Governance: the theme of Sustainability Week

Governance. This is the word upon which Confindustria Veneto Est (the assembly of the entrepreneurs from Padua, Treviso, Venice and Rovigo) built the Sustainability Week, an entire week dedicated to sustainable development, which this year has come to its third edition. A growing success of visitors and meetings – 47 dates all open to the public, in four days, from 19 to 22 March, at Mogliano Veneto, with more than 5500 subscriptions to the events, workshops and meetings also with secondary school students, with 300 young people involved, coming from the four districts.

Governance – as the G often forgotten in the fundamental ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) that is to say, the three milestones to check, measure and support the commitment to sustainability of a company or an organization. In fact, even when the environmental and social levels are at the core of the schedule and planning one thing is often underestimated: that without Governance we cannot have sustainability. Or better, we cannot have good sustainability. With an organization able to promote inclusivity, gender equality, transparency – one that is attentive to the improvement of social and environmental performances.

“Sustainability is a road with no turning back” declared Mr Leopoldo Destro, president of Confindustria Veneto Est. “It involves everyone, companies, communities and people, with the investment of extraordinary resources and deep social and economic changes tied by the transition processes” he added, explaining how the philosophy of the initiative is the debate and the education of different subjects on the territory, so as to get to a common vision of the future, where there could be an inclusive and sustainable social wellness.

“Governance -explained Walter Bettin, vice-president of Confindustria Veneto Est and deputy of ESG – could look an issue for specialists, however it touches themes that are very significative in any organization, be it a company, a public administration, a bank”. In fact, the themes debated in this third edition have aroused great interest: job contracts and human resources, prevention of environmental, geopolitical and financial risks, management and report of information, European norms, greenwashing, infrastructure, gender politics, gender gap, violence on women, involvement of the stakeholders, sustainable supply chain, over-indebtedness of collaborators, decarbonization, safety on job places, sustainable mobility, energy, 231 model, emissions reduction, eco design …. “All themes on which in each company people should focus and make those who decide choose for adequate instruments” added Mr Bertin.

The Sustainability Week has also been the occasion to forward the survey “Which companies speak of and practise sustainability? How and how much do they talk about it?” carried out by Fondazione Nord Est for Proetica, the association of Confindustria Veneto Est and the Order of the Chartered Accountants of Treviso, Padua, Venice and Rovigo. Information have been collected from the websites of 18.491 manufacturing companies (joint stock companies with more than 3 million in revenues) of Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy. The outcome is that almost half of the surveyed companies decide to mention sustainability in their website but only 17,1% mention Governance. Among those, the majority are large companies. According to Gianluca Toschi, Senior Researcher of Fondazione Nord Est  “The survey reveals five categories with different intensity grades. The first is made by companies that speaks of health and job safety, in particular mentioning ISO 45001, with a small subgroup that also mentions the ethical code, the social balance, Sa800 certification.

In the second group there are the websites speaking of governance, with “ethical code” and “231 model”. The third group adds Sustainability Report and Benefit Society. In the fourth, companies just forward the ethical code; in the fifth there is also the legality rating”.

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