Sebastian Lefebure, Managing Director France & Southern Europe, Manhattan Associates
Logistics is moving forward with its promise to be more environmentally and socially responsible. There are many hurdles along the way but the biggest one will be how to change consumers’ behaviour. We spoke to Sebastian Lefebure, Managing Director France & Southern Europe, Manhattan Associates, at Deliver, one of Europe’s largest e-com events. Read more stories from Deliver soon.
What can be done to improve the organisation’s stand on ESG issues?
One of the first things that we need to outline is that there is a steady shift in buying behaviour. There is an increased focus on digitisation and environmental and social awareness. More and more consumers are looking at the impact their buying habits have on the planet. Not just at sustainable manufacturing but also the delivery option. So this means brands need to change the way they look at their logistics partner just to make sure they maintain their market share.
What is the role of logistics companies who are heavily investing in the three pillars of ESG?
A couple of things. The first thing is that they understand the concerns of the consumer. Consumers are making sure that the brands they interact with are living with the core values of ESG.
Which part of the ESG framework is hardest to get right?
I would say that manufacturing obviously is a challenge. For example, changing the packaging requires a lot of time and investment. Returns are also a challenge when it comes to the financial side and the impact it is having on the environment. However, I believe the biggest challenge is the consumer’s behaviour because it is very unique to each person. It can change extremely easily.
Today the biggest issue for brands is to incorporate choices that are not going to be based only on price but also on the impact it is having on the environment and the society.
Where should the ESG journey start from?
At Manhattan we believe that technology is a key enabler to support the agility that is needed to achieve ESG. When we talk about the supply chain software is essential to make sure that you connect the promise you make to the consumer to the reality.
If we look at the current goals for NetZero by 2030 and 2050, do you think it is possible to achieve them?
I believe we need to change consumers’ behaviour and make them more responsible. This would mean to share all delivery options with them and the impact each one will have on the environment.
Has there been too much investment during the pandemic which could make companies less likely to invest now in ESG, NetZero, etc.?
No, I do not think so. Covid showed the need to have the ability to quickly adapt to the changing world. I think it will just be the beginning.