The current surge in the on-demand economy is prompting us to rethink the whole idea of actually owning stuff.
The on-demand economy is a phenomenon which is on everybody’s lips nowadays, including those of President Obama, who made a speech on the subject during the White House’s ‘Summit on Worker Voice’ last October.
The on-demand economy heralds the age of ‘what I want, when I want, where I want’. In other words, it epitomises a new era we have just entered upon, where customers and the customer experience occupy centre stage and where technology is able to challenge time, space…and traditional business models. As a result of the breadth and scope of the on-demand economy and a real turnaround on the part of consumers, the very notion of ownership is now being called into question.
For instance, why own a car when the cost of getting to work with Lyft (an Uber competitor in the United States) is becoming increasingly competitive if you take into account all the costs associated with having your own vehicle. The increase in automobile leasing – which accounted for a quarter of all vehicles sold in the US in 2014 – also bears witness to this change in consumer habits.
Historically, it was Uber that championed the idea of use-based consumption, but Amazon has not been slow to apply the model to the mass retail sector. The Dash Button, the current version of Amazon Dash, today enables you to order washing powder or any other generic product from a button fixed on to the domestic appliance of your choice. This approach is not only changing consumer practice; whole industries are being disrupted as a result. Incumbent firms that offer all kinds of goods and services are now being pushed to switch to a subscription-based model, subscription-as-a-service, including finance and insurance providers, who have little choice but to adapt their existing offerings.
So are the ‘millennials’ the quintessential on-demand generation? There is no doubt that on-demand could only have emerged among ‘digital natives’ – the ‘instant’ generation. Nevertheless, the benefits of these new consumption models are very likely to appeal to older age groups as well, senior citizens for instance, because of the high convenience factor they offer. Moreover, we need to put into context general claims that Generation Y-ers are spearheading the trend towards eschewing ownership. Some sectors, such as real estate, have not yet been seriously affected. So in fact it is most probably ease of use and convenience that will keep driving widespread adoption of the on-demand model, at all levels of society and among all age groups.
Do companies really want a more sustainable world?
Yes, the success of our Sustainable Business Ateliers is good proof of that. Most companies are aware of their social responsibility, but some are in need of information. To help them on their way, BNP Paribas Fortis organises regular regional Sustainable Business Workshops. Last year, our bank organised two pilot sessions in Liège and Limburg and more recently it was the turn of Namur, Gits (in West Flanders) and Ghent. Other Belgian cities will be announced soon.
During the Sustainable Business Workshops the invited clients are inspired by the experts from our Sustainable Business Competence Centre, and by other clients who speak about the actions they have already taken with their business.
After the presentations, participants are divided into groups and share experiences led by a moderator.
How do clients rate them?
Feedback from the participants revealed that the focus on cooperation and networking opportunities are the greatest advantages of the Workshops. Those attending always include representatives of small, medium-sized and large businesses from a variety of sectors - a diversity which participants find highly enriching. After all, no single company can overcome all of the present challenges on its own. Companies will not only have to cooperate with one another, but also with the government, universities, startups, etc. to make progress.
According to the participants, BNP Paribas Fortis is also the only financial service provider that goes great lengths to support companies in the area of sustainable business, by analysing at which stage of the sustainable business path the companies are and by guiding them to use sustainability as an opportunity for their activities.
Do you want to participate in one of our Sustainable Business Workshops? Please contact your Relationship Manager for the practical details.
Not a client yet? And do you want to know more about the guidance we offer and the benefits of sustainability for your company? Discover what our Sustainable Business Competence Centre can do for you.
Solvay links the cost of credit to a reduction in greenhouse gases
Solvay has agreed new terms in an existing €2 billion revolving credit facility, linking the cost of credit to a reduction in greenhouse gases. Solvay concluded this positive incentive agreement with its syndicate of nine banks. BNP Paribas Fortis is acting as Sustainability Coordinator and agent bank to Solvay’s long-term banking partners.
Solvay announced in September 2018 a commitment to cut greenhouse gases from its own operations by 1 million tonnes by 2025 relative to 2017 levels. The Group intends to achieve this reduction by further improving energy efficiency, energy mix and by investing in clean technologies. “We seek to integrate sustainability into all key aspects of our business, including financing. Associating Solvay's ambitious greenhouse gas emissions target to the cost of credit is a logical step. The successful teaming up with our banks shows that the way towards more sustainability is a collective effort," said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.
“I am proud that Solvay has mandated BNP Paribas Fortis to introduce a Positive Incentive Loan mechanism that supports Solvay’s ambitions in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This innovative solution is a clear example of how we and the syndicated banks we represent aim to serve our clients in terms of value creation. Collaboration between banks and clients is key in driving the economy forward to a more sustainable future,” said Max Jadot, CEO of BNP Paribas Fortis.
BNP Paribas Fortis : 2018 annual results
CEO Max Jadot: “In spite of the lower pace of economic growth, low interest rates and tensions in international trade, our net profits of 1.9 billion in 2018 held up well. We continued to realise our mission to support the economy in a sustainable way by enabling our clients’ projects and safeguarding and developing their assets. (…) In a highly competitive and fast-changing environment, we are building the bank for the world of tomorrow. I would like to thank our customers for their trust and our colleagues for their engagement and effort in achieving our goals.”