Sustainable Innovation

Public Awareness of ‘Developpement Durable’

Along the Grenelle debates , a great number of public or private initiatives have been launched since 2007 to educate the French public. Most initiatives focus on environmental issues, discussions on social are still rare. Some of them have a clear commercial  goal. Striking examples of DD in France :

  • Velib rental bikes. Paris’ mayor Delanoë has launched the ‘Velib’ system in 2007. This eco-friendly bike-renting system  has become very popular among the Parisiens of all ages.  The system has been used now 20 million times of which 12 million times by 200.000 susbscription owners (
  • Lectures : Possibilities of the new Green Growth are explored in the lectures of the ‘Université a Tous les Savoirs’.

velib croissance verte

The Parisien Velib rental bike system (left) and Affiche of the seminars on Green Growth of the ‘University a Tous les Savoirs’ (right)

  • University courses. Universities have started to encorporate Sustainable Development in their courses, or create new ones, like the International Business School HEC offering a Master course ‘Sustainable Development’.
  • Seminars. During the ‘Semaine du Developpement Durable’ in April 2009, companies were explained how get governmental subvention and citizens were educated about eco-friendly behaviour.
  • Newspaper sections. Most newspapers  have  introduced their ‘Developpement Durable’ or ‘Ma Planete’ section. Readers are informed about new eco-trends, green tech and sustainable living.

le monde le figaro

Sustainable Sections of Le Monde et Le Figaro

  • Daily Environmental Suggestion. Anchor woman Evelyne Dhéliat presents the weather forecast at TV Channel TF1. She closes every evening with a daily suggestion on environmental friendly behaviour ‘C’est bon pour la planète’.
  • Habiter Ecologique‘  In the ‘Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine’ (Trocadero, Paris) an exposition presents recent developments in Eco Architecture and Eco-Living. Architect projects from abroad (Finland, Austria and Denmark) are shown as inspiration for the upcoming French Sustainable Architecture. Although France was a pioneer in eco bioclimatic construction in the 1970-ties, it has been detached for long from eco-design. Fortunately, now it is getting into it again.
  • Good for my Budget ánd Planet. Supermarket chain Auchan has offered, during one week in May 2009, 130 daily responsable products  ‘Bons pour ma planete et pour mon budget’.

evelyn habiter ecologique low quality auchan

Evelyne Dhéliat weather Forecast TF1 (left) and Promotional Affiche Auchan (mid), Affiche Exposition ‘Habiter Ecologique’ (right).

‘Developpement Durable’ has become a daily topic in France. Some companies, like Auchan, use the public arrousal to diversify their product portfolio and adjust its marketing communication. How do French companies generally deal with Sustainable Development ? What does  ‘Corporate Responsabilty‘ mean for French companies  ?