The French Social Security Institution (in French: Sécurité Sociale) is divided into five branches: Disease, Accidents at Work, Family, Retirement, and Contributions. Within the Social Security institution, the Union of Social Security Branches or UCANSS (in French: Union des Caisses Nationales de Sécurité sociale) is entrusted by the national branches with missions on matters relating to the working conditions of the organizations’ personnel or on any subject of operation of organizations of common interest, particularly for real estate transactions.
The Sustainability and Real Estate Department of the UCANSS ensures the overall asset management and the safety of their real estate operations (approximately 4.5 million m², only tertiary), both on the budgetary, regulatory and legal aspects. Within this department, Dominique Conti is in charge of the real estate operations department.
Green Soluce: In your opinion, what are the main challenges facing the energy renovation of the Social Security building park?
Dominique Conti, UCANSS: The Social Security and its 4.5 million m² tertiary real estate portfolio must be in compliance with the regulatory obligations set out in the various national legislations (Law on Energy Transition Law, Law on Housing and Digital Development, among others.)
For the UCANSS, the main challenge is to anticipate the impact of the current and future legislation, seize them as opportunities, and make the Social Security branches aware of all these obligations. In this regard we will better manage our real estate assets and reduce operating costs.
Green Soluce: How do you plan to address these challenges through your new energy and environmental policy?
Dominique Conti, UCANSS:
Today, the Social Security system responds to these energy and environmental challenges via a Steering Committee which brings together the main sustainable development stakeholders of each branch and the UCANSS.
This regular work between all the players, and the support of Green Soluce, has led to the first edition of our institution’s energy and environmental policy roadmap. The roadmap focuses on several axes, such as: engagement of internal stakeholder, sobriety and performance of buildings, energy consumption control and measurement, and finally, bring innovation to the service of the energy transition. This roadmap proposes two key measures:
- The search for external resources and assistance to support local branches in their implementation of energy and environmental policy. Today, the institution lacks resources on these subjects and must consider using the most innovative devices and solutions to move forward.
- Awareness on a large scale to be able to change our ways of proceeding internally, because awareness is accelerating locally and must find a reality in the implementation of our internal action plans.
These two ambitions are also reflected in the recently selected programme by the Ministry of Environment “Raising awareness and Innovation for the energy transition of Social Security“, a nationwide program co-led by UCANSS and Green Soluce.
Green Soluce: Why is training an essential lever for a successful energy transition, particularly in the context of this programme?
Dominique Conti, UCANSS: The “Raising awareness and innovating for the energy transition of the Social Security” programme makes it possible to address and raise awareness to more than 6,600 employees on the issues of energy and environmental renovation through an innovative digital learning approach.
Today, we can no longer operate as before and we must take into account issues that have a direct impact on our real estate stock: new environmental regulations, nomadism of the workforce and the integration of digital technology. All this must lead to a change in the way we work to provide the best public service.
To this end, our employees must become ambassadors of good practices, innovations and new ways of working to achieve more efficient and sober operations. This is further highlighted by a recent study carried out by the Observatory of Sustainable Real Estate, a French NGO (“Observatoire de l’Immobilier Durable”), which shows that good user awareness can lead to energy savings of between 5 and 10%.
In this respect, training and capacity building is therefore an essential lever for a successful energy transition.
Green Soluce: What effects can result from a large-scale awareness and educational program like this one?
Dominique Conti, UCANSS: For the Social Security, the challenge will be surpassed if the trained agents effectively become champions of these topics, and perpetuate the good practices over the long term. The Programme, also provides different levels of feedback in order to bring innovation and good practices to the national level.
The Social Security branches committed to innovation and sustainable development will continue to be recognized, in particular through the “Innovation Award” of the Social Security which rewards those branches that have implemented innovative actions, particularly in the fields of social responsibility or technology.
Green Soluce: In your opinion, how could the role of the UCANSS evolve in the coming years?
Dominique Conti, UCANSS: The UCANSS acts as an advisory partner to the branches on a wide range of functional activities: project management, purchasing, human resources and CSR support.
For the Department of Real Estate Operations, this means a transformation from providing project management support to become, by creating closer ties with the branches, a “solutions provider”. In this manner our service will meet demands which are not necessarily in the core business of the branches, and particularly with regard to the further integration of sustainable development activities.
In this transition, the Social Security is in the process of overhauling its Sustainable Development / Organizational Social Responsibility (OSR) framework, which guides the work of employees and organizations on these subjects.
Thanks to a co-construction work between the branches and the UCANSS, the Social Security institution is setting itself integrated commitments and objectives in various areas, which will result in a new driving force behind the activity of our organisations.
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