On Air Magazine - November 2021

Interview

Interview

At a time when the world is undergoing profound transformations—from changes triggered by the public health crisis and the energy transition, to developments in healthcare and the technology race—Air Liquide is more committed than ever to inventing a sustainable future. We talked to Benoît Potier about how the Group can commit to preparing for that future today.

This year, Air Liquide announced ambitious sustainable development goals. What does this mean for the Group’s strategy? 

Financial and extra-financial performance are now inextricably linked—of that, I have no doubt. We can be proud of our strong financial results, as they are necessary for funding our commitments to society in the long term. I firmly believe that taking action for a sustainable future involves achieving success today, and we count a number of strengths in this regard. Our unique and resilient business model is the very foundation of our performance. Our growth outlook is promising. Our position at the heart of future markets is a strong asset moving into this next chapter. Our solutions dedicated to the energy transition, climate protection, healthcare and technology not only present growth opportunities, but also have a positive impact on society. At its core, Air Liquide is a group laser-focused on progress. The Group’s history, bursting with innovation and development, is a testament to this. To build a sustainable future, we’re drawing on our ability to continually go above and beyond.

How does the Group’s innovation relate to its financial and extra-financial performance ambitions?

Innovation plays a key role in these intertwined ambitions. It underpins our competitiveness and allows us to respond to societal challenges, particularly regarding sustainable development. Our solutions in the fields of hydrogen, decarbonization and deep tech are evidence of this. In an increasingly fast-paced world, we must become increasingly more agile and cut the time it takes to bring our innovations to market. This ambition is what fuels our network of Innovation Campuses, nestled at the heart of the largest economies in Asia, the United States and Europe. Researchers, customers, academics and start-ups are working hand in hand to design the solutions of tomorrow.

Every year, the Group celebrates its innovators at the Be Innovation event. What does this recognition mean to Air Liquide?

Innovation is part of the Group’s history; it has been woven into our DNA from the very start. We created Be Innovation because we wanted to strengthen this mindset even more. This annual event gathers and rewards employees who are spearheading particularly innovative projects. For the 11th edition, around 300 employees were recognized for innovations that positively impact society. I wish to thank our employees who are the driving force of our innovation. Let’s continue inventing a sustainable future together!