EDF adopts a "raison d'être" oriented towards carbon neutrality
The "raison d'être" is "made up of the principles with which the company is endowed and for the observance of which it intends to allocate resources in carrying out its activity" (Article 1835 of the French Civil Code). The purpose of this provision of the Pacte Act was to incorporate the logic of corporate social responsibility into the Civil Code. The "raison d'être" is intended to be a guide for the company's most important decisions. It is a soft law tool, based on a voluntary approach.
The "raison d'être" is much less constraining than the status of mission-based company, also created by the Pacte law. If the company chooses this status, strict conditions must be met: in particular, quantified objectives and monitoring procedures must be defined. An independent third-party must also be responsible for verifying the implementation of the mission company's objectives. This is not the case for the "raison d'être".
The new "raison d'être" of EDF aims to "build a CO2-neutral energy future reconciling preservation of the planet, well-being and development through electricity and innovative solutions and services". It has been approved by 99.99% of the shareholders. It will be included in the company's articles of association.
This approach is part of EDF's broader plan, called CAP 2030, which aims in particular to reduce EDF's CO2 emissions by half by 2030.
However, several voices have been raised internally to question the fact that this "raison d'être" makes no reference whatsoever to the notion of public service, even though EDF's CEO had stated during his speech at the May 7 general meeting that "public services will be at the centre of the social model".