At MJV, the synergy between strategy, design, technology, and culture allows us to deliver value with a focus on sustainable transformation.
1. What is sustainability?
“Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their demands.”
This is the definition of the report “Our Common Future”, by the World Commission on the Environment and Sustainability.
In other words, to talk about sustainable development, it is necessary to focus on the human capacity to interact with the world, preserving the environment, as well as the social and economic aspects of life.
By maintaining resources, we can contribute to building the future.
→ Also read: Circular Economy: understanding the urgency of this topic.
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2. What is sustainable transformation?
It is becoming increasingly important for companies to understand that they are an integral part of the world and not just consumers within an ecosystem.
Natural resources are finite and social inclusion is urgent. This is nothing new, but taking action and shaping businesses with that mindset is what makes the difference.
Since the definition of ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance), it is the first time in history that sustainability is no longer a corporate obligation and is now understood as a strategic and imperative factor in the daily decisions of businesses and people.
Consumers and companies alike are demanding positive impact actions for human preservation. Sustainable transformation is what enables a more balanced world.
We are talking about enabling companies and people to progress in harmony with the ecosystem to which they belong, ensuring a healthy future for life on the planet.
Sustainable transformation allows for the development and implementation of positive impact solutions, considering different aspects of the company’s ecosystems and the socio-environmental context that surrounds it.
this means looking at what has value for the business, for the people involved, and for the planet.
→ You may be interested in: What is ESG? Connecting finance and sustainable development.
3. Approaches to sustainability
There are several ways of working on sustainability within the corporate universe. All motivated by the following contexts:
- The emergence of the term ESG;
- The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
- Among others.
Going deeper into this concept and uniting this sustainable mindset with our way of transforming business, we arrived at approaches such as Design Thinking for circularity, among others that we will list below.
Circular Design Thinking
Circular Design Thinking is a methodology for adapting products and businesses to the parameters of the circular economy, enabling the reduction of environmental and economic impacts.
But to talk about Circular Design, we first need to talk about the circular economy. According to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation:
“In our current economy, we take materials from the Earth, make products out of them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a circular economy, we stop producing waste in the first place.”
This is done based on three principles, driven by design:
- Eliminate waste and pollution;
- Circulate products and materials (at their peak value);
- Regenerate nature.
“This process is underpinned by a transition to renewable energies and materials. A circular economy decouples economic activities from the consumption of finite resources. It is a resilient system that is good for business, good for people, and good for the environment.”
Circular Design Thinking is a way of designing products, businesses, and services with this applied mindset.
Starting from an in-depth analysis of the current product value chain, we can find the business and production aspects that are causing a negative impact, mitigating them or even completely reversing them, generating positive impacts instead.
It is important to note that, as mentioned above, Circular Design looks at the product’s entire chain of influence, not just after use.
What this means in practice is that we are talking about much more than just repairing or recycling. This is an approach that brings intentionality and environmental responsibility to product design and raw material extraction/consumption.
This means designing products in a more strategic way so that, in addition to using fewer impactful materials, they can, for example, be more easily repaired in the future, among many other possibilities.
Everything is designed in a profitable way, preserving the company’s financial health and reputation, all while mitigating environmental risks.
Data for Sustainability
We are facing increasingly complex environmental, social, and governance challenges.
Constant monitoring and visualization of sustainability data is crucial for companies to be able to design and operate their future in a transparent and responsible manner.
In this scenario, Data Analytics provides an understanding of the needs of different audiences to mitigate risks related to sustainability. It may be especially relevant for impact analysis and reporting.
An example of this is the development of interactive panels that inform the socio-environmental risks related to a product to guide decision-making based on ESG criteria.
In addition, technology has enabled new sustainable paths:
- Blockchain: the possibility of preventing fraud and ensuring sustainable processes, such as value chain traceability. It answers the question: “where did this product come from?”;
- The Internet of Things: the possibility of interconnecting machines and configuring them to optimize processes and predict maintenance needs, allowing production to use fewer resources and increase product durability;
- Artificial Intelligence: assists in understanding and redesigning complex and interconnected systems, enabling, for example, greater agility in monitoring or environmental inspection and better disaster forecasting;
- Interactive dashboards: through automated data collection and visualization of information (DataViz) considering user needs (UX and UI), it is possible to provide managers and clients with adequate tools for sustainable decision-making, risk mitigation, and discovering opportunities.
Social Innovation and Design Thinking
We can’t talk about a sustainable world without including people, can we? After all, in order for us to take good care of the planet, we need to be well taken care of ourselves.
This approach takes advantage of systems thinking. A mindset that uses constant analysis of impacts and the consideration of all those involved in the context of the solution.
Here, the focus is on the quality of life and security of clients, employees, and community rights for social well-being.
In this way, we ensure that the solution generated not only addresses the problems of a group of people but generates a positive impact on the entire interconnected ecosystem.
→ Understand more in the ebook: Systemic Design: An Approach to Sustainable Innovation.
[Case] A window to a sustainable world
For over 8 years, Pro Natura has been working in the local development of Curralinho, a municipality in the Marajó region, in the State of Pará.
The work involves supporting the creation of the first cooperative in the açaí chain in the region: Cooperativa Sementes do Marajó.
Continuing with this movement to formalize the production chain, the Smart Amazon Program was born, in search of innovative sustainable solutions with the contribution of advanced technologies.
Committed to business transformation and global sustainability issues, MJV became the partner for the development of technological solutions for Pro Natura Smart and Smart Amazônia.
The initial challenge was to understand how to integrate technology into the açaí extraction chain within the community of Curralinho-PA.
With a goal of contributing to the quality of life of producers. Making their day-to-day work easier and increasing production gains and sustainability.
In order to solve this, MJV mapped challenges and opportunities in this context and carried out an immersive study within the region. Co-creation dynamics and materials were designed to extract the collective intelligence of these communities.
You can follow the result of this project here.
Strategic Sustainability Planning – Strategic Foresight
More than just a plan, Strategic Sustainability Planning is a methodology that supports decision-making in the medium and long term. It is also used to align and enhance business goals, anticipate socio-environmental risks, and create organizational resilience.
Creating a sustainable future for your organization involves comparing it with the current scenario and tracing the path that needs to be taken, from one point to another:
Current scenario →← Sustainable future
It is not something totally new since Strategic Planning is an old acquaintance of many companies. But the inclusion of Sustainability as a pillar of this planning is a demand of our current times of instability.
If the company is still unable to be proactive in generating a positive impact, it is at least necessary that the mitigation of socio-environmental risks be weighed.
Therefore, although it is certain that the organization will undergo important changes along its trajectory, Strategic Sustainability Planning is the fastest and most efficient way to convert uncertainties into opportunities and create the desired future.
A great example of this is our project with Instituto Coca-Cola Brasil.
MJV was invited to collaborate with the institute in its ambition to scale the largest youth employability program in Brazil.
The vision is to reach the goal of impacting 5 million vulnerable young people by 2030 with initiatives that promote their productive inclusion.
To this end, we supported the ICCB in its strategic alignment and also led the new design of the organizational structure and the team’s ways of working.
We are partners of the Institute in training the team for agility and innovation, co-creating the conditions for the sustainable scalability of its programs.
And how is your company positioning itself in the face of this new trend? Let’s chat about sustainability and business. Talk to one of our experts.