The 5 “E-values” of ConsultantSeas

The 5 “E-values” of ConsultantSeas

The 5 “E-values” of ConsultantSeas

The 5 E-values of ConsultantSeas ? These are the values that guide our actions and decisions on a daily basis: Engagement – Commitment, Epanouissement – Fulfilment, Esprit d’équipe – Team spirit, En profondeur – In depth, En mouvement – In motion (yes, we cheat a little on the E’s).

 

The first E-value : Engagement – Commitment

 

🌍 The core of our commitment? Preserving the ocean and its biodiversity: ConsultantSeas’ mission is to prevent plastic pollution in the ocean, by acting at the heart of the problem, upstream of the pollution. We support companies and other organisations to reduce their plastic footprint, individually or by positioning ourselves as facilitators of a multi-stakeholder collaboration.

💪 Without claiming to be exemplary, we strive (in fact, it’s not really an effort, it’s quite natural!) to apply to ourselves what we advocate. In English, the expression is “walk the talk”. This is why we have made various commitments internally, such as the trend towards zero waste, the non-use of single-use plastic, the reuse of furnishing or office equipment, or the reduction of our carbon emissions. For us, it is obvious to face the 8.5 hour journey between Brest and Marseille to travel by train.

⭐ The commitment is therefore that of our profession, of what we build as a team with our clients and with our partners. It is also what each of us embodies and defends more personally. Because it’s so much better to work in line with our values!

The second E-value : Esprit d’équipe – Team spirit

Team spirit is crucial for us, and it includes many things: combining with each other’s ways of being and doing while giving priority to the collective, supporting each other on a daily basis – from coffee breaks to technical reinforcement on a file, celebrating successes together and debriefing disappointments, getting inspired and growing by working together, sharing our visions of the company, sharing a meal, a reading, a board game…

🤔 On this occasion, we invite you to discover a team meeting that contributes to weaving and strengthening our bonds, and to act together to help prevent plastic pollution. The Step Back is held every other Friday, and it’s about brainstorming on a topic to bring up new ideas, develop new offers, contribute to strategic thinking, question and improve our internal functioning…

🌊 It is an opportunity for team members, all positions included, to express themselves on different courses of our ConsultantSeas “boat”; and also to practice collective intelligence workshops. If you pass by our offices on a Friday lunchtime, you can see us mysteriously waving around panels of coloured post-its which, while waiting to be converted into action plans, decorate the walls of our offices!

The third E-value : Epanouissement – Fulfilment

 

⭐ Beyond a human-sized consulting firm, ConsultantSeas is also a warm and friendly workspace. Wellness at work is not an option for us, but a necessity. This post is an opportunity to share with you 2 major factors of fulfilment at work at Consultant Seas:

🌱 Meaningful work 

Our missions are not a simple professional occupation but a source of motivation and challenge.  We really believe in what we do, and if there is an ounce of ethical doubt, we talk about it and give ourselves the right to say no. The sharing of tasks, projects and the distribution of roles within the organisation is a way of never being bored at your job, of being autonomous while being surrounded, and of being valued within the team.

☀️ An environment conducive to well-being

The cooperative and benevolent way in which the team operates creates a climate of mutual trust between team members and allows for flexibility in work (teleworking, flexible hours, etc.). Listening to each other, the key words at CS are support, communication and sincerity, whether we are sailing on a calm or turbulent sea.

🌊 Thanks to these values and this way of working, the team combines its commitments and its cultural and sporting activities with its daily professional life. Thus, in Brest, between 2 waves or 2 gusts, 2 dance sessions or 2 pedal strokes, one can see a blossoming team, in which each one can dream of personal and collective projects, ordinary outings or trips, reunions with loved ones or moments to oneself…

In short, the blossoming of each individual allows us to be united and motivated, ready to fight plastic pollution!

 

The fourth E-value : En mouvement ! – In motion

⛵”Innovative and optimistic, we seek to be the actors of the change we believe in”, is the phrase you can read on our website about this 4th E. Because wanting a future with a healthy ocean is not only dreaming it, imagining it, but also contributing to it concretely on a daily basis. And this is what we are doing: working from the local to the international level, with all stakeholders, and in particular businesses – an indispensable vector for this paradigm shift that is required to reduce global plastic pollution.

➡️ We are therefore on the move every day, and even more so recently since we moved our offices! After two years in which the environment of the Village by CA Finistère has supported us a lot, during which we have been able to grow and structure ourselves, we have crossed the Penfeld – the river of Brest for those who have not yet visited us – and taken flight in our new premises. Thank you to all the team of the Village for your welcome, your help, your networking, and for our beautiful collaboration which does not stop there! 

☀️ So we went back to school in 2023 at La PAM. And once again, there was no question of standing still: the team mobilised and pulled together at the end of an already intense year to furnish our future premises. The challenge was great: to furnish with as much salvage as possible and as little new as possible, all within a (very) reasonable budget! The objective has almost been reached and you can now visit us in this nest of circular economy and greenery – we have green plant fans among our teammates 😉

 

The fifth and last E-value : En profondeur – In depth

At ConsultantSeas we are not afraid of complexity. We dive into the different topics with straightforwardness, reliability and intellectual rigour.

🌊 We carry out each assignment with the ambition to have as much impact as possible. When it comes to the fight against plastic pollution, we do not take things lightly. While we consider all of the 5Rs solutions (article on the subject), in accordance with the hierarchy of waste management methods, we systematically seek to move towards solutions that reduce and eliminate packaging/plastic as a priority. These sometimes involve changes in usage, distribution models and production methods. Having an impact that will contribute to changing consumption patterns is what drives us on a daily basis.

👥 This requirement to work on complex subjects naturally leads us to cooperate and to surround ourselves with others to complete our expertise. Calling on specialists in sometimes very different subjects, in material sciences, in information and communication sciences, or even in project engineering, allows us to improve the relevance and robustness of our work. To give concrete examples: we don’t stop at the recyclability of packaging, we study the actual recyclability thanks to CIRCPACK®; and if we have to talk about open sciences, we partner with Datactivist.

❌ Getting to the heart of the matter also means remaining consistent with our values and our primary mission to preserve the ocean. A non-negotiable point for us: obviously, no greenwashing! At ConsultantSeas, we are committed to monitoring the impact of our actions to ensure that they are having an effect – this allows us to measure successes, and also what is not working so well! And before any communication, we make sure that the actions are in place and have the expected effects.

😃 Let’s remain curious, attentive and open; this is a posture that limits the risk of falling into simplistic analyses. It can happen to us, as it does to everyone, and what matters then is to be aware of it and to learn. Thank you for watching over it with us!

 

⏭ This is the end of this series on our “5E-values”, we hope you have enjoyed it and learnt a little more about ConsultantSeas, its aspirations and commitments. A next series is in the works, check out our LinkedIn to find out more!

The 5Rs rule

The 5Rs rule

The 5Rs rule

The 5Rs ? The golden rule “refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot” or “refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and give back to the earth” comes from Bea Johnson’s book  Zero Waste and enables us to structure an approach to reducing our waste, including plastic.

REFUSE

 

It is simply saying no to what we may not need, asking ourselves if the product is really useful.

A survey (available here) of 24,000 people in 24 countries showed a change in behaviours towards avoiding plastic waste. In 2021, 44% of people responded that they avoid buying products with a lot of packaging, compared to 39% of people in 2019. In France, in 2021, 47% of consumers responded that they reject “excessive” plastic packaging. Despite the limitations of the study, the evolution of the figures obtained still shows a growing awareness and motivation to refuse certain plastics.

According to the Climate & Resilience Law, since 1 July 2022, it is no longer allowed to provide a sample to a consumer as part of a commercial approach, unless the consumer himself requests it.

REDUCE

To tackle plastic waste, the best solution is to produce as little as possible. What we cannot refuse, we will try to reduce it: it requires questioning our habits, questioning our consumption way, buying less but better, making things durable…

The guide Zéro déchet, zéro gaspi of Zero Waste France suggests the BISOU method to question the acts of consumption:

B is for Besoin (Need): what need does it answer?

I for Immediat (Immédiat): can I wait a few days before deciding?

S as in Semblable (Similar): do I already have an object that has this utility?

O is for Origine (Origin): what is the origin of this product?

U is for Utile (Useful): will this object bring me a primary comfort?

If this method applies mostly to consumer decisions, we can ask similar questions for companies: What needs does the product meet? What are these reasons for being? Can we answer these needs in other ways? How can we reduce its functions to the essential?

Among the possible ways of reduction, we can try to limit the over-packaging, but also the “over-quality” of products. Indeed, while plastics have many advantages and increasingly advanced properties, we observe the development of excessive requirements. To reduce is to seek to achieve the “right packaging”; eco-responsible and with satisfying properties, but not oversized.  It also means reducing the purchase of new goods, considering the use of second hand or reconditioned, or reducing the impact of transportation by buying local products.

RECYCLING

Recycling means reintegrating materials from a product at the end of its life into a new product. This allows a new life cycle to be started again, from a material that is not virgin. While there is no universal definition of recycling, we can use the European definition to refine our understanding of the subject:

Recycling” means any recovery operation by which waste is reprocessed into products, materials or substances for its original function or for other purposes. This includes the reprocessing of organic material, but does not include energy recovery, conversion for use as fuel or for landfill operations.

[Directive 2008/98/CE]

Why recycle?

  • To reduce our waste, and therefore its inherent pollution, some materials (such as plastic) take centuries to degrade.
  • To preserve natural resources, as recycled material allows us to reduce the amount of material we have to extract.
  • To save money and create local jobs in the area.
  • To imitate nature and its closed loop system. In nature, waste does not exist and matter is constantly transformed…

Recyclable vs. Recycled: when we talk about packaging, we sometimes hear that it is recyclable, but this does not mean that it will be effectively recycled at 100%. Indeed, to be recycled, the packaging must be :

  • Collected, for example by throwing it in a yellow bin
  • Sorted, in a sorting centre according to its material
  • Prepared, that the different elements are separated, that the material is washed and crushed
  • Regenerated, the raw material is recycled and can then be re-integrated into a new product

 

 

ROT

Giving back to the Earth some of the resources we’ve taken from it is the final step in putting our waste to good use. Composting is a solution for reducing the volume of your trash cans: in your house or apartment, in the country or in the city, thanks to composters, you can recycle your vegetable waste, egg shells, coffee grounds… and biodegradable/compostable packaging… 

To see more clearly on the subject, let’s go over some definitions: 

Composting is a process of transformation of fermentable materials (which can enter into fermentation) in controlled conditions of temperature, pressure and/or in the presence of micro-organisms. It allows to obtain a fertilizing material, the compost. In France, standards define the compostability criteria in industrial and domestic conditions.

Biodegradable qualifies materials that can be degraded in a reasonable time by living organisms, into water, CO2, methane and possibly into non-toxic residues (e.g. biomass). Thus, the properties of biodegradability do not depend solely on the raw material of a packaging, and do not allow valorization.

Thus all biodegradable packaging is not necessarily compostable! Moreover, these transformations depend on the parameters of the environment; in case of leakage in the ocean for example, a biodegradable or compostable plastic could persist much longer than in the conditions of a laboratory or a composter. The priority remains to reduce the use of plastics at the source, and for that we refer you to the other Rs : 1st R – Refuse, 2nd R – Reduce… 

REUSE

What is reuse, what is repurpose? The distinction between these two words is sometimes difficult to apprehend. This one resides in reality by the transition or not of the good by the status of waste in its end of life. Where a reused good will have been considered at one stage of its life as “used waste”, a reused product will not be considered as waste even between two cycles of use.

The following definitions of the French Environmental Code (art. L541-1-1) moreover enable this distinction:

Reuse :

Any operation by which substances, materials or products that are not waste are used again for a use identical to that for which they were designed.

Reutilization :

Any operation by which substances, materials or products that have become waste are used again.

We identify 2 different models of reuse:

Refill: the packaging belongs to the consumer and is refilled at home or at the store. The refill trends are: customization of packaging, automatic refill by subscription or customization of delivery systems (choice of quantity, choice of flavors…)

Return: the ownership of the packaging is transferred to the company when it is returned from home (collection system) or when it is brought back to the store. The seller is then responsible for washing it and making it available for the same use. Return trends include: companies sharing infrastructure, using smart tracking systems (especially to monitor deposit payout), or selling the packaging as a service to amortize logistics costs. 

Beware, some materials cannot be recycled ad infinitum, and require the addition of new raw materials each time, this is for example the case of plastic. Others, although technically infinitely recyclable, consume a lot of energy to regenerate the material at each cycle, such as glass, which has to be heated in ovens to 1500°C…

Thus, the priority remains to reduce our use at source.

As far as the plastic is concerned, we invite you to go and see :
The fact sheet we produced as part of our BeMed mission
The Mr & Mrs Recycling website ♻️, a real mine of information on the subject to sort out the real from the fake.

Source of pictures : Zero déchet, zéro gaspi written by Zero Waste France
ConsultantSeas through the One Ocean Summit

ConsultantSeas through the One Ocean Summit

ConsultantSeas through the One Ocean Summit

The city of Brest, home of ConsultantSeas, hosted the One Ocean Summit on February 9, 10 and 11 in its Ateliers des Capucins. With the objective of raising the level of ambition of the international community on maritime issues, the event brought together about 40 heads of state and ministers, the President of the European Commission and the President of the Council. Within the scope of the Summit, several events were organized throughout the city of Brest on the ocean theme. Let’s have a look at our involvement during this week rich in encounters and learnings.

 

Waves of Breizh

ConsultantSeas was invited to speak at the “Waves of Breizh” event (see the article written by the Telegram on the subject), organized by Waves of Change in partnership with the Village by CA. The objective of the event was to go “from pact to action” by bringing together actors of the Breton territory through four collaborative workshops to address issues raised by Hoali, Movin’On (Michelin), the Ocean Climate Platform and ConsultantSeas. Marie was able to share with the participants the methods and arguments to convince a CEO to engage his organization in a project to reduce its plastic footprint, while Elodie and Camille worked with other groups on the challenges of port decarbonation and selling liquids in bulk. It was a rich moment of exchange and we thank all the participants and organizers of this workshop.

Welcoming our network of partners on our home in Brest

During this time, Diane represented ConsultantSeas at the Apér’Océan organized by the RespectOcean network, of which ConsultantSeas is a member. A great opportunity to share a convivial moment with the network and to create new links!

Many of our clients and partners were also present and active during the forum. Among them were Surfrider Foundation, the Tara Ocean Foundation, the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique team and the Campus Mondial de la Mer.

Main advances in plastic pollution during the summit

From these different sessions but also from the Leaders’ Summit on Friday, February 11th, the following main advances concerning plastic pollution were achieved:

  • 4 new countries, the city of Paris and the maritime region of Central Greece joined the 500 signatories of the “Global Commitment to a New Plastics Economy” supported by the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation.
  • Two European banks and the French, German, Italian and Spanish development agencies have pledged to double their contribution to the “Clean Oceans Initiative”, which finances projects to reduce marine plastics, representing a sum of 4 billion euros by 2025.
  • In France, the government has announced the treatment of 50 coastal landfills identified as priorities to prevent plastic waste from leaking into the sea.
  • The perspective of an international treaty on plastic pollution has also been announced with the next UN General Assembly in sight.

The follow-up in a few weeks!

 

 

The ConsultantSeas team wishes you all a happy new year 2022!

The ConsultantSeas team wishes you all a happy new year 2022!

The ConsultantSeas team wishes you all a happy new year 2022!

We would like to take you on a brief journey through the highlights of the past year and the projects to come. Welcome aboard!

ConsultantSeas has sailed through this year with many projects. It was a key moment for the BeMed Business Club that we support, which now has 12 member companies involved and motivated to prevent plastic pollution in the Mediterranean. It was also the start of the pilot project “Towards a zero single-use plastic hotel” at the InterContinal Marseille – Hotel Dieu, with concrete actions to eliminate, reduce or replace single-use plastics. We are also adding local reuse loops* to our technical stopovers missions. In 2021, ConsultantSeas has also built up its presence in Brest through events such as Ressour’seas and meetings, in particular thanks to the publication of an article on our work in the Télégramme.

ConsultantSeas will continue to stay the course in 2022: new partnerships and diversification of missions are on the agenda, always working at all levels, from Finistère to the international level.

Increasing our visibility was also part of our 2021 sailing program. Last October, part of the team made a stopover in Lyon during the Pollutec forum to take part in the first edition of the Mer & Littoral Forum: a highlight which we summarise here. Our website was redesigned and got a new look in 2021! In 2022, our events radar will guide us first to the One Ocean Summit in February and then to the Plastic Summit in July, both of which will take place in Brest.

The road and the course could not have been kept without a rich and fulfilling life onboard in parallel. In 2021, ConsultantSeas has had its team doubled in size in one year: we are now 6 full-time employees. Louise and Manon are exploring new horizons, allowing Camille, Juliette and Pascal to join as junior consultants, right-hand to the CEO, BeMed project manager and senior consultant, strategy and growth.
ConsultantSeas will continue its cruise with a team of 6 full-time staff in 2022 and hopes to keep on board as much good humour, group cohesion and great team moments. ConsultantSeas is now moored in offices within the Village by CA Finistère: a privileged opportunity to benefit from the team’s expertise and network. We should be moving to new offices in Brest in 2022.

Our crew is ready to take on the surprises of the coming year and to continue to strengthen and grow!

* Article L541-1-1 of the Environmental Code, reuse refers to “any operation by which substances, materials or products that are not waste are used again for a use identical to that for which they were designed.”

Corporations and plastic pollution

Corporations and plastic pollution

Corporations and plastic pollution

Reducing plastic pollution is a challenge that is receiving increasing attention from multinational companies. While private sector engagement remains a major pillar in addressing the plastics crisis, the diversity of actors, levels of engagement and approaches makes this a complex challenge.

In an article entitled “Corporations and plastic pollution: Trends in reporting” and published in the journal Sustainable Futures in 2021, researchers from the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Duke University study corporate reports of the 200 largest multinationals published between 2010 and 2019, i.e. more than 2300 reports. The objective is to understand the degree of importance – of “materiality” – that multinationals give to plastic, the circular economy and waste, through the analysis of their corporate reports. The analysis shows that these issues have become important to the extent that the number of reports mentioning “plastic pollution” has increased by almost 20% between 2016 and 2019. It is particularly in consumer goods sector reporting that the issue of plastic pollution is becoming more prominent, compared to the oil, automotive and gas sectors. The researchers note that this trend also corresponds to a growing consumer demand for pollution reduction. In fact, the different levels of engagement by multinationals across sectors and geographical areas reflect the complexity of the issue.
An in-depth analysis of reports from 37 of the 200 multinationals shows that engagement varies according to a number of factors. For example, there is a widening gap in commitment between companies which do or do not participate in ‘green clubs‘ already committed to plastics and waste issues (such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy Club); participation in these clubs encourages corporations to be forward-thinking and to make the transition towards plastic pollution reduction. On the contrary, the lack of standards to guide them towards plastic reduction reinforces the variations between the different levels of commitment. This in-depth analysis ultimately reveals how the private sector focuses on recycling rather than the whole plastic life cycle; the challenges are actually broader and the authors call for a whole system approach. The authors argue for the need to ensure that corporate reports encompass more data, for instance with interviews, and include plastics issues. The paper concludes with the importance of examining the role of green clubs and the need to foster the engagement of plastic producers.

 

An example of plastic pollution consequences.
The article recalls a number of elements that are directly consistent with the activities of ConsultantSeas. It states that the private sector is one of the essential levers of action for solving plastic pollution by acting, among other things, on the production and design of goods and packaging, as well as on their management once they have become waste. ConsultantSeas dedicates part of its assignments to supporting companies in the development, implementation and evaluation of their strategy to reduce their plastic impact. However, meeting these challenges will not be possible without a real multi-stakeholder effort along the plastic value chain. This is why we are also working on the dynamics of “green clubs”. For example, we have been mandated to lead the BeMed Business College, which helps companies to go further collectively than legislation requires and individual action allows. Beyond the involvement of all actors, the resolution of the problem must also take into account all levels of the plastic life cycle to initiate a profound change in the paradigm in which we find ourselves. Finally, the impact of the actions taken must be monitored; ConsultantSeas assists its clients in monitoring and implementing reporting tools on the subject.