Corporate eco-responsibility: instructions for use
From linear economy...
For too long, we have lived in a system that exploits our resources without limit, with production ending in non-recyclable waste: the so-called linear economy.
With the world's population growing and consuming more and more, resources are being depleted at an alarming rate... And the consequences are not pleasant: degradation of our planet, climate change, overproduction of waste and increasing scarcity of resources.
Our business model has therefore reached its limits.
There are a number of ways to change this: opt for renewable energies (solar, wind, etc.), review supply chains to minimize emissions, opt for less polluting transport, adopt recycling and waste reduction programs, and so on.
To achieve this, companies can reflect on and adopt the circular economy model.
... to the circular economy.
The circular economy is a profound change of model designed to go beyond the linear economy.
According toADEME, it is "an economic system of exchange and production which, at all stages in the life cycle of products (goods and services), aims to increase the efficiency of resource use and reduce the impact on the environment while developing the well-being of individuals."
This circular economy is based on 3 areas and 7 pillars:
It's a real revolution, requiring a multi-stage ecological and economic transition.
A possible strategy: the 4 Rs
- Reduce the consumption of resources (raw materials, water and energy) found in products, so as to reduce the quantities to be recycled. We can, for example, recover heat or water produced during the manufacturing process to heat company buildings. We can insulate and build efficient structures to save energy and water (rainwater recovery). Ecodesign will also help meet this objective.
- Replacing non-renewable resources with renewable ones. By finding new manufacturing processes that replace a non-renewable raw material with a renewable one (new ecological materials, reuse of offcuts, waste recycling, etc.). This is referred to as "clean products" or "clean technologies", and results in clean manufacturing. If this is not possible, then "best available technology" is selected, the most ecological practice to minimize environmental impact.
- Reuse raw materials or resources, thus avoiding the production of waste and reducing the use of new raw materials or resources. This is the role of reuse or repair.
- Recycle waste or use recycled materials. Some materials (paper, plastics, glass, metals, etc.) are easy to recycle. Some laws already require the use of recycled or recyclable products. Recycling is essential: it protects resources, reduces waste and creates new jobs.
To succeed, a company must first identify its impact on the environment, and then consider how it can gradually transform its operations without sacrificing profitability and jobs.
Becoming a sustainable company then becomes the goal.
This transformation can be broken down into the following stages.
To become an eco-responsible company committed to sustainable development, a number of criteria need to be met, in line with those of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy.
CSR, an ally of eco-responsibility
An eco-responsible company is one that achieves its CSR (corporate social responsibility) objectives.
Since 2019, the law requires companies to integrate "social and environmental concerns into their business activities and their relations with stakeholders" and thus contribute to the challenges of sustainable development.
Each company will then seek to adopt the measures best suited to its size and resources. The investments made will quickly pay off.
By placing sustainable development at the heart of their production strategy, companies gain...
By becoming eco-responsible, companies not only contribute to social and environmental issues, and create jobs... they also save money.
Eco-responsibility is a way of saving money: raw materials and energy are increasingly expensive.
However, rethinking the production system from the perspective of the circular economy enables a real reduction in resource and energy consumption.
And it's also a way of improving your employer brand and reputation!
Because the expectations of citizens, consumers and employees are clear:
See how they are increasingly concerned about the conditions under which the goods they make or buy are produced.
By adopting eco-design, companies make products durable, repairable and recyclable. All the more reason to satisfy consumers who are committed to the environment.
Being an eco-responsible company means having an advantage over those who aren't!
Corporate sport: an eco-responsible asset?
Why take up sport in the workplace?
It's a real tool for raising awareness of sustainable development.
Thanks to sports activities geared towards environmental protection, you'll be playing your part in the ecological transition.
Impress your employees, competitors and consumers alike.
Of course, sport also needs to move more towards sustainable development practices.
However, the values and spirit of the sport are totally in line with the desired direction.
The image of the athlete in symbiosis with nature is on everyone's mind. Well-being and respect for the environment are among the expectations of today's athletes.
Sport is a true companion of personal development when its values and rules are respected.
Today, famous sportsmen and women and organizations are taking action to link sport and the environment.
- FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football) has created a certification program for sustainable sporting events.
- In 2022, British trail champion Andy Symonds refused to travel to the Trail Worlds in Thailand to avoid worsening his carbon footprint.
- Adidas-backed pro surfer Justine Dupont is equipped with products made from 50% recycled plastics.
A few ideas for combining sport and eco-responsibility:
1. Organize eco-responsible events: running, hiking, cycling, swimming, surfing, climbing... Many sports are associated with the image of nature. To respect this image, introduce ecological rules requiring the use of recyclable materials and soft mobility (cycling, walking, public transport).
3. Compete for a good cause. Organize games that raise money for the environmental organization of your choice.
4. Use renewable energy sources for any sports activities you organize inside or outside your company.
5. Reward your eco-responsible employees. Encourage good practices by offering cool gifts to your most eco-friendly employees...
There's still a lot to do, but the more of us who do our bit, the more we'll be able to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
We'd be delighted to discuss this with you!
Let us know if you are interested in adopting corporate sport to raise awareness of sustainable development objectives.