Strategic sustainability dialogues

Strategic sustainability dialogues with our key account managers

In order to accelerate our sustainability efforts, and to make sure sustainability becomes an integral part of strategic discussions with customers, collaboration is key. To make this happen, we have created a training programme for our key account managers who are responsible for the long-term relationship with our customers.

This programme is important because key account managers need to understand our customers’ sustainability strategies to be able to identify topics and opportunities for ongoing collaboration. It features a series of internal and external workshops, and uses the Prosci change methodology to kick-start dialogue and deliver practical steps to build our partnerships.

The internal workshops act as a forum for group learning, in which the key account managers can explore our sustainability framework, build their knowledge, learn about tooling and get to know internal experts within the company.

The external workshops are aimed at: finding the right stakeholders within our customers’ organisations; aligning sustainability strategies of both companies; and setting up initiatives and pilots on topics that are of interest to both our customers and ourselves. Participants also look for opportunities to improve sustainability practices on existing projects.

The programme breaks down steps for change by firstly raising awareness of why sustainability is important and then translating this into a real desire for change. The key account managers are provided with the knowledge they require to talk confidently to customers about sustainability, before reinforcing this way of working.

As of March 2022, eight key account managers had successfully finished the training. This has resulted in sustainability pilots with four different customers on: energy measurement and optimisation (zero carbon footprint); re-manufacturing (circular economy); noise reduction (fulfilling experience); and life-cycle assessments (circular economy). The next eight key account managers are already being trained, with promising results so far.

“It’s really about cocreating and learning together with customers to get those long-term, sustainability goals into tomorrow’s projects”
Yannick Gloudemans
Commercial Sustainability Lead