The partnership between the La Poste, the French postal services group, and start-up AtmoTrack to help local authorities improve air quality.
A combination of co-innovation and corporate social responsi-bility? That’s what La Poste has achieved with the partnership between its subsidiary Geoptis* and start-up AtmoTrack, a young company that the French IoT (internet-of-things) programme op-ted to accelerate in 2016.
La Poste has run a start-up accelera-tor programme – French IoT – since 2015, focusing on companies opera-ting in online services. La Poste was won over by the dynamic solution offered by AtmoTrack, which develops environmental micro-sensors that allow mobile data collection on air quality, humidity, tempera-ture, atmospheric pressure and noise. La Poste was looking to offer new services in addition to that involving cameras installed on its vehicles to collect data on the state of roads (cracks, holes, etc.), which it already conducts.
With these mobile sensors, La Poste could offer to use its large ﬂeet, as well as bicycles, to enhance data on air quality and help local communities better res-pond to environmental issues. The partnership between these two entities is currently being tested by two major French cities.
“Using our sizeable fleet of vehicles, we can help public authorities make more appropriate decisions, as regards limiting traffic or altering roads, and therefore improve the health and quality of life of their people.”
Can you explain how your decision to work with AtmoTrack was guided by CSR matters?
Vanessa Chocteau,Director of Transformation and French IoT Programmes at Docaposte: "It is precisely the CSR aspect that pushed us to choose to accelerate this start-up which offers a connected technology with a positive impact. These mobile sensors allow us to have near real-time data on ﬁne particle levels. This should help public authorities make more appropriate decisions, as regards limiting trafﬁc or altering roads, and improve the health and quality of life of their people."
Jean-Baptiste Drechsler, Chief Executive of Geoptis: "The matter of supporting “the steering of public policies at local level” was also very im-portant to us. In addition, this data is collected without covering additional kilometres; we are in fact optimising the journeys made by our vehicles – which by the way are all electric – to collect this data."
La Poste’s CSR policy
A CSR policy rooted in the transitions in our society
“The three pillars that underpin La Poste’s group CSR policy – social and territorial cohesion, the emer-gence of an ethical and responsible digital environ-ment and support for ecological transitions – are inspired by the major transitions that affect society,” Jean-François Rodriguez, Director of CSR perfor-mance at La Poste, says.
Each of these transitions presents both risks and opportunities for the group. He adds: “Our CSR po-licy aims to both see how La Poste manages these risks, but also how it can help society to better ma-nage them.” This also allows the group to work on inventing new roles, therefore aiding the group’s own transformation. The focus on the environment provides a very concrete example. “We can work on reducing our own impact and at the same time see how, through our products and services, we can help businesses and individuals to do the same,” Mr Rodriguez explains.
The group’s Social Engagement Directorate carries another strong conviction: trust in the social and solidarity economy to support societal transitions and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable individuals. Faced with a fragmented and fragile make-up of actors, La Poste seeks to encourage partnerships on a local level with networks in this sector, particularly in the areas of integration and digital inclusion.
It is this approach that the group’s Social Engage-ment Directorate, which reports directly to the Se-cretary General, has set out and is implementing, while allowing each branch to develop its policy so it can have the greatest possible impact in its area of activity.
*Geoptis is a subsidiary of La Poste that collects road data using the company’s vehicles and makes recommendations for roadworks.