Blog

18/03/2021

Digital collaboration drives sustainability

3 minute read

Long gone are the days of greenwashing — today for most companies sustainability is at the core of their business strategy. With the help of collaboration and knowledge-sharing technology, manufacturing companies can move sustainability initiatives forward together with their customers.

Sustainable development has been defined by the UN as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Sustainability encompasses three main elements: economical, societal and environmental protection. Thus, sustainability in business refers to the positive impact a company has on its financial, social or environmental surroundings.

Besides being essential to business’ strategy, sustainability permits a win-win situation for all: when the society and the environment prosper, companies can prosper as well. Operating more responsibly brings companies many benefits: it mitigates business risks, encourages innovation, creates brand loyalty, and improves financial performance.

Hear your customers

Cooperating with business’ key stakeholders the company can better understand and react to the environmental, social or economic changes when they appear. So talking with one’s customers and learning from them is crucial.

In the manufacturing and process manufacturing industries, where there is a common interest both for the company and its customers to act more sustainably, sustainability is deeply embedded in their strategy and way of operating. It is both the company’s and its customers’ benefit that they are more sustainable.

“The process manufacturing companies’ consider sustainability as essential to long-term financial success. Since process manufacturers and their customers’ value chain is tightly connected it is crucial for both that the products and services purchased are sustainable and appeal to the end customers. It is part of the customers’ risk management to know well the sustainability details of the products they are purchasing so that they don’t contain some sort of threat to their sustainability efforts and could in the end hurt their own business,” says Elina Peuhkurinen, Fluido’s Industry Team Lead for process manufacturing.

In many companies product or service development and sales tie closely together, so communicating with customers and involving them in developing more sustainable offerings is crucial.

 

 

Collaborate on the cloud

In the times of global pandemic, collaborating with customers needs to be virtual. Collaboration technology enables companies to co-develop their offering even from a distance.

With collaboration technology, companies can build digital first sustainability sites, portals or apps for their customers. There they can search for product or recycling information, find relevant documentation and look at sustainability information for their products.

This type of knowledge banks offer a way to bring product or service’s sustainability information easily to the customers’ reach.

“The core of this type of collaboration tool is that it needs to be tied in into the company’s existing processes and not incorporated as an afterthought. So instead of being “just a website”, it is an integrated part of the customer’s sustainability development processes,” Peuhkurinen adds.

Companies can also develop their existing customer service channel or incorporate customer service elements, such as chat bots or contact requests, to their sustainability site. This way they can better answer the needs of their customers’ sustainability inquiries.

For example, by building a customer service process flow, where all sustainability inquiries are logged into the same system, both customer service and sales can have a better understanding of the customer needs in a 360 degree view. The information is collected, stored and can be analyzed later for better sustainability initiatives.

Mirka Kurkela

Senior Digital Marketing Manager

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