Q&A: Farther, faster together at Sustainable Brands Paris

One month after the inaugural Sustainable Brands Paris conference came to shake up the European sustainability community, Quantis France Director Dimitri Caudrelier reflects on why we invited so many of our partners to the event and shares insights on what it will take to move sustainability forward in Europe.

Quantis: Last month Quantis joined the inaugural Sustainable Brands Paris. Why was it important for Quantis to play a big role in this launch?

Dimitri Caudrelier (DC): It’s Quantis’ mission to engage business professionals across departments and functions, to equip them with the right knowledge and tools to operate on a day-to-day basis with the needs of humanity and the planet in mind. I’m talking about professionals that probably don’t have “sustainability” in their title. They’re packaging leads, innovation directors, marketing managers, etc. For companies to embed sustainability into every aspect of their business, we need those players onboard and inspired. Sustainable Brands events do this really well and that’s why we’ve loved being part of them through the years. It’s why we knew we had to be part of launching SB Paris and to bring members of our partner community* along.

Watch Dimitri’s interview leading up to SB Paris

“It’s our mission to engage business professionals across departments to equip them to operate on a day-to-day basis with the needs of humanity and the planet in mind [...]. It’s why we knew we had to be part of launching SB Paris and to bring members of our partner community along.”

Q: Why was SB Paris so disruptive in the European sustainability space?

DC: I’ve been in the European sustainability sector for more than 10 years. Many past sustainability events have just preached to the choir of sustainability professionals and struggled to engage core-business function participants. Indeed, many of our corporate partners have expressed this as a key need: getting all of their departments onboard with a sustainability mindset. SB Paris is a real turning point because of all the positive energy and disruptive engagement it brought to that audience

Q: Leading up to SB Paris, you said you were expecting “strong commitment and positive energy” from the conference — how would you describe the atmosphere at the event? Did it meet your expectations?

DC: Yes. The positive energy was absolutely there. I want to thank Pixelis and all of the partner organizations for the courage it took to pull this off. SB Paris’ disruptive format was a risk, and it worked! The plenaries were powerful, positive, creative, even artistic with our very own “Chief Poetic Officer.” The next step we need is to translate this energy into substantive commitments, from passion to action. For that, marketers, product designers, and executives need concrete examples, case studies that show how to begin embedding sustainability into day-to-day operations. That was our goals with the hub sessions

Q: We hosted 4 dynamics “Choose your own adventure” sessions at the Lifestyle Hub. What was the Quantis way of organizing these and how were they received?

DC: It was important for us to have many of our corporate partners speak in our sessions and share openly about real boots-on-the-ground experiences. We make it a priority to share our expertise openly with a wider audience to help drive progress in sustainability. This knowledge-sharing is the basis of many of our pre-competitive collaborations such as the Sustainable Packaging Initiative for CosmEtics (SPICE).

To fuel and channel all that great energy, we carefully crafted each session to facilitate fun and practical learning + be hyper-interactive. This creativity and openness is how we do things at Quantis. And while the hub’s “super-engaged” audience participation format is not necessarily the most comfortable for many French people — it’s more of an Anglo-Saxon thing — I was pleased to see people willing to take the risk and dive in. Our sessions were packed and buzzing!

If your company is ready to move from positive energy to bold commitments, you’ll enjoy a chat with Dimitri.

If your company is ready to move from positive energy to bold commitments, you’ll enjoy a chat with Dimitri.

Sustainable Brands Paris

Dimitri Caudrelier
Director France,
Quantis

* Members of our partner community that spoke in Quantis-led sessions: Madeline Pron, Marketing director – Bledina / Elodie Parre, CSR Director – Bel Group / Helene Coulbault, Corporate communication and marketing director, Nespresso France / Dick Ivarsson, Head of Communications – IceBug / Gregory Arnal, Deputy Group Purchasing Director & Corporate Packaging Sourcing Director – L’Oréal / Carole Neyrinck, CSR Director – Boehringer Ingelheim / Violete Watine, General Manager – Le Slip Français / Beatriz Martins Carneiro, Programme Management Officer – Ecolabelling & Consumer Information Resources and Markets Branch – UN Environment.

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