Sustainable Development, a French-American Challenge

A new committee has been created by the French-American Chamber of Commerce in New York. Its mission will be to encourage dialogue between French and American business on the theme of sustainable development.

“French is a big leader in innovation and sustainable development,” said the chair of the committee, Clyde Ranking, at the Sustainability and Innovation Forum organized by the French-American Chamber of Commerce in New York on May 13. “We want to take some of these good ideas and get them out there.”

The committee’s objective is also to connect the 1,000 members of the Chamber of Commerce, who range from businesses in the energy and transport sector to players in the hotel industry, agri-food, fashion, and luxury. “Sustainable development is a problem shared by all our members, both French and American.”

The French groups L’Oréal, Pernod Ricard, Danone, and EDF, as well as global bank HSBC and a dozen U.S. companies including taxi service Lyft took part in the Forum. This was the chance for each player to present its commitments to creating a greener future. Pernod Ricard mentioned its partnership with a New York-based producer of biodegradable straws made with seaweed; L’Oréal highlighted that its Maybelline Great Lash mascara — one of its most popular products in the United States — is produced in an energy-independent factory; and Danone, a major plastic consumer, promised to only use recyclable materials by 2025 and to eliminate all its carbon emissions by 2050.

“Every time you make a decision, consider its impact on the environment,” said Philippe Caradec, vice-president of public affairs and sustainable development at Danone and a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s new committee. “We work with more than 600 dairy farms in the United States, and we are trying to reduce the carbon footprint of every single cow!”