Sustainable Innovation

From waste collector to raw materials supplier : van Gansewinkel launches cradle2cradle office paper

The Gansewinkel Group (The Netherlands) has recently launched its new product : Van Gansewinkel office paper, powered by Océ : the first office paper in the world that is cradle2cradle certified. The product launch is remarkable, as the van Gansewinkel Group has, over the years, developed from a traditional waste collector to a supplier of sustainable raw materials and energy supplier.

Van Gansewinkel Office Paper, cradle2cradle certified, reducing 100% wood consumption, 85% water consumption, 72% electricity use and reducing 53% CO2 emissions compared to standard office paper

Why did the Van Gansewinkel Group develop its own office paper ?

Florens Slob, Marketing manager at the van Gansewinkel Group states : Our motto is ‘Afval Bestaat Niet’ (or in English : There’s no such thing as waste). We make all efforts to give waste a second life as a raw material or as a product. By analyzing our customers waste streams we identify how their waste can be re-used for the development of other products or as an energy source.

We have noticed that a large proportion of our customers waste consists of paper and cardboard. Of which a substantial part is high quality office paper. Recycling paper for newspapers and tissue paper is yet common practice. However, our challenge was to close the product cycle for our customers and offer both a service for shredding and recycling ‘old’ office paper as well as developing  ‘new’ office paper that could be used again.

How has the new office paper been developed  ?

The new office paper has been developed according to the guidelines of the scientific Cradle-to-Cradle institute EPEA. The development is a result of a close partnership with the document management and printing system supplier Océ and sustainable paper producer Steinbeis. Van Gansewinkel brings in used and shredded office paper provided by its customers. Paper producer Steinbeis produces the office paper. Océ contributes with its office paper and media knowledge and distribution channels – That is why the paper is co-branded as ‘powered by Océ’.

Van Gansewinkel partners with Océ and Steinbeis to develop and sell its office paper.

What are the advantages of the new Van Gansewinkel Office paper ?

Functionality & Price : First of all, the paper has a high standard quality for a reasonable price  – just as professional customers expect their office paper to be.

Ecological benefits : Secondly, it offers a number of ecological advantages : The production of the new paper takes up to 83% less water and 72% less energy than standard office paper. The CO2 emission reductions are estimated at 53%. Maybe the most important advantage is that no trees need to be cut down to produce this paper. Mind that 7,5 kg of wood that is needed for 1 pack of standard office paper.  

Is the office paper ready for sale yet ?

Yes it is. Professional customers based in Belgium, The Netherlands or Luxembourg you can contact Van Gansewinkel or Océ :

Is the Van Gansewinkel Group planning to develop more products ?  

Absolutely ! Our office paper is the first cradle2cradle certified product that Van Gansewinkel brings on the market. More products are expected to follow as a result of our partnerships with customers and industry partners.

To name a few examples :  Van Gansewinkel investigates with Philips how coffee-machines can be shredded and re-used as raw materials for new products. It exchanges with carpet manufacturer Desso how used carpets can be recycled, with manufacturer Mosa how broken tiles can be brought into the production processes and with Ahrend how used office furniture (parts) can be reused.

So, certainly : more news to come !

Philips, Desso, Ahrend and Mosa : all partners of the Van Gansewinkel Group.

For more information have a look at : and


Bouygues Telecom launches new mobile phone recycling services

Bouygues Telecom has embedded Sustainable Development throughout its operational and commercial activities. Sustainable Procurement, Green Data Centers and Sustainable Customer Solutions are now common business. The recently launched new mobile phone recycling service is a good example matching the request of enterprises for products that help to reduce their environmental impact.  


 Pascale Auguste-Moyon (Manager CSR) and Gaël Sérandour (Manager Innovation and Business Partners and responsible for the new B2B telephone recycling services) at Bouygues Telecom

Bouygues Telecom is provides mobile and fixed Télécom and Internet services. With 9.000 employees, it generates an annual turnover of 5,4 billion euro. Bouygues Telecom has 10,4 million customers for mobile services and 500.000 customers for Internet/fixed services (numbers June 2010). Bouygues Telecom is 89,5% owned by the Bouygues Group, to which also the companies Bouygues Immobilier, Bouygues Construction and COLAS belong. 

1. How are Sustainability activities organised at Bouygues Telecom?

The team ‘Environnement et ‘Développement Durable’ (EDD) is responsible for transversal coordination of sustainability projects through the organisation as well as the CSR reporting obligations (‘NRE’ laws for listed companies, as the Bouygues Group is one of the French 40 largest listed companies). The team is part of the staff department ‘Innovation and Architecture Services’.

Pascale Auguste-Moyon is Manager of the EDD team. Mrs Auguste-Moyon has been working since 1998 for Bouygues Telecom in different roles before becoming responsible for Environmental Affairs in 2002, a responsibility that was renamed to ‘Environment and Sustainable Development’ in 2004. Laurent Guidat is one of the team members and project manager for Sustainability projects.

The EDD team works in close cooperation with other departments, such as facility management, the network department, marketing and corporate philanthropy (Mécénat). Gaël Sérandour is Manager Innovation and Business Partners within the Marketing department and responsible for the new device recycling services. Guillaume Mariau has been responsible until recently for devices in the purchase department. Céline Filet is leading the companies corporate philantrophy activities.

Mrs Auguste-Moyon sets out that sustainability have become increasingly important as of 2003, when Bouygues Telecom signed the Global Compact (2003), extensive Risk Analyses were made (2004), the first external social audits were carried out among suppliers (2003) and the first Carbon Footprint Calculations were made across the value chain (2007). These audits and analyses have been key to the growing awareness within Bouygues Telecom of all social and environmental perimeters, explains Mrs Auguste-Moyon.

The EDD team is never imposing but always assisting and accompanying the other departments.. Mr Guidat adds that the team always tries to find ‘champions’ in each department who are already receptive to environmental and social matters. These champions are key to mobilise the whole company, even the sceptical or indifferent ones.

Corporate Philanthropy (Mécénat) is a separate activity within Bouygues Telecom. These activities are not directly linked with the operational business. The corporate philantrophy activities play however an important role, notably with respect to the awareness of Bouygues Telecom employees of social responsibility. The Bouygues Telecom Foundation, created in 2006, is supporting corporate philantrophie in 3 domains :

1. Environment. Bouygues Telecom is partner of Nicolas Hulot Foundation as of 2005 to help mobilising French consumers on environmental issues, like with the website ‘Defi pour la Terre’; See also the earlier article describing the determining role of Nicolas Hulot in prompting for new Sustainable Development governance in France)

2. Medical-social : Wishes of ill children are fulfilled in cooperation with the Association Petit Prince  Think about a meeting with Zidane, a French football player, or a balloon trip.

3. Culture. Bouygues Telecom strives for the conservation and support of the French language. It has created a price for the best new French writer that will be supported with publishing his or her first book. Condition : the writer should use SMS language in a part of the book.


Bouygues Telecom Foundation supports Environment, Medical-social and Culture projects, of which the Surfrider Foundation cleanups (Beach & Riverside cleaning action – 160 volonteers in 2010) and the 2nd Edition of ‘Nouveau Talent’, encouraging Young Writers to write their first French novel.

The Mécénat activities are not directly related to the Bouygues Telecom business, but they are in fact very important for the internal motivation for social and environmental responsibility. Celine Filet explains that these activities make the employees being proud of Bouygues Telecom and very thankful and happy to do something that directly contributes to their neighbourhood or environment.

2. What are the Sustainability Objectives of Bouygues Telecom ?

The Sustainability Objectives at Bouygues Telecom are driven by market requirements, legislation and the Bouygues Group mission, based on the idea that Sustainable Development can be a source of new opportunities.

The following objectives with respect to Environmental Issues have been defined :

  1. Reduce the Environmental Footprint (for example, CO2 emissions reduced by 52% in 2009 compared to 2008 for the “Caravane du Tour de France cycliste”)
  2. Manage the Electricity and Paper Consumption (energy consumption of buildings lowered with 4 25% in 2009 compared to 2005)
  3. Collect and recycle waste (recycling service for telephones)
  4. Sustainable Building Development (all new buildings should carry the French HQE label, more about HQE see also Bouygues Immobilier article)

The following objectives are set with respect to Social Responsibility :

  1. Securing personal security and health of Bouygues Telecom employees
  2. Guiding and assisting users, parental protection
  3. Competence development and diversity
  4. Developing products adapted to special needs of handicapped people
  5. Sustainable Purchase Guidelines to reassure good social conditions

 With respect to corporate governance, Bouygues Telecom has set objectives and indicators for quality management, risk management, continuous Innovation and exchanges with stakeholders.

3. Is Sustainability a driver for Innovation at Bouygues Telecom ?

Certainly, at Bouygues Telecom, Sustainability is a motor for process and product development, confirm Mrs Auguste-Moyon and Mr Serandour. A number of new processes and products of Bouygues Telecom are results of this. In the next paragraph, the following examples will be set out : 1. new green data centers, 2. sustainable purchase policies, 3. new products, such as the business services ‘eco-amplitude’ and the new mobile recycling offer for enterprises.

3.1. Green Data Centers

The Bouygues Data Centers are currently being renovated to reduce energy consumption, by using new principles of ventilation and smart placement of server placement. In addition, new data centers are being built according to latest sustainability standards, such as in Montigny-le-Bretonneaux a complete new Green Data center has been opened. Bouygues Telecom also participates in working groups to define the new HQE Data Center label for Green Data centers.

Bouygues Telecom new data centre in Montigy-le-Bertonneaux (78).

3.2. Sustainable Procurement

Sustainable Procurement has become part of daily business of the Purchase Department. Social audits have been realised since 2003,. Social responsibility indicators have now become part of daily business as Bouygues Telecom started to use a special social responsibility supplier dashboard as of 2007 of ‘Eco-Vadis’.

Mobile handset and accessories vendors are very important to Bouygues Telecom with respect to environmental footprint. Guillaume Mariau has been B2B product manager of mobile terminals until recently. All mobile phones contain certain precious metals and consume quite some energy during manufacturing cycle, resulting in a substantial eco-footprint, according to Mariau. And it is rather difficult to balance the growing demand for multi-performing smart-phones with lower energy performance.

Enterprises start now to ask for telephones with a lower environmental footprint, themselves being mobilised by their customers, their employees and by legislation (new French laws will oblige all midsize and larger companies with to calculate a yearly GreenHouseGas Emission Summary). Guillaume Mariau hopes that there will be a day that we could call with, let’s say, sand. Until that day,  mobile vendors will improve step by step their handset designs and ban precious metals and toxic parts. Such as the 2008/2009 models Sony Ericsson ‘Naite’ and Nokia ‘3110 Evolve’.

Sony Ericsson Naite and Nokia Evolve, 2008/2009 models with usual functionalities aubt a smaller environmental footprint than comparable mobile phones.

3.3. Services that help customers to reduce and manage their Footprint

A third group of Innovation examples are new products that have been developed in response to a growing customer need for products and services with a smaller environmental footprint with information on this footprint. For instance, the ‘Eco-amplitude’ program and the new recycling services :

Eco-amplitude’ has been launched in 2009. anticipating on needs of the large enterprise customers Its characteristics are :

  • Customers can profit from a cost reduction of 15% on subscriptions, accepting a longer subscription period (36 months). than usual in France (24 months).
  • Customers can choose one of the mobile phones with a relatively smaller environmental impact (such as the Nokia Evolve, Sasmung E200 Eco or Sony Ericsson Naite).
  • International visits can be minimised by using the special low international phone tariffs and conference call services, part of the service.
  • A universal charger is being offered with solar panel
  • Phones can be recycled and GHG emissions are compensated  


Eco-Amplitude : Large customers are supported to reduce their environmental footprint with advantageous international phone tariffs, eco-designed phones, an universal charger and CO2 compensation via Eco-Act

Recently, in 2010, a new recycling Services has recently been introduced in France. Gaël Sérandour, Innovation and Business Partner Manager of Bouygues Telecom Enterprise Markets explains that this new service is available for all business customers: from the very large to the small and medium sized enterprise (SME).

  • Business customers willing to recycle their mobile phones, can enter the necessary data easily at a special web services of Bouygues Telecom.
  • The old phone can be sent by post to the recycling centre, Ateliers du Bocage, part of the Emmaus Foundation, employing people that have difficulties to find work elsewhere (3).
  • At the Ateliers du Bocage, the phones are tested, if possible refurbished or recycled.
  • The company that is using the service will receive a receipt with information on the recycled phones as well as the CO2 footprint calculations.
  • Generated net revenues by the recycling act are transferred to Eco-Act for its reforestation projects tot reduce environmental impact.


The new recycling services of the Enterprise Division of Bouygues Telecom allow business customers to send old phones via post to the recycling center, participate in reforestation projects and obtain an environmental footprint summary.

Gaël Sérandour summarizes that this new service fulfils the need of a growing number of business customers that wishes to reduce its environmental footprint, but has been searching for an easy method to recycle their telephones. The carbon footprint calculation summary comes as an extra service, which is very welcome for all companies with more than 500 employees that are soon obliged to track their GHG emissions.

4        What are outlooks for Sustainability, notably at Bouygues Telecom?

New initiatives are currently being developed in Bouygues Telecom, and other will follow. To name a few : new subscription services without hardware, car-sharing projects for employees (among them in Meudon), renovation project of existing data centre services and mobile phone recycling services also for the consumer market, in the retail stores.

Sustainable Development will be more and more embedded in all business roles, expects Mrs Auguste-Moyon : Eco-Design will be embedded in Product Development and Marketing, Sustainable Purchasing will become the de facto standard in the Purchase Department, Non-financial indicators will be equally important as Financial Performance Indicators, and so on.

Sources : 1 http://www.institutionnel.bouyguesTélé

2. http://www.institutionnel.bouyguesTélé

3. Press release Bouygues Telecom Entreprise 3 juin 2010 ‘Bouygues Telecom Entreprise facilite le recyclage des mobiles pour toutes les entreprises’.

Nespresso starting recycling services in France
December 29, 2009, 4:08 pm
Filed under: Best Practices in France | Tags: , , ,

Swiss fastmover Nestlé subsidiary Nespresso has started recycling services for its coffee capsules in  France.


Fan of its coffee, I am happy to learn that Nespresso is starting to recycle its alumuminium-coffee capsules. The aluminium and coffee of the capsules so far are not being recycled as public waste management centers do not pick out aluminium parts smaller than 7 centimer in France.

Nespresso has started recycling services in its largest market, France, following Switzerland, Portugal and Germany. The objective is to have recycled  75% of its capsules by 2013.

Private customers and companies can bring their used coffee capsules to 18 retail shops in Paris from where they are further transported. At the recycle center Coved, south of Paris, the aluminium is melted and resold to aluminium suppliers and the coffee is used as compost or burned for heath generation.

Nespresso also cooperates with public waste management services  to stimulate technologies in waste management centers like Foucault-current. the Foucualt system creates a small magnetic field created that attracts also small aluminium particles like Nespresso capsules. The system is being tested in the French regions Var, Rhone and Aples-Maritimes.

source : ‘Nespresso collecte et recycle ses capsules’, Environnement Magazine, december 2009.