Sustainable business innovation at Tessenderlo

The Context
In 2011 CEO Frank Coenen put forward a set of principles, mantra’s, that prepare and align Tessenderlo Group to society’s real needs and challenges such as climate change, food security and water scarcity.
In this manifesto Tessenderlo Group announced a radical new vision: bringing sustainability at the heart of the business. Not as a side-project, but as the core driver of its innovation and growth strategy, and creating shared value: economic value in way that also creates value for society.

The Challenge
In order to bring this vision down to the runway, Tessenderlo reached out to Futureproofed.

The Trajectory

  • Mapping
    The project team defined a number of pilot projects to mapping the carbon and water impact throughout the supply chain, and performing market and industry research. 

  • Identifying opportunities
    Building on this analysis, the team worked on identify fields of opportunities to create new economic value while at the same time radically reducing its water and carbon impact.

  • Workshops and sustainable business innovation
    Throughout several workshops with key Tessenderlo people, one of which with Tessenderlo's top 100, ideas for sustainable business innovation gradually took shape. First iterations for business model canvases were developed.

  • Storytelling
    A synthesis of these results was distributed throughout the company, in an enhanced iBook publication, containing text, images, interactive graphs, interactive presentations, videos, interactive table of contents, full-text search and index, and individually customizable digital notes. This publication captured the highlights of the presentations and the ideas, notes, business models, and the spirit of the workshops.

Results and Resolutions
This project uncovered the enormous potential for sustainable business innovation that is already present within Tessenderlo's ecosystem. More than ever it's clear to its leaders what amazing opportunities await when following the vision of their CEO. To be continued!

And what have we learned for your benefit? Initial scepticism and reluctance towards data-driven sustainable business innovation can be turned into a force for good. Especially when the top 120 managers get a glimpse of the enormous opportunities lying within.

At Tessenderlo Group, we see business opportunities in addressing unsustainable practices. In a pilot project, Futureproofed helped us in choosing our battles, focusing on the levers that have the biggest impact on the climate, water consumption and ultimately, shared value creation. It is refreshing to see how Futureproofed not just shares our view on the role of business in sustainable development, but actually helps us achieve it.
— Frank Coenen, CEO of Tessenderlo Group

Country: Belgium, France and international
Client: Tessenderlo Group
Sector: Chemical, bio, food, agriculture, waste, water
Services: Carbon & environmental management; Sustainable business innovation; Sparring, coaching
Year: 2012

Related links
Sustainability at the heart of Tessenderlo Group's strategy

The Challenge
To assess the