Developing a product sustainability program
For international cement producer Argos, PRé started on the development of a product sustainability program to help position Argos' products. This case describes Phases 1 and 2 - planning and implementing the program.
Argos, an international cement and concrete producer, sought to effectively position itself as a market leader in sustainability and to differentiate its products through sustainability-based communication.
Developing a robust and successful product sustainably program can be daunting task. Working with Argos, PRé helped to tackle this challenge by using a step-wise approach, dividing the project into two phases: planning (Phase I) and implementation (Phase II). Separating the project ensured that adequate time was spent designing the program and surveying the landscape in order to minimize issues during implementation. Phase I included a literary review and several interviews with members of trade associations, research institutions, and environmental organizations. This combined approach of using literary resources and interviews enabled PRé to identify and confirm important external sustainability drivers within the industry. PRé found that building certification programs, such as LEED®, were the main external factors influencing the cement industry.
PRé also compiled a list of internal drivers, which were largely focused on differentiating Argos within the market and establishing baselines for quantifying environmental performance.
At the completion of this evaluation, PRé conducted a workshop to present findings to Argos and to introduce the different regional offices to the project. The workshops concluded with a planned path forward to launch a product sustainability program. Argos recognized the challenges of launching a multi-regional program and has been keen to involve regional representatives at each stage of development. PRé was able to utilize its global partner network and extensive expertise in product sustainability to formulate a plan for a successful ongoing initiative.
Working with PRé, Argos discovered the following project-driven benefits:
- Increased regional awareness of the sustainability program and its objectives
- An approach to promote value-added products and communicate advantages to customers
- A defined framework for a product sustainability platform to differentiate itself within the market