As a source of meaning, climate resilience and social cohesion, “local” is now the new horizon of sustainable development for companies: thus, the contribution to economic development is the first expectation of stakeholders in terms of CSR (38%), in ten countries worldwide, according to a Cone Communications study (2013). Far from being purely philanthropic, it is an important lever for performance and differentiation in a territory.
In a context of increasing attention to how they create shared value with all their stakeholders, companies are legitimate and expected actors to contribute to the life and dynamism of their territoriesTo participate in the desirable economic changes and to develop more links between the actors of the territory.
This positioning allows companies to reinforce their positive local impact, in particular by identifying new levers for creating and maintaining jobs, by developing a more “inclusive” production that benefits the local population and is a source of social cohesion, and by providing solutions to today’s ecological challenges: reduction of transport, circular economy, autonomy and resilience of territories, reduction of energy and raw material consumption, etc.
To maximize its impact and its local footprint, it is necessary to be aware of them, to make them explicit and to promote them to stakeholders. UTOPIES relies on its LOCAL FOOTPRINT® and LOCAL SHIFT® tools, whose leadership is recognized in Europe and elsewhere, to determine the socio-economic impact of an activity in terms of employment and wealth creation in a territory (urban area, department, region, country or world), Identify local supply opportunities and inform the needs of the territories to which the company could provide answers.
This quantitative analysis feeds into a broader diagnosis that evaluates the company’s local anchoring according to several axes (territorial sustainable development objectives, organization and governance, local employment, densification and diversification of the local economy, distribution of value on the territory, capacity of the offer to meet the needs and specificities of the territory).
This approach allows us toaccompany companies in the construction of pollination strategies. A concept created by the American localist economist Michael Shuman, the pollinating company participates in the development of dynamic and sustainable local economies by contributing to the growth of local entrepreneurship within their territories. UTOPIES supports companies in the implementation of local pollinating company projects:
- Review of the company’s priorities in relation to the pollinating company approach
- Formulation of a local challenge, such as the development of a circular economy sector
- Realization of a diagnosis of the territory with regard to this challenge
- Exploration of the local ecosystem and possible solutions
- Identification of project leaders and development follow-up