Interactions - June 2021



The ongoing health, economic and environmental crises show the extent to which Air Liquide’s business and molecules—essential for life, matter and energy—are at the heart of human progress, and therefore at the heart of the future. The Group is mindful of its corporate social responsibility and how it impacts the future of the economy and society alike. Benoît Potier discusses the Group’s ability to prepare for the future while continuing to perform in the present. 

As this global pandemic continues, how does the Group envision itself?

First, I would like to once again mention the Group’s solid performance during this crisis period. Our results show the strength of our business model, placing us in a perfect position to keep growing while helping to build a sustainable future. We need to continue seizing opportunities in the most dynamic markets and in those that contribute to the common good. We have decided to target three major markets: climate and energy transition, healthcare, and technologies —which include digital, space, deep cryogenics and quantum computing. They are all essential, both in terms of driving progress in society as a whole and building a more sustainable and environmentally friendly society. These markets are evolving rapidly and are synonymous with the future.

The Group has recently announced particularly ambitious sustainable development objectives. How do they fit in the company’s strategy?

Alongside governments and citizens, companies also share the responsibility to build a sustainable future. Performance and sustainability are both core to the Group’s growth strategy.

Our diversified and resilient business model allows us to keep performing steadily now while preparing well for the future. This means supporting our customers and patients while addressing the climate emergency and societal transformation. Our sustainable development commitments aim at going further and making a meaningful difference. First of all, we want to reach carbon neutrality, thanks in particular to the key role of hydrogen in the energy transition. Beyond the climate challenge, we also want to act for patients by contributing to transform healthcare and thus better meet the needs of patients around the world. In terms of corporate governance, we continue to implement best-in-class practices in the way we manage our business and interact with our stakeholders. We are also making ambitious commitments to our employees, who are key to the Group’s performance and its ability to have a positive impact on society.

Air Liquide welcomed 50,000 new shareholders in 2020. How is the Group maintaining dialogue with its 470,000 shareholders in the current climate?

We are proud to have been able to maintain our close relationship with you, our shareholders, during this crisis. As a matter of fact, we had to completely reinvent it! With remote Shareholder Communication Committees, with an intensification of our digital communication with you, but also thanks to the full mobilization of our Shareholder Services advisors. We also tried something new for the 2021 Annual General Meeting in an effort to preserve our treasured spirit of dialogue. We gave you new tools to submit questions, to which I could provide answers for over 40 minutes. The history that we are writing together is made up of transformation and innovation, as well as collaboration and success stories. Your support, your trust and your loyalty are key to continuing to invent the future together. Thank you once again.

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