In January 2014, UTOPIES became the first company in France to be certified B Corp. From 2015 to 2019, as the official country partner for France, Utopies launched and developed the BCorp movement until the creation of B Lab France in 2019. More than 30 French pioneers have been supported by our teams in their certification or recertification process (i.e. Laboratoires Expanscience, Bjorg Bonneterre et Compagnie, Nature & Découvertes, Cojean, Veja…). At UTOPIES, for almost three decades, we have been “opening new paths” for positive impact business and supporting companies (large or small) in their sustainability transition process relying on certifications / labels / standards, when needed. Thanks to this acknowledged know-how, we will support your teams (including executive committees) in all key steps of the certification process: from employee awareness to certification as such, helping you to leverage the impact of B Corp on your business model, assisting you at each step of the assessment, helping you identify the most important projects to be implemented – “low hanging fruits” as well as more strategic actions with relevant roadmaps.
For 30 years, Utopies has been raising leaders’ consciousness to think differently about business and the world, to create a desire for radical rather than incremental goals, for innovative solutions that transform difficulties into opportunities, and for positive business models that change the world. We believe that business transformation, whether it is in our sustainability strategy projects or in B Corp specifically, is only possible if it is truly integrated at the strategic level, driven by business executives rather than implemented only at the operational level. That is why we systematically involve them in our projects, whether it is upstream to convince them and get them on board, or during the main milestones of the project. According to their needs, we design tailor-made tools and approaches: speeches by our founder Elisabeth Laville, positive innovation seminars (e.g. the Noé Program) or inspirational seminars, individual coaching, collective training, strategy co-construction workshops, or serious games (e.g. Climate collage).
The B Corp movement and its businesses must rise to the climate emergency and adopt “carbon radical” or “net zero” strategies that engage and inspire all stakeholders. To do this, UTOPIES supports organizations at every stage of their climate journey, by:
– Evaluating their carbon footprint (including scope 3 upstream and downstream)
– Identifying the most important emission sources and co-construct an ambitious climate action plan to reduce their emissions, in line with scientific 2° scenarii
– Creating engagement strategy with their stakeholders (suppliers, customers, employees) to help them reduce their emissions across their value chain
– Supporting the development of carbon sinks through offsetting programs
– Deploying a carbon management system to track the advancement of the strategy and action plan
– Integrating carbon impacts and risks within financial management through tools such as an internal carbon price or carbon fund, in order to support climate innovation.
UTOPIES also leads the “Climate working group” of the B Corp France (15 B Corps) to build a common vision and ambition in line with the “Net Zero 2030” commitment
We believe that strong and sustainable brands are those that serve a raison d’être, that are committed to making a positive contribution to society and the planet… and not just to limiting the negative impacts of their activities. We call these brands “Positive Brands®”. We are convinced that, today, every organization has the power to transform society by putting a purpose at the heart of its actions and by promoting its positive impact through its communication. Therefore, from the definition of a raison d’être, its embodiment in the offer, to the definition of a communication strategy and the promotion of commitments, we support companies of all sizes and every level of maturity in CSR issues, from upstream to downstream. In this process, B Corp certification reinforces the company’s mobilization around common good interests and the sincerity of its commitment to its internal and external stakeholders. It also nurtures the communication of a new transparent and positive narrative around this approach. We can help you produce Positive Brand® platforms, communication plans, elements of language, and communication tools (e.g. impact reports).
On a mission to further integrate and leverage CSR and sustainability in business strategies for the past 27 years, UTOPIES has over time worked with businesses of all sizes. Our goal is to help companies go beyond the “less bad” approach (minimization of risks and negative impacts) to embrace a “more good” approach that truly transforms products and services, business models or innovation processes – to better align them with the corporate purpose for a “net positive” impact on society and the planet. We believe that the B Corp philosophy, community and tools (BIA, SDG Action Manager) can act as a cornerstone for a more sustainable and inclusive economy. We will leverage these tools to analyze your business model as well as your key material issues and weak signals, to draw inspiration from best practices from inside and outside the B Corp community, and to structure a strategy that builds on your existing practices, value proposition and business models to radically and positively transform your business over the long term.
The Sustainable Development Goals are the best reference for aligning companies’ activities with global needs, in order to build a more sustainable and inclusive economy. However, they are too often used retrospectively to measure contribution or provide a framework for a reporting exercise. We believe that they should be used upfront to help guide business transformation in order to truly have a significant positive impact.
We will help you identify the few SDGs you can really have an impact on – the ones relevant regarding the nature of your activity and your company’s DNA -, and focus on these in order to :
– (re)define your company’s purpose
– shape your CSR / business / brand strategies
– drive breakthrough innovation to invent new business models
– fuel your communication and reporting strategies.
Due to their global nature, SDGs are not always relevant or accurate enough at the national or regional level. We developed a tool named “Local Goals” which supplements them. It enables a company to confront or build its strategy according to the environmental and social needs at the territorial level (country, region, department) identified through 70 indicators that we have linked to the SDGs.
Working closely with chosen legal experts, UTOPIES help companies to understand and adapt to the complexities of legal transformation or regulatory developments. Our main legal partner played a crucial role in the drafting of the French PACTE law (which led to the French equivalent of the Benefit Corporation legal structure) and successfully translated B Corp legal requirements to align them with the French legal framework.
In addition, UTOPIES has extensive expertise in assisting companies on a variety of other legal issues, such as adapting to recent European regulations, including the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). Our holistic approach ensures that companies can not only meet their sustainability goals or achieve B Corp certification, but also align themselves with legal obligations, positioning them on the whole as contributive and forward-looking entities.
Drawing on our experience and partnership with legal experts, we have assisted various organizations such as Newton Offices, Aigle, GSE, and others in their transition to a “Société à Mission” legal structure, whilst also integrating B Corp’s legal requirements.
Activism and positive lobbying are key dimensions of UTOPIES’s work with our clients, which we aim to integrate within most of our projects – whether by pushing new cross-sector coalitions on key topics or by supporting existing campaigns to amplify the collective voice.
By supporting existing movements such as the B Corp movement in France (UTOPIES was the first French B Corp and Country Partner for 5 years and is still part of the board), reinforcing sectoral initiatives such as En Mode Climat, or structuring new ones such as the Charter for Refugee Inclusion in business, UTOPIES engage companies with shared interests to support or propose more ambitious regulations that align with their values and corporate missions to advance common goals.
UTOPIES has a successful track record of structuring coalitions across or within sectors, such as the Charte pour l’inclusion des réfugiés (i.e Charter for Refugee Inclusion), where we enabled business action and facilitated a powerful statement calling for more comprehensive regulations in support of refugees. More than 50 companies signed the charter.
UTOPIES has also supported the anti-waste organisation Too Good to Go in creating the “Consumption Dates Pact” and its associated commitments. Signed by 62 companies, the Pact includes 10 commitments aimed at reducing food waste due to use-by dates. Thanks to the Pact, 3,000 product ranges are raising consumer awareness of different use-by and best before dates and more than 600 anti-waste shelves have been set up to sell products that would have been thrown out otherwise.
We are also supporting existing initiatives. For instance, we have advised prominent companies such as AIGLE and LE SLIP FRANÇAIS to join “En mode Climat” an initiative among fashion brands to leverage their influence to drive climate-positive change within the sector.
Furthermore, we actively participate in initiatives such as B Corp (UTOPIES was the first French B Corp, led the movement in France as the country partner for 5 years, and is still part of the board), Impact France Movement, and community of Société à Mission (the french equivalent of benefit corporations), actively contributing to positive lobbying efforts and collective advocacy.