Corporate Social Responsibility done Italy’s way

Corporate Social Responsibility done Italy’s way

1.412 billion euros of investments were made in CSR projects in Italy, up 25% on the previous year. The number of companies lending their attention to their own CSR has doubled, from 44%  to 85% . The average spend or investment per Italian company was more than 200,000 euros (209,000 to be precise).

The report was drawn up by the Osservatorio Socialis, in collaboration with Baxter (a healthcare organisation), FS Italiane (the Italian national rail company), Prioritalia (a managers’ association) and Terna (which manages the Italian transmission grid). The Osservatorio carried out its study on a sample of 400 companies, each with over 80 employees.

Formalising assessment and communication on the matter is one of the most explicit requests made by stakeholders. It refers to a need to establish an ‘official form of recognition’, a ‘stamp’ that allows those who have turned sustainability (environmental, social, corporate) into a distinctive feature, those who have made a definitive choice, to show it. We need and there will be a ‘CSR Index’, to help rank the companies on how well they implement CSR policies. It would be a stamp of quality, a unique achievement, acknowledgement that a company knows the ‘best practices’ in CSR and that it uses them throughout its operations.

The importance of investments in social responsibility and sustainability has already been exposed, and that is also because consumers are pushing for it, And they are convincing companies that want to exist on the market in a more effective and permanent way.” The requirements? Training staff, social cohesion, transparency at all levels, listening to stakeholders, communicating, planning and assessing.”

CSR has become an essential value for companies. Involving staff, caring for the environment, fighting waste, optimising energy consumption and recycling are all areas into which companies claim they are pouring more effort.

35% of companies say they want to contribute to sustainable development, 32% want to fulfil responsibilities towards future generations and 29% want to improve their relationship with the local communities. Commercial objects are considered less important, with ‘just’ 21% using CSR policies to ‘attract new clients’.

It’s worth noting that companies mostly develop CSR initiatives with an internal scope, although they are noticeably being directed towards the area local to the companies’ operational offices. Fewer companies, in fact, are pursuing CSR initiatives that target foreign countries.