interview

Faire des affaires différemment dans un monde aux ressources limitées

( Source : TheJakartaPost.com, 24/10/2011 )

Alors que son économie continue de s’améliorer, l’Indonésie – abritant la quatrième plus grande population du monde avec 240 millions d’âmes- va, prochainement, être un marché lucratif pour les biens de consommation rapide (ndlr : produits qui ont un chiffre d'affaires rapide, et à prix réduit). Selon Nielsen, l’année dernière, les ventes de ces biens dépassaient  les 9.81 milliards d’€, soit 11% d’augmentation par rapport à 2009.

Le géant Unilever, qui est présent dans le pays depuis près de 80 ans, a lancé, il y a moins d’un mois, son plan d’investissement de 64.5 millions d’€ - sur un total de 394.4 millions d’€ alloués au marché indonésien durant l’année 2012 – pour étendre les équipements de sa production de produits de beauté et de crème glacée afin d’intégrer totalement le marché grandissant de l’Indonésie.

A cette même date, le PDG d’Unilever Paul Polman, parlait à des centaines d’étudiants de l’Université d’Indonésie située à Depok, à l’ouest de Java, à propos du business durable dans un monde aux ressources limitées.

Durant la conférence publique, Polman partageait la stratégie de l’entreprise pour doubler son chiffre d’affaire – celui-ci ayant généré l’année dernière près de 28.6 milliards d’€ de revenu – et cela couplé à une réduction de son impact sur les ressources.

Il proposait un nouveau modèle de business durable qu’il faudra nécessairement appliquer pour « en finir avec l’âge de l’abondance ». Ce modèle contient différents éléments clés : partage des valeurs, perspectives à long terme, partenariat, transparence et responsabilisation des acteurs le long de la chaîne de valorisation (ndlr : activités tout le long de la chaîne de transformation qui ajoute de la valeur au produit).

Linda Yulisman du Jakarta Post s’est entretenue avec Polman à propos de ces sujets en même temps que d’autres problèmes relatifs. Voici quelques extraits de l’interview.

Bientôt, vous aurez accès à la traduction de l'interview. En attendant voici l'original en anglais:

Question: Can you explain how you apply the concept of shared values, especially in the context of Indonesia?

Let’s take a specific example of our product, Kecap Bango. What it means is that obviously you have to sell a good product that consumers like, so that (consumers) can make their eating experience better as well as buy it at a good price.

But for us it also means that we work in Java with 7,000 small holder farmers to produce the beans. We work with them to teach them how to improve their yields so that they have higher incomes. We have 3,000 women among those farmers who can improve their communities as we make our products. That is the shared value.

We want to produce it sustainably so that we don’t deplete the soil. We want to provide livelihoods. We want to produce the products and then, by selling the products, our company grows and we can provide employment and generate the farms to help the farmers and the communities so they can work better and as they grow, we grow. Together, we build a long relationship like a family that makes us more successful.

That is a very simple way of explaining the concept of shared value. If I was just concerned about the short-term profit, why would I invest in soil education, in building schools, in sustainable farming? Then I could be very profitable in the short-term, but I wouldn’t be thinking about the community in long-term.

Besides new investments, do you have any plans to launch new products or make acquisitions?

Indonesia’s Unilever has just launched a water filtration system called Pureit, which does not need electricity. Currently, in Indonesia, when you don’t have drinkable water, you either boil it or you have to buy the big jars. It costs a lot of money or energy.

You can put water through Pureit to make it drinkable or to use for cooking. The issue of water is going to be a big issue in many places in the world. There’s a shortage of accessible drinking water, especially in the places of the world where the population is growing.

It is a shared value model. It’s not just for business. So, for example, think about when inventors invented the mobile phone. Pureit is the mobile phone of drinking water. It’s a total revolution and it is very accessible, even for people at the lower level of the economic environment.

Last year, you halted a palm oil purchase with Indonesia’s major palm oil producer, Sinar Mas, and now you are reportedly in talks with the firm about your plan to buy palm oil again. Could you explain more about that?

On the global level, palm oil is a very important ingredient and the demands for palm oil will grow as it is used in many products such as soaps and detergents, including our own Rinso, Dove and Lifebuoy, as well as in food products.

As the world grows along with the population and the standards of living, the demand for palm oil will increase and so will the demand for beef or for soy. It is important that the sourcing is done in a sustainable way and the whole world agrees with that.

We have issues of climate change, and that’s why the Indonesian government called for a two-year moratorium on deforestation and to convert farming to sustainable farming.

The world has created an industry body comprising suppliers, manufacturers and others called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and there are standards for responsible palm oil production.

We buy from any company that is a member of the RSPO and fulfills those criteria, as it is a responsible producer.

It doesn’t matter to us to buy from the company you mentioned or any other company. If the company fulfills those standards, that is good.

That’s why it is important for Indonesia to belong to an institution with international standards, because that shows credibility in the world. Then you will become competitive and grow your economy. To just create your own standards for producers is not the best solution. And for palm oil specifically, there is the RSPO — the most important body that we and many others support and base our purchase decisions on.

Does this mean you will buy palm oil from Sinar Mas?

We buy from any company that fulfills the standards of the RSPO, and that’s why it was created. That’s not only manufacturers. It is also producers and NGOs, and its standards are acceptable for everybody. That’s why it is so good and powerful. It’s a shared value, the standard, and it’s also very important for Indonesia to meet the requirements of that standard.

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