The Strategy Of A French 2008 Start Up Corporation

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Sustainability is an oft-quoted but highly contested concept. Brundtland’s definition of sustainable development, being that which ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’, forms the basis of most contemporary applications of the term. This paper uses a case study of a French 2008 start-up corporation to demonstrate how the concept of sustainability, applied throughout modern supply chains, has become a new business platform that created a competitive advantage for the platform innovator and supply chain stakeholders alike.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Centre for Transportation and Logistics argues that in recent times, precious few innovations in
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‘EcoVadis’ established a business model that has the objective of ‘becoming a trusted partner of procurement organizations aiming at implementing sustainable supply management practices’. In doing so, EcoVadis confidently established its competitive advantage by uniting the broad social concern (and hence value placed upon) sustainability in all aspects of supply chains with rapidly evolving consumer and industry demands. EcoVadis was co-founded by Pierre-François Thaler, an electrical engineer with experience in purchasing. The firm provides a particular service that allows large organisations to assess the environmental and social performance of their suppliers. This supply chain analysis, verification and certification service, is the product that EcoVadis sells.
Understanding the role of sustainability in modern supply chains requires consideration of fundamental business models such as the Urbany & Davis model (2011 ) (see Figure 1). Figure 1 – the Urbany & Davis (2011) Three Circles analysis framework.
The three circles framework, drawing on the mathematical graphic concept established by John Venn (1834–1923), helpfully defines where the competitive advantage resides. The points of parity (at B) are common between competitors within the same market. The platform has points of parity, which are similar to some other platforms in this industry. The platform offers
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