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The path towards business sustainability

A good book that provides the essential cognitive elements needed to understand a complex topic always in evolution.

Business as “the driving force behind a culture of sustainability”, able to touch all aspects of civil life. A goal that while not easy, it is not impossible to accomplish, and Chiara Mio, professor in Business Economics at the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice as well as member of several boards of directors, discusses the way to reach it.

With L’azienda sostenibile (The sustainable company), Mio succeeds in condensing what has been achieved in the field of business sustainability in not too many pages. Starting from a basic assumption: respect for people and the environment must be at the heart of a company that looks to the future. A condition that involves all the actors of the social and productive system, including, therefore, institutions as well as individual workers.

The investigation starts by clarifying what is meant by sustainability and continues by stating how it is “the author’s conviction (…) that companies can act, in this historic period, as real drivers of the transition towards sustainability.”

The book is structured in five chapters. The first addresses the basic concepts concerning sustainability from an economic-corporate perspective. The second analyses the role of the State as a vehicle for “sustainable principles and objectives”, as well as for the “search of better ways for companies to carry out economic processes through business models.” and then goes on to examine the “potential contribution of consumers to sustainable development.” The fourth chapter, on the other hand, summarises the circular economy, while the fifth looks at “sustainable finance” as well as at the economic-financial indicators for a correct identification of business sustainability.

Each chapter – and this is one of the intriguing features of this work – also includes real-life “cases”, such as those of Erg, OVS, Treedom, Alessi, Unilever Italia, Piovan, Unipol, in addition to theoretical aspects.

Chiara Mio’s book makes for very useful reading for anyone who wishes to gain a clear and reliable opinion on such a complex and ever-changing topic. To be read and annotated.

L’azienda sostenibile (The sustainable company)

Chiara Mio

Laterza, 2021