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Story Fondation Rexel cover

Rexel promotes social innovation

The Rexel Foundation supports social entrepreneurs, in line with the Group’s convictions

Introduction

The Rexel Foundation promotes energy progress, namely via its joint-skills Platform for Social Entrepreneurship. Created in 2014, the Platform helps to select and accompany initiatives that aim at sustaining socially innovative business models in the energy efficiency sector. Creating value, protecting the environment and improving access to energy efficiency for all lie at the heart of this collaborative work tool.

"The Rexel Foundation’s joint-skills Platform for Social Entrepreneurship is designed to identify and promote social innovations, bringing together associations, academic institutions and companies around projects carried out by social entrepreneurs working for energy efficiency.”

Amélie André Rexel Foundation General Secretary
  • 20

    members work in the general interest


  • 12

    social entrepreneurs innovating for energy efficiency


  • 250

    hours volunteered from Rexel employees and partners


A platform born from an inspiring experience

Soon after its creation in 2013, the Rexel Foundation for a better energy future committed itself to supporting social entrepreneurs through the exclusive support of the Energy Efficiency Impact program. Developed by Ashoka, the first international network for social entrepreneurs, the program helped 8 social entrepreneurs for 6 months to structure their growth models while increasing their scope and strengthening their impact.

Following this experience where much was learned and relationships built, the Rexel Foundation decided to create a dedicated social entrepreneurship platform, bringing together sponsors and social innovators to promote energy efficiency.

Programme IMPACT EE 1

Boosting social innovation to promote energy efficiency

Social innovation is one of the Rexel Foundation’s core principles, aiming to drive social progress, improve quality of life and improve access to sustainable and less expensive sources of energy for society’s most disadvantaged.

Thus, the purpose of the Social Innovation Platform is to boost innovative social models that improve access to energy efficiency for all.

In this aspect, the Rexel Foundation’s team pursues 4 core missions:

A collaborative tool for collective benefits

The projects supported by the Rexel Foundation strengthen the Group’s commitment to improve access to energy efficiency for all. The new uses and business models that emerge from these projects benefit all types of users.

Energie Partagée (France)

Energie Partagée helps grassroots organizations in their interaction with public bodies so that they can
develop, fund and manage their own projects for the production of renewable energy. They start by targeting potential project initiators (residents, associations, communities), and work with them to launch the project. Citizen awareness greatly increases once the projects reach the investment phase.

• The Rexel Foundation’s funding raised awareness among 103 representatives and 300 citizens concerning projects supported by Energie Partagée
• Luigi Caricato, External Communications Director of the Legrand group, contributed his expertise to structuring the association’s digital communication tools

GoSol ( Finland)

GoSol.org is the first digital platform designed to transfer technology to the most disadvantaged communities. It develops free construction guides enabling farmers and craftsmen in developing countries to build solar concentrators so that they can access green, free and self-produced energy.

“Our objective is to create a solar concentrator technology model and make it available to the greatest number of people. We have developed construction guides available for free download. The Rexel Foundation enabled us to do so under proper conditions, and to join an ecosystem of actors who believe that a new energy model is possible.”

Arnaud Crétot GoSol.org initiative

négaWatt (France)

DORéMI (Dispositif Opérationnel de Rénovation énergétique des Maisons Individuelles – an operational framework for the energy retrofit of single-family homes) was developed to foster widespread access to efficient, comprehensive energy retrofitting, thanks to training and worksite assistance provided by groups of skilled tradesmen.

• The Rexel Foundation funded the creation of a “toolkit” containing nearly 100 files to assist in the framework’s launch and implementation
• The Deloitte Foundation is using skills sponsorship to accompany Vincent Legrand (Managing Director, négaWatt) in defining an economic model for the framework

Energise Sussex Coast (Great Britain)

In October 2014, the Rexel Foundation awarded the prize for the “socially innovative community project benefiting those most in need of energy and cost savings” to the social enterprise Energise Sussex Coast for its project to distribute 600 “energy packs” to low income communities in Sussex and Kent counties in southern England.

“Anyone who receives an energy pack will join our energy-saving community and be offered ongoing support and help with their bills, receive fuel debt advice from our partners, and be informed of future programs. The Rexel Prize really boosted our current plan to help our region reduce its energy footprint as well as the fuel bills of vulnerable residents.”

Richard Watson President of Energise Sussex Coast

And tomorrow…

Drawing upon these experiences, the Rexel Foundation seeks to further develop the Platform for Social Entrepreneurship’s activity around the world. With this in mind, the Foundation built a partnership with the Europe Tomorrow program in Europe, and one with the Advise for Change association in South-East Asia. In addition, it is continuously searching for new projects to support in North America.

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