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Efficient sustainability

A recently-published online paper helps to clarify the relationship between sustainable business and ethical business

 

Doing business for more than just profit alone: this is now a well-established approach within a large proportion of production organisations. And yet it is a concept that needs to be confirmed in practice, and which always finds new reasons for being. As such, “Sostenibilità e Impresa: una Sfida per il Futuro nell’Ottica di una Maggiore Competitività” (Sustainability and business: a challenge for the future with a view to increasing competitiveness) – a paper by Vincenza Vota (from the Department of Economics at the Università degli Studi dell’Insubria), recently published in Economia Aziendale Online – Business and Management Sciences International Quarterly Review,is a useful read.

Vota presents an argument that links and explores in more depth the connection between sustainable business conduct and corporate social responsibility. The starting point of the paper is the statement that “sustainability is not only a tool for reducing the distortions created by modern capitalist systems; in today’s society, it also represents an opportunity for the creation of value, and a factor in increased competitiveness”. In other words, companies are not “sustainable” because they are “good”, but rather because they use this approach to gain a better position in the market, and thus achieve greater efficiency.

According to Vincenza Vota, however, the concept of sustainability has become inextricably entwined with that of business ethics. This had led to ethically and socially responsible behaviour becoming welded to sustainable corporate actions.

The aim of this paper, then, is to “investigate, defining the key traits of a new business model according to which there can be no creation of value without taking the environmental and social context of reference into consideration, beyond the mere economic profile.” Vota thus provides an outline of “a model in which non-financial communication tools assume a particular importance”, able to “monitor and communicate the sustainability objectives pursued by companies”. After highlighting that the social and environmental reports produced by companies are two of the best ways to explain sustainability and business ethics in a comprehensible and complete manner, Vota concludes by emphasising how consumers and the social context in which a company operates have played a decisive role in the evolution of the goals of a business.

Vincenza Vota’s paper thus condenses a complex subject that is still evolving into just a few pages.

Sostenibilità e Impresa: una Sfida per il Futuro nell’Ottica di una Maggiore Competitività (Sustainability and business: a challenge for the future with a view to increasing competitiveness)

Vincenza Vota

Economia Aziendale Online – Business and Management Sciences International Quarterly Review Vol. 11-4/2020