Soziale Innovationen für Unternehmen und Gesellschaft.
Michael Alberg-Seberich (MAS): Dear Mr. Rouvier, how does one end up being the “Director Social Business Program” at Renault?
François Rouvier: Well, that’s a long and complicated history. In short, I realized, after successful years at Michelin, that there is a discrepancy between what I wanted to give to society and what I was able to initiate within the company. With Renault I wanted to take a different approach by taking concrete steps.
MAS: What exactly is the BOP-product at Renault?
François Rouvier: First of all, companies bear a wide-ranging responsibility – that’s the baseline. This responsibility includes to some extent societal issues, such as poverty. As a global automobile manufacturer we have asked ourselves, what exactly can we do to contribute to a strengthened social solidarity in France? How can we employ our specific competences in a meaningful way? In the beginning we have set up an investment fund “Renault Mobiliz solidaire” as part of the employee savings plan, to allow employees to generate more meaning from their investment. The aim of the fund is to support social entrepreneurship with respect to mobility, that is facilitating mobility for people trying to gain access to the job market. In the meantime, we conducted research in corporation with the École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC) on what concepts of mobility are already present. In the course of the analysis we came across garage solidaire [editorial note: garage solidaire is an initiative founded by Ives Moran, which focuses on car rental and repair for low-income households], which is primarily based on do-it-yourself concepts.
In light of over 3800 certified Renault dealers in France, we concluded that we expand the approach of garage solidaire insofar as offering professional repairs at cost. Thereby, we benefit low-income households, especially the ones who do not have the knowledge to repair their car on their own. In the long run we hope to gain trust in lost customers, as well as access to a new client-segment. To contribute to this strategy we gave a special credit for people willing to purchase a Renault, who normally would not have access to such credits in the first place. In conclusion, our strategy aims at nothing more than taking up the challenge for a way of CSR.
MAS: How did you manage to convince the Renault-dealers?
François Rouvier: One crucial aspect for participation was that dealers are able to strengthen their local roots and hence achieve a competitive advantage. What’s more, many of the dealers have already been in direct contact with low-income households, privately or through business. They refer to situations, like helping the son of a friend, who is in a difficult situation and seeking for a cheap option to repair his car. In this respect, it was clear that these sort of favors can not be part of the operative business. Hence, we decided to outsource the decision of who is entitled to receive a repair at cost and who is not.
In order to guarantee objective and competent judgement, we have initiated a corporation with NGOs and the French employment agency (Pole Emploi (PE)), which combined obtain a sufficiently detailed database with respect to low-income households and mobility.
MAS: What about the economic probability?
François Rouvier: So far, the program is neither profitable nor creates losses. For our dealers the program is, besides the already mentioned aspect, interesting, because they can increase in flexibility: for times of the day in which no customers are scheduled, they can now schedule customers of the program Mobiliz. Further, dealers are entitled to refuse to take mobiliz-customers if it is the case, that the portion of the mobiliz-customers is too big. Ultimately we thrive for a symbiosis between users of the program Mobiliz and dealers.
MAS: How did you communicate the program Mobiliz?
François Rouvier: We were certain that interest of the media will be high. That is why we wanted to transport a clear key-message from the beginning: We do not start Mobiliz to replace existing garages solidaire, but complement to their offer. We aim for a transparent exchange of information and mutual support. Concerning the internal communication, we came to the conclusion, that we will not actively market the program, but its participation to the license by our program-partners and PE.
MAS: What have you achieved so far, and what do you plan for the future?
François Rouvier: At this point in the development of the program, we have 360 participating Renault-dealers, with which we directly benefit over 2500 low-income households per year. With respect to the three to four million potential customers, we are focus to continue this path. To enhance existing external communication, we will launch a website, run by motivated current and former employees, who set themselves out to answer questions and remarks of users of the program Mobiliz.
MAS: Mr. Rouvier, thank you very much for your time.
Über 16 Mio. Menschen (20 Prozent der Bevölkerung) sind in Deutschland von Armut bedroht oder sozial ausgegrenzt. Zusätzlich ist Armut oft mit weiteren Herausforderungen in Bereichen wie Gesundheit, Bildung oder Wohnen verknüpft. Besonders Arbeitslose, Alleinerziehende und Personen mit einem niedrigen Bildungsstand sind betroffen.
Im Zuge des BOP-Konzeptes entwickeln Unternehmen nutzerzentriert Produkte und Dienstleistungen, die darauf abzielen, die Lebensqualität von einkommensschwachen Haushalten nachhaltig zu verbessern. So werden neuartige Angebote und Möglichkeiten geschaffen, zu denen diese Gruppe zuvor keinen Zugang hatte.
...Verbesserung der Mitarbeiterbindung.
...Stärkung der Innovationskraft.
...Erschließung neuer Märkte und Kundengruppen.
...Stärkung der Reputation und Imagegewinn bei unterschiedlichen Stakeholdergruppen.
In Frankreich, Belgien und den Niederlanden haben Unternehmen wie Danone, Renault oder Colruyt das BOP-Konzept angewandt – dabei richten sich die Vorhaben oft explizit an den UN Sustainable Development Goals aus. Die Sektoren Wohnen, Mobilität sowie Ernährung und Lebensmittel sind besonders stark vertreten.
Die Marktgröße zur Deckung der Grundbedürfnisse einkommensschwacher Menschen beträgt insgesamt 80-110 Mrd. Euro. Dabei sind die Ausgaben für Wohnen und Energie, Ernährung sowie weitere Konsumgüter besonders hoch. Selbst die anteilsmäßig geringsten Ausgaben für Grundbedürfnisse im Bereich Gesundheit übersteigen 2 Mrd. Euro. Jeder der Lebensbereiche bietet großes Potenzial für innovative Produkte und Dienstleistungen mit gesellschaftlichen und unternehmerischen Mehrwerten.