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The green interview of Volvo's Dir'Marketing

Nathalie Duneau Volvo

After 15 years in advertising agencies and in the management of a large hotel group, Nathalie Duneau joined the marketing department of Volvo Car France . “ I have long considered the automotive industry to be the most conventional in marketing, despite all the innovations. But the situation has changed ”. Explanations ...

What are the challenges of marketing in a company like Volvo?

Today, the automotive world is at the heart of a total mutation and exciting about environmental issues and the use of the car. The new generations are much less focused on vehicle ownership. It used to be reassuring. Today, that anguish.

We need to redefine a model and proposals. We are in the process of moving from an industrial sector to a service sector . Marketing helps to anticipate solutions. Today, we no longer sell cars, but mobility proposals.

What does Volvo's green bet consist of?

We don't always know it, but Volvo Cars is a company historically committed to sustainable development and environmental issues are at the heart of our daily concerns. This is the reason why we want to go even further and have just announced the establishment of a major ecological transition plan with the ambition of becoming a climate neutral company by 2040.

Is a green-compatible car brand really possible?

Unless you settle for your feet, today any mobility solution has an environmental impact , direct or indirect, via the combustion of a heat engine or the production of electricity, for example.

Today, we can work and strive to limit the production of CO2 and it is a challenge that we want to take up! In fact, we are now relying on the electrification of our ranges with the gradual disappearance of our heat engines and have just launched our very first 100% electric model. But this is not enough ...

How to transform an inherently polluting company into an ecologically responsible company?

Now we are going a step further, since we have just presented our new plan. Beyond the evolution of engines and the reduction of gases , it is a question of having a globally responsible logistics chain with the reuse of our materials. 25% of our plastics are recycled, with a 100% deadline for 2025.

Likewise, we go far beyond the simple process of “ making electricity ”. We have set up a blockchain on the cobalt used in our electric batteries in order to have full traceability, even before and after it is put into circulation ...

When you have the job of marketing director, what policy do you put in place to fight against these pollution problems?

For example, we no longer use single-use plastic in our offices, points of sale and events. We are also implementing concrete actions such as the organization of several plogging races , which is a trend from Sweden , contraction of “ plocka upp ” ( picking up) and jogging. The principle is simple: collect waste while jogging. It's a great initiative that allows you to do yourself good and protect the planet at the same time, and which we want to deploy throughout France thanks to our dealers.

Give us some key figures around this approach ...

Since the launch of the races last June on the occasion of sustainable development week , we have brought together 200 participants who have made it possible to collect more than 300kg of waste ! And we already have more than a hundred participants registered for our next race which will take place this Sunday, December 8 .

But big news on this new edition: usually our partner, the association Run Eco Team , which collects and sorts the waste. But for this 6th edition, the waste will be recycled and reused for the realization of a work live from the Nautic Show by the visual artist Cicia Hartmann . This work will then be offered at an auction , the profits of which will be donated to an association campaigning for the protection of the oceans .

When you are a Parisian, can you concretely benefit from these actions?

Being convinced that doing everything is impossible but that starting to act is possible, we hope to sensitize as many people as possible thanks to the pedagogy practiced around plogging and that its emulations will generate awareness. It's usually a set of small gestures that make a difference.

How do you respond to those who accuse you of practicing greenwashing?

You can't tax Volvo , a Swedish company , for doing greenwashing . In Sweden, and especially in our company, the subject of ecology was already at the heart of concerns long before it became fashionable. As early as 1945 Volvo began as the 1st car manufacturer to recycle spare parts.

Safety at the heart of Volvo Cars' DNA is to protect the person behind the wheel, the people around, but also the vehicle environment. Our brand has always worked in this direction.

All companies that pollute by nature are greenwashing . Mobility is necessary, we are not going to stop moving and living as in prehistoric times ... On the other hand, we can reflect and work for a neutral footprint .

Give us a telling example ...

Take the paint of cars, which is a big source of pollution at the base, because it uses a very high water consumption . Volvo draws water from a spring next to its paint shop. After its use, the water is reprocessed and returned to the river more purified than it was taken. This, for me, is the neutral imprint in the long term.

Which green companies or personalities do you feel close to?

People who work with young people in schools and educate them. It is thanks to a new way of thinking that we can really start to make a difference, starting with sorting , respecting water. I deeply believe in the importance of everyone's small gesture.

Personally, what are you doing to change the world?

I have been recycling for 20 years and children also do it at home. I have always explained to them that all it takes is a soiled product in a dumpster, so that the rest cannot be recycled. My conviction: to favor pedagogy around good sorting practices.

Your pride?

I'm crazy about Corsica where I spend my holidays. I have been going to the beach for years with garbage bags and pocket ashtrays . At first I was all alone, and then people started to do the same thing… It seemed like nothing, it made children.

Your green faux pas?

I still love travel too much to give up my air travel. Hence the importance of offering mobility solutions that allow as much climate neutrality as possible ...

Your next personal ecological challenge?

I would really like to achieve that 99% of household waste in my home is recycled, as in the Swedes.

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