Le Parlement des Entrepreneurs d’avenir event brought together hundreds of professionals, academics, politicians, and representatives of civil society over two days to discuss sustainability, social inclusion, impact measurement, innovation for positive impact, work of “tomorrow”, and more. A common theme of collaboration was highlighted during the “Starting the resource revolution” panel, where professionals discussed the importance of every actor, producers and consumers alike, in the transition towards a more circular and regenerative economy.
A lively debate between Alexandra Palt of L’Oréal and student panelists about the consistency of the company’s core business with its sustainability values brought to the forefront the fundamental challenge that many companies face: It’s becoming increasingly manageable to improve packaging and waste or to clean up supply chains, for example, but how do companies whose core business models rely on selling products that provide joy rather than meet basic needs internalize consumer pressure for “sobriety”? In her presentation, Ms. Palt highlighted the excellent work being done by her colleagues to address real social and environmental impacts, but the question remains – Is there an inevitable transformation coming for companies that sell primarily lipstick and hair color, much like companies that sell predominantly oil and gas?
To see more from le Parlement des Entrepreneurs d’avenir, check out their video series here.