Achieving the Gold medal and formalizing the ESG approach of GK Concept
GK Concept called on the Nexio Projects team to benefit from our EcoVadis expertise. The goal of the collaboration was to formalize the sustainability strategy and to have the best possible score for the first evaluation with the ambitious target of achieving the gold medal.
Merchandising furniture | Family business since 1916 | France & United States
GK concept is a designer of merchandising furniture, store fixtures and point of sale displays. Founded in 1916, the company has offices in France and the United States, while remaining family-owned and human-sized. A majority of its activity is concentrated on clients in the cosmetics industry. This strategic sector is on the lookout for responsible initiatives and GK Concept, therefore, decided to clarify and communicate its commitments.
The company differentiates itself mainly by creating innovations for stores. A frontrunner in this field, the activity dedicated to consulting and technological innovation have really taken off over the past year, resulting in clients such as Bulgari, Christian Dior, Chanel or Hermès. These innovations enable the distribution of freshly sprayed perfume cards as well as other autonomous and contactless testing technologies. Clients call on the company to develop their innovations with assistance in engineering, design and manufacturing of the various elements for their stores. This expertise represents a real competitive advantage for the company.
L’entreprise souhaitait formaliser sa politique RSE interne et répondre aux attentes clients concernant la réalisation de l’évaluation EcoVadis
To establish a clearly formulated ESG policy and obtain the gold medal thanks to our EcoVadis expertise
Nexio Projects performed a gap analysis, drafted policies and set up a KPI dashboard. We prepared and completed the EcoVadis assessment.
Obtaining the Gold Medal and precise documentation with a more structured approach to ESG.
the objectives of the project
Passing the EcoVadis assessment was a way for the company to formalise existing initiatives both internally and externally and to meet the growing expectations of customers on ESG issues. In fact, GK Concept was already offering its customers advice on the eco-design of its furniture or other elements to have a better environmental impact.
The company felt confident about its approach but wanted to make sure that it fulfilled all the criteria of the EcoVadis evaluation to obtain a score that corresponded to the efforts made internally. GK Concept wanted to be supported during the whole process in order to avoid having a score that does not reflect the company’s actions due to a poor formalization of ESG elements and policies. The objective was defined from the beginning: Achieve the gold score to meet the requirements of prestigious customers of the cosmetics sector such as the houses of the LVMH group.
The solution we provided
The Nexio Project team conducted a gap analysis based on existing documentation and interviews with the teams. This report allowed GK Concept to prioritize the different points and actions in the short and long term. Some of the short-term recommendations were implemented prior to the evaluation. The long-term recommendations are a precise roadmap for improving the company’s sustainability performance.
Following this analysis, we took charge of drafting policies to formalize all of the company’s measures and initiatives in accordance with the laws and standards of the various aspects of ESG. The policies were established for the subjects concerning the environment, ethics and labor. Part of the exercise was to unify certain policies for France and the United States and in other cases to specify the application for each subsidiary to take into account local specificities. Nexio Projects also developed a dashboard of key performance indicators so that GK Concept could monitor the evolution of certain elements. This table is used for all the pillars of sustainability to ensure better follow-up.
Our experts were then left in charge of the EcoVadis assessment to answer the questionnaire as well as possible and with the right evidence. The long-lasting partnership Nexio Projects has with EcoVadis allows us to benefit from strong expertise on the different evaluated aspects and to advise on and answer all the questions in the best possible way.
GK Concept has obtained the desired Gold medal and is already thinking about the next evaluation with the ambition to obtain the Platinum medal (score higher than 73/100).
The current rating helps reassure French clients about the ESG management system and gives the American subsidiary an edge over the rest of the market. Although American clients are less interested in such an approach or rating, the company still wanted to carry out the Ecovadis assessment at the group level. The medal obtained thus provides a competitive advantage and the strategy gains credibility.
“Before, the company was carrying out an ESG process by providing an offering that allowed clients to be more responsible, but we were not involved in the process of achieving ESG objectives ourselves. Since we collaborated with Nexio Projects, we have internalized the sustainability approach.”
– Arthur Hagiage
With the gap analysis report produced by Nexio Projects, the company knows what to do and where to focus efforts to improve the score. Thanks to the Key Performance Indicators tracking table, the management team realizes a fine-tuning of the indicators and the actions to be implemented to reach the set ambitious objectives. This brings rigour to areas that were not always tracked before. The formalization of policies provides clear and structured documentation of all existing measures.
“With the objectives and the gap report, we have our roadmap. We know what we need to do and the priorities to formalize in the short, medium and long term.”– Arthur Hagiage
The company also continues to offer its clients multi-criteria analyses and complete reports on the environmental impact of their manufacturing. Thanks to its technical knowledge, GK Concept suggests adjustments or changes that reduce the environmental impact of its offering to clients. These recommendations may include, for example, optimizing the number of LEDs, integrating a timer, optimizing manufacturing, recommendations for reuse or recycling of products. The teams continue to raise awareness of eco-design to work hand in hand with designers to produce beautiful designs, in line with the brand, and with less environmental impact.
Working with Nexio Projects
GK Concept decided to work with Nexio Projects because of our professionalism, our reactivity and our partnership with EcoVadis which ensures an in-depth knowledge of the evaluation.
Very satisfied with the work done, Arthur Hagiage of GK Concept describes the exchanges with Nexio Projects’ collaborators as professionals.
“The team was patient and provided an adapted accompaniment leading to a pleasant collaboration,” he says.
After this project, GK Concept would recommend any company in a similar position to plan the EcoVadis assessment well in advance and to allocate time to it. The process can take up a lot of resources, in addition, the process needs to be implemented in your operations and corporate strategy. It is a process that must be considered over time (and not over 1-3 months), as many elements need to be prepared.
What is next?
In the short term, the management team must implement the recommendations of the gap analysis and also wishes to focus its efforts on obtaining the EcoVadis Platinum medal next year. GK concept even plans to be audited by a third-party organization in a few years to gain even more credibility. The company would also like to achieve carbon neutrality by next year and is now starting to think about the actions to be taken to achieve this ambition.
Currently, Arthur Hagiage and the management team are working to ensure that CSR becomes more of a priority alongside the other strategic and operational priorities of the company.