The second National Benefit Corporation Day took place on 11 December, and Way2Global had the privilege of participating. This day is an important point of reference for us, and for all entrepreneurs who champion this revolutionary sustainable business model.
This year’s edition again proved to be an opportunity to share good practices and knowledge, to discuss future projects and above all to reaffirm a business roadmap geared toward regenerative change.
Aldo Gebbia, Vice President of Assobenefit, opened the proceedings by highlighting the value and cutting-edge role of Italian industry and above all the importance of doing business with a renewed interest in the local community. It is a business paradigm that makes companies key drivers in the development and improvement of living and working conditions in our society.
It is precisely this process that is being promoted by the network of Benefit Corporations, key players in the process of entrepreneurial change and advocates for the creation of a benefit ecosystem, as emphasized by Mauro Del Barba, President of Assobenefit.
The second edition of National Benefit Corporation Day offered a platform for the experience of Assobenefit members, because creating a showcase of best practices is an essential step in gaining awareness of the tools implemented and results obtained by benefit corporations.
A virtuous exchange of best practices
The difficulties exposed by the pandemic have clearly highlighted the shortcomings of a system that disregards both social and environmental sustainability.
On the one hand, being a benefit corporation means acting within the scope of the company, monitoring production chain stages and making them sustainable, while creating an environment that is conducive to employee well-being. On the other hand, companies with a benefit focus have a duty to spread sustainability culture, contribute to financial and human investment in the transition to this new system and revitalize the local area.
This does not, however, entail unilateral action by companies, but rather a fruitful process of sharing and exchange within working groups, training of young talent and listening to the demands and needs of the local community.
There are clearly defined, concrete steps that we can all introduce to help spread sustainability culture: promoting access to ethical finance, kick-starting projects and supporting solidarity initiatives (Sara Cirone, Sara Cirone Group). Assobenefit member companies must act as a driving force behind sustainability culture to make all companies aware of the opportunities offered by this business model and the results that can be achieved.
In this context of entrepreneurial cultural renewal, benefit corporations also champion social inclusion and women’s empowerment: this is key to their positive impact (Myriam Ines Giangiacomo).
On the second National Benefit Corporation Day, the Minister for Equal Opportunity and the Family, Elena Bonetti, also wished to stress the social role of benefit corporations.
“Business must shape economic activity in an integrated social form that does not view goals that are reciprocally connected to the advancement of others as antithetical. We need to make humanity integrated and harmonized.” Elena Bonetti, Minister for Equal Opportunity and the Family.
Our Founder and CEO Laura Gori also took part as a speaker on the “Benefit corporations and women’s empowerment” panel to share the story of Way2Global, founded as a benefit corporation and certified B corp, which puts its own company community first.
As a women-led company with a majority of female employees, “our philosophy of life has been always been based on sustainability” (Laura Gori, Founder and CEO of Way2Global). Indeed, we have adopted and promoted the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).
This is the basis of all policies, practices and key performance indicators (KPIs) that promote women’s inclusion and equal opportunity, immediately neutralizing the dilemma faced by so many women who have to choose between work and family life.
Both in-house and outside the company, in Italy and internationally, our commitment to women’s empowerment is also geared toward discovering young talent who can fulfill their creativity and potential by producing outstanding projects thanks to digital technology. This is shown in our Term4Neural terminology tool. It has turned three young recent graduates with a passion for languages, artificial intelligence and taxonomy into data scientists. We are also committed to continuous training and constant updating of skills and knowledge within the company, in the belief that updating employees’ expertise enables us to offer first-rate service.
Our participation in National Benefit Corporation Day was the result of a fantastic collaboration within the network of businesses that support women’s inclusion and empowerment. We would therefore like to thank Assobenefit, our Chairman Mauro Del Barba and Director Raul Caruso for organizing this benefit corporation marathon, as well as all our wonderful friends and fellow “benefit women” masterfully coordinated by Myriam Ines Giangiacomo.