Filed under: Sustainability News, Your customers want your products to be green | Tags: Brands, China, Germany, India, Innovation, Sustainable Development, United Kingdom, United States
One third of consumers combine a materialistic orientation with an aspiration to purchase sustainable goods. Style and social status are key motivators for this segment called ‘Aspirationals’.
No, we are not talking about the ‘Advocates’ formerly known as’Treehuggers’ which represent 14% of consumers. Advocates are driven by responsibility and guilt, actively search for products with social or environmental benefits and are prepared to pay more for sustainable alternatives.
To Aspirationalist, shopping is not associated with guilt – at all. ‘Shopping contributes to happiness’. Aspirationalist love to try new things, want to look good and are very much concerned about their social status.
These are among the results of the ‘Regeneration Roadmap’ study by BBMP, GlobeScan and SustainAbility, based on an online survey among over 6000 consumers in Bresil, India, China, Germany, United Kingdom and Unites Sates.
In fact, Aspirationals represent the ‘persuadable’ middle segment. Consumer goods companies should be carefully studying the needs and drivers of this group. Aspirationalists are always on the outlook for sustainable alternatives, and would buy products if this would connect them with their community of peers with shared values.
How to recognize the Aspirationalists? They can be found amongst all age groups, with a significant higher share of households with kids. In China even one in two consumers can be counted among this group. A handicap: Consumers will not automatically find products and brands that are conceived with a reduced environmental or positive social impact. Above average, this group trusts advice of friends and peers.
The challenge for companies will be to convince this well-connected group about the sustainability benefits of products despite their lack of trust in green claims or labels. Companies should consider social branding initiatives that make consumers connect with communities of peers, trust the social or environmental benefits and become – what’s in a name – advocates of sustainable brands.
The opportunity lies in the aspirations people have: sustainability connected with social status, style and a feeling of community. Companies not only should concentrate on developing green and socially responsible products, but create cóol products with great performance and sustainable benefits that people can be proud off.
In other words: Forget about the Treehuggers. Convince the Aspirationals.
Filed under: Best Practices in Finland | Tags: Eco-Innovation, Materials, Nokia, Sustainable Development
Sustainability has risen high on Nokias corporate agenda, tells Kirsi Sormunen, Global Head of Sustainability of Nokia. Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility remain key in relation to all stakeholders. Mrs Sormunen remarks that Sustainability has notably become an important means to retain and attract talented people.
Kirsi Sormunen, Nokias Global Head Sustainability
Nokia is founded in 1865 in Finland. In the early days producer of rubber, paper and cables, it has grown to an international high-tech company that is currently the world market leader in mobile phones (1). The Nokia brand is within the top ten most valued brands in the world (Interbrand survey 2010, 2). Nokia is employing worldwide 124k employees and is generating 41 billion euros revenues (1).
Nokias organisation is built up in different units (3). Nokias Unit Mobile Solutions is responsible for the smart phone and mobile computer portfolio and mobile internet services (think about maps, navigation, music, messaging and media). Nokia Mobile phones is responsible for ‘affordable’ mobile phones. Nokia Markets manages supply chains, channels as well as brand and marketing activities. Nokia Siemens Networks delivers wireless and fixed infrastructure, where as the recently acquired Navteq concentrates on digital map and location based content.
Examples of Nokias product portfolio : mobile (smart) phones (here : Nokia 3720 and smart phone Nokia E7), fixed and wireless mobile infrastructure (Nokia Siemens Networks) and digital map content (example Navteq).
Nokia has been widely recognized as Sustainability leader in the sector. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index awarded Nokia as the World Technology Super Sector leader in 2009 (1) and 2010, and the NGO Greenpeace has identified Nokia as the most Greenest IT provider (4).
Within Nokia, Mrs Kirsi Sormunen is leading the Sustainable Development activities. Before becoming head of Nokias Environmental operations (2003) and Global Head of Sustainablility (2009), Mrs Sormunen covered various senior finance risk and treasury positions within Nokia, which allows her to have a good understanding of all business aspects. In her current role as Global Head of all Sustainability projects, reporting into Esko Aho, who is a member of Nokias Group Executive Board, lead by CEO Stephen Elop.
Mrs Sormunen heads a small team at corporate headquarters and leads a network of sustainability managers and experts throughout the company, each with their own specialties. The corporate unit manages non-business specific issues such as NGO partnerships, Corporate Social Investment, philanthropy and people in the business units are responsible for productand operations related issues including materials & substance management, energy efficiency, eco services, supplier requirements and product take-back programs.
‘Sustainability is very high up the agenda at Nokia’, explains Mrs Sormunen, and ‘integrated in ‘everything we do, from they way we look at the product value chain and development of new products, to purchase policies’. She adds ‘We believe that green development can go hand in hand with business development’
1. What are Nokias CSR Goals and how have they been created ?
The Sustainability Objectives and KPIs are created by the Sustainability team in cooperation with the business representatives, controlled by the steering group of management members. The goals are an integral part of the 10 priority targets of Nokia and embedded in execution plans on group level. This means that they are also related to the remuneration of individual managers as appropriate.
Nokia has identified five key focus CSR areas (5) :
1) Accessibility : Improving access to communication and information by developing new application, notably for people with limitations in hearing, speech, vision, mobility and cognition.
2) Environment : Management of environmental issues with a life cycle approach. Special attention to Materials and substance management, Energy efficiency both in our operations and in our products, Take-back and recycling of used devices and Developing mobile services to promote more sustainable lifestyles
3) Education : Nokia partners with education companies, governments and organisations to create solutions that can have a significant social impact, achieve scale and be sustained
4) Supply Chain : Environmental and social issues are an essential part Nokia Supplier Requirements. Nokia also engages with industry partners and NGOs to develop industry wide supplier assessments.
5) Human Rights : Nokia’s respects the UN Declaration on Human Rights, ILO standards, and UN Global Compact principles. It attention goes to typical human rights challenges such as workplace safety and labor practices in our own operations and those of our suppliers.
Sustainability development is encouraged by all companies stakeholders . Mrs Sormunen emphasizes that all different stakeholders are involved in the process (shareholders, suppliers, partners, NGO’s, customers, employees). She remarks that Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development have become an important means to attract and retain talented people.
2. Are CSR and Sustainability motors for Innovation at Nokia ?
At Nokia, Sustainable Development is certainly a driver for Innovation. Mrs Sormunen gives a few examples of Innovation triggered by the companies sustainability objectives :
1) New ways of materials use : Nokia is frontrunner on the use of eco-friendly materials throughout its whole product portfolio. The company has abandoned brominated and chlorinated flame retardants and PVC from all its phones. Secondly, Nokia has been piloting new technologies such bio-plastics or recycled materials. Although not pilots always lead to market introductions yet, Nokia continues to test and develop alternative ways of material use to minimize environmental impact.
2) Energy efficiency : Nokia tries to embed new various energy efficiency features such as power save modes, optimized screen brightness and screen savers. As well it continues to increase the performance and stand-by energy consumption of chargers strongly (from 1000 mWatts to 30 mWatts in the best in class charegers in the last 8 years).
3) Packaging reduction : Smaller consumer packaging led to 30% less packaging materials and savings of 500 million euro in just two years (2006-2008).
4) Take back services : Nokia has the largest take-back program in the industry covering about 5000 collection points in 85 countries. Nokia develops different take back concepts, to be adapted to national habits and incentives. An example : recycling an old phone generates a small compensation that can be exchanged by a voucher for airtime in one country, whereas in another country people prefer to make a donation to an eco charity.
5) Nokia Ovi Life Tools . Ovi Life tools for agriculture for instance, allow people to take informed decisions, grow their business and create positive social new impact, in this case, to start with, in India.
Ovi Life Tools : Nokias services for mobile phones that facilitate life and business in developing countries. Example : Agriculture Realtime Information in India (6) More information :
3. Does the economic crisis impact Nokias Sustainability activities ?
Mrs Sormunen states that Sustainability has already been entered in all business processes. It is here to stay. It has become a licence to operate. To Nokia, it is certainly not just ‘a hygiene factor’, just a necessity. Nokia wants to stay on top of the sustainability developers and remain leader. The economical crisis does not change this.
4. What are outlooks ? How will responsibilities develop ?
Sustainable Development will remain and increasingly embedded in all business functions. To orchestrate the process, train the people and bring in best practices, it will remain important to have central people that overview all Sustainable Developent projects. Dedicated champions and specialists will remain to have key role also in the future
1. http://nds1.nokia.com/NOKIA_COM_1/Corporate_Responsibility/Sustainability_report_2009/pdf/sustainability_report_2009.pdf; 2. http://www.interbrand.co.uk/en/best-global-brands/Best-Global-Brands-2010.aspx; 3. http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia/company/structure; 4. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/toxics/electronics/Guide-to-Greener-Electronics/ ; 5. http://www.nokia.com/corporate-responsibility/overview/key-issues ; 6. http://europe.nokia.com/services-and-apps/nokia-life-tools ;
Filed under: Sustainability in France | Tags: Eco-Labels, France, Government, Life Cycle Analyses, Poverty, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development
Jean-Francois Borloo has unveiled his new plan for boosting sustainable development in France. New goals are set to encourage green economy as well as backing the creation of an World Organisation for global governance on environmental issues.
By launching its new plan ‘La Strategie National du Développement Durable 2010-2013′ government Sarkozy wants to boost the national green economy and fair trade. The new plan is in line with the bills ‘Grenelle d’Environnement I and II‘ that have been presented previously in 2007 and 2010 (1,2).
First of all, the French government wants to make sustainable products more accessible and to more people. As one of the indicators for this, the sales of eco-labelled products should be doubled by 2012.
Secondly, the French government wants to encourage companies to ncrease their recycling practices, use renewable energy and develop responsible products by taking into consideration the complete life cycle of products : from design, production, distribution until disposal or recycling.
Among the goals (see all here) are :
- Reduction of Frances greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2020 compared to 1990 (similar to EU objectives)
- Increasing the part of French national energy consumption to 23% from renewable energy by 2020. Despite extensive oppositions from (fishing) communities in France a RFP will be launched for 600 offshore windmills representing 3000 MW and 10 to 15 billion euros (3)
- Realisation of at least 1000 ‘Agenda 21′ implementations within local communities,
- And a reduction of national poverty by 30% up till 2012.
Special dashboards have been developed to track the progress of a variety of indicators : R&D investments, working women participation within governmental institutions, green house gas emissions, renewable energies, energie consumption transport, life expectancy, pauvrity, working seniors, jobless youngsters, public donations and general social-economical factors like under and unemployment, income spread, demography and fertility rates.
Sarkozy is also supporting the development of a new World Environment Organisation. This new organisation should guarantee environmental governance on a global level. The next Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit 2012 is ought to be the good momentum (4).
If you want to read more about French sustainability developments I invite you to read my previous blogs on : Pacte Ecologique of Nicolas Hulot that urged for stronger governmental intervention ; Grenelle d’Environnement I focussing on Building Sector and Transport ; Why Eco-labels are developed to help consumers make a balanced choice, CSR reporting rules extended to large SMEs ; Grenelle 2 focussing on local application ; How to turn around media ‘saturation’ and Why targeted examples of individual benefits of responsible products and behaviour are needed.
Sources : 1. http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/RepIDDc.pdf ; 2. http://www.environnement-magazine.fr/presse/environnement/actualites/1910/developpement-durable/adoption-de-la-nouvelle-strategie-nationale-de-developpement-durable; 3. http://www.developpementdurable.com/economie/2010/08/A5356/la-france-courtise-enfin-leolien-offshore.html; 4. http://www.euractiv.com/en/sustainability/frances-new-green-bill-inspired-eu-texts-news-493692 ;
Filed under: Directions for Sustainable Innovation | Tags: CEOs, Co-creation, Critical Business Success Factors, Customer Driven Sustainable Innovation, Design For Environment, Implementation, Life Cycle Analyses, Sustainable Development
Today’s CEOs are determined to create sustainable business. ‘Social Responsiblity’ remains a driver. The new ‘Leitmotif’ however is truly commercial : higher business performance through lower costs, stronger customer relationships and increased revenues.
Accenture and the United Nation Global Compact have recently published the results of their global study based on 750 surveys and 50 in-depth interviews with CEOs of large companies (1, 2).
‘A New Era’ has arrived, according to Accenture and Global Compact : Sustainability is now considered to be business critical from now and onwards. Among the key conclusions of the study are :
No less than 93% of the interviewed CEOs believe that Sustainability will be critical to future success of their business. 72% say actions on sustainability issues are important to strengthening their brand, customer trust and company reputation.
Economical downturn has raised the importance of sustainability, according to 80% of the CEOs.
CEOs urge now to actively engage and create sustainable solutions after the ‘defense’ mode due to the economical crisis.
Customers are considered to be the most important stakeholders when it comes to Sustainability, according to 58%. CEOs observe an increasing demand for products and services that address sustainability concerns. And there is no time to waste !
Employees are the second important stakeholders (45%). Hence the importance of internal training on Sustainability issues.
Implementation of Sustainability Strategies. 88% of the CEOs state that sustainability should be implemented through the value chain. Oly (54%) admit that this has been properly done in their own entreprise.
Among the recommendations of Accenture and Global Compact are :
- Customer research on requirements for sustainable products is essential to make the right choices in new product development.
- More and accurate information should be provided to customers, leveraging new technologies such as social media where appropriate.
- Sustainability principles should be built into innovation agendas from design and throughout the lifecycle of product development.
The recommendations match well the findings of The Green Take following interviews with Sustainability Directors in Europe in 2009 and 2010, of which highlights have been published on this blog. To name three of them :
- Sustainability is seen as a business opportunity and a way to survive the (next) economical crisis.
- Customers are considered to be the most important stakeholders to drive Sustainable Development. They request sustainable product alternatives that help them to to manage or reduce their environmental footprint and perform in a socially responsible way.
- Customer Driven Innovation, Life cycle analyses, Design for Environment and Co-creation will be key for successful sustainable innovation.
Source : 1. Nieuwsbrief Duurzaam Ondernemen, http://firstname.lastname@example.org&password=9999&publish=Y, 2. A new era, an Accenture and Global Compact survey, https://microsite.accenture.com/sustainability/research_and_insights/Pages/A-New-Era-of-Sustainability.aspx
Filed under: Sustainability in France | Tags: Behaviour, Personas, Semaine du Developpement Durable, Sustainable Development
For the fifth year consessively, the French Ministery of Ecology is organising a ‘Semaine du Développement Durable’. This years theme is ‘Passez au Durable’ : Let’s Change Behaviour. A series of affiches has been created that show ‘Personas’ : role models who have adapted Sutainability Principles.
‘Passez au Durable’, Week of Sustainable Development, April 2010, France
‘La Semaine du développement durable’ has become a well-known event in France. The MEEDDM (Ministry of Energy, Ecology, Sustainable Development and Sea) invites companies, associations, public services and schools to promote the principles of Sustainable Behaviour.
Several thousand events are announced around France. Among them creative workshops and conferences on a future sustainable house ‘Decouvrez votre pochaine maison’ and an exposition of recycled furniture and house objects in the Designpack gallery
Exposition ‘R’ de Recyclage – La seconde vie des emballages’ at the Design pack gallery‘; one of the exposed items is the chair ‘Bouchon d’Amour’ made of recycled bottle parts (70%) and PE (30%) - also sold at 250 euro at delamaison.fr..
The 2010 objective is to mobilise French people to adapt more responsable behaviour. A recent IFOP study showed that French people understand the advantages for the environment of a more sustainable behaviour. Unfortunately, many people feel ‘saturated‘ about the communication on Sustainable Development and do not really yet change their behaviours. A conclusion can be drawn that in order to motivate people to change behaviour, the communication messages should be well targeted and indicate personal and business advantages alongside the general environmental and societal advantages.
Role models showing Sustainable Behaviour
Pedagogic affiches have been developed that show Personas that are representatives of specific target audiences : a company owner (private sector) , a mayor (public sector) and a citizen (citizen) who all have adapted respective sustainable habits in their daily life and work.
- Jean-Marc, the company owner, explains howhas managed to reduce energy consumption and waste production in his company, generating cost reduction ánd an environmental advantage. Jean-Marc has also adapted a strategie ‘Responsabilité Sociale et Environmentale’ (CSR) for his enterprise.
- Catherine, a mayor, shows how her municipality tries to be exemplairy, stimulating public transport, waste reduction, sustainable purchase of goods and citizens are mobilised to pay attention to environmental and social matters.
- Myriam, an eco-citizen, explains how she has changed her behaviour : Myriam has chosen a car with a relatively low carbon emission (less than 120 gr/km) to profit from the French governmental ecological bonus. She is curious about the future ‘CO2 emission’ and other eco-indicators on consumer products as of 2011 that will allow her to make an ecological choice of products in the near future.
The affiches show Sustainable Changes made by different groups in society. Which is great. They also show specific business and personal and business benefits combined with environmental and societal advantages. Perfect. But : will these examples make a change ? Are they inspiring enough – notably for the people who are receptive for these kind of messages ?
Why not showing Role Models who are just a bit more ambitious ?
- We could think about the Eco-citizen Miranda, a fashionable and sympathetic young lady, who is using public transport, buys goods from ‘Commerce Equitable’ brands, prefers Bio-coton which is both comfortable, beautiful and gives her peace of mind, actively particpates in the ‘Développement Durable’ team of the company where she is employed, and is now setting up a project to educate school children on recycling principles ?
- Why not show the company owner Jean-Christophe, who is also a father of 3 and active hockey player and coach, who is making a good business with biodegradable products, sits in the entreprise steering committee of the Agenda 21 project for its municipality, one of the projects undertaken are intercompany projects for flexible work hours, diversity and employment of handicapped people.
- Or what would you think about an imaginairy mayor Charlotte, who has managed in the last 2 years to reduce energy and waste consumption in her community by a factor 30%, is part of the Eco-Maires de France and believes that the municipality has an important role to play to create a responsable entrepeneurial climate with, among the initatives, a public-private platform to discuss best practices of Sustainable Development, encouraging green tech start-ups, creating jobs and proudness in her community about the cities efforts on Sustainable Development !