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Following Christian Coutin’s retirement, Joël Tronchon took up the reigns of the Group’s Sustainable Development Division, along with the role of Managing Director of Groupe SEB Foundation. Prior to this, Joël Tronchon had filled the role of Human Resources Director for the Cookware Business Unit and Tefal

On September 1, you took up the role of Vice President Sustainable Development. How would you characterize your role in a company like Groupe SEB?

Groupe SEB is a company that has long been committed to the path of sustainable development. Respect for people and the environment is deeply rooted in the company’s core values. My mission, from now on, will be to breathe new life into this SD dynamic throughout the Group’s business operations, across all business activities and all continents, to make each collaborator ask which “sustainable” initiatives they can undertake.

In your opinion, what are the main issues for SD?

I am convinced that the Group’s SD approach begins with its ethical commitment. It is a transversal and fundamental notion that will allow us to smoothly build our future development. We are currently working to implement a Global Ethics Code for all of the Group’s employees to allow them to better understand the issues at stake and above all to provide them with the tools for action. The themes brought up in the Ethics Code will be vast, respect for people and working conditions, touching on the struggle against corruption and respect for the environment. Ethics must be a reflex for all, we just need to provide a reference framework.

At the same time, we are keeping an eye on external factors. I’m thinking, in particular, of our suppliers, who we would like to get involved in our Responsible Purchasing initiative. For several years we have been very attentive to our suppliers’ practices and our internal teams carry out numerous social audits. Today we would like to go further in this commitment to include – beyond economic dimensions – ethical, social and environmental criteria, right from the selection of our partners. We are currently leading a pilot scheme, having these suppliers monitored by specialized international audit firms, external to the Group for complete independence and full understanding of local markets. Naturally, we will accompany our suppliers to facilitate them in this effort.

Going further, the Group is especially involved in the social domain – diversity, gender equality in particular – and societal domain through its  Corporate Foundation.

And on environmental issues?

As a producer of consumer goods, eco-design is at the core of our business. It is part of a long-term approach that involves the entire product development chain from research to marketing and touching on development, design and industry. It also goes further through eco-production and eco-logistics. In collaboration with the Department of the Environment, we are in the process of renewing the eco-design guide, which will regroup the Group’s principles regarding recyclability, product reparability and environmental impact. In terms of eco-design, meetings and transversal exchanges between the Group’s various businesses are also of utmost importance. Moreover, we feel a common dynamic and real team involvement. For example, the Innovation Department and the Department for Quality and the Environment are working together to develop a materials resource center that will list all the materials available for the design of our products, along with their environmental impact. This will be invaluable to our marketing and development teams in the design of our future eco-responsible products.

To find out more about the Group’s approach to sustainable development, visit