New Metrics
Activate Your Metrics:
Lessons from Leaders on Leveraging Environmental Data for Sustainability

During this brief but extremely informative breakfast session on the final morning of SB’16 Copenhagen, representatives from Quantis International revealed how they have leveraged their expertise in extracting environmental data to activate metrics for solid sustainability strategy, engagement and communications.

Metrics for Strategy

Quantis CEO Emmanuelle Aoustin set the scene by asserting that the paradigm shift to a metrics framework based on science and facts has arrived, and Quantis has been using it to empower solid sustainability transitions within the corporate realm. She offered the case of General Mills to demonstrate how metrics can drive strategy:

Metrics for Engagement

“One game played teaches people more than 20 slides.”
-Stefan Schuster, Voestalpine AG

Metrics for Communication

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Finally, Carole Dubois, Director of Business Development at Quantis, introduced the Sustainable Communication framework based on proof, position and purpose. With science based proof, communication can be done with confidence and clients then will have a solid foundation upon which they can tell stories in a way that aligns their own brand’s voice with their strategy, goal and objectives.

As any serious scientific claims, proof of success is essential. Dubois came prepared with three stories of companies using different platforms to communicate their sustainability progress with credibility:

Nespresso did a LCA study and found out that their biggest environmental sin is not from the disposable capsule as in general conception, but from the machine itself and coffee plant agriculture. This finding gave them the confidence to focus primarily on eco-design of the machine and then disclose their achievement to the consumers correcting misconceptions and celebrating progress.

Similarly, HP was able to advocate for its eco-efficient paper through an app and MorningStar Farms was able to build an interactive online tool to show the benefits of its plant-based products with great confidence.

L'Oréal**, Firmenich** and AccorHotels also joined the conversation by showcasing their own stories of using metrics to make fact-based decisions along their own sustainability journeys.

Alexandra Palt, Chief Sustainability Officer of L'Oréal give quite an inspirational story of their own Product Assessment Tool aiming to change all products under the L'Oréal brand. As she told us: “Big vision comes down to the product level.” Producing 80 percent their own products and having a network of 4000 researchers, L'Oréal is in a great position to take control and reduce their products’ life cycle impact to meet the increasing sustainability expectation of the consumers and civil society.

The product assessment tool embodies two years of hard work based on full LCAs and was aligned with 14 critical environmental impact categories and social assessment methodology at international standards. Moreover it is easy for marketers and developers to add data and get results. This revolutionary tool is expected to be fully launched soon and take the lead in the race of sustainable business transformation.

Johanna Levy, North America Sustainability Director at fragrance and flavor giant Firmenich, then took us through the development journey of its Sustainability index, a result of collaboration with Quantis. This initiative started in 2010 in attempt to have an industry leading tool to better understand and drive down the impact of their 400 ingredients throughout their life cycle.

As taxing as it was to navigate some supplier’s unwillingness to disclose supply chain data, Firmenich’s dedication to get primary data has definitely yielded a rewarding outcome. Firmenich was able to use this tool to identify the largest impact in their supply chain and drive for improvement with a scientifically sound back story. Some initially reluctant suppliers became increasingly curious about the process and even got engaged in the long run.

Last but not least, Arnaud Herrmann, Sustainable Development Director at AccorHotels, briefly shared the company's efforts in developing a metrics-based strategy and implementing sustainable actions. They were able to identify three key areas of prominent environmental impacts with the help of Quantis' metrics: energy consumption, water consumption and restaurant waste. With this information, they were able to focus their efforts on these three areas to reduce the environmental impacts.

In conclusion, activating science-based metrics lets your company:

  • Focus on what truly matters;
  • Set science-based targets;
  • Measure progress;
  • Make sound strategic decisions.

Time for your company to get serious and scientific.

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