods & wines - including FAUCHON
Represented by Tim Coles, Managing Director
College of Central London
Private, Business & IT Education Provider
Represented by Nicolas Kailides, Principal www.central-college.com
Represented by Keith Smith, Regional Director www.crossknowledge.com
Building automation and energy management
Represented by Richard Gayet, Finance, HR, and Operations Director www.distech-controls.eu
E-swin UK Ltd
Permanent hair removal solutions for home use and businesses
Represented by Thomas Jacquel, Country Manager www.eswin.co.uk
Empreinte Underwear retailer
Represented by Tanja Schuh, Export Manager www.empreinte.eu
energy-future.com e-learning for the energy industry
Represented by Edouard de Guitaut, Co-founder www.energy-future.com
info - november / december 2011 - 65
French real estate law / Non residents dedicated services
French law firm specialising in employment law
Represented by Jamel Brahmi, Head of International Department
Represented by Alain-Christian Monkam, Principal www.monkam-solicitors.co.uk
NH IT Consulting
Electrical engineering and renewable energy
Represented by Dominique Lin, International Development Coordinator www.faseo.fr
Goodman Jones LLP Chartered Accountants
Represented by Graeme Bursack, Partner www.goodmanjones.com
Luxottica Luxury Goods
Represented by Thomas Brochier, Country Manager www.luxottica.com
The Rooster Ltd Marketing/PR/Web agency
Represented by Annick Devillard, Director www.therooster.co.uk
Tinubu Square Credit risk solution
Represented by Nicolas Henault, Director
Over the word Legal & financial translations
Represented by Julien Tubbs, Chargé d’Affaires www.overtheword.com
Represented by Stephane Bonal, Director www.presi.com
Tadé du Pays Levant
Production of 100% natural skincare products
Represented by Claire Hélène Pavillet, Business Development Executive Europe www.tinubu.com
Visionary Displays LTD Luxury displays
Represented by Bridget Moore, Managing Director www.visionarydisplays.com
Payment Services Provider company & Mobile Payment
Represented by Gilbert Reveillon, Managing Director UK www.lemonway.fr
Represented by Adeline Reynaud, Export Manager www.tade.fr
14th September: Business Club Cocktail sponsored by
Wealth management, the subject of highly successful Chamber Cocktail ||| The extent of interest in tax planning for wealthy people who are residents but non-domiciled in the United Kingdom was demonstrated by the number that attended the Chamber’s cocktail held on 14 September at the Sofitel St James and sponsored by Société Générale Private Banking Hambros (SGPBH). This is a subject that has attracted much public attention in recent years as the UK government has imposed additional cost burdens on those holding the ‘non-dom’ status. Yet it is clear many still find it a helpful vehicle for managing their taxation affairs. The subject is complex and hence the very lucid explanations provided at this cocktail by Renaud Billard, head of the French team at SGPBH and Geraldine Appert, wealth planner at SGPBH, was extremely valuable. The event was very well attended and was chaired by the Chamber’s deputy president, Peter Alfandary, who
66 - info - november / december 2011
The cocktail proved to be very popular
offered his gratitude to Société Générale Private Banking Hambros for sponsoring this exceptional occasion as well as to the Sofitel for hosting it. I NK
recent e vents
22nd September: CEO breakfast sponsored by
Learning from disasters - Areva CEO hails nuclear future Fukushima shocked the world. It provided useful lessons too. Areva CEO Jean-Jacques Gautrot addressed Chamber members at a recent CEO breakfast
||| Nearly 80 guests attended the Chamber’s fifth CEO breakfast event that took place on 22 September at the Andaz Hotel, Liverpool Street Station. The special guest speaker was Jean-Jacques Gautrot, Chairman and CEO of Areva UK, who delivered an informative and wideranging address on the theme of “The Nuclear Industry post-Fukushima”. After a sumptuous breakfast sponsored by Bridor UK - FB Solution, and introductory remarks by Peter Alfandary, Deputy President of the French Chamber, Gautrot set the scene by describing the tragic events that occurred in Japan earlier this year. Next, he amplified the key elements of nuclear policy, ones which put reactions to the Fukushima disaster in clearer context. These features included the dramatic increase in global demand for energy, the need to move from fossil fuels to cleaner energy, the very real threat of climate change, and the overriding question of nuclear safety. A series of revealing graphs strongly bolstered his arguments. Gautrot then addressed the impact that the media, public opinion and strategic business considerations have had on reactions to Fukushima. He contrasted the Italian and German decisions to cease nuclear generation with quite different, if cautious, responses in France, Britain, the USA, China, Switzerland and Brazil. The exercise provided a fascinating insight into national characteristics and the variety of interests at play. Gautrot also depicted the immediate and longer term impact of Fukushima in human terms, and outlined how both safety features and approaches to coping with potential disaster have evolved over the years. Lastly he assured listeners that nuclear remained
The fifth CEO Breakfast was a great success
a secure, environmentally sound and economically sensible option for the energy needs of the future. Guests welcomed Jean-Jacques Gautrot’s exposition for its clarity, and also clearly appreciated being back in the hypermodern setting of Andaz, site of our very first CEO breakfast back in September 2009. I LRJ
info - november / december 2011 - 67
recent e vents
5th October: Dîner de la Rentrée sponsored by at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
Eurostar shapes up for competition The Chamber has just held its fabled annual Diner de la Rentrée at a location that could not have suited the guest speaker better. Nicolas Petrovic, CEO of Eurostar, whose British head office lies just minutes away, described Eurostar’s achievements, story and challenges ahead
Nicolas Petrovic, CEO of Eurostar
||| This year’s Dîner de la Rentrée opened with some 250 Chamber guests gathering in the hotel’s Ladies Smoking Room of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel for the champagne reception before making their way to the Hansom Hall where Chamber President Arnaud Vaissié welcomed all to what he dubbed a “family gathering”, a meeting of old friends. Vaissié then introduced Nicolas Petrovic, describing his “dazzling career”, his education at ESCP Europe, his work managing a French company in Taiwan in 1992, his many roles within France’s SNCF from 1993-2002, and his subsequent career with Eurostar, culminating with his appointment as CEO in 2010. Eurostar, he reminded listeners, was the first rail operator to go under the sea, and the first to run high-speed rail links through the English countryside. Since 2006 it has pioneered sustainability and it is currently the official rail provider and a major partner of the 2012 Olympic Games. Now that the German firm Deutsche Bahn prepares to enter the UK market
68 - info - november / december 2011
in 2013, would Eurostar have to serve omelettes with sausages to compete? Answering this question and many more, Nicolas Petrovic opened his address by praising the Chamber’s role in forging bonds between the French and British business communities. Eurostar, he said, exemplified successful cross-border co-operation, consisting as it does of a pan-European fusion of French, Belgian and British rail enterprises. Petrovic himself lives and works in both Paris and London, and confesses his divided loyalties between Paris St Germain and Arsenal. When Eurostar launched in 1994, Petrovic admitted, few could have imagined how it might one day result in ‘such visible convergence between the two countries … I am really proud of that’. His company has since carried fully 120 million passengers; ‘yet more than just the numbers, Eurostar has been a tool to change people’s lives’, he added. ‘It is comfortable, convenient and friendly, and travellers love the fact that they can jump on a train and travel directly from one city centre to another.’ Thanks to a cheeky advertising campaign, said Petrovic, ‘our trains were packed with republicans who came to London this year to celebrate the royal wedding and royalty itself!’ He predicted it would be the same next summer, with the Olympics. He also hailed a “brand new chapter” as the European railway market has recently been deregulated. This in turn has helped Eurostar transform itself. ‘Now we control all our operations and services, we have profit and loss accounts for the first time, and we plan to expand wherever there are markets, in the north of the UK, the south of France, the rest of Belgium besides Brussels, and beyond, to Holland, Germany and Switzerland.’ Last year Eurostar announced that it was investing £700m in rolling stock, first to stylishly refurbish existing trains, then to buy new ones complete with
recent e vents
WiFi. Mr Petrovic insisted that high-speed rail was ‘the best travel experience in Europe’, though with 20 million people flying between the UK and continental destinations annually, airline domination represents a major challenge. Similarly, his expansion plans coincide with a worrying economic slowdown, fears over the euro and soaring rail line rentals. While the EU still lay ‘at the heart of the success of our markets’, he said, the EU persists in ‘overloading the boat with too much regulation and micromanagement when what we need is simplification of standards. We are pushing very hard for that and also try to persuade the European Commission to get us the best deals.’ ‘In economically challenging times’, he told guests, ‘the natural tendency is to go for national preference, to erect barriers. But I strongly believe that this is bad for growth in Europe. We lobby to get the markets open. Even if someone comes to our market, we can go to theirs too!’ The future, he argued, lay with rail privatisation, which he felt had improved service around London. And by building on existing loyalty and offering efficient and speedier routes, he felt convinced that Eurostar could take on all comers – including, at a pinch, the airlines. At question time, Edward Miller of Reed Smith wanted to know what tips Petrovic could give a French exec trying, as he did, to break into a British business environment. Petrovic answered: ‘Even if we think the two cultures are very different, there is this good complementary tension between them. Brits are pragmatic; they go into action quickly; the French like to plan and think ahead. So the combination of the two can be very powerful.’ His other tip was: when you arrive, listen, don’t talk. Nicolas Petrovic dealt with further questions before handing over to Arnaud Vaissié to conclude proceedings. Vaissié presented the nominees for the 2011 Intercultural Trophy for Business Excellence and announced the winner, Mazars (see box). He then thanked Maison Fresne - whose family has been growing grapes for seven generations - for providing their excellent Fresne Ducret champagne as well as the Chateau de Pennautier from the Lorgeril vineyards whose domain has existed since 1620, for providing the wines unanimously appreciated. He concluded the event by conducting a lucky draw for two standard premier return Eurostar tickets to Paris and an overnight stay at the Marriott Champs-Elysées, thus nicely ending one evening of culinary pleasure in a fine hotel with the lure of another across the Channel. I LRJ
Richard Brown, Peter Alfandary, Florence Gomez, Arnaud Vaissié and Nicolas Petrovic
St Pancras Renaissance hotel Hansom Hall
Guests at Dîner de la Rentrée
info - november / december 2011 - 69
recent e vents
Mazars takes our Intercultural Trophy for business excellence ||| Every year since 1997, the members of the Chamber cast their votes and choose the foremost company in Franco-British business relations. This year, sixteen companies awaited the results of the Intercultural Trophy for business excellence, which took place in the course of the Chamber’s Dîner de la Rentrée. This time it was Mazars that took to the stage to collect the award handed over by last year’s winner, Bouygues. INFO asked David Herbinet, Partner and head of Public Interest Markets at Mazars, to share his thoughts on winning the competition. What was your reaction to the announcement that this year’s Intercultural Trophy had been awarded to Mazars?
DH: I felt a combination of pride and surprise. The competition this year was very strong with lots of companies which have achieved a lot to develop Franco-British relations and equally deserving, but I am sure they will compete again next year! Which aspects of your work do you think contributed to Mazars’ winning of the Trophy?
DH: Mazars is first and foremost a people business, be it in terms of dealing with clients or dealing with our own staff. Since Mazars established itself in the UK over 10 years ago from a French origin, we have consistently pushed to reconcile the two cultures which are so different but also so close. I think our clients, many of whom probably voted to award this trophy, can feel this when we deal with them as we always try to bring the best of France and Britain for business growth and success.
David Herbinet colelcted the trophy on behalf of Mazars
As the winner of the Intercultural Trophy, could you explain the significance of such awards for the continuation of developing stronger ties between France and the UK?
DH: This trophy is the only one of its kind. I think it is a unique way of celebrating the Franco-British relations and be proud of our two cultures. Our two cultures can be so powerful when combined in a positive way! I
70 - info - november / december 2011
Darren Gill, David Herbinet and Arnaud Vaissié
Where French meets business.
recent e vents
The most important language for your business is the language your customer speaks. And in business today, it is likely to be French. The Institut franรงais is uniquely placed to meet your requirements, linguistic, professional and cultural. We can develop customized French classes for everyone in your company from beginners to advanced. We have the credentials, the capabilities and the commitment. Everything it takes to make French work for you. For more information, please contact us: Institut franรงais - Corporate Language Training: 020 7581 1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org
info - november / december 2011 - 71
recent e vents
8th November: Annual Gala Dinner sponsored by
Paul Deighton, CEO of LOCOG, addresses Chamber members at Annual Gala Dinner ||| The French Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Gala Dinner which took place on 8 November, was the largest ever, and undoubtedly one of the most lively and good humoured. More than 350 people came to be entertained and to network with colleagues and clients under the Chamber’s auspices and in the exceptional presence of Denis Masseglia, President of the French National Olympic Committee, Gérard Masson, President of the French National Paralympic
Paul Deighton, CEO of LOCOG
72 - info - november / december 2011
LOGO Nº dossier : 20110049E Date : 31/05/11 Validation DA/DC : Validation Client
Committee and Frédéric Bedin who will be in charge of the French House on Old Billingsgate during the Games. Held for the third consecutive year at the Landmark Hotel, a member of the Chamber, the event was sponsored by Deloitte, EDF and HSBC. The supporting sponsor was Accor. The motif of the festivities was the forthcoming Olympic Games, as the Gala was addressed by Paul Deighton, CEO of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). The evening was opened by Arnaud Vaissié, president of the Chamber, who gave a brief account of some matters of global importance, such as the close connections between France and the UK in the recent Libyan campaign or the forthcoming FrancoBritish summit in Paris. His introduction was followed by an address from Jean-Claude Poimboeuf, Minister Counsellor at the French Embassy to the UK . Sponsors then had the opportunity to show promotional films and briefly address the gathering. These sponsors included EDF, whose CEO Vincent de Rivaz heralded the London Games as embodying vitality, diversity and vibrancy. The company he said, hoped to feed on the Games ‘emotional power’ to make the company’s key point that energy needs to be sustainable. EDF has gathered together some 3 million children to participate in Games-related projects, and many tens of thousands of employees. He finally called on French people in London to ‘get behind the Games’.
recent e vents
Farom left: Vincent de Rivaz, Jean-Claude Poimboeuf, Florence Gomez, Arnaud Vaissié, Paul Deighton, Denis Masseglia, Philippe Henry and William Touche
William Touche, Partner of Deloitte, observed that it had put 100 secondees at the disposal of the Games organisers and that they were advising on 150 projects. The company expected to allocate 500,000 hours of professional time to advise on and facilitate the running of the Games. It was, he said, ‘the most complex show on earth.’ Philippe Henry, the European Head of Credit & Lending at HSBC, spoke of the bank’s ‘long and fruitful relationship with the Chamber’. He said, ‘you can check out of the Chamber, but you can never leave it.’ The bank has extensive business in both France and the UK and the ‘flow exchange’ (between the two countries) as far as it relates to bank funds, amounts to 20 billion Euros. Following sponsors’ presentations, Arnaud Vaissié introduced Paul Deighton. Former partner and European Chief Operating Officer at Goldman Sachs where he worked for 22 years, he was appointed by Lord Sebastian Coe to the head of LOCOG in 2006. Arnaud Vaissié observed the scale of the LOCOG operation; the organisation will undertake a very sharp growth curve as the Games approaches. Today it employs 2,000, but that figure shall grow to 6000 by July next year. Paul Deighton is appointing at a rate of 100 people a week. The Games, he freely admits is ‘a huge logistical challenge’. It has a global budget of £9.3 billion, of which Paul Deighton has had to raise £2 billion from sources
including international TV rights, sponsorship, ticket sales and merchandising. ‘We are right on tracks, he proudly proclaims. He says he is an Arsenal fan, and he cites Arsene Wenger‘s ‘rational approach’ as his guiding philosophy. His commitment to the Games is based on Seb Coe’s belief that the Games’s primary purpose is to involve young people in sport. Much work remains, says Deighton, more than 10%, yet he only has 37 weeks to make his deadline. But what has been done so far has been done well, and that facilitates the project’s last lap. He speaks proudly of the quality of the stadia, the rejuvenation of East London and the tests that have been performed successfully. ‘Everything has been tested within an inch.’ The key challenge now, he said, was to ‘get the tone of voice right’. Paul Deighton paid tribute to French companies involved in the Games, and named Doublet, a French SME and Chamber member who makes flags for the Games. What of the legacy of the Games? Mr Deighton said that this was a key priority. He anticipates the UK tourist trade will enjoy the legacy of the Games for at least twenty years. Asked by Peter Alfandary what keeps him awake at night, Mr Deighton said that he fears anything that ‘stops the World coming to London’, and he cited the threat of a Sars outbreak, or something equally non-preventable.
info - november / december 2011 - 73
recent e vents
Denis Masseglia, President of the French National Olympic Committee
André Cini, City Jet, Thomas Dubaere, Accor UK, Vincent de Rivaz, EDF Energy
Diego Spano alias Charlie Chaplin and Frédérick Fischer, Lalique
74 - info - november / december 2011
Paul Deighton is confident London will deal with the traffic overload – especially if people change their journey times, answering a question from Raymond Blanc. Guests were immensely amused by Diego Spano, an Argentinian professional actor and clown, who started performing as Charlie Chaplin 12 years ago and has since then performed around the world, most recently at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He seduced the audience with his immense applomb and light hearted comedy. The Olympic theme was celebrated in the closing stages of the evening when Denis Masseglia, the President of the French National Olympic Committee addressed the guests on the French contribution and the plans for Club France, the French House at Old Billingsgate. The evening was closed by Arnaud Vaissié, who thanked guests for their loyalty to the Chamber. He also thanked: - EDF, Deloitte, HSBC and Accor for making this evening a total success - The tombola donors: Accor, Air France, Andaz, Boucheron, Chivas Brothers, Christofle, Club Med, Concorde Hotels, Decathlon, Dior, Eurostar, Hermès, the Landmark Hotel, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Louis Vuitton, LVMH Watch and jewellery for the amazing prizes - Chanel for the perfumes - Les vins de Saint Emilion for sponsoring the amazing Saint Emilion grands crus we had the chance to taste - Doublet for the banners and - Jeux D’images for the photos and video - Pernod Ricard and La Cave à fromage for the champagne and white wine According and thanks to all the evening was an absolute success! I Nick Kochan
Guest Speaker: Angela Knight, Chief Executive of the British Bankers Association Theme: Threats to London Competitiveness as a financial sector £100 + VAT per Person; £950 + VAT per Table
Friday 18 NOVEMBER, 12.00 - 14.30 Corinthia Hotel, London SW1A 2BD
The Annual Financial Lunch of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great-Britain is one of the Chamber’s biggest events of the year. It was created in 1997 and has been sponsored by Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking ever since. This year it is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary! Who should attend: French and British senior representatives from the international banking, legal, accountancy, industrial and commercial communities. Angela Knight ||| After leaving Bristol University with an honours degree in chemistry, Angela worked for the American industrial gas company Air Products Ltd. She was the product development manager for the application and sales of nitrogen as an inert carrier during the treatment of ferrous metal components. She went on to set up and was Chief Executive of a specialist contract heat treatment company treating precision engineering components - Cook & Knight Metallurgical Processors Ltd - and associated process plant manufacturing company. From 1987 to 1992 she was Councillor and Chief Whip on Sheffield City Council. She entered Parliament in 1992 as MP for Erewash and was Economic Secretary to the Treasury between 1995 and 1997, when she lost her seat at the General Election. She was the Chief Executive of the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers from September 1997 to December 2006. She is currently the Chief Executive of the British Bankers Association. She is also a non-executive director on the boards of Brewin Dolphin plc and the Financial Services Skills Council.
Threats to London Competitiveness as a financial sector Angela will be talking about what she sees as the regulatory changes which will improve competitiveness and where she thinks the problems that London and other European financial centres may have from China, India and south east Asia. She will also cover the following topics: Where London has competitive advantages, What are the perceived threats to the London financial centre and what are the actual threats?, What are the likely choices that London needs to take to maintain an attractive and competitive international and financial centre? About Societe Generale corporate & investment banking In London since 1871, Société Générale currently employs 2,600 staff in the UK and is active in Corporate & Investment Banking, Private Banking and specialised Financial Services. Société Générale CIB is a leading player with 11,000 professionals in over 33 countries across Europe, the Americas and AsiaPacific. London is an essential component of the dual European product delivery platform alongside Paris. Société Générale CIBoffers value-added advisory and integrated solutions to help European and UK clients optimise their financing and investment needs. Standing by its clients, the Corporate & Investment Bank tailors solutions for them by capitalising on its worldwide expertise in Investment Banking, Global Finance, and Global Markets. I
For more details, please contact Cécilia Gonzalez on email@example.com or on 020 7092 6641
info - november / december 2011 - 75
Christmas cocktail 18.30 – 21.00 AT THE ST PANCRAS RENAISSANCE HOTEL £50 + VAT per person The French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain is delighted to announce its first Christmas Cocktail sponsored by easyJet. This event will allow our members to network in a special and magic atmosphere, surrounded by Christmas lights and
decoration. A prize draw will be organised to make sure the Christmas spirit is completely there! We will have the great pleasure to welcome as Guest of Honour and speaker, Denis Masseglia, President of the French National Olympic and Sport Committee.
22th november 2011
Luxury Club 08.30 - 10.00 at Quince Salon of the May Fair Hotel London Chaired by Thierry Outin, Managing Director of Hermès GB
Theme: “The Olympic Games and Luxury Retail: what is the winning formula?” Guest speakers: Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, DBE London & Partners Board Chairman and New West End Company Chairman and Heather Hancock, Lead Partner for London 2012, Deloitte MCS Ltd. Open to: By invitation only
22th november 2011
Climate Change Forum 08.30 - 10.00 at French Chamber of Commerce Chaired by Richard Brown, Chairman Eurostar International Ltd
Theme: “Working session & Case study” Open to: By application only
14th december 2011
CSR Forum 08.30 - 10.00 at the french chamber of commerce Chaired by Rose Gledhill, HR Director International SOS
Theme: “Working session” Open to: HR directors and managers, members of the Chamber only For more details, please contact Karim Mijal on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7092 6638
76 - info - november / december 2011
The truth about the worldwide fight against corruption
Provides practical advice for managers looking to implement anti-corruption strategies
Available from all good bookshops www.palgrave.com info - november / december 2011 - 77
Fournisseur dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ĂŠnergie Ă Londres Pour plus dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;information visitez edfenergy.com
78 - info - november / december 2011 %$& %NERGY IS A TRADING NAME USED BY %$& %NERGY #USTOMERS PLC 2EG .O WHOSE REGISTERED OFlCE IS AT 'ROSVENOR 0LACE ,ONDON 37 8 %. INCORPORATED IN %NGLAND AND 7ALES %$& %NERGY #USTOMERS PLC IS A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF EDF Energy plc. The responsibility for performance of the supply obligations for all EDF Energy supply contracts rests with EDF Energy Customers plc.
INFO Feb10.indd 1
ÂŠ photo credits: VINCI and subsidiaries photo libraries, BAA photo library.
CONSTruCTING A SuSTAINABle fuTure At VINCI Construction Grands Projets, we engineer solutions that are not only financially competitive, but work sustainably for the planet. Superior design and construction practises are helping us save 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in two years. On the Hallandsas TBM project in Sweden, all the discharged water from the construction sites is monitored continuously quality and quantity wise before sent back to the natural environment. Also on this project, every chemical product used has been through a complete eco-toxicological evaluation regarding its impact on human health and environment before being approved. Just one way in which VINCI Construction Grands Projets demonstrates sustainability leadership. To learn more please visit www.vinci-construction-projects.com/british-isles