Copy This! Kyocera’s CSR day in Manchester
Yesterday I was at Kyocera’s CSR day in their brand new Manchester offices, featuring some great guest speakers from Green Alliance and Forum for the Future amongst others as well as Tracey Rawlings Church, the company’s own CSR guru. There was plenty of red meat for the sustainability practitioner here, these are the points that resonated with me:
- The twentieth century was one of resources getting cheaper – those days have gone;
- The long trumpeted product-service system is coming of age. For example, Rolls Royce now provide propulsion services by the hour rather than selling jet engines;
- There is massive scope to add services (and value) to a product to produce a product service system e.g. building a document management system around a print/copier;
- However there is a need to educate buyers in such business models as tenders are often written with buying a particular technology as a capital item in mind;
- One solution for this is ‘outcomes based procurement’ where the buyer specifies what they need (eg holes) rather than how to get it (eg drills);
- Some technological solutions are very simple. Kyocera has pioneered triangular solar panels so an array can be installed to cover an entire face of a hip roof neatly – more efficient and more aesthetically pleasing than using rectangular panels only;
- Likewise, the company’s copiers/printers can be disassembled with just 17 screws – all the same size so you only need one screwdriver;
- But to make the circular economy work, we need better recovery technologies – many rare earth metals are very difficult to recover;
- There is an important role for pro-sustainability lobbying/awareness raising in other organisations to enable sustainable business models;
- Transparency is a great ethical driver.
I had kind of given up on ‘expert presentation’ events, but I’ve been to some really excellent ones such as this recently, so I’m starting to reconsider my rather grouchy position and getting out a bit more.