Essential services and competition between providers are important to mayors in France
Ahead of the Conference of French Mayors and Municipalities—and to better meet its customers’ needs—SUEZ commissioned IFOP, a market research agency, to conduct a survey of French Mayors (with a sample size of 400) to find out their views on essential services’ management. To help local communities with crisis management organization, SUEZ Group and IFOP have published the results of that survey.
- 99% of elected officials surveyed are attentive to waste management and treatment in times of crisis
- 94% of elected officials are vigilant about the water distribution and wastewater treatment challenges
- Competition: At the prospect of the two leading French service providers becoming one company, 76% of elected officials fear that the price of water and sanitation will go up
In times of crisis, priority is given to environment-related businesses:Elected officials consider environment-related businesses to be a particular priority in times of crisis. 94% of elected officials pay close attention to issues related to water distribution and wastewater treatment, and 97% said they are watchful when it comes to issues of waste collection and treatment.
82% of elected officials believe that compared to other local public services, the distribution of water and sanitation resources is important. Almost all elected officials are particularly vigilant to waste management and treatment in times of crisis: 99% of the respondents said they believe it is an important issue compared to other local public services.
SUEZ aimed to evaluate the elected officials’ degree of satisfaction in a country that benefits from the expertise of not one, but two industrial flagships in the environmental sector. 94% of the respondents are satisfied with the current waste collection and treatment services in their area, and 71% believe that the current price of water in their municipality is neither too high nor too low. Furthermore, 55% of the elected officials we surveyed said that the water and sanitation services in their area has improved over the last three years.
More than two-thirds of elected officials fear a lack of competition and an increase in water tariffs if one of the leading French providers of environmental services were to cease to exist:76% of elected officials fear that water and sanitation prices will go up if SUEZ and Veolia merge. More generally, 60% of elected officials believe that said merger would have negative consequences for local communities over the years to come. As such, elected officials seem worried by Veolia’s recent ambitions to create a “single world champion” of environmental services.
Jean-Marc Boursier, Senior Executive VP of SUEZ in charge of the France Region and Operations, comments: “SUEZ is always looking to gauge customer satisfaction. The results of this study show how central our business activities are to the concerns of local elected officials. In France and around the world, SUEZ strives to shape a sustainable environment. After 160 years of history, we remain more determined than ever to support local communities in their ecological transition.”
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