Integrated report 2021 - reinventing inventing

When innovation and sustainability combine - Points of view



In today’s world, sustainable development and innovation are two sides of the same coin, acting in tandem to open new horizons and invent the mobility of the future. A discussion between David Meneses, Executive Vice-President for Sustainable Development, and Alexandre Corjon, Executive Vice-President for Innovation.

How do innovation and sustainability create growth for tomorrow?

Alexandre Corjon: A good example is hydrogen. The Group forecasts it will generate €3 billion in revenue in 2030. The role of innovation, as exemplified by the new division New Energies, is to develop new projects and systems. In 2021, it was aligned to increase its exploratory focus, as a natural complement to more business-focused innovations in other areas. Hydrogen-related innovations cover two distinct timeframes. They produce immediate applications and also look to the longer term, such as research into using recyclable carbon fiber in pressure vessels.

David Meneses: The recyclability of materials is a great illustration of how innovation and sustainability intersect. Our partnership with TotalEnergies aims to speed up the development of plastics that meet the automotive industry’s stringent safety standards. With a carbon footprint six times smaller, this is one solution to the challenges that the lifecycle of plastics poses. These advances make our products more attractive and create new drivers for growth.

How do innovation and sustainable development interact with each other?

David Meneses: Which comes first? As two of the Group’s strategic priorities, they strengthen our resilience. Today, sustainable development exerts a major influence on innovation and the drive to deliver greener forms of mobility. And innovation provides actionable responses, in the form of solutions at scale, to demands from policymakers and society as a whole.

Alexandre Corjon: Turning to the future 4D radar, this is an upstream innovation with a technology that makes driving safer and helps pave the way for self-driving vehicles. And for recycled materials, it’s clearly the sustainable development agenda that is driving change. No matter the specifics, there will always be this crossover between sustainability and innovation.