The Total Ecosolutions program offers B2B and B2C customers products and services that outperform the market standard in terms of environmental impact.The recipe for success of this eco-label that turns ten in 2019 isa demanding labeling process verified by a third party, combined with an annual review of each Ecosolutions product or service.
The goal set in 2009 by the Total Ecosolutions program immediately after the Grenelle Environment Forum1 was to differentiate and develop innovative products and services that would shrink the environmental footprint of Total customers. Ten years later, 90 products and services have an active label. In 2017, sales of Total Ecosolutions products and services avoided 1.85 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions across the entire life cycle, corresponding to the annual emissions of nearly 200,000 Europeans. That's also 4 percent more than in 2016. Lastly, the cumulative emissions avoided by using Total Ecosolutions products and services since 2009 now stands at 10 million tons of CO2 equivalent.
Products and services sold by Total Marketing & Services make up 67 of the items in the Total Ecosolutions catalog, in various categories including automotive and other fuels, lubricants, special fluids, and asphalt and bitumen. "Our market's hallmark is having very different sectors with environmental expectations that are just as different," says Géraldine Pinol, sustainable marketing & mobility manager at Total Marketing & Services. "In each one, our customers have demanding requirements and regulations change fast. We try to identify and offer at least one Total Ecosolutions product or service in every market."
What makes the Total Ecosolutions label reliable is the labeling process, which conforms to the ISO 14020 and 14021 international standards governing the accuracy of environmental claims. When the process is complete, an independent consulting firm, EY, verifies that it complied with the standards. For Céline Verrat, sustainable marketing coordinator, "Getting an Ecosolutions label is a true co-development undertaking carried out with the business unit interested in labeling a product or service. Lots of information — market data, environmental analyses of various environmental and health criteria — has to be submitted in the labeling application and is challenged by the various governance bodies. All of it serves to support our claims, proving that Total's solution outperforms the market standard from an environmental standpoint."
"This demanding process is essential for us to transparently and reliably cite environmental performance as a selling point in our customer solutions. It also helps us support a culture change in marketing teams," says Géraldine Pinol, "since we also have to respond to new market requirements. One of our successes is getting all Marketing & Services teams to try creating at least one eco-efficient, Total Ecosolutions-labeled product or solution in each of their market segments. We've got some momentum going and it's getting stronger in M&S every year."
The product line is reviewed annually by an M&S labeling committee and a Total committee. If a product or service no longer meets eligibility criteria, its label is withdrawn.
"Surveys show that B2C consumers are skeptical of environmental claims. Businesses, on the other hand, are keen to shrink their environmental footprint and receptive to this type of selling point. So we need to tailor our messages to our targets. When talking to the B2C and B2B segments about clean engines, we emphasize fuel efficiency and the corresponding reduction in carbon emissions," comments Céline Verrat.
On the B2B side, Géraldine Pinol notes that "Lots of customers have already implemented environmental measures. Offering them solutions that build on those is an asset." The solutions often save money to boot: "Marketing teams use the eco-efficient argument to promote a Total Cost of Ownership approach, which lets our customers shrink their environmental footprint while keeping margins intact or saving money. Fuel economy motor oils for heavy-duty-vehicles and reduced-temperature asphalt are two examples. "
And innovations fuel Total Ecosolutions, as illustrated by the recently awarded label for industrial machinery lubricants (see video) made from used oil collected and recycled with Veolia. The oils are treated and refined to make a product of equal or higher grade. "Economically, the whole sector, all the way to the customer, wins," stresses Géraldine Pinol. "We can produce large quantities of a product that is potentially recyclable forever. It's a win-win!" Adds Céline Verrat: "The circular economy has arrived in the Total Ecosolutions line." It's a move that makes perfect sense. "Both we and M&S pay constant, close attention to market and stakeholder needs and expectations," confirms Géraldine Pinol.
Philippe Montantême, M&S's senior vice president, strategy, marketing & research at Total Marketing & Services, sums the approach up this way: "M&S has included a metric for eco-responsible solutions in its roadmap. Total Ecosolutions products and services make a major contribution to this indicator and meet the expectations of our customers, who are looking for improved technical, cost and environmental performance. As a responsible energy company, we support their commitment by supplying them with eco-efficient solutions."
1 A series of political meetings organized by the French government from September to December 2007, to make long-term decisions concerning the environment and sustainable development.