Interview with Jean-François Roucou

Hey, who are you?

My name is Jean-François Roucou. I work with all the Pernod Ricard affiliates on all continents, to make sure that they are engaged in making our brands more sustainable and successful.

What is your passion?

Environmental sustainability is a big part of my responsibility. This Creative Space initiative is absolutely unique – it tries to turn an issue into an advantage.

Which issue would you say is being solved at Creative Space?

The issue we are solving here at Creative Space is the challenge of packaging and creating a more sustainable ecological footprint for our products. It’s important because everything we do have an impact. In order to reduce the ecological impact of the Pernod Ricard brands we work a lot on reducing emissions from our factories, the production and energy optimization as well as improving the packaging and raw materials in dialogue with our farmers.

But we have to go even further, and packaging still remains a great challenge for our economic model. Instead of hiding that and try to solve the challenge on our own, with Creative Space we now have put it on the table, and invites the community to help us and challenge us with ideas. It’s really the first time we in the Pernod Ricard group have something like this, inviting the community to help in our sustainability work.        

Is sustainability important for the community?

Yes, definitely. We know that our community is also very engaged in sustainability, so today sustainability is a core part of our business model. For us today sustainability not a hygiene factor, we are actually making it a part of our competitive advantage.

Which are the advantages for Pernod Ricard in being a global company when it comes to working with sustainability?

First of all, as a larger company we can afford to dedicate resources to creative experiments that might be successful, but we’re not sure. Creative Space is an example of such an experiment. Smaller companies may have difficulties with creating these kinds of experiments. And then we can share this knowledge with the world, and inspire many others. After Creative Space is over I’m sure the concept will be leveraged on other markets, and many other brands can learn something from this.