Circular guide

The responsability of a company

Didactic Units 5

The responsibility of a company in creating value is sustainable inside and outside its activities of circulating competence.

Another fundamental principle linked to the sustainability of a company is its responsibility in effectively managing the problems of social and ethical impact within it and in the context in which it opera.

First and foremost, the entrepreneur must have a clear understanding of the regulatory constraints to which his company is subject: full compliance is not only a requirement for avoiding penalties, but is also a qualifying element for business competitiveness.

It is essential that the entrepreneur has an overview of the regulatory evolution, through constant and timely information, to ensure the continuity of their business over time. A company must therefore be responsible for the change within and outside its perimeter, always taking into account the market changes that may involve it.
Indeed, it is not by chance that the world of finance is opening up to interesting and innovative solutions aimed at fostering perspectives of sustainability and Circular Economy .

The regulatory scenario is also changing: c hi does not start thinking (in advance) about these factors, thus managing to gain a distinctive market positioning –   by associating your own brand to the concept of   “sustainable ” –   however, it will be forced by law   to comply.

From 2018 the   D.   Lgs 254/2016   that   introduced the obligation for some companies defined as “public interest” to report non-financial data   together with the economic and financial data present in the financial statements, (NFS: non-financial statement). This has led many companies to start a reporting process, but the publication of data is not always accompanied by an upstream strategy. In this way companies risk starting from the fund (the balance sheet), and not from the beginning, thus reducing the reporting to a mere formal exercise as an end in itself.

When a company wants to operate according to an effective model for implementing sustainability in one’s business and strategy, it should in fact   organize existing ideas and projects, define their priorities, set (measurable) goals and an action plan to achieve them. In other words, it is a question of structuring a Strategic Sustainability Plan, in order to obtain a dashboard of measurable objectives consistent with the corporate strategy, in which the aspects of sustainability are fully integrated with the social, environmental and governance aspects.

To give further value and effectiveness to this process, the involvement of stakeholders   deemed relevant for the company is fundamental.

To simplify the responsibilities that a company must take into consideration, we distinguish below in “ internal responsibilities ” and “ responsibilities external “.

Internal responsibilities

Speaking of internal responsibility, & nbsp; employee engagement is the model most frequently followed by companies, regardless of size.

Employee Engagement is synonymous of growth, well-being and profit as a satisfied employee is productive, fully aware of his / her role within the organization and more inclined to offer an active contribution to the development of the business.

The link between the & nbsp; level of employee engagement & nbsp; and related & nbsp; business performance & nbsp; is indisputable, the main advantages are employee loyalty and satisfaction, better performance, attraction of new talents.
The engagement of people can start from the introduction of a company welfare plan , modulated on the basis of the company context (the needs of employees vary significantly from company to company also by virtue of the average age, type of sector and other features that should be analyzed before implementing the & nbsp; any initiatives).

Examples of actions often implemented by companies are: agreements with health, sports and recreational facilities, smart working , training, but also initiatives aimed at improving the environment of work, aiming at the comfort of spaces, the sharing of values, the involvement of people and the strengthening of internal communication.

External responsibilities

All initiatives aimed at improving the quality of work within the company inevitably create positive externalities that can be enhanced by the entrepreneur himself .

The perception of a company by stakeholders also depends on its attention to the aforementioned issues and the value of its “ Internal Responsibility “. To maximize the efforts undertaken internally, the company must necessarily pay attention to the needs of the area in which it operates and those of the external stakeholders it relates to (customers, suppliers, media).
With regard to the “ Environment ” aspect, the company often sets itself objectives related to obtaining & nbsp; certifications (ISO 14001, EMAS, etc.). which certify the commitment to monitor and reduce its environmental impact.

In addition, the monitoring of emissions, the reduction of waste, the optimization of raw material purchases represent fundamental macro-objectives almost always present in the internal improvement plans in & nbsp; perspective of sustainability and circular economy.

A company is also judged virtuous when it maintains an open and constant dialogue with the local community in which it operates, promoting initiatives that enhance the neighboring territory.

Lo supplier stakeholder represents one of the most delicate issues for companies in terms of qualification of the supply chain also on the basis of CSR principles. An example of certification that is gaining ground in this direction is Circularity’s Green Touch, based on the ISO 26000 Guideline.

In general, however, openness to effective and transparent communication by the company that starts from structured listening and dialogue processes towards all classes of external stakeholders (including customers, media, shareholders, etc.) represents the first goal of a responsible company in its value creation process shared.

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