The report “For a Positive Economy” requested by the French President from Jacques Attali, the results of a think tank to which Veolia participated in 2013. The idea behind the report is that an economy based on short-term profit is the cause of the current crisis: we can no longer settle for a neutral economy which offsets the damage it provokes. We must rally around a resolutely positive economy for all those involved, to better coordinate growth and social progress.
Two proposals supported by Antoine Frérot
As a company, Veolia strives to go beyond its economic concerns and rally around global social issues; its longevity as an organization which creates wealth depends on it, as stated by its CEO, Antoine Frérot in the report:
“How a company relates to its environment determines its social acceptability to produce and sell. No business can last if it doesn’t meet current requirements or if it contradicts the long-term interests of the area in which it operates.”
That’s why he supports ideas:
- Improve the balance of power between the various stakeholders of the company, as is from their harmonious and sustainable cooperation that they can develop the company’s productive potential.
- Help companies ensure the “long-term” future of their business, because if a company wants to better take into account the public interest, it must be able to give more importance to the long-term.
Promote a “better life index
The positive economy is based on three altruisms - between generations, between regions and between actors – (see diagram) and long-term development. A society based on the positive economy promotes the interests of future generations, the only way to overcome challenges of sustainable development.
Jacques Attali and his teams therefore decided to use a new tool, the “better life index” to assess a country’s ability to make these three altruisms and the long-term a priority based on 29 criteria. They include the : imbalances between regions, income inequality, wellbeing and outlook of its people, environmental factors, health, education and the needs of future generations. The index calculated for the 34 countries from the OECD, put France in 18th place.