An omnipresence of TotalEnergies in stadiums and museums

To find “a profession of the future” Or just “a second chance”, just cross Joséphine-Baker Street. At least, according to L’Industreet. Since the end of 2020, this “campus of new industrial professions” is aimed at young people aged 18 to 30. Without a diploma requirement for entry, it promises “free and qualifying training” in various sectors (automated production line, energy distribution, assisted robots, etc.). All this paid for by TotalEnergies, in Stains (Seine-Saint-Denis), through its corporate foundation.

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When it seeks to improve its image, the oil and gas major does not fail to let it be known that it is capable of good deeds for youth and” occupational integration “. Its influence strategy also extends to other areas of society. Cultural patronage, sports sponsorship, funding of higher education and research…

Through this soft power, a concept usually reserved for States, a simple message: the energy juggernaut claims to act in the name of the collective interest, not only for the dividends of its shareholders or for new oil and gas projects aggravating climate change. . Which is very far from convincing the Quebec philosopher Alain Deneault, author of a scathing essay, What is Total the sum of? (Rue de l’échiquier, 2017), for whom this strategy is above all intended to cut short any form of criticism. “If you give a little bit of money to an association, if you finance a museum, a heritage program, a football competition, the beneficiaries will be less daring to bite the hand that feeds them. »

A five-year budget of 200 million euros

In France, the TotalEnergies Foundation operates with a five-year budget of 200 million euros, for a period until the end of 2027. That is 40 million euros per year, of which almost a quarter goes to L’Industreet, which has welcomed some 300 students over the past year. A sum to be put into perspective with the colossal profits of the group: of the order of 19.8 billion euros, on a global scale, for the 2023 financial year alone.

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It was in the summer of 1992, shortly after the Earth Summit in Rio, that the major established a corporate foundation – French law has authorized such a legal structure since 1990, for works of general interest. . During the first years, at the risk of swimming in the paradox, its contributions went first to the protection of the oceans and marine biodiversity. As if it were a question of counterbalancing the fact that, during the same decade, she “will become a major player” – she says it herself – oil drilling in very deep seas (deep offshore).

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