What is your vision for ANJAC’s CSR?
Aurélien Chaufour - CSR is a human conviction for the Anjac Group and its subsidiaries, and it’s because of that strong motivation that it works. Sustainability and benevolence aren’t the sort of thing that can be decreed. It is a point of pride for us to keep Safety, Health, and Nature as our top priorities. We consider CSR through all our industrial roles, whether we work in the manufacturing process, innovation, daily practices, etc. Our entrepreneurial culture helps us, because everyone plays an active, responsible role each day. Every idea that is proposed gets consideration.
How would you describe the role of innovation in your CSR strategy?
Aurélien Chaufour - Here at Anjac, we put innovation at the service of CSR. Innovation toward improved sustainability is a strategic focus for the group. And after two years of steady acquisitions, we are ramping up synergies in support of CSR.
The R&D labs within our companies, like the group-level R&D committee, practice self-censorship; they work exclusively on subjects with a positive impact on the environment.
Our entire value chain is involved: from ingredients, sourcing, and traceability to the whole manufacturing process, where we are reducing our production of waste and our consumption of energy, water, and electricity. We are also working on key performance indicators that will help brands make better choices.
What concrete steps are you driving within the group?
Aurélien Chaufour - As a manufacturer, we believe in the importance of creating a virtuous link for consumers, the environment, and our clients. Each of our companies has made that commitment at the executive level.
We are supporting societal initiatives that matter to us, such as the Fondation Epic and its community organizations; the Maison des Femmes in Saint-Denis, which does wonderful work to end violence against women; and Gustave Roussy Hospital’s proposed expansion of its pediatric cancer treatment facilities. Our companies support the social fabric of our community, which is essential to preserving local resources. We are a family-owned group, and I view the human adventure as a powerful principle.
When it comes to the environment, we are also working on products, industrial tools, the carbon footprint of our logistics, our suppliers...
We strive every day to ensure that all our companies can bring their social and environmental advances to bear. Currently, five of our companies are committed to the industry-recognized EcoVadis approach. Our goal is that all our companies should be following in their footsteps within the next three years.
But I want to go further. We take a pragmatic approach, seeking to provide products that will make a real difference for our clients: 100% natural formulas proven effective by naturopaths; water-free solid cosmetics; biodegradable, compostable impregnated wipes with a high added value; and innovative natural ingredients with the potential to change people’s habits, such as a glyphosate alternative or a natural sun-protection booster.
Health is our mantra and the basis of our approach to sustainability in our beauty and health care industry. Moreover, we have joined forces with our companies to develop our "Clean & Safe" charter to provide guidance to brands and think ahead to the safest, most responsible solutions possible.
You mentioned your community initiatives during the Covid-19 health crisis. Tell us more about them.
Aurélien Chaufour - During this unprecedented health crisis, the Group has reaffirmed its commitment to the interests of its teams and of the general public. We began taking various actions in late January.
The group has chosen direct actions, for example we provided hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to health care workers and local governments, as well as energy supplements to hospitals.
All our sites applied hygiene and safety measures in line with pharmaceutical industry standards, with which we are very familiar. We provided our team members and their families with natural food supplements known to boost the body’s immune system and masks for the whole family. Child care was another concern of ours. We have witnessed great cooperation at the group level during this time, and I am very grateful that our team members have demonstrated such courage and commitment to maintaining services for our clients.