August 2, 2023

Frédérick Marchand, CEO of Digital4Better, SSE at the heart of the sustainable transformation of our economy

Frédérick Marchand, CEO of Digital4Better, SSE at the heart of the sustainable transformation of our economy

Frédérick Marchand, CEO of Digital4Better, shares with Mouvement Impact France his vision of a SSE at the heart of the sustainable transformation of our entire economy.

Can you tell us about your structure and your business?

Digital4Better is a digital player whose raison d'être is to promote a more responsible digital environment. To this end, we publish the SaaS platform fruggr.io, which enables large corporations to understand and improve their digital footprint. We're still very young, just 3 years old and 51 committed employees, with some fine customers who have placed their trust in us and helped us grow: from L'Oréal to La Poste and ADEME.

We believe strongly in a more inclusive digital world, one that is more respectful of our resources. We work with our customers to raise awareness of the externalities of digital technology, measure their footprint and improve it. For example, we're going to improve digital accessibility and the eco-design of digital services....

We are also working with various associations and players to improve digital access for vulnerable groups. There are many of them, and not always the ones you might think.

Why did you adopt the status of a social economy business?

Our initial aim with Digital4Better was to create a digital player in the social economy, where digital technology is under-represented. We are firmly convinced that the SSE can and must play a key role in helping all companies, especially large corporations, to transform themselves. 

It is these same major groups that will pull all the players towards a more sustainable economy. This is how we feel we can have the greatest impact, even if it's not always easy. We even have the challenge of scaling up to support these major groups.

Our aim is to demonstrate that it's possible to be an ESS and ESUS commercial enterprise that's scaling up. It's not easy being an ESS, but this status is important to us because it shows that our values guide us in our day-to-day actions.

Will this status help the economy move towards a more virtuous model?

Above all, it promotes the idea that another kind of company is possible: a company that puts Positive Impact at the heart of its business model, and organizes itself around this sole objective, with shared value and power as its operating pillars.

But being in the SSE sector hasn't always helped. Digital4Better is also a mission-driven company and BCorp-certified, recognitions that are more widely recognized by our partners. Mission-driven companies have a better reputation than SSE companies, but being a mission-driven company is a good thing, but it's only an obligation of means and doesn't necessarily commit us.

What do you expect from the Impact France movement to defend impact companies?

That it transforms the SSE's commercial company status into a real company status with a known and recognized Impact: still at the heart of the SSE, but with an obligation to achieve results, and which is taken to European level to offer it real recognition and power to act.

There's great momentum behind Pascal Canfin's Green Deal and CSRD initiatives. We need to propose a concrete law with a real status that has European recognition. There's everything we need to do it, and I'm expecting a lot from the MIF in this respect. 

We also need to continue our work on democratizing the issues addressed by the movement, such as ecological and social commitment and shared governance, concepts that are still too little known by companies. Theimpact score is an excellent tool in this respect, enabling us to involve as many people as possible in this transition. 

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