“Sustainability” Virtual Learning Expedition 2021
Turning ESG/CSR imperatives into value creation and business opportunities
This program is designed to inspire business managers interested in creating value and impact for all the stakeholders of their company, including customers, shareholders, employees and the environment.
We design a one week intensive online executive program (2 hours per day) during which they get to learn from the experience of carefully curated inspiring leaders from the corporate world, tech giants and startups, and reflect on their own company’s transformation journey through workshops and debriefings.
Day 1 – Monday Jan, 25 – Brand Opportunities
9:00am – 9:15am
By Innovation Is Everywhere, Event Coordinator
Kickoff, expectations and outcomes of the program
9:15am – 9:30am
By Innovation Is Everywhere, Event Coordinator
Launch the challenge of the day
9:30am – 9:45am
Turning CSR Imperatives into value Creation
By Innovation Is Everywhere, Event Coordinator
Introduction to the program with a key statistics on the return on investment in sustainability for businesses, and a framework to facilitate debriefings and workshops.
Tap into emerging markets (the responsible consumer, the bottom of the pyramid)
Attract responsible investors
Use resources more efficiently
Reduce reliance on suppliers
9:45am – 10:25am
Definition and communication of a brand purpose
Patagonia’s clothing is inseparable from its environmental purpose.
The brand designs apparel and gear made from reusable and recyclable materials and finds ways to minimize impacts throughout the supply chain—from water use and quality, greenhouse gas emissions to energy use, chemical use, toxicity, and waste.
Patagonia continually invests in new technologies to make its supply chain and products more sustainable.
Besides using its popularity to raise awareness of climate change and environmental issues, Patagonia even encourages customers to take mutual responsibility for the life cycle of its products through repair, reuse, and recycling.
During the 2011 Thanksgiving shopping season, Patagonia ran an advertisement that read “Don’t Buy This Jacket.”
The ad detailed the environmental cost of one of the brand’s best-selling sweaters and asked customers to reconsider before buying the product and opt for used Patagonia clothing instead.
The year of the ad “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” (2011), the company saw its revenue grow about 30%.
Customers can also now resell their used Patagonia garments on the company’s website and even trade in their used products at any Patagonia location to receive a credit to buy new or used merchandise.
The company continues to grow by offering products that are designed to last.
In 2019, they changed their mission from a product/purpose hybrid of “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis” to the clear purpose-driven mission “Patagonia is in business to save our home planet.”
10:05am – 10:25am
9:25am – 10:05am
The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan: the story of a transformation to a new sustainable business model
The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is directly linked to earnings and returns – it drives growth, reduces costs, mitigates risks and attracts talent.
The Unilever plan identifies three main missions: ‘improving health and well-being’, ‘reducing environmental impact’ and ‘enhancing livelihoods’, whereas, each mission comes with a set of concrete goals. Unilever announced its ‘Sustainable Living Plan’ (SLP) in November 2010, the plan sets out its sustainability commitments and targets for the next decade. This plan is not just central to the company’s business strategy but, in the words of CEO Paul Polman, a “new business model”.
Among these brand, Dove has the mission to build self-esteem in young people. Dove uses only real women in their advertising and have a strict stance on airbrushing and photoshop. They invest some of their profits to fund educational programmes to build self-esteem in young people.
Another example is Lifebuoy soap, which is sold in 55 developing and emerging countries, aims to change the hygiene behavior of 1 billion people by showing them the health benefits of hand washing with soap at key times of the day, such as before preparing food or after going to the toilet. This has the potential to reduce diarrheal disease by 25% and acute respiratory infections, two of the biggest killers of children under five, and increase school attendance by up to 40%.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands have accounted for more than 75% of the company’s recent growth.
According to Unilever, the portfolio grew 69% faster than the rest of the business. A statistic which provides “clear and compelling evidence that brands with purpose grow”, as stated by the chief executive of the Sustainable Living brands division, Alan Jope.
Unilever CEO Paul Polman said that 60% of the 1.8 million yearly people applying to work at the consumer giant company do it because of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and the bigger purpose that they have as a business.
10:05am – 10:25am
10:25am – 10:30am
Day 2 – Tuesday Jan, 26 – New Market Opportunities
9:15am – 9:45am
Experience: The circular economy in China: Iddle Fish & Ant Forest (Alibaba)
By Innovation Is Everywhere (Chinese correspondant)
Idle Fish is Alibaba’s re-commerce platform to buy and sell second-hand items in China.
In a few clicks, clothes are collected at the user’s house in exchange of a payment, then sent to partner companies which sell or recycle the items. All this is done in no time and safely as the app is integrated with Alibaba’s mobile payment Alipay and its notation system Sesame Credit. 24 million pieces have been recycled since launch and 76 million people use this app every month (2020).
Different from Taobao where sales are king, Idle Fish is also a great case study of a social commerce platform organised around interests that emphasises community engagement, and integrated within a larger Super App ecosystem.
We will be showing as well how Alibaba is using gamification to reward sustainable actions from the customers.
Reselling “idle” items is on the rise as China’s consumers grow wealthier. China’s resale goods market reached RMB 694 billion ($99 billion) in 2018, up 22% year on year from RMB 567 billion in 2017, according to data from iiMedia Research.
9:45am – 9:50am
9:50am – 10:30am
How to successfully reach the bottom of the pyramid
Frontier Markets is a last mile assisted e-commerce and distribution company that leverages its network of tech-enabled women agents to market, sell and service products and services across rural India.
The company started with employing women to sell products like lamps, stoves, and even TVs that run on solar power. Each woman is in charge of selling products to hundreds of rural households.
They have built a network of over 3000 rural women entrepreneurs who are our on-the-ground service providers and equipped them with world-class e-commerce technology.
Frontier Markets’ overall turnover is $10M, has 700,000 customer and has partnered with global names like Philips and Unilever.
10:30am – 10:50am
10:50am – 11:00am
Day 3 – Wednesday Jan, 27 – Resources efficiency
9:15am – 9:40am
AI and Data analysis to reduce waste
Leanpath designed in-kitchen food waste trackers to understand better how food is wasted in restaurants
Using technology, Leanpath’s products help understand how food is wasted to adapt purchase decisions. The solution eliminates food waste as well as saves money.
Leanpath reports an average of 50% reduction in food waste per site. It works with more than 1,200 kitchen around the world.
9:40am – 10:05am
Transportation efficiency with tech
Ontruck is an on-demand platform for trucks to help them complete the loading of their vehicles at 100% capacity.
Ontruck has cut the percentage of kilometres driven by vehicles running without cargo from 44% – the industry average – to 19% (June 2020), which saved them money as well as prevented 728,000 kgs of C02 emissions from entering the atmosphere.
10:05am – 10:10am
10:10am – 10:45am
Impact Sourcing – Training data for AI
Samasource employs low-income workers in developing countries to classify and train data for AI, among other tech work.
Samasource’s mission is to expand opportunity for low-income individuals through the digital economy. Samasource trains workers in basic computer skills and pays a local living wage for their labor.
25% of the Fortune 50 trust Samasource to deliver turnkey, high-quality training data and validation for the world’s leading AI technologies. (Google, Microsoft, walmart, Philips, Volkswagen…).
10:45am – 11:00am
11:00am – 11:05am
Day 4 – Thursday Jan, 28 – Attracting Talents
9:15am – 9:50am
Becoming the first multinational B Corp
The food multinational Danone began the process of certifying every part of its $27 billion business in 2015, with separate certifications for each subsidiary.
To date, about 30% of Danone’s operations are B Corp-certified, and it aims to convert the rest by 2030.
Its certification effort is expensive but the company uses its B Corp status to promote its brand, with marketing materials infused with themes of naturalness, family, and homespun values, and to attract talents.
Danone’s CEO, Emmanuel Faber, noted the unexpectedly passionate engagement he discovered when he attempted to enlist staff in more decision-making by gifting every employee a share. In October 2018, management sent out a survey on the company’s goals, expecting a 25% response rate. They got an 80% response rate instead, plus offers from 33,000 staff volunteering to lend extra help to the process of becoming more purpose-driven.
9:55am – 10:25am
Extreme transparency in the workplace
At Buffer, transparency around all company information is a means to an end, showing that the company is not trying to hide anything untoward or unethical.
Buffer is open about employees’ salary and the calculations behind deriving it.
By being open about sensitive information like company finances, people stop assuming the worst. The direct business benefits are clear: more candidates apply, and only those that believe in the idea of transparency and are willing to follow through with it at work. This creates more homogeneity in work attitudes, creating a stronger workplace culture.
Buffer noticed an increase of their monthly recurring revenue after it made their revenue dashboard public in 2014.
10:25am – 10:55am
10:55am – 11:00am
Day 5 – Friday Jan, 29 – Attracting Financing
9:15am – 9:45am
Understand ESG risks
Datamaran is a software that supports a fully automated business process for monitoring external risks and opportunities, including environmental, social, corporate, governance, geopolitical and technology issues.
Powered by AI, the Software-as-a-service offers real-time analytics on strategic, regulatory and reputational risk drivers, tailored to the business.
Used by many large clients such as Unilever, BASF, Philips, Airbus or American Express, it helps companies cut through the complexities and understand their external risks across the value chain.
9:45am – 10:15am
How to measure Carbon Emissions
Salesforce has created a carbon accounting product first for their internal use, then made it available for their clients in 2020.
The platform gives businesses a 360-degree view of their environmental impact. As more organizations start using Sustainability Cloud, there will be more peer benchmarking, anonymized data to track progress, communities to share best practices, and ways to input supply chain information.
Many companies are now making public announcements on their ambitions to become NetZero companies. Salesforce hasn’t reached carbon neutrality yet, but is seeing a business growth opportunity in helping other businesses to calculate their own environmental impact.
10:20am – 10:50am
Reducing carbon emissions with internal carbon fees
In 2012, Microsoft introduced an internal carbon tax for all divisions and supply-chain partners.
The company announced that in July 2020, they will phase in their carbon tax to cover their scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions), which nearly doubles their fee to $15 per metric ton on all carbon emissions.
Unlike some other companies, Microsoft’s internal carbon tax isn’t a “shadow fee” that is calculated but not charged. Their fee is paid by each division based on its carbon emissions, and the funds are used to pay for sustainability improvements. It holds their business divisions financially responsible for reducing their carbon emissions, including emissions from their supply chain, and from the use of their products by the customers.
Microsoft has committed to be carbon negative by 2030.
With the funds collected through the carbon fee, Microsoft has purchased more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, reduced our emissions by 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mtCO2e), and saved more than $10 million per year.
10:50am – 11:10am
11:10am – 11:20am
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