A white paper and a change of mindset: roles & capabilities of industries & businesses in the environmental shift

— Anh NGUYEN

I’m very happy to announce that with my colleagues at Stim, we just finished & printed a white paper called “Entreprises: how to reinvent to truly contribute to the environmental shift?”. 

This white paper marks the birth of our new business unit called Shift. Our purpose is to accompany industries & established companies who find traditional optimisation approaches are no longer sufficient to achieve ambitious environmental goals, and therefore need to reinvent their historical products, services, processes, and business models.

I remember June last year, I was on a train with a friend and we had a heated conversation about how we could contribute to the environmental shift, as individuals and professionals working with industries. Even though I agreed with him that industries generated the majority of GHG emissions and wastes, I was convinced that industries had no willingness and intentions to reduce their environmental impacts, and policies and regulations were moving too slowly to impose any significant changes in due time. In the “urgency of doing”, I believed that we individuals can only rely on individual actions & on a larger scale, communities in which we live, in order to make changes.

The first fallacy was that I assumed industries had no willingness & intentions to reduce their environmental impacts. What are industries and businesses anyway? There are of course stakeholders and/or investors and/or executives who would like to keep everything business-as-usual if possible, without the hassles of having to reinvent their “sacred cow”, be it product, service, process or business model. 

But there are also stakeholders and/or investors and/or executives and their teams who are willing to make a change, but not knowing how: how to design radically new products, services, processes and/or business models with less environmental impact? how to convince their board of directors of the need for such radically new offers? etc. We’ve met quite a few clients falling into this 2nd case over the years. And if the question is how, then we as an industrial innovative design company probably can bring something to the table (which we explained in the white paper). 

The second fallacy was that I assumed we can only do one thing and not the other, either we help reduce emissions & environmental impacts of industries, or we create eco-villages & low-carbon communities, or we do lobbying work. In fact, we as individuals can do all of these things to tackle the environmental shift. It might sound obvious to many of you, but with someone who has an obsessive one-track mind and a limited amount of energy to spend like me, this marked a huge mindset change. 

And I can see how this mindset change brings its fruits in 2021. We worked hard for the creation of the business unit Shift, which so far has received many positive feedbacks from our clients & future clients. We created this blog Waste is a Failure of Design with audiences from 16+ countries. We continued to do wwoofing activities, to learn about new low-tech practices, and to meet passionate people who are working towards the same goals as ours and living a low-waste, mindful, happy life. Yes, we can tackle the environmental shift from any angle that we like, and everything counts. 

If you are interested in how industries can and should play their part, here is our white paper, in French, available for free download: link

(We will edit the English version soon and I’ll update the link here later.)

Cheers, 

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