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Impulse #1: Distance creates proximity

26 January 2021

They are already over, the first weeks of the new year. I probably felt the same way as many of you: I have longed for 2021 very much. Knowing that everything will not change automatically at the turn of the year and that we cannot return to the tried and tested. I didn't think 2021 would start with such a strong lockdown. So the corona crisis and its economic and social consequences will be part of our lives in 2021. Nevertheless: The turn of the year is an opportunity to draw a conclusion, to leave the past behind and to look forward with confidence. This is accompanied by the tradition of launching new projects. I did that, too. I would like to introduce one of these projects to you here: From now on, I will write a personal contribution once a month in our zero-carbon magazine for you. I would like to share with you my own experiences at ENGIE Deutschland and take you with me into our world full of technology, energy and service.

"Strong together:
We are and will remain where we are most needed in the corona crisis – on the ground, with our customers."

Looking ahead: the corona crisis as an opportunity for the climate

However, the corona crisis at ENGIE Deutschland has proved to be the engine of change in several other ways. In our company, we will maintain many positive changes that were made in 2020. First and foremost, we should mention agile work processes and digital transformation, which have gained enormous momentum as a result of the corona crisis – this is certainly something many of you have experienced. We still have paper-bound processes in our company, but we will continue to digitize them in the coming months. At the top of the agenda for 2021 are the topics of sustainability, the energy transition and climate protection – these have long been of particular concern to us at ENGIE Deutschland. Sustainable processes will continue to gain ground and will very quickly become more important than ever after the corona crisis, of that I am personally convinced. Just how ubiquitous CO2 is now as a topic, by the way, I noticed recently when shopping – even fruit juices and mustard are now advertised as CO2-neutral. However, the transition to climate-neutral processes, climate-neutral production and climate-neutral buildings entails a high degree of complexity. In the new year, we will provide our customers with more support – with highly efficient solutions, uncomplicated processes and short routes. And we also focus on contributing to climate protection within ENGIE. For example, while we have been quite a travel-happy bunch, from now on we will replace business travel with digital formats wherever appropriate. Mobile working is also now a practice. In addition, we are working on numerous other "Decarbonize Ourselves" projects; I will be happy to report back to you later – stay tuned. So 2021 will also be a year full of progress and change.

With confidence into the future

However, there is one thing that will certainly not change: I am looking forward to being able to meet you again personally, dear customers, dear partners and dear employees. I miss real contacts that Microsoft teams, Zoom and Co. simply cannot match. Digital collaboration works great for process-oriented tasks. But sales and business development live on human contact. Until this is possible again, I carry out my new project and stay in contact with you in this way. I am glad if you read my ideas – and feel free to write to with your personal thoughts.

See you soon - and stay healthy!

Warmest regards

Manfred Schmitz
CEO ENGIE Deutschland

Our Expert

Manfred Schmitz
Once a month, Manfred Schmitz, CEO of ENGIE Deutschland, shares his view on current topics in our column Impulse.

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