On November 9th 2018, Ecotic and Club Marketing Barcelona organized a conference on sustainability as a lever in brand strategy, which was attended by about a hundred professionals from various fields, from the world of business to the media.
Lluís Torra, President of the Club Marketing Barcelona, animated the interventions and led the subsequent debate on how the integration of Corporate Social Responsibility policies constitutes an element of value creation for brands, both internally and externally.
When Cooltra started 12 years ago we were just a motorcycle rental company. It was not until 5 years ago that we began to promote sustainability by acquiring our first fleet of 500 electric motorcycles, making us the company with the most vehicles of this type. It was an important challenge, since neither cities nor users were ready to take this step towards electric mobility.
We began to think about how we could facilitate this process and we found the answer in eCooltra, the motorcycle sharing project that we launched two and a half years ago. Our vision is of sustainable, urban, electric mobility, which has resulted in us having a presence in Madrid, Valencia, Lisbon, Rome and Milan. We are convinced that sustainability is profitable for companies if it forms part of a genuine commitment. This has been demonstrated by the emergence of various models of sustainable mobility throughout Europe.
Convinced that purpose-driven brands grow and endure and purpose-driven people thrive, in 2010 we launched the Unilever Plan for a Sustainable Life to promote a sustainable lifestyle. To this end, we have proposed three goals: to help 1,000 million people improve their health and well-being by 2020, ensure that 100% of the raw materials obtained from agriculture are sustainable by 2020, and halve the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
After 8 years of development of the Plan we have verified that purpose-driven brands grow almost twice as fast as those without and currently contribute more than 60% of Unilever‘s turnover. We have saved about 500 million Euros due to the incorporation of sustainability in our processes, and we are the leading employer in more than 50 countries because we are convinced that companies must grow, but not at any price.
At Ecotic we are responding to a growing need in society, a consequence of the vertiginous rate of technological change that we are experiencing, one that results in WEEE growing at a rate three times higher than other urban waste. In addition to ensuring the appropriate treatment of waste, at Ecotic we are assuming the challenge of raising awareness, both of citizens and of professional groups.
The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of appropriate recycling and promote responsible technological consumption to minimise environmental impact, as key elements in the development of the circular economy. We must focus these efforts on young people and children, since they are the consumers of tomorrow and are the great ambassadors of the defence of the environment. As the slogan of the collaborative campaign ‘Sustainable Digitalization’ says, a digital world will be sustainable or it will not exist.
The car industry faces three big potentially disruptive innovations: autonomous cars, connected cars, and more sustainable cars. These new forms of mobility are encompassed by the change from paying to own cars to paying to use them, as is the case with car sharing. At SEAT, we view the sustainable mobility of future vehicles from a broad perspective in terms the use of different technologies, which will provide solutions to many different needs.
The electric car will occupy an important position, both various hybrids and those that are 100% electric, with the thermal engine continuing to play a part through the incorporation of cleaner and more sustainable fuels. We are facing a future in which we will find electric charging points, petrol stations, hydrogen refuelling stations and other alternatives that point to a common goal: that of promoting decarbonization processes and offering more sustainable transport alternatives. We will also play an important role in the recovery of waste and its use as fuel.
The emergence of concern for the environment in Spain and in Catalonia has occurred later than in other countries due to the timing of the democratic evolution of the country. But today we have reached a point where it has become a central issue, both locally and internationally, and for which a genuine change in consumption habits is necessary, including the promotion of 100% recyclable products, changing the focus from ownership to use and mobility solutions.
Together with a change in the mentality and consumer habits of customers and users, resulting in new values being incorporated into purchasing decisions, the environment has become a fundamental aspect of a company’s reputation. We must move towards a new paradigm for the economy, in which companies have an amazing opportunity to add value while being respectful of the environment, thereby contributing positively to their reputation. The opportunity offered by sustainability therefore becomes intrinsic: either we change, or the world will become uninhabitable.