PR.9 Pitching the benefits of eco-innovation to the CEO

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OVERVIEW

This activity provides guidance on how to pitch your eco-innovation services to the CEO of one of your target companies.

INPUT

• Value Chain Pitch, from the activity PR.6 Developing a value chain pitch.

• Meeting scheduled with senior management representative(s) at several companies in your target market, from the activity PR.8 Planning and implement engagement activities.

OUTPUT

• Approval from the CEO to proceed to the next phase in the process SET STRATEGY. This output is not used elsewhere but it essential to allow you to proceed.

TEMPLATE

HOW TO GO ABOUT IT

1. 

Prepare a pitch to the CEO based on the following outline:

  • Brief introduction to your organization and the services it provides.
  • Describe what eco-innovation is.
  • Highlight the need for eco-innovation by describing some of the high priority threats and opportunities that you have identified.
  • Discuss the potential business benefits for the company of eco-innovation – these can be based on your value chain pitch but should be tailored where possible to the specific context of the company.
  • Give examples of how eco-innovation has benefitted other companies. Case studies can be found in the Business Case for Eco-innovation (UN Environment, 2014), but local/national/regional examples or examples from the same industry in other countries and your own experience are always preferable.
  • Emphasize that implementing eco-innovation is along-term, strategic initiative that will require the on-going support and commitment of the senior management team if it is to be successful.
  • If relevant, mention the partnerships you have formed with stakeholders that will ensure that you have access to the competencies, skills and knowledge required to deliver a comprehensive eco-innovation implementation service.
  • Finish by discussing next steps.

2.

When requesting permission to proceed there are a number of key questions that you should try to address to help the CEO make a decision (with some generic answers):

  • How will proceeding to the next stage benefit the company? – A business strategy will be formulated that will capture the long term vision for the company as well as strategic goals. This strategy will be used throughout the rest of the process to guide the eco- innovation activities.
  • What will you do? – Conduct a Preliminary Assessment to build a better understanding of the company and identify specific opportunities for eco-innovation across the life cycle of its products. This will involve reviewing their existing business strategy, business model and operational strengths and weaknesses. Based on the information gathered a revised business strategy that incorporates eco-innovation will be proposed for the company.
  • What will be the outputs and deliverables? – A report that summarizes the findings from the strategy review and workshop and goes on to propose a revised business strategy for the company. In a subsequent meeting, the Service Provider will return to present the findings from the report and to discuss the support services required to enable the implementation of the strategy throughout the company.
  • What involvement from senior management and other personnel will be required? – 1.5 hours with the CEO to review the current business strategy, one-day workshop with key personnel from across the company to help identify operational strengths and weaknesses. After the completion of the report a one-hour meeting with the Senior Management Team will be arranged to present the findings and a pitch for the implementation services.
  • Will you require funding from the company? – No, not at this stage (see Tips & Tricks).

Tips & Tricks

MUST MEET CEO

It is important that you meet with the CEO of the company at this stage (and not other members of staff, even if they are part of the senior management team) to ensure that there is interest and engagement from the very top of the company. If the CEO is not willing to meet with you, then it may be a sign that the company is not yet ready for eco-innovation.

WHEN TO CHARGE

If you believe that the company will derive significant value from the work you do during the SET STRATEGY phase then it will be preferable to charge for this as a service in its own right. If not, the time you spend on these activities will form part of your sales and marketing overhead.

— Success story from Malaysia

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