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Publicis Groupe Hires McCann Worldgroup Veteran Nannette LaFond-Dufour as Chief Impact Officer: 5 Things to Know

May 21, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Advertising and PR firm Publicis Groupe has hired former McCann Worldgroup Global Chief Sustainability Officer Nannette LaFond-Dufour (pictured above) as chief impact officer.

Here are five things to know about LaFond-Dufour's experience and the Publicis Groupe sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: Publicis Groupe, founded in 1926, is based in Paris, France. Annual net revenue was roughly 13.1 billion euros in 2023, up 4.2% from 2022.

The company -- backed by roughly 103,000 employees -- is organized around four solutions hubs:(1) Publicis Communications, (2) Publicis Media, (3) Publicis Sapient, and (4) Publicis Health. Epsilon, a data-driven marketing and tech company, is positioned at the center of those solutions hubs.

2. Sustainability Goals: The SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative) has validated Publicis Groupe's carbon reduction targets, which are 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2040, with the ambition to be Net Zero by 2040, the company said.

Arthur Sadoun, chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe

3. Key Pillars to Note: The Groupe's environmental policy -- known as the Net Zero Climate Policy -- evolves each year. The policy involves these eight pillars:

  1. Reduction of transportation, especially by air.
  2. Reduction of energy consumption, with a target of 100% of renewable energy directly sources before 2030 for the entire Groupe.
  3. Reduction in the use of raw materials: water, paper, plastic etc.
  4. Reduction of waste and generalization of recycling channels.
  5. Reduction of the clients campaigns and projects’ environmental impacts, thanks to A.L.I.C.E (Advertising Limiting Impacts & Carbon Emissions),
  6. Products and services innovation to help our clients reduce their impacts.
  7. Reduction of the environmental impacts of the products and services purchased from suppliers thanks to P.A.S.S (Publicis Groupe Providers’ Platform for a Self-assessment for a Sustainable Supply-chain),
  8. Carbon neutrality before 2030 and Net Zero target by 2040.

4. Nannette LaFond-Dufour's Experience and Focus: LaFond-Dufour previously was global chief client officer and global CSO at McCann Worldgroup. She had joined that company in 2012. Earlier, she held key posts at DDB Worldwide KTG and D'Arcy. Her customer account focus involved such clientele as Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, Pfizer, P&G and Roche.

In addition to focusing on climate goals, LaFond-Dufour will focus on the company's diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) action plans, as well as its flagship initiatives like the Working with Cancer pledge and the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society. 

Agathe Bousquet, president of Publicis France and Directoire+ sponsor for ESG

At Publicis, LaFond-Dufour has joined the company's Management Committee and reports directly to Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun. She will also work "hand-in-hand" with Agathe Bousquet, president of Publicis France and Directoire+ sponsor for ESG. 

5. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement, Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun said: “With the Directoire+ we are delighted to welcome Nannette to the Groupe. Thanks to our transformation, we have been outperforming the industry on every business and financial KPI for the past four years. But we know that for our growth to be truly sustainable, on every front, it also needs to be responsible. That’s why we have also worked to lead the way through our best-in-class ESG initiatives. With Nannette on board and her proven expertise in delivering impactful change with some of the world’s biggest companies, we are confident we can take our ESG agenda even further, faster, for the good of our people, our clients, and our planet."

Added Nannette LaFond-Dufour: "I deeply admire the work that Publicis has done to transform itself, demonstrating both the ability to anticipate the future, and do the hard work required to prepare for it through tangible environmental and societal commitments. At this moment when evolution is the mandate on every front, I look forward to joining such a visionary, courageous and agile team."

Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

The bottom line: Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO customer needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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