Convinced that there cannot be an energy transition without solidarity, in 2013 Rexel created its foundation – the Rexel Foundation for a better energy future – which has made fighting fuel poverty one of its priorities. Its actions are based on the idea that effective solutions require close collaboration with target communities.

Fighting fuel poverty

Fuel poverty affects 12 million people in France and continues to rise, despite heavy investments and the existence of numerous aid initiatives. “The Foundation is positioned as a solutions provider in collaboration with vulnerable communities and all stakeholders.” says Bertrand de Clermont Tonnerre, Sustainable Development Director of the Rexel Group and General Secretary of the Rexel Foundation. Through its Foundation, Rexel contributes to energy progress by working alongside charities, NGOs and partners to support community projects and improve access to energy efficiency for the most disadvantaged, thereby offering solutions that meet today’s societal challenges.

Bertrand de Clermont Tonnerre Bertrand de Clermont Tonnerre,
Sustainable Development Director of the Rexel Group and General Secretary of the Rexel Foundation

“The emergence of a decarbonized economy demands a transformation of electrical consumption habits and behaviors. Rexel and its Foundation accompany and assist communities on a daily basis along the road of energy progress.”

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  • Sharing energy progress

    The Rexel Foundation intends to make a concrete, active contribution to energy progress. The dissemination of energy-efficient solutions constitutes a major opportunity to lower households’ energy bills, renovate buildings and eliminate waste. It is also a chance to rethink uses and promote low-carbon energies.

  • 75
    projects supported by more than 70 partners since 2013.
    beneficiaries of the Rexel Foundation for a better energy future since its creation in 2013.
  • With this in mind, the Rexel Foundation’s mission focuses on three kinds of programs:
    Community projects: supporting public interest projects initiated by NGOs, associations and partners to improve access to energy efficiency for disadvantaged communities.
    Social innovation projects: promoting and accompanying innovative models and solutions through a support and innovation platform aimed at social entrepreneurship in energy efficiency.
    Academic studies and research: developing knowledge and raising awareness of energy efficiency in order to create a shared knowledge base through studies, conferences, workshops and applied research programs.

Rexel Expo 2019, le marché industriel

Energy efficiency,
a source of progress


    Reducing energy dependency: energy efficiency reduces dependency on fossil fuels.


    Reducing environmental impact: energy efficiency addresses the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


    Reducing the social divide: energy efficiency facilitates access to energy for all and helps fight against fuel poverty.

Facilitating the inclusion of households in difficulty

Initiated by the Rexel Foundation in Roubaix, the “Collectif des Possibles” (Possibilities Collective) project demonstrates the Foundation’s hands-on commitment to fighting fuel poverty. Providing individual support for people throughout the renovation of their home, the Collective proposes an innovative approach: assistance with administrative processes, choice of craftspeople, project management, etc., all the way to completion. To accomplish this, the “Collectif des Possibles” relies on a wide community of players: local authorities, associations, foundations, private businesses, craftspeople, Rexel employees, social entrepreneurs, startups, students and local volunteers.
Collaborative workshops bring together residents, local stakeholders and experts, enabling collective thinking about solutions to accompany vulnerable people and help lift them out of fuel poverty. The initiative is explained in an informative booklet and its methodology has been documented. These resources are available on the Rexel Foundation website in open source format in order to strengthen the project’s social impact and transpose it elsewhere.
The Roubaix experiment is intended to be deployed in other localitions that have expressed an interest in the initiative.

Supporting social entrepreneurship in France

The Rexel Foundation supports the project “un Toit vers l’Emploi” (A Roof and a Job), initiated by the association Entrepreneurs du Monde. The project’s goal is to develop an offering of “Tiny Houses,” combined with job search assistance for anyone who is either homeless or living in precarious housing and wants to improve their situation, initially in the city of Rouen and then in other cities in Normandy.
Ultimately, the idea is to locally produce around 40 of these eco-friendly houses, with the involvement of people in need.
Local teams from Rexel France contributed their expertise to help set up the energy production and storage system. Powered by energy produced from recyclable solar panels, this kit provides clean, autonomous energy that respects the environment as well as the comfort of occupants.
In 2020, the first 4 houses of the pilot project have been delivered, installed, and equipped. The 5th house should be a prototype coming from “un Toit vers l’Emploi’s” own workshops in 2021.

Un toit vers l'
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    young Indians took part in a training program offered by the "Green Village" project in Raipur (India) since 2018.
  • Facilitating youth employment in India

    In 2020 and for the second consecutive year, the Rexel Foundation supported the association LP4Y through the “Green Village” project in India, which facilitates the professional and social integration of youth in need. The initiative aims to develop the entrepreneurial spirit of young people living in remote, disadvantaged neighborhoods located far from employment areas. Twenty beneficiaries aged 17 to 24 took part in this project in Raipur, following a program based on the creation, construction and management of a micro solar power plant. They were thus given access to training in communication or teamwork before joining the workforce thanks to a network of partners and local players.
    Also in India, in 2020 the Rexel Foundation supported the association “Un enfant par la main” (A Child by the Hand) to contribute to the reopening of four children’s community centers that were destroyed during the floods of 2018 in Tamil Nadu. Electrification work (solar panels) in these centers were completed within the year despite difficulties relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. 312 children and 6,707 community members now benefit from a new solar energy production system and the distribution of solar lamps. Study and social time have therefore been significantly increased.

Involving employees and partners

The Foundation encourages Rexel’s employees to get involved in its projects either by serving as ambassadors in their country to support the Foundation’s teams or by sponsoring a community project in line with its aims.
For example, in collaboration with the Rexel Foundation, in 2019 employees from Rexel France decided to support the creation of a “Café joyeux” (Joyful Café), an establishment employing disabled people in Versailles. Its opening will only take place in February 2022, having been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of the Group’s entities also supported collective and community initiatives by freely providing products, supplies or skills sponsorship.

Improving access to solar energy for Native Americans

Improving living conditions for Native American communities in the United States thanks to the installation of solar panels is the aim of the National Tribal Solar Program organized by the NGO GRID Alternatives and funded for the past several years by the Rexel Foundation. This initiative provides native communities with access to a source of clean, local, renewable electric power. Households can thereby lower their energy bills by 75 to 90% on average.
Thanks to funding from the Rexel Foundation, the equivalent of 45 kW in constant current will be installed on behalf of the Eastern Navajo Agency. The initiative also aims to create a longer-term benefit through “rooftop classroom”, a practical training program conducted by the association. Throughout the project, around 30 students will be trained in the installation of solar panels. Finally, by working with tribal leaders on planning energy resources, GRID Alternatives contributes to raising awareness among Native American communities about the issues of energy management, energy efficiency and energy savings.

Faciliter l'accès à l'énergie photovoltaïque aux Amérindiens