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Global Positive Forum: for Antoine Frérot, businesses have to be useful in order to prosper

The Global Positive Forum gathered on 20 November in Paris political, economic and civil society leaders for a day of discussion about their projects for future generations. On this occasion, the Veolia Chairman and CEO, Antoine Frérot, testified on one of the themes discussed during the event: "business as a model of benevolence."


For Antoine Frérot, business is there to serve future generations. It transcends the generations: the new generation benefits from the legacy of the previous ones, as with Veolia, which is already in its seventh generation of employees since it was founded in 1853.

He explains that from the nineteenth century’s wealth vision of business, around 1920 we moved to a managerial vision, arriving in the 1980s with a shareholder vision dominated by a central goal: wealth creation.

"We must devise a new business paradigm"

For Veolia's CEO, businesses are now threatened because they are seen as serving only the few. That is why, apart from wealth creation, businesses must now integrate collective issues such as the environment, growing inequality, new aspirations as regards work into its vision, etc.


"A business should have a number of goals serving all its stakeholders, spreading its added value among all those who contribute to it. It will have to decide on "an optimum" between its various stakeholders in order to be useful. A business thrives because it is useful and not the other way around."



Presentation of the results of the future generations meetings

Following international citizen consultation, the first future generations meetings have identified solutions for improving tomorrow’s world in areas such as the environment, living conditions and the economy. These solutions were compiled into a book presenting a plan of action based on 20 concrete proposals for future generations.


More :

Veolia’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): its CSR commitments and shared value creation
The Veolia Foundation
Social entrepreneurship: a local driver of growth
The G20 summit Argentina
2018 Global Positive Forum and 20 proposals from the future generations meetings