Environmental e social
Themes that up to a few years ago were limited to social responsibility or environmental management have today become character-forming in terms of company identity and reason of being.
Working alongside companies, we aim to integrate attention to sustainability in their business models, going beyond old logic which viewed this issue as purely related to obligations requested by a purchasing department.
In coming years, this cultural shift will involve firms in all sectors.
We are helping them to speed up the process, avoiding the risk of being caught unprepared by the new challenges.
Those who work in my sector aim to change the face of a company, bringing it into the circular economy, free of waste, with the optimization of resources (reduce, reuse & recycle, is the approach advised by the United Nations, the European Union and prominent consulting companies).
The benefits obtained, in terms of recovery of efficiency, cost cutting, faithfulness and involvement of employees, clients and suppliers, increase in line with greater integration of economic, and social sustainability in strategic companies. Only in this way can you create a model of management that guarantees mitigation of company risks (reputational damage for example) and rapid use of opportunities (through the better employment of resources, the recovery of efficiency and the launch of new green products).
Therefore, sustainability records, integrated reporting, the rules of the UN Global Compact and now the new EU directive 2014/95 on non-financial information can be levers of development for companies, also in terms of respect for the community of stakeholders (employees, suppliers, clients, investors).
The directive 2014/95 is based on the “comply or explain” principle and therefore in theory it does not oblige a company (as initially thought) to “do”, but to admit inaction on important themes publicly. That can have negative repercussions in terms of reputation, and probably also on business.
The small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) who are in line with the directive will therefore have a competitive advantage in their relations with big firms. Every company, including SMES, can freely choose if and how to commit themselves on the ethics front, in terms of equal opportunities, the environment, human rights, and if and how to report the actions undertaken. Many groups are already asking their own suppliers to meet extremely high ethical and environmental standards, and to adhere to the UN’s Global Compact.
In the words of Laura La Posta, a journalist from Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore who is keeping Italian business updated on these themes:
“There are no limits to the ethical, green or social ambition of a company, unless a normative imposes limits.”