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Hello everyone, I am delighted to meet you for this new episode at the MICRO of Bacchus where I go to meet personalities of the wine world
Today Laura Esperandieu will talk to us about CSR and her work at the CIVB. I hope you will learn a lot of things.
So already Laura at first what is your job?
So I am csr manager: Corporate Social Responsibility for the CIVB, the interprofession of Bordeaux wines.
Can you define what CSR is before going into all the explanations that will follow?
So actually I have two definitions for CSR. So it's corporate social responsibility, it's how a company voluntarily commits itself to the application of the principles of sustainable development to its activity. This is the definition that we find in dictionaries and what I say a lot to the companies with which I work is how we manage the risk the opportunities and how above all we make informed choices.
Very good and so what was your background, your story to get here?
So I have a training of agro engineers so very oriented technical scientist and I specialized in corporate social responsibility, in sustainable development for my last year. I then worked a little bit in a company that does csr consulting to learn and improve and then life made me move to Bordeaux and I worked for a few years for Cdiscount.
Oh yes nothing to see.
Completely outside of my training and agricultural approaches so for cdiscount to set up their CSR procedures internally and there is a little more than three years now.
There is a common thread anyway with cdiscount.
No no there is a red thread of sustainable development and CSR which is actually the theme that drives me whether in e-commerce or agriculture.
Okay, and so how long have you been at the CIVB?
I arrived at the CIVB more than 3 years ago, in March 2019.
So 1 year excluding Covid and then after a year to adapt.
Very well so let's go back to your job so CSR manager within the CIVB, is what you can describe to us a typical day. Where were you this morning for example?
So a typical day it's going to be complicated because in fact there is none it's the principle of CSR positions we are on different themes at the same time. This morning I was at a training in a castle in the Médoc with companies that engage in the process, after yesterday I was at a merchant and then the day before yesterday with the prefecture of Gironde.
Okay then for example when you pass a trader, he also gets involved in the CSR approach so you go there as an advisor?
This is in fact the CIVB, the mission of the Bordeaux wine interpro is to promote Bordeaux wines and the actors who make this wine so we represent winegrowers, merchants, cooperative cellars and the technical service for which I work aims to support companies in improving their practices including their social and societal environmental practices.
So here my mission is to support companies in the sector in the awareness of all these issues and then to equip them so that it can improve their practices.
And there when you say to equip them, you equip them in advice, tips, in what?
So we actually committed the whole sector three years ago to a social responsibility approach so we actually provide all the support for companies we have a network of facilitators who will be there to advise and accompany them, a network of auditors who are there to control and then the CIVB who create tools, brochures, models and training courses for companies to take up all this.
When you talk about auditing, are the companies you advise already companies with a mission?
In the world of wine, in fact companies with missions, we still have very few in the sector, but what we see is people who have been asking questions for a long time. Agriculture in fact, the goal of agriculture is to test, to experiment, to try, that has always been the case. Anyway when we work with nature, we have no choice because it is she who decides so we have to find solutions. We have a lot of companies in the sector that already have things in place, it's just that we haven't put the hat on CSR on it.
What are the labels? Are there labels that allow us consumers to know which property, which trade, which company is already engaged in the process?
On the environmental part there are a multitude of labels we also know them, there are everywhere: HVE, Terra vitis, organic farming, a lot.
On the CSR part in fact to a backstory that will be common to all the steps called iso 26000, I spare you the too technical side but it is a bit it is the guide that must be followed to engage in a CSR approach.
And then there are organizations such as the CIVB that have chosen to create their own label, ours is Bordeaux cultivativont demain, which is based on a business reference specific to the Bordeaux wine sector.
And this label, there is something written on the labels?
We work precisely so that properties and traders can write on labels from a certain level of maturity because the idea is still to be rigorous and committed but yes the objective is to communicate on it completely.
When you engage in environmental approaches, do you need to have special skills? You talked about curiosity because we continually adapt to what surrounds us. What are the other skills?
I explained it to you, I have no training in CSR, I learned gradually and I think that indeed it is rather soft skills, curiosity, adaptability because going from a big business to a small wine estate is not the same issues. Maybe also a lot of empathy because the idea is to put yourself in the place of the person to offer him real life solutions.
How long has CSR been in place within the CIVB? Does your branch take a big part of the CIVB? Do people feel concerned? How is it going right now?
So the CIVB has been working for a long time on environmental issues, very oriented around the sector because our job in fact is to be at the service of the sector and therefore environmental awareness.
It has existed for a long time turning to CSR?
It was initiated at the end of 2018 early 2019 for me, I was hired on purpose for that.
Okay, so you're at the origin of CSR.
The linchpin. And so the Bordeaux culture label tomorrow it is also based on the commitment of the CIVB.
Is it you who created this label?
Absolutely, we created it from scratch and it is actually based on the commitment of the companies in the sector but also the commitment of the CIVB as a company itself so there is also this challenge to mobilize, to sensitize internally my colleagues to these themes so that we also improve our practices.
Yes and so the welcome is pretty good?
The welcome is super good, it's a small team we are about forty / 50 at the CIVB with populations who are interested in this theme anyway today it is in tune with the times it is part of our daily lives, the stakes on climate change its real. This is the theme of every day. So the reception is super positive and the idea is to see how all together we can also work at the level of the CIVB on these issues.
What is the evolution in the 3 years that you have been there? At first you started with how many properties and now you are at how much? What is the future, the goals you set for yourself?
So we have ambitious objectives since at the level of the sector we would like to have 100% of our surfaces certified by an environmental approach by 2030, 2030 is tomorrow. Today we have 75% certified that's not bad.
Regarding the Bordeaux Cultivons Demain approach and therefore the CSR approach we actually started with a small pilot group, we were 28 of which 13 went to the label in 2021.
Today we have between 40 and 50 companies launching for this year with the objective of having 30% of our volumes marketed in Bordeaux labeled by 2030.
Okay so do not hesitate if you are a winemaker to go see laura to pass the course she will advise you on the procedure to follow.
Let's talk about Covid, has Covid had an impact on your work, on your support within wine estates?
In fact I have never worked as much as during Covid. In fact when everything closes and the trade is no longer done, the companies viti, the traders have time to do something else so there has been a lot of reflection on these issues precisely of sustainable development so a lot of questions, a lot of interest in the approach carried by the CIVB. And then I think that it has also led the population to review a little its relationship to work and society and to ask itself perhaps new questions and therefore to have new expectations on these social and societal issues that companies today no longer have the choice to follow.
So if you don't follow Laura on the networks yet, you have to go because she doesn't stop right now we see her posting a news all the time.
And so recently you won, the team won a special prize. Can you tell us more?
So actually part of the job in fact is also to promote what is set up within the sector and good practices that are developing. As part of the Bordeaux Vignoble Engagés Trophies whose ceremony took place on Tuesday evening, then it's not the cannes festival but was not bad either. The collective in fact of the first labeled companies has put together a file and were rewarded by the jury with a favorite prize in mind for the collective approach.
And so what is the name of the contest?
So it was the Bordeaux vineyard committed trophies that have been organized every year for four years. That's why in fact, it's not my trophy and it's very good it's the trophy of the companies that have committed themselves to the process.
Now we will move on to the Personal section. So if you were a book, what book would you be?
So I have a particular passion for Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, I think it's a fantastic journey that Ulysses made.
Okay then if you were music, what music would you be?
Music that I really like, a song called Walk on the wild side that was written and sung by Lou Reed. So it's not the most recent, my little old-fashioned side maybe there, but it's a song that is what is and that talks about taking a step next to the road that is all mapped out. I think that's also what sustainable development approaches are all about, it's daring to go off the beaten track.
Ok thank you very much Laura for all this exchange and I hope you know a little more about CSR in the wine industry.
Thank you very much.
With pleasure, see you soon!
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