Elisabeth Laville

Founder, Utopies

After graduating from HEC in 1988, Elisabeth spent several years in strategic planning in two advertising agencies before creating Utopies in 1993, now acknowledged as the leading sustainability consultancy and think-tank in France. One of the leading European thought-leaders in sustainable development, Elisabeth received the Veuve Clicquot Businesswomen of the Year Award in 2008, and was made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in the same year. Elisabeth is the bestselling author of several books including “L’entreprise verte” and a report on sustainable consumption for the French Minister of Environment. She has served 10 years on the Board of Directors of Nature & Découvertes retail company and on the Board of Unis-Cités, the pioneering NGO for civic service in France.

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‘Less bad’ not ‘good enough’: Leveraging sustainability to build brand and engage customers

Yesterday’s sustainability strategies were almost exclusively aimed at risk prevention with a defensive ambition to maintain the company’s licence to operate. But being ‘less bad’ isn’t good enough for today’s ethically aware consumers and shouldn’t be good enough for progressive food businesses. Sustainability only makes sense when it’s integrated with a company’s mission, brands, products, services and economic business model. Elisabeth’s presentation will address the positive sustainability approaches of the future – approaches that transform products, define brands, improve society and build profitability.

  • Opinion leaders favour ‘choice editing’: Why sustainable versus non sustainable products isn’t an either/or decision
  • Sustainable brands outperform: The hard economic evidence that makes sustainability your best brand strategy
  • From ‘less bad’ to ‘the best we can be’: Overturning the status quo to put sustainability at the heart of your business
  • Measuring returns: How to evaluate the ROI of sustainability – and the high cost of indifference


Food Vision