Sustainable Innovation

Another ‘Green Proposal’ of IBM
February 2, 2010, 6:51 pm
Filed under: Sustainability in France | Tags:

IBM shows the view of a director rather sceptical about a new Green Proposals which at first makes him think about Tree Hugging and Boosting the Corporate Image. He is however tempted by another major advantage..

See :


Salon Entreprise Durable I


‘Entreprise Durable’ 130 suppliers and 6000 visitors were gathered 20 and 21 of Oct 2009 at the Porte de Versailles. Topics were Sustainable Management, Green Tech and New Business Models.

A variety of organisations presented their services : Editors like ABCVert (B2B) and Neoplanete (B2C), the French National Norm Institute AFNOR, responsable for ISO and Eco-labels, the Association gathering French ‘Responsable’ companies ORSE and a great number of specialised industries, consultancies and IT firms. Visitors were managers, consultants, marketeers, sustainability representatives and suppliers.

A returning question was : How to mesure social and ecological results ?

Carbon Footprint Analyses are likely to be the first step. Smaller and larger software companies are coming up with their solutions. This can be quickscans via Internet. But often this solution would not fit as many data are required which requires a tool installed at the customer premises.  Among the solutions proposed were the one of IBM and its partner Eliadas. Eliadas offers ‘Elicarbon’, a customised Carbon Footprint Calculation software tool. Authorisation is dispatched among the appropriate company representatives (Sales Director to fill in Car Fleet of Sales Reps, Operations Manager to fill in Production Details). The tool is approved by ADEME.

CSR Dashboards. There is an increasing request to track the performance of combined economical, environmental and social indicators.  Different IT vendors are responding to this growing demand with a ‘Tableaux de Bord’ solution. Among them are Prodware, a French IT provider. The Prodware Solution, approved by ADEME, translates existing ERP data into an overview with 25 indicators based on the GRI Guidelines. At the German IT giant SAP, the chemical sector has been driver for Environmental and Health Dashboards notably after the introduction of REACH legislation in 2007.  Now all sectors require environmental, health and other dashboards, SAP has developed, extending existing SAP IT architecture and data, a  Carbon Impact Tool, and a more extensive management tool (PCM) that shows a variety of indicators (financial, health, environment).

82039342 CO2 footprint picture

Another recurring question was : How to mobilise and educate our employees  ?

Training of employees. Apart from a technical training to understand new tools, education and training about environmental and social matters is essential to create behavioural change . We have seen this earlier at La Poste (Eco-Conduite Trainings to reduce car petrol use) Most oconsultancies and suppliers are offering extensive trainings for ‘sensibilisation’ (mobilisation) of the workforce, together with their core product or services.

Master Courses. Many French universities are starting Master Programs around Sustainable Development, two of them were Ecole de Management de Strassbourg and IHEDREA.

In-company Collaborative Tools. Collaborative tools  and social media can be very useful to create an fertile ground for cross-functional and informal working. This is  essential in the process of innovaton and mobilisation of employees. IBM is piloting in 170 countries around the world IBM-media like ‘IBM Beehive’ (internal Facebook, 58000 users), WikiCentral (internal Wikipedia, 370.000 users), Blog Central (internal blog, 730.000 users). IBM is eager to explain how the collaborative tools are not just ‘good fun’ but contribute to internal efficiency and employee satisfaction : An internal survey showed that 84% of participants find IBMs internal experts earlier than before, 74% confirm to have an increased productivity and 64% believes his or her personal reputation has increased.