Reimagining Capitalism for Sustainability: The thought provoking Work of Stephan Liozu, PhD., and Fabien Cros
[Paris, France and Anthem, AZ, USA January 4th 2024] – Stephan Liozu, PhD., an American former Chief Value Officer of Thales and a noted author on pricing strategies, joins forces with Fabien Cros, a French Sustainability graduate from Imperial College and former management consultant at Accenture currently working on Data and AI at Google France. Their mission? To steer global businesses towards sustainability by revolutionizing their pricing and business models.
The duo's quest began with a startling realization: while the urgency of meeting the Paris Agreement's goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C is widely acknowledged, most efforts have been constrained to recycling and waste management. A paradigm shift, they believe, is essential to make a real impact. Their solution? A unique blend of circular business models and innovative monetization and pricing strategies that promise not only environmental benefits but also enhanced profitability. For instance, they champion the concept of 'true price,' which refers to the actual cost of a product or service when including external factors like environmental and social impacts that are typically not reflected in its market price. But their approach goes beyond just pricing, extending to innovative business model concepts such as 'material as a service.' This advocates for renting materials like iron instead of making a one-time sale, thereby ensuring a recycling-focused product lifecycle. Similarly, they highlight Decathlon's 'Play Circular' initiative as a prime example. In this innovative model, the renowned French brand opts for leasing sports equipment instead of traditional selling. This strategy not only fosters a circular economy but also creates a mutually beneficial scenario for both customers and the brand.
Liozu and Cros realized that the crux of the problem lies in outdated educational paradigms. Business leaders continue to employ industrial revolution-era concepts, neglecting the potential of 21st century monetization and value-based pricing strategies, especially in sustainability. Their findings are supported by studies like "Unlocking the Global Pathways to Resilience, Growth, and Sustainability for 2030" by the United Nations, highlighting a gap between CEOs' recognition of sustainability's importance and their investment in sustainable innovations.
To bridge this knowledge gap, Liozu and Cros have co-edited a book, "Monetizing and Pricing Sustainability," and launched the "PricingForThePlanet" podcast. These platforms discuss innovative concepts like ROSI™ (Return on Sustainability Investment) from New York University Stern and business cases such as the Circular Certified label of Schneider Electric.
The next step in their mission is the "PricingForThePlanet Summit," to be held at Schneider Electric HQ in Paris on April 9th. Sponsored by BCG and Schneider Electric, this event will feature prominent speakers like Gregory Sion, CEO Pierre & Vacances , Sergio Collegla, President Europe of SITA, Pierre Schaeffer, CMO of Thales and John Pineda, Managing Director and Partner at BCG, focusing on positioning sustainability as a competitive advantage.
Concurrently, Liozu and Cros are launching a community-driven learning platform, addressing the critical lack of skills at the intersection of business and sustainability. Based on various research studies and discussions with headhunters, they believe that the skill set for monetizing sustainability will be one of the most sought-after in the coming years. They designed their platform to be more than just theoretical; it's a space for real-world application and learning, turbocharged with AI (including personal AI tutors), and aimed at equipping business leaders to position sustainability as both planet-friendly and profitable. Clearly, this is an expertise that most businesses will need to incorporate.
For those interested in being a part of this pioneering movement, application to their first learning cohort is now open on their website.