Sandrine Motte et Marie Borni
Independence and A duo for whom transformation is a matter of course
By Maurice Gouiran
Prix Environement / Environment Award
Since 2018, the Société des Eaux de Marseille has been run by Sandrine Motte, Managing Director, and Marie Borni, Deputy Managing Director. These two managers, in the current economic and climatic context, have one priority: to protect water resources by taking a more responsible, digital approach. In addition to their responsibilities in this company of more than a thousand employees, the two managers are heavily involved in the region’s economic organisations.
Under their leadership, the SEM has been transformed in depth by accelerating digitalisation, transforming work methods and processes, and emphasising innovation and CSR. “We have made huge changes in this company, and we are continuing to work on the technologies we have implemented, team management and training, our investment strategy and risk anticipation”, explains Sandrine Motte, while Marie Borni points out that “this part of the country seems to have easy access to water. But 2022 brought a turning point: the area is also exposed to extreme events. We need to establish a new relationship with water, and we’re trying to raise awareness about the issue.” The Alps are the water tower of the SEM, and the time has come for us to realise that the precious resource will become more scarce in the future. Both women understand they will have important decisions to make, just as their predecessors did with the construction of the Marseille canal and the creation of the SEM… 80 years ago!
« Être en responsabilité dans une entreprise au service du plus grand nombre est une motivation quotidienne. Amener l’eau au robinet est une mission noble et engageante mais aussi une grande responsabilité. »
Established in Provence for 80 years, the Société des Eaux de Marseille is renowned for its management of public drinking water and wastewater services. Preserving water resources is at the heart of its strategy. In terms of the company’s importance, the figures say it all: 80 years in operation, 1,200 employees, one and a half million inhabitants served with sanitation, 5,400 km of drinking water network maintained, or in annual indicators: 200 million in revenue, 120 million m3 of drinking water distributed, 19 million m3 of wastewater treated. The SEM is without a doubt an essential element in regional life. While the group’s core business is to distribute nearly two million people the best water in France, it has had to transform itself to adapt to the new challenges facing society and the climate. The SEM has already reduced the volume of its samples from the Durance river and is stepping up its leak-tracking initiatives throughout the network with increasingly sophisticated techniques.