We are utopians and militants, but also practitioners and experts of the sustainability transition. As acupuncturists of change, we focus our efforts on the most powerful pressure points for transforming businesses.
A brand is meaningful only to the extent that it is rooted in purpose, embodying a clear commitment to contribute positively to society. Today, in the wake of the recent PACTE law which encourages French companies to articulate their raison d’être and allows them to enshrine this statement of societal purpose in their legal status, the concept of purpose is trending heavily in the worlds of marketing and CSR. So much the better. But to avoid “purpose-washing” and ensure companies go beyond mere declarations of intent, it is essential for companies to materialize their stated purpose in their business operations, effectively translating their raison d’être into their offer of products and services as well as in their daily operations
Now that so-called responsible offers are everywhere, it is high time to connect purpose with action, bringing together brand strategies and CSR in a meaningful way.
This is why we created the Positive Brand® framework.
Be it to revitalize job markets, restore social cohesion, or effectively take on the many ecological challenges of the day (climate resilience, green mobility…), we believe that local is the way to go. A company strongly embedded in its community cultivates proximity with its customers and stakeholders while infusing everything that it does with meaning through concrete action that has visible repercussion in community life. At a time when digital technology is opening new avenues for decentralized industrial production, prompting city-centers to increasingly reclaim their status as manufacturing hubs, the time has come to reconnect with production models that allow companies to manufacture goods on a more local scale, to meet local needs and thus relocate production that had been outsourced to other territories.
Moreover, beyond the scope of their business activities, companies can also play a pollinating role in communities by supporting local entrepreneurs, developing activities tailored to local needs and encouraging local economic players to buy local…
More than 25 years since sustainability has emerged as a growing concern in the corporate landscape, to make sustainable development a reality now requires a complete overhaul of companies’ products and services, business strategy and business models. Companies must now seek not only to minimize negative impacts but, more importantly, to maximize their positive impacts on society and the planet.
Similarly, innovation fails when it is not connected to the real challenges of the day. We believe that now is the time to bring together sustainable development and innovation business is a powerful force combining human creativity and wealth, which together can be mobilized to solve today’s major challenges by embedding these solutions within the very purpose of companies, reshaping their business models as well as their offer of products and services.
When sustainable development is integrated into business strategy in such a way, not only does it become a powerful lever for innovation and profitability but, conversely, innovation makes it possible to deepen a business’ commitment to CSR and increasingly materialize it, enhancing its positive impacts.
At UTOPIES, we believe that now is the time for businesses, who have entered a more mature phase of their CSR commitment, to embed sustainability at the core of their decision-making process, at the very heart of their strategy and purpose.
At a time when integrated reporting – covering financial as well as social or environmental performance – is becoming increasingly mainstream, and to avoid the pitfalls of managing CSR in a silo we strive to emphasize the bottom line implications of sustainable development when working with clients on their strategy and reporting in a number of ways : analyzing and aligning our clients’ business model with regards to global issues, often referring to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as a framework; integrating societal issues into innovation strategies, commercial development strategies and brand positioning; measuring global performance, from the point of view of both risks (“less bad”) and opportunities (“more good”); assessing an organization’s coherence with its stated goals, in particular with regards to its incentive system; strengthening its fiscal responsibility and, more broadly, its economic footprint in the communities where it operates; prioritizing issues in dialogue with stakeholders or involving them in corporate governance.
Thus approached, sustainable development becomes a truly transversal and strategic tool that can be used to generate meaning and growth for the company by weaving a powerful narrative that can speak to all stakeholders.