French Tech is paved with good intentions. According to the impact barometer of French Tech Next40 / 120 companies carried out by Roland Berger, CO emissions reductions2 carried out by these start-ups will be quadrupled by 2025. While some are limited to informal societal and environmental commitments, others are seeking to obtain labels or certifications that they can promote to their customers, partners and investors.
Between generalist labels (Committed CSR, B Corp, LUCIE, EcoVadis), themes (responsible purchasing, fight against discrimination, etc.) and sectoral (Responsible Brand, Sustainable BioEntreprise, etc.), difficult to navigate. Without forgetting the statute of “company with mission” introduced by the Pacte law. “Apart from the experts and a few enthusiasts, nobody really understands what all this means”, admits Maëva Courtois, CEO and co-founder ofHelios, impact payment account.
And there is no platform aggregating all these labels which are for some independent, while others were designed by companies or organizations. Some specialized sites or associations (such as Forse) try to identify as many as possible. Afnor (the French Association for Standardization), at the origin of the Committed RSE label, lists its 10 sectoral labels on its site. Before choosing the most relevant label (s), you must therefore spend time doing your own research..
A time-consuming process
The evaluation criteria for all these certifications are no longer not necessarily very clear. “As they compete with each other, they do not want to give in detail what their rating means”, remarks Fanny Picard, founder of Alter Equity, a management company investing only in projects responding to social or environmental issues. . For its part, it has built its own benchmark made up of 100 criteria and asks its investments to commit to 10 to 15 criteria (in addition to the carbon footprint, which is mandatory).
Finally, we must not neglect the resources to be mobilized internally. “It’s a very long administrative job that requires additional staff. We must therefore allow ourselves to spend time there, ”notes Maëva Courtois. ” To obtain B Corp certification, for example, you need at least a full-time job over one to two weeks », Warns Fanny Picard.
This American label, which appeared in France in 2015, assesses the operational impact of a company and that of its economic model. Nowadays, only 145 French companies have obtained this precious grail including start-ups such as the Ulule crowdfunding platform, the Shine professional payment account or even Luko home insurance.