Not just political correctness… CSR and change le 28/09/2015

Not just political correctness… CSR and change - KEDGE

NOT JUST POLITICAL CORRECTNESS… CSR AND CHANGE

EDITORIAL FROM  MICHEL FAHRNI, EMBA PARTICIPANT

I have been working for an oil and gas company for 16 years as logistics/procurement manager and I have travelled throughout Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan and North Africa. I have witnessed for myself the different levels of development within each of these regions, the way of life of the various populations and the footprint they leave on the natural environment compared to western countries.

I am currently doing a Global MBA program at KEGDE BUSINESS SCHOOL on the campus in Marseille. I have chosen the Resources Management Major to improve my skills and push my career forward toward a new managerial model and to understand how to create value in a sustainable economy faster than the current political proposals available.

My view is that we have to maintain equilibrium between developed and developing economies, adopt a socially-oriented business model, and reduce raw materials extraction and waste. In other words, the world economy cannot continue with the same business model used throughout the last century.

I am also driven by personal attitude and awareness.  For instance, when I was 8 years old, I was enjoying a scuba-diving experience near Toulon, France around the “Golden Island”. I was able to spend a few hours appreciating the wealth of sea bed and marine wildlife. Recently, I went back to the same location recently and was able to dive.  However, what I saw was a real disaster underwater: a poor and monochrome environment. This moment was shocking for me and I understood that something was has gone very wrong.

The signs have been issuing from nature and environmental specialists for many years. The world is now facing serious choices concerning population over the next 50 years. This is a humanitarian concern which will lead us to change our behaviours and adopt sustainable economic activity.

Thanks to researchers, entrepreneurs, economists, essayists, activists, scientists, the solutions exists to implement this change.  A new global business model is ermerging: a circular economy based on renewable energy, new computing and internet technologies, manufacturing recycled and biodegradable products, and human collaboration. We will no longer use fossil fuels for energy – energies that are less efficient than future solar and wind systems for instance. Of course,the industrial fabric must first be changed. It will take time. But the cost of renewable energy will become more affordable in the next decade.

A few ideas to put into perpective how big the potential is:

  • Solar energy received on earth in one year is thirty times more than annual world consumption,
  • 50% of electricity production in the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur region (where I live in France) comes from hydro-electric power (dams),
  • The potential for electric energy from wind in the world is twice the annual world consumption.
  • Monaco, San Antonio and Utrecht have adopted to be smart cities.
  • In France, as the transportation sector is responsible for 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions, a national plan was set in 2009 to develop, on a large scale, electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • A 100% biodegradable plastic bag is made from seaweed harvested in France
  • Carpets are being made with 100% recycled yarn in US
  • an investment of 2000€ in a mini solar and wind system can reduce up to 1/3 of the electric consumption of my apartment (the savings are linked to the size of solar panels and wind turbines)

So, who is going to implement this change and experience economic and strategic benefits? The firms themselves as well as the people who work for them. This is why, by integrating social, economic and environmental solutions, CSR makes sense.

Sources :

Biomimicry seminar at University of Exeter_May 2015

Driving sustainable change within a firm at Kedge BS Marseille_June 2015

The Third industrial revolution and book of Jeremy Rifkin

Ademe

Oreca région PACA

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