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On a mission: The Power of using Business as a force for Good

In his book Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, wrote:

“Profits happen when you do everything else right.”

Indeed, brands that lead with purpose and authenticity are changing the nature of modern business. These companies consider profit an output and symptom of success, not the cause!

But what exactly is a purpose-driven company?

Purpose-driven companies believe in something bigger than their products and services, and they go further than seeking profit and shareholder value to actually stand behind and act on this purpose. They have a strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy and consider the impact all of their decisions will have on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.

Today, purpose is no longer optional. Society is nearing the limits of the planet’s resources, and the world is on the brink of a climate catastrophe and civil unrest because of extreme inequality.

Customers’ growing concerns about ethics and sustainability are challenging companies’ practices and products. Many

modern consumers make purchasing decisions based on how brands treat their employees and the environment, and how they support the communities in which they operate. In fact, the environment is the second-most important issue customers look at when deciding whether to support a particular brand (Deloitte, Purpose is everything, 2020).

By taking sustainable and social challenges into account when designing new offers, companies will be able to stand out from their competitors and create preference.

Certified B Corporations, companies that operate for the wider good of society, are currently booming, with 140% growth in the number of B Corps certified between 2018 and 2020 (there are currently 3,499 certified companies in total). In May 2020, Danone, a forerunner on these topics, became the first listed company to adopt the "entreprise à mission" framework, and it is now on track to become one of the first Certified B Corp multinationals (some of its subsidiaries are already certified).

And having a purpose beyond profit pays off! Companies that pursue purpose as well as profits outperform their competition by 12 times over a 10-year period (Deloitte, Beyond office walls and balance sheets, 2017).

So what for Lyreco?

  • What if purpose became a differentiating factor for Lyreco vs. less clearly engaged platforms?

  • How can we profit from our ongoing commitment to the circular economy?

  • How can we help our customers develop a more sustainable/ethical workplace? What new solutions/services would be required?

  • How could we make life easier for customers wishing to adopt a responsible purchasing approach?

  • To what extent will Lyreco have to deliver sustainable data and transparency to its own supply chain to accomplish this?

  • What if zero waste and zero plastic became the norm tomorrow? How would this impact Lyreco’s offer and profitability?

Find out more on the trend "On a mission":


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