Nadège Claudel
Head of Sustainability APAC - Chanel (Former General Manager - BSI - British Standards Institution)
Nadège’s introduction

Before joining Chanel, I was General Manager of BSI Singapore for 2.5 years. Prior to joining BSI, I held different job assignments for the international retailer Carrefour. For them, I oversaw Quality, Food Safety and Sustainability in China and then at the Group level.  

I spent most of my career working in Asia: in Shanghai, Hong Kong and I have been happily settled in Singapore for 8 years now. 

I have a real passion for sustainability and nature conservation and I love to share the knowledge and experience I gained in this field. I am also a volunteer for the Singaporean NGO called Climate Conversation which aims to raise awareness on climate change.

Can you describe BSI’s mission and more specifically, how the Institution holds sustainability at its core?

BSI is the world’s first national standards body, founded in London in 1901, and for those of you who are familiar with ISO - the International Organization for Standardization - BSI is proud to be a founding member of ISO, founded in London in 1946. Some of the world’s most recognized business risk management standards, such as ISO 9001 for Quality Management, ISO 14001 for Environmental Risk Management and ISO 22301 for Business Continuity Risk Management and many more standards originate from BSI.

BSI is incorporated under Royal Charter, which means that unlike others who operate in our industry, we are completely independent from external influence, have no shareholders to answer to, and exist to support our clients in addressing current and future industry challenges. It is our role to ensure that products and services are safe for their intended purpose, and through the effective implementation and use of standards using our training, product certification and assurance services, organisations are able to remain resilient and stand the test of time.

We enjoy a unique position, working with our clients, to help them accelerate their own contribution to the UN SDGs, offering assurance, regulatory and consulting services in relation with important standards such as:

BS 8001 (Circular Economy)

ISO 14001 (Environment Management)

ISO 50001 (Energy Management)

ISO 14064 (Greenhouse Gas Verification)

ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility)

ISO 24000 (Sustainable Procurement)

ISO 20121 (Sustainable Events)

ISO 37001 (Anti- Bribery)

ISO 37122 (Sustainable Cities and Communities)

As BSI General Manager, you led a team here in Singapore. What did you put in place for them to master sustainability in the workplace?

The persons in charge of our services related to sustainability (like environmental audits or social compliance audits) were, but the rest of the team was not, at the beginning. I raised awareness through several initiatives over time.

It could be an expert from Climate Conversations - a local organisation that brings climate change conversations on the table - giving a talk in our office, or a BSI colleague from the US dropping by on his way to an audit in Johor, to host a short training. Or taking every opportunity such as World Water Day and International Women’s Day, to spread information.

In general, we try to keep it sweet and short with bite-sized events, to get people curious, interested and engaged.

The most memorable event was the screening of the documentary The True Cost, about the social and environmental impact of the fashion industry. Most of my colleagues were not aware of it and some were really shocked. An eye-opener!

What other actions have you been implementing on a daily basis?

Among the most significant things, we hired interns to specifically take care of sustainability actions. One of their missions is to measure and reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

We took baby steps, like replacing plastic bottles with water dispensers, removing single-use plastic items in the pantry, replacing individual bins with recycling bins and providing clear instructions, organising an e-waste collection...

Then building on those new habits, we rewarded monthly challenges with vouchers at “green” shops, organised beach cleanups, created a Sustainability Pledge Calendar: 

I realised that sometimes, people are reluctant at first because the change of habits is the hardest part. For example, we used to provide candies in individual, single-use packaging. When we replaced them with a bulk jar of nuts and dried fruits, people were concerned about hygiene. They would later come to it because there’s also a pair of kitchen pliers and it’s healthier too!

And we also share best practices with teams of other regions whenever we have the opportunity.

How do you manage to keep the momentum with the Covid situation?

Well, the positive thing with working remotely is that auditors travel less, all the training and audits go digital, nobody uses the office’s printers, we don’t distribute printed leaflets but PDF…

All of this means less GHG emissions, less paper usage and marketing and travel cost saving.

Within my team, we keep the conversation going through regular VCs and WhatsApp chat!

What are you most proud of?

The change of mindset of my team’s members. 

First they were barely aware of the issue and now sustainability is so integrated in their everyday life that, as I said, we can discuss it on WhatsApp after office hours! Sharing tips, asking questions, tracking progress, it also creates bonding.

On top of that, it allows them to link their own personal experience with their work at BSI, with the company’s purpose. It creates more value for all of us.

What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to The Matcha Initiative (TMI) users?
  1. Learn about the topic. All the information is out there. Once you know, it’s hard to remain passive.
  2. Collaborate, cooperate, create partnerships, help each other. No one can do this alone.
  3. Just do it! Don’t be afraid of the naysayers. Replicate good ideas from everywhere.
How could you help The Matcha Initiative (TMI) users?

I can provide guidance on how to get your team onboard and lead them to more sustainable goals, and advise on training.

Nadège kindly accepts to answer your questions.
If you need additional insights, you can send her a message.