Q: How do you feel about the post-quarantine resumption of activity and the stressful times the COVID-19 crisis puts us through?
JH: Individual and collective risks and people infected by the virus put to one side, we were able to take a step back and to make the most of this forced quarantine reviewing our priorities: invest in R&D and CSR.
Q: Talking about CSR, can you tell us what it means?
JH: It’s about Corporate Social Responsibility. In a few words, it means measuring as a tool of improvement. In doing so, the company conducts all operations in the most eco-friendly way and with as much sociological values as possible. It’s up to the company’s will to take concrete and genuine actions and to do it straight away, contrary to a political approach that would take decades (which is a fact, by the way).
Q: Is it expensive to put in place these actions?
JH: That’s what makes this challenge so thrilling: you have to stay competitive on a tough market while becoming a better company on an ecological and a social level! This is not an easy thing to do, as a matter of fact. So, it might be a commitment for the company, but if you prove to be successful (and that’s what we want), it would be a dream come true, right?
Q: Could you give us an example?
JH: Our Bioprint process is a perfect example. 70% of our decorations’ structure is made of bioplastic thanks to 3D robot printers.
Q: But plastic causes pollution, doesn’t it?
JH: It does, but not every kind of plastics. Any object goes through three cycles: its manufacture, its use and its end of life. Manufacturing a standard plastic material is polluting because it comes from the petrochemical industry. But a bioplastic is not polluting or very little. Bioprint is our bio-based material, made with bio-ethanol that comes from GMO-free sugar cane crops. In other words: no pollution when manufacturing it.
Then comes the cycle of product use. As long as the object/plastic is used, it does not pollute. And finally comes the end-of-life cycle: when the product is not recyclable or recycled. Once again, this is where we stand out: we recycle our Bioprint structures in a short circuit (internally) before giving them a second/ third lease of life, etc.
Q: What if one of your decorations was not returned to your workshops, but thrown away instead?
JH: This is when the biodegradable feature of Bioprint steps in: after being shredded, it decomposes into industrial compost. The result after a few weeks: only water and CO2!!! And it leaves absolutely no particle of plastic. Clean as a whistle!
Q: And all Blachere’s products go through this process?
JH: This is just the beginning. We are just getting the foot in the door, yet we are far ahead of our competitors. But the stakes are exciting. And not only for us, managers, but also for all of our teams in France and abroad. Picture this: we feel like we have control over our future generations’ legacy. With this in mind, we stop waiting for miracle solutions from above as we are acting every day. By taking actions like we do and putting them together, we will witness a significant change, here in France and elsewhere. Our goal: reviewing our production line as a whole.
Q: Have you developed other eco-responsible products complying with said CSR commitments?
JH: Yes, absolutely. Eco-responsibility is at the heart of our R&D policy. For instance, Orchestra (our illumination management system) is able to control illuminations’ operating/ switching off periods in order to save energy – even though our decorations’ energy consumption is already very low thanks to our Leds. Nobody can enjoy illuminated decorations at 2am. This is why Orchestra program all of them.
We are currently working on other exclusive eco-friendly innovations. But let’s keep it hush-hush for now! I’m sure we’ll have the opportunity to talk about them again. See you in spring 2021…