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On Tuesday, October 26th the sustainability Committee of the French American Chamber of commerce got together at the Accenture offices to set the goals and agenda for 2011. The group of French-American professionals in CleanTech, environmental issues and sustainability from both public and private sector is determined to give a strong voice to French expertise in the Bay Area! The internal meeting was followed by a very rich presentation by Par Larshans, our visiting guest, the sustainability director of Max Hamburgers. The Swedish fast-food company is taking over the international leader Mac Donald in Sweden with a brand new model based on environmental accountability and sustainability. Pars’ story and his company’s success show that by implementing efficient environmental practices, a company can win against one of the most powerful ones. His goals go beyond this competitive win: he wants to influence the whole industry!
Profit and sustainability: Do these go hand in hand?
Par gave a thought provoking presentation of the concrete benefits of implementing a sustainability strategy along the entire supply chain. He presented the results and the strategy of a company engaged in ongoing environmental and social initiatives. From implementing solar panels and green roofs on top of their restaurants, informing customers on how much CO2 emissions a meal represents (they are the only restaurant in the world with C02 labelling) to recruiting handicapped staff and helping them succeed in society, Max Hamburgers is a great example of a successful, sustainable company.
Par Larshans explained that “We gain more benefits in investing in green policies for our existing restaurants than in opening a new one”. Max Hamburgers is a tremendous example of how much benefits a company can receive from their clients by applying efficient sustainability measures. Max Hamburgers is now one of the 20 top brands in Sweden.
Environmental and social considerations seem to be more and more appreciated by customers. The bottom-top approach on environmental subjects and more specifically on climate change have triggered a real change in the way consumers behave in Sweden. Brands now listen to the customers’ considerations in order to be competitive.
In fact, sustainable development is not just seen through the scope of social or environmental benefits; for Max Hamburgers it’s a true business opportunity. By reviewing their activities with a more sustainable perspective, companies go beyond reducing detrimental environmental impacts. In many cases they also benefit from improved and more profitable operations, as well as gain an enhanced reputation in the community and with their customers.
In fact, their story shows that investing in social and environmental issues can result in great business benefits, even when the initial investement is greater. They are a true inspiration to many for a better, sustainable way to manage a fast food business!
Pashu Dewailly Christensen - Chloe Soroquere
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