Société Générale Open Sourcing Challenge

French multinational banking and financial services company Société Générale is committed to continuously innovating, with a vision focused on building more sustainable and inclusive business models.

Using Agorize, Société Générale – under the leadership of its Purchasing Department – is developing its open sourcing efforts by calling for innovative companies that offer operational solutions that eliminate single-use plastic from food distribution channels.

Societe Generale innovation Challenge
Executive Summary

Leverage an open strategy approach to source innovative solutions adapted to new regulations

The search for new partners and suppliers has become complex and costly, especially in a globalized economy which requires a positive impact on society and management of quality of life at work.

This is why Société Générale is increasing its efforts, particularly in the area of sourcing new partners. The Group’s Purchasing Department has initiated an innovative approach by launching an initiative to build a new ecosystem of suppliers, inspired by the concept of “Open Sourcing” taken from open innovation.

The Group has opted to launch a call for innovative companies operated on the Agorize platform, to find solutions that will be depoyed on a large scale in just a few months.

Société Générale’s objective

Eliminate single-use plastic from food distribution to contribute to the common good through innovation.

How does Société Générale manage to detect new innovative suppliers on a global scale?

Building on its innovation ambitions, Société Générale has taken the step of having to build supplier ecosystems beyond its existing network. The scope of their challenge reaches beyond the startup ecosystem, targeting innovative suppliers from all backgrounds, capable of meeting its technological, business, and CSR challenges.

By launching the “Free from Plastic” challenge using the Agorize platform, Société Générale is applying its Open Sourcing model and acting on its ambition to respond operationally to CSR commitments that concern both its teams and the entire company, and society. After setting up an operational team, the Group sought the best platform available to implement its new approach.

Under the leadership of the Purchasing Department, the Group is using the Agorize platform to launch a call for innovative suppliers who offer their solution to eliminate single-use plastic from corporate food distribution circuits, across varying domains. 

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Automated distribution

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Event catering

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Open category

The company winning this innovation competition will see its solution deployed for a pilot on one or more sites and benefit from increased visibility within Société Générale Group entities.

"...we aim to access new ecosystems that are broader than our usual and recurring suppliers."
Logo societe-generale Agorize
Sébastien Simonian
Deputy Chief Procurement Officer at Société Générale
The Solution

Collective intelligence promotes responsible commitment

Agorize’s innovation management software was used to deploy the Free from Plastic operation from start to finish.

Société Générale needed an effective solution to manage the process of identifying, assessing, and deploying solutions from participating companies at a large scale. 

Agorize was the preferred choice, thanks to its platform supported by the capacity to detect innovative companies, particularly within the exclusive Agorize community, made up of millions of innovators, startups, and universities.

Société Générale benefitted from multiple advantages by choosing Agorize:

  • A platform entirely personalized to the Société Générale brand
  • Autonomous use of the platform by participants
  • Integration of participants’ submitted deliverables
  • Customized scoring and filtering
  • Collaborative features
  • Several communication channels integrated into the platform
  • Connection to Agorize’s innovator community, which was engaged through multi-channel activation campaigns to drive participation
  • The Agorize technological scouting service to detect innovative solutions responding to the problem of reducing plastic.
Startup scouting selection

Innovative companies submitted their proposals via the Agorize platform, offering them a simplified and user-friendly experience.
They were then evaluated by Société Générale’s collective of experts on the same platform.

“Société Générale is effectively intensifying its capacity to explore the most efficient and already operational solutions, to accelerate their deployment within the Group. An effective way to reduce its “Fear Of Missing Out” in constantly evolving supplier environments.”
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Xavier Dubos
International Sourcing Project Manager at Société Générale
The Results

Create value by building an innovation ecosystem

The Free from Plastic innovation program allows Société Générale to collaborate with innovative companies and deploy operational solutions.

The Purchasing Department gained efficiency in the search for new alternative suppliers to those it already knows, thanks to an accelerated open sourcing method.

The Group now benefits from innovative solutions and methods to reduce its environmental footprint. This initiative strengthens the confidence of customers, investors, and other stakeholders in the Group’s CSR efforts.

In addition, this theme has a significant impact on the well-being of employees and their commitment.

Gallup studies show the correlation between employees’ awareness of working for a company that cares about its social responsibility and their motivation to contribute to it, reinforcing the feeling of pride in having an employer concerned about their well-being and which contributes positively to society and the environment.

“Off the record”, Société Générale employees greatly appreciated the collective contribution they were able to make to serve the common good.

The image of the Société Générale brand is reinforced by this successful innovation program. In addition, thanks to innovative products and services their newfound operational efficiency will reduce costs in the longer term.

The winner of Free from Plastic 2023

Coffee Based is a Dutch company that has developed a range of tableware and objects produced from coffee grounds waste. The developed material is water-resistant and suitable for other catering-related products.

The 14 members of the jury, from the Purchasing, HR, Real Estate, CSR, and other departments of Société Générale, selected the big winner of the Free from Plastic 2023 Challenge

For companies, particularly startups, participating is a major opportunity to be able to make themselves visible directly to the decision-makers of the banking group.

They can work closely with a large company to develop their solution and of course create new business opportunities.

Accelerate your transformation like Société Générale, launch your open sourcing program

Accelerate your transformation like Société Générale, launch your open innovation program.