Sustainable Innovation

5th Week of Sustainable Development in France aims to ‘Change Behaviour’

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

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 !

Would that be too ambitious ? What is your opinion ?


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[…] doing successful green and social business, civilians practising new ways of living their lifes. Ambition is necessary, and the (French) government(s) could and should do better! I hope the Best Practices in this blog […]

Pingback by French Media Information on Sustainable Development could do better « Sustainable Innovation

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