Lessons in Modern Marketing Management

Tempo di lettura: 17 minuti

BRUNELLESCHI FILIPPO LAPI, the top manager of the Duomo in Florence

Suspended 50 meters above the ground, amidst a labyrinthine network of ropes, pulleys, and weights, all powered by two determined oxen – you are not part of an ordinary construction site. You are a member of an orchestra of human resilience, daring vision, and sheer innovation. With each twist and turn, bricks, concrete, and diluted wine flasks - in this realm, work safety is no laughing matter - are hoisted and passed along.

For a decade, you and 85 comrades have traded shifts under the searing sun and biting cold. You're not just building; you're forging a symbol that will transcend time and space. The precise "herringbone" pattern you lay, guided by Brunelleschi's brilliance, will find its way onto Facebook feeds magically crossing half a millennium time span as if it were a couple of weeks.

True innovation can't be confined to rigid frameworks or reduced to numerical formulas. It thrives in narratives that stand on a grand vision and true human ambition, defying conventional and myopic wisdom sought by risk-averse and self-glorifying authorities. Bureaucracies cannot produce dreams that turn into realities. There just won’t be any construction, be that physical or spiritual, without a truly human intent, without a pulsing desire for change, unbridled and unconstrained by rules and dogmas. (James C. Scott, "Seeing like a state").

Any system claiming all-encompassing knowledge is bound to short-circuit. The absence of surprise denies us the thrill of tackling the unforeseen. It kills the power of imagination and dooms us to small incremental and sad changes, mere quantitative steps forward that can be booked and recorded as progress right when they belly the very suppression of human inventiveness. (Rory Sutherland, "The problem with Marxism is too much sense")

The construction of Santa Maria del Fiore's dome, orchestrated by Filippo Brunelleschi Lapi, and now brought to life through the majestic digital reconstruction of Margaret Haines' "Years of the Dome," unveils the management artistry required to conquer the unknown. (Margaret Haines, "Myth And Management In The Construction Of Brunelleschi’s Cupola")

An artistry, an elegant movement, a dance almost, jostling between amazing complexities, never seen before, and yet faced head-on. An attitude simply unfathomable in today's world, where the biggest comfort, the most valuable accomplishment seems to be found in the recoiling from any unknown, from anything that is not well defined and apt to fall under standard, well-rehearsed and formally approved classification methods. Ledger entry is the new rule of the world. 

But reality is stronger than our desire for security and predictability. The more we cling to prefabricated models the more they prove vulnerable precisely to that one random event that escaped and thwarted the omniscience of the all-powerful algorithm, even the one concocted by Nobel-quality minds. The “failed genius” of the LCTM saga still stands to prove and remind us of just that. The global bet on “scientific safety” almost plunged the world into financial annihilation.  (When Genius Failed, The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management).

Challenging Financial Hypernorms: Unveiling the Human Element

The neo-liberal construct of the markets as an emotionless combination of superhighways where raw data are in a state of constant flux enabling rational decisions devoid of any possible human bias proved to be tragically misguided in 1998. At every opening, the markets do not just start from scratch, as if the previous day had never existed. 

Sediments of memories, specs of emotions, and human bias of all sorts play havoc with the traders’ minds, with the “humans”. They do remember and act upon their feelings too.

In the end, those feelings proved stronger than LCTM algorithm. History taught us yet another lesson and yet our urge to escape uncertainty and unpredictability not only persists despite recurrent "system failures," but seems to be on the increase, leading to the emergence of hypernorms – rigid value systems spanning economic and social realms that need no uncovering of their fictional pretenses and yet, are believed and revered as mystical, divine-like commandments.

Neoliberalism's portrayal of an optimally efficient market, driven by ever-optimizing individuals bent on a relentless pursuit of their own economic value is the financial version of that architectural hallucination encapsulated in Le Corbusier's abstract Paris – a dystopic departure not only from reality but from sanity altogether.

How precarious this construct is well shown by the preferences, vehemently expressed, by two groups of volunteers to a British utility’s survey enticing the participants by offering a possible 1.000 GBP windfall on the one hand and a…plastic penguin on the other. The penguin, with a mark-to-market price of 15 “quid”, proved to retain a much higher value than the alternative monetary recompense. A lucky winner who was handed down the “hard cashdemanded the same to be swapped for the penguin. There goes the myth of the Homo Economicus down the drain. (Rory Sutherland, Alchemy, The Surprising Power Of Ideas That Do Not Make Sense)

Yet, modern finance keeps orbiting twin suns: absolute freedom paired with perfect economic auto-determination on the one side and the "shareholder theory" on the other. 

The latter functions as a theoretical compass able to rationalize even the incomprehensible and most secretive human behaviors in order to then magically recompose all inconsistencies under an infallible order that can make sense even of….the penguin.  

On these pristine and reassuring Cartesian axes, human life unfolds rationally, managed by mathematical indices and alert systems that grapple with any type of risk. 

The system can easily spot and discard "zombies" (How to avoid a corporate zombie apocalypse, FT, February 5, 2020), so to make room for innovation as long as the same is cleared by a deluge legal, fairness and feasibility opinions that end up building a world of their own, so entangled to suffocate creativity and innovation without securing risk minimization and control. And how could they? Data and signed-off-best practices are inherently backward-looking. All sets of data share a common birthplace: the past. Hence, they cannot safeguard us against the future. (The Wall Street Dilemma, Harvard Business Review)

Unveiling the Thread of Economic Narratives: From Brunelleschi to Starbucks

So immersed in an anesthetized world shy of risk, bent on procedural compliance and personal reputation safeguarding as the ultimate achievement, we naturally tend to suppress and dismiss that natural urge to express our unique human singularity

That comes at a great cost as a truly functioning and value-creating corporate entity has no chance to materialize without the unbridled spirit of the “homo faber”, the true creator and not the mere life-less proofer, free only to execute a set of pre-arranged objectives. 

Starbucks:  Modern Marketing Management & Marco Gianni

There can be no economic growth in a corporate landscape that stifles creativity and courage by suppressing human singularity, spontaneity and solidarity for the sake of a “play it safe” attitude that will fail at both generating innovation and insulating us from the risk and incertitude of the future. (Escaping the Fantasy Land of Freedom in Organizations: The Contribution of Hannah Arendt, Yuliya Shymko1 · Sandrine Frémeaux 1,2, Journal of Business Ethics, 2022).

Doubting the system's self-regulatory efficiency seems not only possible ma plausible and rationale indeed.  

A whole array of financial monitoring mechanisms, epitomized by Basel I, II, III, IV – akin to sequels of a Hollywood blockbuster – and by the Bank for International Settlement vouched for Credit Suisse's solvency, even as it faced an existential crisis. 

The grandest parade of numbers and ratios was put on stage, from LTCR (Long-Term Resilience Rate), HQLA (High-Quality Liquid Asset Rate), and above all, an LCR (Liquidity Coverage Ratio) of 150% (Credit Suisse Group takes decisive action to pre-emptively strengthen liquidity and announces public tender offers for debt securities, Credit Suisse, Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR): all the capital and risk managing requirements were not only met but exceeded. And yet.

Such skepticism is only compounded by the system knee-jerk-movements that see it passing from relying on an ultra-sophisticated dataset, undecipherable by the layman, to those other indicators made up by the “lattes and macchiatos” dished out by Starbucks, now magically elected to the role of official “pulse” of USA global economy. (Corporate America is over-caffeinated, let us hope our dependence on the fragile US consumer holds up, FT, September 8, 2019).

In that magical and neat dichotomy of "latte makers" and "latte takers," that makes up the world economy, the Starbucks consumer comes to embody the shifting economic landscape, the real one, the “main street one” (Fed Officials Warn Consumer Is Alone in Carrying U.S. Economy, Bloomberg) and Howard Schultz, a modern-day counterpart to Brunelleschi is the new oracle summoned by the summit of a political power (Howard Schultz Wants to Change the Country With Starbucks | Time Magazine) trying to make sense of things, trying to read the future on the basis of that perfect alternate of caffeinated and decaffeinated offering that comes in all possible varieties of flavor combination so to truly accommodate the human necessity to express its individuality and authenticity adhering to shades of lattes and hair coloring. It's just magic!  (Consumer Society, J. Boudrillard).

From the Brunelleschi Dome's grandeur to LTCM's downfall, from the financial crisis of 2008 to the Swiss bank's fallibility, and from Starbucks' rise as an economic oracle to the era of neoliberalism and the emancipation of human irrationality – what unites these narratives? A herringbone-like thread stitches these stories across centuries, weaving a tapestry of economic and social evolution within the confines of fleeting lines.

Brunelleschi's Vision: A Lesson in Governance and Resilience

It all comes together in a single word: Governance

The essence of governance, as demonstrated by Brunelleschi, intricately complements the tangible herringbone-arranged bricks with an intangible but equally crucial factor. The fusion of tangible and intangible proprietary and distinctive assets forms the heart of a strategy akin to a VRIO value template: valuable, rare, inimitable, organized

Remarkably ahead of his time by about five centuries, Brunelleschi's approach predated even the insights of modern consulting giants like McKinsey. (Getting tangible about intangibles: The future of growth and productivity?; McKinsey)

Marco Gianni & Brunelleschi :: marketing strategy

Despite its Renaissance charm, the organization and execution of work during Brunelleschi's era were anything but romantic or epic. Hierarchical divisions were strict, and worker categories were meticulously regulated – a symphony of roles, titles, and compensations. However, the reality mirrored a contemporary Foxconn assembly line more than the artisan workshops we imagine today.

Nonetheless, Brunelleschi's brilliance lay in his grasp of a complex system's efficient functioning. He perceived the absolute interdependence of factors that, when combined, morphed into a distinct unit, transcending simple algebraic sums. No one could claim exclusive ownership of this unique outcome. There was no hierarchy of contribution; every element, in its dynamic unity, forged a new complementarity, birthing transformative value.

The millions of bricks, master masons, and pulleys weren't mere entries on a balance sheet for cold cost analysis. They defied reduction to numerical efficiency; their value couldn't be assessed solely on paper or a screen. 

Could a Ligurian master be replaced with a Tuscan one due to lower costs?

In the time of the Opera, the "ICT", Information Communication Technology, that facilitated modern integrated value chains didn't exist. Today’s shift towards reshoring (Rana Forhoorar, Homecoming, the path to prosperity in a post-global world) not only acknowledges pandemic-induced managerial vulnerabilities but also dismantles that offshoot of neoliberal theoretical efficiency by which all connections and intertwining between economic development and geographical location can be scissored, simply disposed of, in the name of an overarching and self-implementing value maximizing logic. Another Le Corbusier-like-Paris. A dystopian vision embedded in a solemn and barren, lifeless grandeur. (After Neoliberalism All Economics Is Local, Rana Forohar, Foreign Affairs)

Driven by numerical efficiency, the relationship between humans and territory, that intrinsic "embeddedness" (Il segreto italiano, Treccani) vital for the financial sustainability and resilience of both companies and their communities (A return to 1970s stagflation is only a broken supply chain away, FT), has decimated entire communities (A system in crisis: can capitalism survive? The university of Chicago booth, YouTube) and would have quite likely prevented the building of the Dome.

But fortunately, Brunelleschi's legacy is still standing tall and reminds us of the vital interconnectedness between people and the land they inhabit, a lesson now echoed by the resurgence of local-centric economics.

Unveiling the Essence: The Intertwining of Material and Immaterial in the Renaissance

The interplay between the tangible and intangible, humans and their surroundings, emerges vividly from insights garnered from studies surrounding the Opera, now accessible through Haines' digital reconstruction: 

“…..The festivities celebrating the construction provide a glimpse into the camaraderie that characterized Brunelleschi's dome craftsmen. The tightly-knit group's cohesion and trust on the worksite likely contributed to its safety despite the daunting challenges. The fellow mason, stonemason, or laborer next to each worker became a familiar companion. The gradual dome construction aligned with steady public funding, daring construction techniques, and a cohesive local workforce. The commission felt the city's will, bearing the mantle of proper administration and construction site management in the eyes of both Florentines and God”.

(And the Formlessness, Finally, Takes Shape... Studies around Santa Maria del Fiore in memory of Patrizio Osticresi, edited by Lorenzo Fabbri Annamaria Giusti)

Yuri Biondi's "The Firm As An Entity: Management, Organisation, Accounting, paper 46, University of Brescia," outlines the "accountant" version of the Dome's essence. 

This essence of an organization, of a corporate entity lies within the specific "intent" around which all factors—both tangible and intangible—organize: "....This new intentional constituent doesn't merely create an entity as an association of independent resource owners. It shapes the whole wherein functioning constituents make the activity of becoming the whole distinct from the mere sum of interplaying parts..."

A perpetual journey of becoming, an uninterrupted progression propelled by a shared and participatory "intent": this is the throbbing pulse that has to run through the veins of corporate organization in order to turn them into real value creators and not just more or less well-organized assembly of people and things. 

Without the added value of gratuitous participation, supported by a robust foundation of genuine trust, there will always be a looming risk of optimization for the distant past without even realizing it.

The skeptics will only have to consider the enduring architectural "landmark" that spans five centuries, a quite tangible testament to shared intent. The hard-core skeptics will be comforted by "best practices" with an operational record spanning around 20 million years—the tenure of the "bees" on planet earth. Their shared intent prevents pure short-term financial metrics and blind adherence to uniform behavior both granting immediate comfort for the present, perilous for the future.

Do you think Is just a fairy tale financial theory? Think again. 

IBM's unraveling offers a cautionary and very much down-to-earth saga. 

It was precisely a lack of innate system-wide balancing tension that couldn't save it from corporate bureaucracy, lack of foresight, and ultimate decline. 

The Homo Economicus paradigm failed to gauge the trade-off with the tech giant: “my obedience and full compliance for a life of…job security”.  

If employees had sensed and reported the winds of innovation, the advent of the desktop, perhaps the once-monolithic IBM would've veered course, as their voices transformed a Top-Down culture into a Bottom-Up melody. 

But conformity and psychological bunking in the “it’s not my job” attitude are much more appealing and easier than coming to terms with the need to scan the horizon for your own good. A company culture that fosters and nourishes such a mentality, such a stance on life will not only benefit its employees but it’s very survival to the advantage of the ultimate and true beneficiary of the entire corporate construct according to that very ideology that champions the logic of cold numbers as the one and only True North: the stockholder (Wall Street, an Oliver Stone Movie).    

In the grand tapestry of history, Brunelleschi's dome and the industrious bees illuminate a profound truth: a shared intent harmonizing the tangible and immaterial, is the heartbeat that sustains organizations through time.

Embracing Reality: A Call for True Innovation in Business and Governance

In the intricate web of complex systems, a prominent anomaly appears to be a new engrained defective feature—a potent "bug," a "virus" that thrives in diverse environments, from macro-integrated systems to micro-level business operations. This anomaly champions the maximization of incentives that bolster the "status quo," breeding mental inertia even before economic stagnation can set in.

Again, we should look a “nature”, at the “Bee Inc” operating mode where a small but vital percentage of the swarm preserves an invaluable freedom. These bees, unbound by their peers' pollen-rich "deposits," venture into uncharted routes, recognizing the necessity of embracing randomness and unexpected upsides to safeguard against predatory attitudes towards present resources. A pursuit of short-term financial maximization, scholars affirm, would have driven the bees to extinction over millions of years—far less time than IBM needed to plummet from the ivory peak of the tech kingdom.  

Brunelleschi's brilliance was not just in architectural prowess but in fostering a dialogue among his "collaborators." By creating prerequisites for real-time updates and dismantling information "silos," he thwarted disastrous inefficiencies stemming from the inevitable turf wars (Gillian Tett, the Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers).

Both in the intricate corporate systems of sprawling multinationals as well as in SME’s realm, the bias toward "status quo", the cautious proceeding on a path of incremental innovation prevails, mercilessly suffocating all possible bouts of genuine transformation (The Economist: Innovation beyond the comfort zone - White Paper by Équité | Dr. Daniel Langer).

True innovation requires a Copernican shift in governance, it demands the courage and honesty to acknowledge and level with the everyday reality that business has and will have to face for a very long future: a reality of radical uncertainty (Radical Uncertainty, decision-making beyond the numbers, M. King, J. Kay) and aptly encapsulated in the V.U.C. An acronym, denoting volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (McKinsey, The 5 Trademarks of Agile Organizations)

So, what's the antidote? It lies in embracing the messiness of reality and facing the music, possibly jazz music as advocated by Frank J. Barrett: "Say yes to the mess acknowledging the enterprise's inherent condition as one that is “teetering on the edge of the unknown and ready to embrace it”.

The assonance between jazz and business, delineated by management professor and jazz musician Scott, is striking. If business management is a liberal art—a marriage of discovery and knowledge, steadily honed over time (P. Drucker, The Practice of Management)—then the prevalent managerial approach appears grossly inefficient. Relying on predetermined inputs and outputs, driven by assumptions formulated in laboratories or, in the age of remote work, even kitchen dens, falls short. Od a very long mile.

In Scott's musical analogy and Drucker's managerial vision, management shapes power dynamics, structures value, and outlines responsibilities within the corporate landscape. To navigate the complexities of the modern business realm, an evolved approach is required: one that recognizes uncertainty as an ally, innovation as a force, and embraces reality's messiness to usher in a transformative era of governance and business excellence.

Beyond Structure: The Unstructured Prelude to Innovation in Jazz and Business

In both the realm of jazz and business, unstructured participation within a community narrative lay the foundation for a unique camaraderie. This organic aggregation, free from rigid classifications and roles, often reminiscent of “coffee shop chill”, sparks natural conversations that then evolve into a threaded and co-created corporate narrative.

This narrative proves vital during periods of uncertainty, providing a precious compass to navigate unchartered waters. And only unchartered waters are worth navigating and exploring.  Procedural shortcuts are reevaluated, morphing into bottom-up innovation. The shared narrative acts as a behavioral coagulant, enabling rapid, efficient decision-making in alignment with the ever-shifting market sentiment.

the structure of modern marketing management:  Marco Gianni

Central to this concept is the notion of "peripheral participation." Operational notes are exchanged, deconstructed, and reconstructed among diverse roles—managers, line-workers, engineers, legal officers—all on equal footing just as it happens with a jazz band rehearsing for a session.  Ego relinquishment, untethering from functional and bureaucratic labels, becomes the litmus test. 

On this track, the corporate entity embarks on authentic diversification, establishing a distinctive positioning that fosters a potent, long-term competitive edge

This edge springs from the intangible, from internal coordination, from the intent unique to that enterprise—a genetic mutation that differentiates the mere corporate entity, the ensemble of people and things neatly recorded on a ledger and, while on the other side of the moon, fully invisible to the newtonians reductionist blinded by his own faked numerical efficiency, lays the corporate persona (The Hero and the Outlaw, M. Mark & C.S. Pearson).

This corporate persona radiates character at every consumer touchpoint, be it physical or digital, culminating in the realization of the elusive "branded experience" naturally blossoming out of that wicked experience emerging from a unique combination of people, purpose, place, and product" (Re-Engineering Retail, Doug Stephens).

From Brunelleschi's architectural feats to Drucker's modern management principles, resonating with retail guru D. Steven and the jazz musings of J. Scott, a common thread emerges—a herringbone arrangement of bricks, symbolizing structural support and coherence for the entire corporate framework.

This support grows proportionally as the structure expands, assimilating new functionalities and competencies that harmoniously integrate. Gone are the days of gravitational collapses caused by artificial frames and prepackaged interpretations of external reality. Instead, a path of mutual parity and dignity emerges, epitomizing the value of individual contributions as agents of action, not just mere performers free to comply and not to create. Easier said than done.

Large-scale analyses such as this one often incite skepticism, leading to the inevitable question, "…and then what?

Practical application, the transition from theory to action, becomes a natural aspiration. The desire for tangible outcomes from complex frameworks it’s only understandable.

Beyond Conformity: Embracing the Paradoxes of Modern Commerce

And then what? 

Beyond the rhetoric, lies the pursuit of something far more profound—the creation of an utterly unique, astonishingly evocative, and emotionally charged value proposition that defies prediction. This value beckons consumers to engage with the essence of a message, a full-blown philosophy, a value system, where the product or service becomes an exquisitely crafted "proxy," a conduit for something greater. Yet, reaching this point mandates establishing a set of shared values through dialogue—ironically conducted away from the media cacophony of "buy me" shouts that saturate both traditional and digital channels.

And then what? 

The organizational structure must transcend the mechanical and take on a living essence. Like a sentient entity, a company should emanate its own "humanity." An inclination for dialogue beyond the confines of commerce becomes essential—a dialogue that fosters intimacy, co-creation, and a shared sense of purpose. Only then can the ultimate goal be achieved: the embodiment of value in the form of goods sold.

The inescapable commercial imperative compels companies to shed their bureaucratic trappings—pre-formed, cold, and externally focused entities fixated on a single metric: maximizing the economic value of production factors. This metric drives a deluge of strategic rationalizations, but can it genuinely connect with the capricious jazz of the unpredictable consumer? A company unable to internalize the market's cutting edge, failing to orchestrate the symphony of consumer desires, will falter. It won't sell.

And "The Big Con." shortcuts won’t help either. (The Big Con," Marianna Mazzucato, Rosie Collington). 

the big con, Mariana mazuccato

Segmentation by economic "type," a fantastical if not phantasmagorical phenomenon magically borne out of the secret formulas of a Big Con that proved perfectly ambidextrous at “infantilizing” the British public sector and at sedating the once vigorous "animal spirits" of business leaders is now collapsing under its own shortcomings well revealed, again, by dropping…sales!

Big Con, short for the global consultancy world, has crafted and sold a rigid, linear correlation between offerings quality and consumer types, a symmetrical and mechanical hinging on a segmentation of the consumers, all of us, so immanent to make Plato's allegorical gold, silver and bronze souls pale. 

However, Big Con is coming home to roost. And it was about time. If only logic and deductive numerical processes applied in the fictional world of the “focus groups” could be enough to cover the whole spectrum of commercial success we would still be short of a Sony Walkman and a Red Bull, “the worst ever tasting drink I’ve ever tried and that would not drink even if paid to”. This is the sentencing of the head of one of the most renewed agencies focusing on ..focus groups. Less focusing and more exploring are called for. Again, look at the bees. A 20 million-year-old operation should tell you something. 

And then what? 

A company entrenched in bureaucratic lethargy, sluggishness, and rigidity will inadvertently commit the gravest "commercial crime": boredom as well pointed out by Remo Ruffini, the Genius of Moncler: “Difficulty is not the enemy -boring is” (Moncler’s Genius collab hit machine to extend to art, music, sports, Vogue Business)

In a world of sophisticated markets and astute consumers, slow, mechanical, and bureaucratic production cannot penetrate mobile device screens. Instead, it bounces off, as data reveals (Harvard Business Review, Branding in the Age of Social Media, by Douglas Holt).

The wisdom in the "then" is best epitomized by Gerscovich, founder of I.O.A.L., Industry Of All Nations, a pioneer in sustainable consumerism. He captures the ethos of the 3% that constitutes 40% of Farefetch's sustainable product purchases. Gerscovich underscores a powerful truth: products and messages merely “produced” by corporate entities as opposed to the ones “created” are dismissed as “orphan” products evoking a genuine "disgust" within discerning, ethically conscious consumers, who yearn for something authentic (The Sum of All Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett).

Reimagining Commerce: From Mundane to Meaningful

And then what? 

To forge ahead, we must glance back, embracing inventiveness and the audacity to break free from the cage of logical constraints. Courageously defying norms, Alberto Alessi's words resonate: "transgression that pleases the common people, manifesting itself in objects that break the rules while keeping one foot in the market." This original ethos finds resonance in Aurelio Zanotta's insights: "We must present the public with a production that has specific functions but also has innovative and emotional qualities."

The reinvigoration of "Made in Italy," which is experiencing a decline in one of its key markets, the USA, (Daniel Langer, Why Luxury Brands Must Think Differently in 2023, Jing Daily), can harmonize with a long-standing tradition of unmatched skills and unconstrained thinking. This tradition, unshackled from market concerns and disdainful of "focus groups," has the potential to redefine today's "monodirectional" capitalism escaping the compressing metrics of the financial trinity of ROE, ROA, and ROI.

In fact, Made in Italy's evolution hinges on a newly found internal coherence, shared among all stakeholders. Failing to evolve as a cohesive system, neglecting the organizational foundations that could restore man as "homo faber" rather than a mere "animal laborans," is more than a mere failure to meet "G" in "ESG." Its forfeiting equals recoiling from a competitive footing and from the opportunity to distinguish oneself based on the most relevant market-driven criteria.

A newfound common ambition, an awakening to the indispensability of the "Italian system," could propel the Nation Brand to not only identify but assert itself as a "leader" in shaping the economy. The aspiration is a paradigm shift toward stakeholder capitalism, as envisioned by Lorenzo Bertelli: "The dream is to move towards stakeholder capitalism" (Could Made in Italy become synonymous with sustainability? Vogue Business).

And then what? 

Let's conclude with wisdom from Professor Aswath Damodaran, a finance luminary renowned for corporate valuation strategies. His "Investing and Valuation Lessons from the Renaissance" delineates three guiding principles for financial efficiency and analysis. These principles include the revival of "faith" and coherence as vital resources, the embrace of humility as a structural facet of economic efficiency, and the perpetual amalgamation of art and science in harmony with Peter Drucker's bedrock management principle.

Oliver Camponovo: Why integrate the ESG factor into your business model

Tempo di lettura: 3 minuti

OLIVER CAMPONOVO INVESTMENTS ESG - Would you trust a company that doesn’t care about employee welfare, gender equality or fair pay policies? Would you invest in a chemical company that makes no effort to mitigate its environmental impact?

Investments also look to the green

In recent years there has been a growing focus on issues related to the environment and human rights, which has also led to a radical change in the financial and investment market.

Companies are asked to take more and more responsibility for their "impact" and to make it as positive as possible, getting to the point, from investors, to evaluate organisations not only on the basis of financial performance but also on the basis of non-financial criteria and the way they manage their risks and opportunities.

In addition, the greater sensitivity to this issue is found in Millennials and Generation Z to the point that some financial analysts and investment managers offer advisory or investment lines dedicated to these factors.

But what is an ESG investment?       

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance.

Socially responsible investment dates back to the 1960s, when investors began to avoid companies with negative reputational factors (e.g. companies involved in the South African apartheid regime). Much has been done since then, and in 2015 the United Nations officially set 17 Universal Goals for Sustainable Development.

Investors are increasingly applying these non-financial factors as part of their investment analysis and selection process and, while ESG metrics are not mandatory in reporting, More and more companies publish specific data on ESG factors.

ESG investments towards SRI

The ESG investment was born from the Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) philosophy while there are fundamental differences.

SRIs typically use negative value judgements and screening to decide which companies to invest in while ESG investment seeks to find positive value in companies that apply socially responsible principles.

The SRI filters and excludes from the portfolio holders companies that do not meet certain criteria while the ESG opts for realities defined "impact" based on the three related areas:

• Environmental factors (Environment), refer to the company’s behavior on issues related to resource depletion, climate change, waste and pollution.

• Social factors (Social), are related to the company’s treatment with respect to people, workers and local communities, including health and safety issues.

• Governance (Governance) factors, refer to corporate governance and policies, including tax strategy, corruption, structure, pay.

Why integrate the ESG factor into your business model   

It is clear that social responsibility is a topical issue at any level (financial, regulatory, etc.) and, regardless of the legal requirements, it is an issue that should be addressed within your organization.

Because many investors are incorporating ESG factors into the investment process, integrating sustainability elements into your strategy can definitely impact your revenue.

This requires a change of mentality: ESG must be considered an investment rather than a cost because it allows to obtain various benefits, between which a greater trust in the market and a better reputation.               

But does the ESG factor generate an excess return for investors?

You can’t become an ESG champion overnight           

It takes time to enhance its culture and create a dedicated team to invest in long-term initiatives to drive shared value creation.

ESG organizations try to avoid short-term and low-cost thinking.

Instead, they imagine the cause and effect of corporate actions and capture stakeholder-focused value creation opportunities while avoiding stakeholder-related risks. Shareholders continue to thrive even if not at the expense of employees, customers, suppliers, the community or the planet - and usually over a longer time horizon.

Therefore, even the studies that analyze the ESG factors in the analysis of a possible over or under performance are difficult to grasp all the aspects of this new company philosophy and certainly in many cases the added value of an ESG culture is not yet reflected in the share value.

To date, not all scientific analyses and publications support the idea that ESG factors always lead to better equity returns. There are many variables at play, including simple elements such as time and the fact that not all stock exchange operators are good stock exchange operators.

However, a significant amount of research suggests a positive correlation between companies that do well and companies that do well financially - and by extension, are good for shareholders.

At the same time, there is not a single study that proves otherwise.

So, if ESG factors are likely to be positive and, at the very least, not detrimental to business performance, then why shouldn’t investors want to invest in companies looking to make the world a better place?

Impact investments

Tempo di lettura: 2 minuti

IMPACT INVESTMENTS - Impact investments represent all those investments for the benefit of companies that support the environment and/or the social. A new fund launched by NN Investment Partners (NN IP) is born today.

What are the benefits of impact investments?

Simply put, it is an environment in which everyone can win. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a person who wants to invest some capital in a promising company. What he hopes is that within a reasonable period of time that society will develop and thus gain. What if, in addition to the company and the investor, we could take into account another equally important element?

The third protagonist to be added is the positive impact on the environment and/or society. This newcomer allows us to take advantage of new methods to invest our money: for example, in addition to bonds we can use green bonds, titles reserved only for initiatives to reduce the energy impact in the European Union. 

NN Investment Partners brings a new social bond fund for impact bonds

In the financial landscape, a lot of investment is being invested in impact investments. An example is NN Investment Partners (NN IP) which announced the launch of the NN (L) Social Bond fund. The aim is to achieve a positive social impact combined with an attractive financial return. This is explained by Milano Finanza who also reported the words of Bram Bos, Lead Portfolio Manager Green, Social and Impact Bonds, NN Investment Partners:

"We are pleased to maintain our momentum in impact investing while playing a role in financing initiatives that foster social development. The issuance of social bonds increased in 2020 and 2021, especially for financing social projects that focus on managing the long-term effects of the pandemic. In this period, the social bond market has reached other impact bonds and now has a capitalization of over 400 billion euros, providing investment opportunities for a well diversified social bond portfolio. In 2022, we expect to issue EUR 250 billion. Our growth prospects are positive and we look forward to tapping into the social bond market and working towards a better future."

FIRST LEGO League, the final lands in Huoston

Tempo di lettura: 2 minuti

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE SMILEBOTS - The famous LEGO bricks, in more than 100 years of history have given rise to numerous creations. Their success is such that over the years have also been born of competitions that combine small colored bricks ingenuity, creativity and technology. From the smallest to the largest are millions of people who challenge to the sound of super innovative creations. In 1998, however, was born the FIRST LEGO League all dedicated to children aged 4 to 16 years. Let’s find out more about this competition.

What is FIRST LEGO League?

"In 1998, FIRST founder Dean Kamen and LEGO Group owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen joined forces to create the FIRST LEGO League, a powerful program that engages children in playful and meaningful learning, helping them discover the fun in science and technology through the FIRST LEGO League Experience.

Dean e Kjeld hanno la convinzione condivisa che FIRST LEGO League ispiri i team a ricercare, costruire e sperimentare e, così facendo, vivono l'intero processo di creazione di idee, risoluzione di problemi e superamento di ostacoli, acquisendo fiducia nelle proprie capacità di utilizzare la tecnologia.

FIRST LEGO League introduces science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to children aged 4-16* through fun and exciting hands-on learning. Participants gain real-world problem-solving experience through a guided global robotics program, helping today’s students and teachers build a better future together.

Our three divisions inspire young people to experiment and grow their critical thinking, programming and design skills through STEM practical learning and robotics."

This is what you can read on the official website of FIRST LEGO League about the history and mission of this competition.

Smilebots e Smilebots Junior at the World Finals in Houston

There are a number of teams in the world that play FIRST LEGO League. All compete in championships at the regional level, the best then enter the National finals. The teams that manage to win the title of the tournament organized by their country of origin can, have access to the World Final in Houston. Among those who will try to get there are the two teams of the Roboticminds section of ated-ICT Ticino, Smilebots Junior and Smilebots. In two years these teams have collected numerous awards. The Smilebots have taken home 6 regional titles in Ticino, 2 Swiss national titles, 2 participations in the European finals and a participation in the 2019 World Final in Detroit.

These are the words of Federico Corsale, member of the Smilebots team:

"What I really like about the challenge is that you can travel and move around and see new places, because by winning we go to the various championships. I really like LEGO, I’m the team that builds them, and I also really like working in a team"

Read more about the project and support the two Swiss teams, Smilebots at the World Finals

But is it possible that still the design of the true Made in Italy has not entered the Metaverse?

Tempo di lettura: 2 minuti

ROSSANO TIEZZI METAVERSE BEAUTY - But is it possible that still the design of the true made in Italy has not entered the metaverse? I asked myself this when I met Fabio Rotella in his studio in Milan. And so we decided with passion and enthusiasm that we would take this great first step. Combine the creativity of an architect and his team with the technical 3D knowledge of great professional developers. For some weeks now, our two companies have been working side by side to reproduce in immersive reality the futuristic designs of architecture conceived from the experience of Italian know-how.

The Beauty of the Metaverse

But what does it really mean to bring beauty into the metaverse? It means first of all making the environments we live with our avatars comfortable and aesthetically satisfying places. Designer furniture, accessories, luxury floors and a wide range of colors. Nothing is impossible when designing virtual spaces. And it is precisely here that the point of view of an architect can make those spaces alive and ready for an experience as much like real life.

A bit like the cars that we have learned to make living rooms mobile precisely because inside of them we spend a lot of time of the day, so also the metaverse - which will be a dimension in which we will spend part of the working time and also of the free time in the coming years - must be cozy and relaxing.

In addition to this there is then all a business in the business to discover. While we help companies build virtual meeting places that perfectly meet the needs of the product, customer and employees, we are also inserting in those spaces a furniture that can become itself part of the business that develops and evolves within the metaverse. I am thinking for example of a chair or a painting or a piece of furniture designed exclusively for that space. All this can become an NFT and enter the flow of blockchain.

The collaboration itself between Advepa and Studio Rotella was born in an absolutely original way and is linked to the world of NFT. The contract between Advepa and Studio Rotella was in fact signed by a handshake between Tiezzi and Rotella that today is already an NFT, a non fungible token, which has a contract value in effect and that will enter the blockchain.

Beauty is the only criterion we have to give life to something lasting. An idea as perfect as it is nothing without beauty.

An idea as perfect as it is nothing without beauty and also applies to the Metaverse, words of Rossano Tiezzi

In short, as the metaverse expands in various directions, our group has chosen to take a very precise path: an aesthetic path. Alongside the development of ideas that make a difference to business through 3D, we want to offer growth opportunities to companies, without sacrificing a rewarding experience.

«Beauty and truth are one thing. This is what we know about the earth and this is all that matters.» Thus wrote John Keats, British poet who embodies the values and themes of Romanticism. Beauty is the only criterion we have to give life to something lasting. An idea as perfect as it is nothing without beauty. Which supports it, makes it palatable, desirable, makes it something unique and everyone wants to be a part of. Beauty has entered our metaverse and we can no longer do without it.

READ ALSO --> Smart Working: But is it possible that we do not understand its real potential?

Nike prepares to enter the Metaverse

Tempo di lettura: 2 minutiNIKE METAVERSE - After an initial loss, we are now beginning to become familiar with the term Metaverse. On the market more and more companies and big brands are beginning to perform maneuvers to be found ready. Yes, because the idea of the Metaverso fascinates and promises concrete growth opportunities for those who will be part of it. So there is already a strong increase in the number of realities that take action to ensure that they are ready when the Metaverse is realized.

There are already forms of Metaverse

In this period it still seems very difficult to talk about Metaverso disconnecting. the concept by Mark Zuckerberg. The same maneuver of changing the name of the company from Facebook to Meta has made these two entities even more inseparable. Actually, if you look around, if you explore the market, you can see that some forms of metaverse are already available. The most obvious and easy to look for examples are video games. The most emblematic case is that of Fortnine.

If you conduct a more accurate research, however, we will also see that there are forms of metaverse that are closer to the idea that this place has Zuckerberg. And it is precisely within these spaces that companies, from small to large, are beginning to enter to understand what growth opportunities the Metaverso can offer. The most striking thing is the access. In fact, no one is excluded in this reality that takes place on the digital. Everyone has the same opportunity to enter and take advantage of all the advantages.

Nike prepares to enter the Metaverse

Not only companies, but also real sectors, are putting their resources in place to better prepare to access the Metaverso. Among these we also find the world of fashion, including sportswear. To make the news was in particular the case of Nike. Recently the news has come that the well-known trademark has filed seven applications for as many patents for the virtual world. These are the names Nike, Jordan and their respective logos, the "mustache" and the Jumpman. Not only was it also applied for the claim "Just do it" among others.

Nike has also opened applications for a "virtual material designer of footwear" and a "virtual designer". They are figures that would be added to those already present in the team dedicated to the creation of digital products.

Mffashion explains the reasons behind this choice:

"The idea of the American brand would be to bring into the virtual world the products that Nike sells in reality, offering its customers who will attend the augmented reality proposed by Mark Zuckerberg the opportunity to dress them digitally. As reported in the foreign press, the application was made official on 27 October and would allow, with registered logos, the digital creation of virtual footwear not downloadable, but also clothing, such as: headgear, glasses, bags, sports bags, backpacks, sports equipment, art, toys and accessories for use in virtual environments".

Read more about the Metaverso

Logistic Digital Community inaugurated

Tempo di lettura: 2 minutiLOGISTIC DIGITAL COMMUNITY - We are in the era of digital transformation that involves every sector of the world economy. Even ports are not exempt from the digital revolution. This is why the Logistic Digital Community was created by Federlogistica and Conftrasporto-Commercio. Draft of a " community between all the operators of the row of logistics, transports and shipping in order to diffuse the digital culture." Let’s go into detail.

Digital transformation and companies

Digital transformation is the mechanism by which synergies are created between business and digital technology. In order to give life to these collaborations, however, the company must be ready and responsive to fully grasp the potential of the tools made available. There must be flexibility and a willingness to get involved, but above all, preparation for change.

In the business landscape there are many companies that still can not fully understand the true meaning of digital transformation. In fact, it is thought that it only provides for the digitization of internal processes within the company. In reality, it includes everything relating to the inclusion of new technologies capable of assisting and making work within the company more efficient. Companies that are still lagging behind from this point of view need a reference point that serves as an example to look at. But there is also a need for realities in which it is possible to confront and share projects, ideas and resources to face this delicate phase. An example is the Logistic Digital Community project.

The engagement of Federlogistica and Logistic Digital Community

On 25 October 2021 the Logistic Digital Community was officially presented in Genoa. the first to take word to the event has been the president of Federlogistica Luigi Merlo:

"From today begins a transformation that will involve companies, institutions, also initiating a change in the associative world compared to a great challenge that Europe has launched us, that the government has relaunched with the PNRR, but also with energy transition policies. Federlogistica wants to connect and support its companies in an accompanying phase towards this transformation. Our association sees a huge presence of multinationals, but also of small realities. The challenge is to put them together, because there is no negative confrontation between global and local".

But what are the intentions that moved the realization of Logistic Digital Community?

The will and purpose that move the Digital Community Logist can be read directly on the site of Federlogistica.

"The protagonists of the Community will be companies and service companies in the supply chain, with Federlogistica as a subject aggregator and diffuser of the potential of the digital transition, on which significant resources have been allocated by MIMS through PNRR funds 2021-26 and Structural Funds 2021-27.

Between the partner founders of the Logistic Digital Community with Conftrasporto-Confcommercio there are Federlogistica, Digital Liguria, Cetena, Polytechnic of Turin, Diec and the Italian Center of Excellence on the Logistics and the Transports and Infrastructures of the University of Genoa. Technical partners Consorzio Global and Federlogistica Service.

The steps are clear and have the purpose of simplifying and optimizing the work processes through the new 5G and IOT technology, the protection of computer systems, Cyber Security to protect the security in the company from digital threats and attacks, the contamination of ideas and good practices aimed at business innovation, the application of company use cases to promote digital development and therefore the creation of networks and opportunities between companies in the supply chain to create value."

Green hydrogen projects for ports

Expo Dubai kicks off, between mobility and sustainability

Tempo di lettura: 3 minutiEXPO DUBAI - It bears the name of the date 2020, but will take place from October 2021 to March 2022 Expo Dubai 2020. Despite the year of delay has opened its doors and is the first major international event after the stop imposed by the pandemic.

Expo Dubai 2020

With the accompaniment of the voice of Andrea Bocelli and other famous singers on October 1, 2021, Expo Dubai opened the doors of all the installations. There are 192 participating countries with an audience expectation of 25 million expanded in 6 months. It is the first major international event to take place during the pandemic period, but the awards to be praised are quite different. It is in fact the largest Universal Exhibition held so far and the first to take place in the region ME.NA.SA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia).

Each pavilion, installation, event and everything that is present in the exhibition focuses on three main themes: opportunity, mobility and sustainability under the thread of "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". The purpose of the Expo is not only to show architectural beauty, but to bring organizers and visitors to reflect on important problems and to study together the possible solutions. All this taking advantage of an exposure site equal to 4.38 square kilometers.

The Italian Pavilion

Among the excellences presented at Expo Dubai is the Italian Pavilion. Realized thanks to 70 institutional partners, more than 50 sponsoring companies, 15 Regions and 30 Universities will present during the 182 two days of opening numerous events and events under the motto Beauty unites people, motto of the opening of the Exhibition. Not only the main issues, opportunities, mobility and sustainability are also addressed at 360 years. The way in which the structure of the pavilion itself has been conceived and realized is already part of a circular economy. The walls are made with recycled plastic wire, fireproof; the paint used are obtained with the remains of coffee and orange peel. The project by architect Italo Rota is designed to consume CO2 and never be abandoned.

The cover of the pavilion, realized from Fincantieri, is constituted by three overturned hulls that they reproduce the Italian flag and that after March they will be put in sea and will cover the naval ways for all the world. Although Rota and Carlo Ratti, another author of the project, state:

"In reality, the three hulls were so much appreciated that the Emirates could hold them longer and in any case they are the example of an architecture that is increasingly transformable and changeable over time. In practice it is a circular and installation architecture, completely removable and reusable".

The ingenuity and innovation of our pavilion are mainly hidden behind the ventilation system. There is no air conditioning inside the 3,500 square meters by 27 meters high, but those who enter do not notice, despite the 40 degrees outside. To explain why it is the same Rota: "The facades are not walls», he explains, «but rows of wire made of recycled flame-retardant plastic that make the wind pass. We are close to the desert and the wind, which is constant here, creates internal ventilation. Aeration is aided by horizontal water surfaces, which exploit the ancient evaporative cooling techniques of desert areas, helping to lower the perceived temperature".

The projects hosted by the Italian Pavilion of Expo 2020

The Italian Pavilion itself respects all the basic principles that Expo Dubai wants to promote. But this is not enough and the projects presented to you have great weight and relevance. We are talking for example about the installation Terna "Driving Energy". It is a work of art by the artist Marianna Masciolini that represents the concepts of sustainability, innovation and digitalization in three different forms. It is a project designed to raise awareness of the issues that the world’s major players will have to face at COP26. The project consists of a network that extends throughout the Italian Pavilion and guides the visitor along the tour inside it, a metaphor of the electricity grid that brings light to our homes.

The economy of electric cars, with Hamid-Reza Khoyi

Know your client: Hamid-Reza Khoyi introduces the topic

Tempo di lettura: 3 minutiKNOW YOUR CLIENT HAMID-REZA KHOYI - Investing is not so easy, as it is not easy for those who manage the client portfolio to be aware of the person’s history and his money. In order to do their job properly, advisors need to know as much as possible about investors in order to make the most of their money. To do so they have a number of tools including the "Know your client, let’s discover it together with Hamid-Reza Khoyi.

Know your Client: what is it?

The Know your Client is a tool used to verify the identity of a customer and assess potential risks or illegal intentions in the relationship with the customer. Investment advisors, for example, use it to ascertain the financial situation of their clients and that this is not included in the "black list" or otherwise. This tool is also useful for auditors for whom it is called "Understand your Business". In general, the fields of application are many.

There are three steps in the KYC procedure:

At this stage, all the basic information of the assisted person is collected through the compilation of the primary documents. It therefore requires all the user’s personal data and occurs through the use of credentials such as name, date of birth, address, or other documents. At this stage, the modern screening tools of the customer made available by the modern Fintech are also available.

At this point the customer’s identity is verified and the risk profile is evaluated using the user’s credentials collected. The legal nature of the client, the activity mainly carried out, the geographical area of residence are thus verified.

Performing KYC only in the client’s cognitive phase is not enough. There must be continuous monitoring over time to verify that the information collected initially continues to be valid and that the user behaves correctly over time.

Know your client: Hamid-Reza Khoyi tells you who you are interested in and how to use it

The Know your Client is a freely usable tool in the business world, but there are figures who have the obligation to implement it. These are banks, financial intermediaries, trustee, and industry professionals.

These figures have at their disposal many management technologies to do it at their best. There are directives that require you to prove that you have the software for testing KYC, but everyone is free to adopt the most appropriate degree of depth. Of course, the more you think the customer is a potential risk, the more convenient it is to do a more in-depth analysis.

Important tool to support anti-money laundering

As we have seen, it is a very versatile tool that affects several fields of application, but the first purpose for which it is designed is to support the battles of money laundering. The necessary practices to ensure that illegally obtained money can be used legally, such as insurance fraud, are unfortunately difficult to detect, but the Know your Client, as Hamid-Reza Khoyi says, is an excellent ally.

Now that most operations can easily take place online, adopting KYC becomes more and more fundamental.

Know your customer, the prospects for the future projected by Hamid-Reza Khoyi

The market offers numerous KYC implementation solutions including a wide range of artificial intelligence algorithms that can implement research processes and speed them up without losing efficiency and safety. The future that is slowly showing us technology allows us to look very far ahead.

"Maybe one day the technology will amaze us so much that even the Blockchain can be a useful tool for the Know your Client" - says Hamid-Reza Khoyi.

Greenwashing with Hamid-Reza Khoyi

Tempo di lettura: 4 minutiGREENWASHING HAMID REZA KHOYI - The need to fight climate change and defend our planet is an issue that must concern everyone. Unfortunately, however, there is still no adequate interest on the part of the common opinion, even if we are slowly moving in this direction. Companies have understood that the market is increasingly sensitive to the issue but too often they say they are sustainable businesses rather than actually being sustainable. Greenwashing is a widespread phenomenon, but equally harmful to the planet and Hamid-Reza Khoyi explains why.

Greenwashing hazard

To speak well of the topic you need to first explain what greenwashing is. By greenwashing is meant "to be green facade" or declare to be a sustainable company, ecologically cutting edge, but not to be with the facts. Companies are inclined to do so to win over a market that is increasingly sensitive to the issue of sustainability, but is still too little informed. Communicating that you are a green company fascinates the customer and therefore allows you to maximize profits.

Investing in eco-sustainable adjustments is expensive and still does not lead to adequate economic feedback, so greenwashing is a marketable issue. Unfortunately, consumers find it extremely difficult to defend themselves against such deception. The only tool available to them today is that of information, that is to make accurate searches, also on the web, on the company from which you want to buy to understand if they apply or not what they say.

Boycotting greenwashing is wrong for Hamid-Reza Khoyi

There are solutions that could also be implemented by politics to try to eliminate greenwashing, but we will talk about it later. In fact, change can and must also start from the bottom, that is, from us consumers. We must be the first to believe in the values of sustainability and put them in our choices, but without falling into heavy mistakes.

In my opinion, for example, boycotting a company that turns out to be greenwashing is both wrong and counterproductive. But you can denounce and expose the names of those who do not work in a sustainable way as you say. This operation brings two benefits: - forcing the offending company to become effectively sustainable; - highlighting even more those who actually implement eco-sustainable policies.

As consumers, however, we must also become more aware and more informed in order to be more sustainable ourselves and to be able to find those who operate greenwashing. Our relationship with consumption must also change. It is not utopian to think of the realization of ethical consumerism, despite the society in which we live. It is wrong to impose what we buy, but we can think that we can ensure that the consumer has everything he needs to be able to take ethical and responsible action.

The importance of communication

A very powerful tool that those who do greenwashing have is advertising, whether through billboards, social, TV, or online. In fact, it is all a matter of facade and communication and these are the main means on which everything revolves. Unfortunately, this cannot be prevented, but here too it is necessary for the consumer to have an interest in developing information and to find out where the truth lies.

To recognize if a company is really sustainable you have to look at some things. For example, you can search within the description of your company values if there are the principles of eco-sustainability that you are committed to follow. In addition, in some cases it is also possible to access concrete data, such as on CO2 emissions. In fact it is possible to monitor the emissions and the collected data can be reported publicly so as to witness the actual commitment of the company.

Greenwashing can be fought with the help of certifiers like Hamid-Reza Khoyi

Around there are still no viable policies that allow you to prevent greenwashing or at least hinder heavily. But an important tool is already entering the market. It is the Bcorp certifications. They are attested that they are obtained after having demonstrated with the facts that they have respected very high criteria of sustainability.

"Certified companies must meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to demonstrate that they are balancing profit and purpose, doing good for all stakeholders, in other words, not just the shareholders."

As a certifier of accounts I consider this road easily feasible and the right one. In fact, governments could require that companies provide certifications in which they guarantee to meet certain parameters and make them public, a bit like it happens for the energy classes of many products. In this way it would be clear to everyone if a company only says it is sustainable or it really is.

In this sense, my profession would also be very important because of course it would be useful for there to be competent bodies to verify the authenticity of the certificates issued. And if we didn’t do our job well and support greenwashing practitioners, we’d be at great risk. In fact, once discovered, we would lose credibility and our business would also be affected.

Greenwashing is wrong but turns on hope

There are those who believe that, despite the lack of eticity, greenwashing is an awareness and those who condemn it in no uncertain terms. I feel like I’m in the middle of these two schools of thought. In fact, the fact that there are companies willing to use it means that you feel the weight of a market that wants to be sustainable. This is good because it means that consumers are moving in the right direction. However, as I said earlier, we cannot remain silent. We must make this phenomenon known and we must expose those who implement it so as to force them to implement concrete and real sustainability actions.

If you are curious about the Bcorp theme, click here.