Corporations play a major role in the transformation of the economic world by committing their structure beyond the purely commercial. Over time, their field of action naturally expanded. From now on virtue pays. It creates commitment among employees and consumers and thus profitability and growth for companies. In addition to the “green washing” introduced by a large number of companies to perfect their image, consumers are now eager for “positive business”. Especially since companies are now under close surveillance by NGOs and social networks. ” This term “positive business” reflects a dynamic aspect, a look towards the future, an attitude. Being positive in a company today means opening up horizons and not just on environmental issues,” defined Jean-Dominique Senard, Chairman of Michelin and co-author with Nicole Notat, former head of the CFDT, of the report “The company, object of collective interest”, during the first “Positive Business” evening organized by “Echos Executives”, 7 June. The financial crisis in 2008 highlighted the need for ambitions other than financial to ensure the company’s sustainability. A group like Elior deals with the working conditions of the sick, Leroy Merlin helps the disadvantaged, ADP puts “care” into its supplier relationships. As for Société Générale, since its foundation in 2006 it has acted in favor of professional integration, in particular by supporting projects to integrate young people into working life and combat illiteracy. ” Through our organizational transformations, we work by providing direction and investing in people through training and leadership responsibilities “, added Frédéric Oudéa, CEO of the bank during the “Positive business” event.
In addition to environmental protection
The cursor moves and goes in the direction of the story. Presented to the Council of Ministers on 20 June, the Pacte law – action plan for business growth and transformation – will continue to develop the idea of corporate social responsibility. French organizations have taken a significant lead in topics related to sustainable development, but not only. The direct selling organic market, for example, took off with a turnover of almost 1 billion euros last year. The consumption of such products represents 4.4% of the home food market, according to a very extensive study carried out by Insee in 2017. The Frayssinet brothers, Thierry and Luc, have defended their ethics for almost thirty years, products and the natural fertilizer sector. Their “positive business” is reflected upstream in their relationship with their customers. Another example: by disseminating best practices throughout its production chain, the Bel group is redefining the relationships it maintains with its 850 supplier breeders. Consuming better and taking care of one’s environment can result in a proactive energy transition movement. Air Liquide thus speaks for the hydrogen cause with Pierre-Etienne Franc, director of the global hydrogen energy activity.
Give yourself a mission
Danone, Essilor and Veolia long ago began to define a broader mission in terms of net income and actions of social and environmental responsibility. Moreover, the stated goal of Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone, is to ” create economic value and human value “. At Andros, “positive business” is above all social. Its manager, Jean-François Dufresne, created a unique project for the integration of autistic people in one of its factories based on his personal experiences. In practice, some companies have taken their vision of “positive business” even further. Nutriset, Maif, OpenClassrooms or even Cordant qualify as companies with a mission. From the customer to the supplier via the consumer, the purpose is at the heart of their strategy, with the greatest risk of customer non-compliance .
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