The Impact of the Company on Society

29 November 2016

It took place in the Aula Magna Santa Lucia, the event organized by BBS, Impronta Etica, and La Repubblica A&F, in collaboration with Isabella Seràgnoli Foundation, United Nations Foundation, Nomisma, and Unindustria.

In front of an audience of over 1000 students, managers, and professionals, 26 speakers from the political, academic and entrepreneurial field, have alternated on the stage divided into four panels, facing the new paradigms of Corporate Social Responsibility.

See the photo gallery and the press review.

“Every year we try to support students with scholarships and loans, but the real responsibility is to keep what is promised” opens the day with his welcome speech Max Bergami, Dean of BBS.

Is the case of the role of public administrations, an issue addressed in the first panel with Gianluca Galletti, Minister of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, who recalled the role of Bologna, which in 2017 will host the G7 meeting on environmental issues. “Bologna has all the credentials to become the capital of ecology. We have CINECA, CNR, a prestigious University ” clinched the Environment Minister. “The Big Data pass through from here. And with the ministers of the G7 called to speak about circular economy and environment, we will see how to best use them in a perspective of involvement of the most important Universities of each country member of the Group, with the valuable contribution of BBS.”

Through a video contribution Mariana Mazzucato, Professor of the Economics of Innovation at the University of Sussex, expressed the need to create useful agreements between private and public administrations. “An ecosystem that brings together in a balanced way public research and the needs of companies is missing” and addressing the students “You have to fill a gap: if you want economic growth you must become an active part in the negotiations between private and public.”

Alberto Vacchi, Chairman of Unindustria, concluded entering in the actuality of the Corporate Social Responsibility. “The vision of the pragmatic business, a category already out of date, is still effective but only in the short term. There are consequences in the choices based on profit only. CSR is effective only if it is coordinated. We have to work together on the aggregation of projects to harmonize the purposes and the positive impact on society. ”

For Gianpiero Calzolari, Chairman of Granarolo, if a company in the food industry has by definition a heavy impact on the environment, all members of the cooperative should be aware of the problems and participate in the choice of which direction to take in order to improve sustainability.

The next speaker, Angelo Failla, Director of IBM Italy Foundation, stressed the importance of an international development of the concept of CSR. “Philanthropy should be reconsidered in an integrated system that includes innovation, third sector, distinctive skills, diversity and digital transformation. All current aspects that can help to improve the impact on society.”

“About 1.2 billion people out of 7.4 lack access to energy, another billion is connected to an unreliable network, over 3 billion use natural biomass for heat and cooking.” These were the data provided by Roberto Cimino, R&D planning and Technology Scenarios in ENI, who recalled how the same energy, its access and use, are inherently a social element. “We know that we have to contain the emission of greenhouse gases, but also increase efficiency.”

Marked by frankness was the intervention of Eugenio Sidoli, CEO of Philip Morris Italy “We have the stigma of a company that is detrimental to its consumers. Using innovation, we replaced the cigarette combustion with a heating system which cancels the damage to the body.” Changing the paradigm of the product and reversing the trend it was possible to find a good social compromise.

The third panel has seen as its protagonist the local territory with the intervention of Matteo Lepore, the Councillor for Productive Activities of the Municipality of Bologna. “The balance of public administrations cannot be separated from the direct contact with citizens. The Social Media serve to interact with the community. Markets and institutions are in opposite directions. We must therefore keep the community together around a very clear agenda. ”

To follow Pierluigi Stefanini, Chairman of Unipol Group “We need to work with small and medium-sized businesses to help them reduce the risk of environmental impact” and the Rector Francesco Ubertini “The University has a very important role in the change and consequentially a big responsibility. Education and research have a direct impact on society, and therefore the starting point are the students “. To conclude the round table, the words of Stefano Venier, CEO of Hera Group. “Hera since 2007 has put as its central issue that of sustainability. The circular economy is not made just by the jouney of the objects, but also by their reuse. We need to increase environmental education and reduce consumption by 5%. ”

To conclude the afternoon, Mario Calabresi, Director of La Repubblica, kicked off the fourth panel on global challenges for regenerative economy.

“Today, the way of producing a good is an integral part of what consumers want to know. You have to make traceable products ” were the words of the Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda.

Rob Hamer, VP R&D, Discover Foods and Director of Unilever “By 2020 we have to save on water consumption and get to a -29% of waste. Change must also pass on the individual habits of the community. ”

Aaron Sherinian, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, UN Foundation “By 2030 it is possible to eliminate disparities in society. The fundamental role of the web is to accelerate change. What the traditional media have failed to do” and finally Matteo Zuppi, Bologna Archbishop adds “Ethics seemed a tiring appendix, contrary to the logic of development and market. Ethical and economic coincide. To produce ethically means to make a change in the company that is important, but also affordable. ”

“It ‘been an afternoon dense of reflections and inspirations that we will take home” the words of a student of BBS. Especially the last concluding words of Max Bergami “Sustainability and Responsibility are two inseparable parts.”


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