Sustainable development is a public interest concept setting out to combine societies’ equitable development with the conservation of the environment.
In the Brundtland Report, the World Commission on Environment and Development offers the following definition:
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
- the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given, and
- the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs.”
Based on the universal values (responsibility, participation and sharing, the precautionary principle, debate etc.) the notion of development gives rise, in turn, to a dual concept:
- the right to use the Earth’s resources, but the duty to manage them rationally to ensure that they remain for future generations, and
- each inhabitant of the Earth’s right to an identical share of those resources.
Sustainable development concerns all sectors of activity: farming, housing, industry, the family and services.
Sustainable development may also be represented in diagram form, as in the figure below:
This figure teaches us that:
- The social plus the ecological make a world fit to live in without taking account of the economic aspect.
- The ecological plus the economic make a viable world, but fail to take account of human beings.
- The social plus the economic make a fair world, but fail to take account of ecology and the conservation of the planet.
Since the firm’s foundation in February 2006, we, the SAVONNERIE DE L’ATLANTIQUE managers, have decided to commit ourselves formally to an overall corporate policy based:
- in economic terms, on a commitment to quality that may be summed up simply, and in a form ensuring a company of long life, as follows: “getting it right first time at the lowest cost”;
- in social terms, on a commitment regarding respect for human beings, ethics and the desire to comply with our country’s rules and regulations and
- in environmental terms, as an ICPE-classified site subject to licensing, on a commitment to comply with the regulations laid down by the authorities, and also a desire to do our own bit and to make every possible improvement in this sphere.
By virtue of our overall policy commitment, we introduced the notion of Sustainable Development de facto into the SAVONNERIE DE L’ATLANTIQUE’s founding principles on 1 February 2006.
You can call up our commitment by clicking here.
SAVONNERIE DE L’ATLANTIQUE drives since 2006 and imminent drives:
1- Social aspect.
Keeping an industry with a longstanding tradition going in Nantes, and in France, a heavy-weight industry, as it combines oil saponification with the determination to keep up and step up local employment: 22 people in 2006, 40 people in 2009.
- Introduction of a bi-monthly report on the key performance indicators for the staff as a whole (figures for production, sales, the market, complaints, order-fill percentage, performance etc.).
- Introduction of an annual individual interview with the CEO for each employee.
- Pegging wage levels to the cost of living.
- Introduction of a proactive training policy.
- Conclusion of a productivity agreement in 2007.
- Conclusion of a profit-sharing agreement in 2009.
- Introduction of an annual in-house debate and discussion day attended by all the personnel on an equal footing.
- Contribution to help for young people in their quest for employment via various associations.
- Membership of the FEEF(1) Sustainable Development Board.
2- Environmental aspect.
Company focusing on a product with a long history, readily biodegradable, requiring neither preservatives nor petrochemical by-products: soap.
- Our prefectural order updated in September 2009 (process set in motion in September 2006).
- Adoption of a plan of action, with the DREAL(2), to reduce our environmental impact..
- Constant liaison with the Nantes Métropole Environment Cluster.
- Energy diagnosis performed in 2009 with ADEME(3) support.
- Site’s carbon balance scheduled for achievement in June 2010.
- Environmental approach to the products via life cycle analysis(4) and outcome of the initial eco-balances per type of product in 2010.
- Launch of trials, in 2010, with biodegradable, instead of plastic, films for soap packaging.
- Certification of the site for the
production of Organic Ecological Cosmetics certified by
ECOCERT Greenlife in accordance with the standard available
for consultation on http://cosmetiques.ecocert.com.
- Certification of the site for the production of soap in accordance with the European Ecolabel standard(5).
- Development, in 2009, of 100% natural origin liquid personal hygiene products, containing no preservatives and readily biodegradable, with support from the OSEO(6).
(1)Federation of French Businesses and Entrepreneurs - www.feef.org
(2)Regional Environment, Development and Housing Department - www.pays-de-la-loire.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/
(3)Environment and Energy Management Agency - www.ademe.fr
(4)Product life cycle is a multi-criterion environmental approach that takes account of all the activities that come into play in the manufacture, use, transport and disposal of the product concerned. Life cycle is generally illustrated as a series of stages, from production (extraction and/or harvesting of the raw materials) to final removal from circulation (disposal or recycling), via manufacture, packaging, transport, household or industrial consumption and recycling or disposal. It is the foundation for eco-design. Analysing a product’s life cycle makes it possible to draw up eco-balances – The document accessible via the link will rapidly make it clear that the carbon balance is but the tip of the ICEBERG. A good carbon balance is in no way synonymous with zero environmental impact.
3- Economic aspect (or economic viability)
- A low customer complaint rate.
- A parcel order-fill rate exceeding 98%.
- Development of a local brand.
- A permanent quest for sources of in-house savings and technical and organisational solutions enabling us to keep up our competitiveness vis-à-vis our customers.
- Positive financial results that allow us to pursue a polity of investment for the years to come.