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Work & Wellbeing Agency Culture Havas

Vivendi to turn the heating down in agency offices this winter

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By Sam Bradley | Senior Reporter

October 5, 2022 | 4 min read

Havas owner has pledged to lower the temperature of its European offices by 1°C to reduce energy use.

A thermostat

Offices in the Havas group and its sister companies will be a little colder this winter / Adobe Stock

Havas offices will be a little chillier this winter after the agency group’s parent, Vivendi, vowed to turn the thermostats in its offices down by at least 1°C.

The French media conglomerate, which owns Canal+ and publisher Editis, announced the new commitment this week as part of its efforts to curtail the impact of its energy usage upon the planet and upon its bottom line.

With energy costs spiking in continental Europe as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vivendi aims to reduce its consumption. The efforts were proboked by the French government’s ”energy sobriety” plan.

In addition to the winter reduction of 1°C, it will be increasing air-con temperatures during summer by 1°C. The grand neon frontage on its L’Olympia venue in Paris is also to be switched off after 11.30pm, while motion sensors will be installed to control lighting in office spaces and LED lights are to be rolled out in every location that doesn’t already use them. The policies will apply to every company in the Vivendi portfolio with European premises.

According to a spokesperson, the company already cut its kilowatt-hour consumption by 7% between 2019 and 2021, while 30% of its energy worldwide comes from renewable sources. The group expects to make a further 7% reduction, though a spokesperson confirmed that price rises will likely cancel out any financial savings.

Havas, the agency holding group owned by Vivendi, has offices and businesses across the globe. While 1°C might not be felt in Havas’ ’village’ base in Rome, staff at Additive, its latest acquisition in Scotland, might notice the fall.

Furthermore, scientific research in recent years has suggested that male and female staff feel the effects of lower temperatures differently. A 2019 study linked job performance in women with higher room temperatures and the inverse for men.

Vivendi’s spokesperson told The Drum that the savings would be worth staff discomfort. ”It is documented that 1°C reduction in temperature results in a 7% energy saving on average. We will be measuring the impact on our energy consumption and will report on it publicly.”

They said that offices would be given some flexibility to save teeth from chattering over winter, however. ”The wellbeing of our staff is very important to us. Furthermore, the changes in temperature are always discussed with and submitted to the approval of the elected staff representatives.

”By letting our various entities manage the temperature change themselves, we are also empowering them to look at individual situations closely and adapt to specific needs and cases (health-related too).”

Work & Wellbeing Agency Culture Havas

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