CAPUTO ANDREA – Forlì Campus
The Integrated Report: the value of corporate sustainability
For several decades, the interest in social and environmental events has increasingly influenced companies’ actions, carving out a fundamental role both in the strategic-managerial processes and in investment decisions.
The environment in which companies are operating today is particularly complex and articulated. An analysis exclusively based on capital, economic and financial parameters is not only incomplete but also misleading. In fact, it would exclude a set of non-economic factors strongly linked to business performance and its sustainability over time.
The evolution we are witnessing finds its foundations in the will of the management of the company to know all the dynamics which influence the business activities, so as to fully understand its potential and use it to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its actions, thus trying to enhance a whole series of characteristics and situations until now considered as secondary and separated from the economic dynamics.
The importance of this type of information was immediately grasped not only by the top management but by the entire business ecosystem. In fact, the emphasis that stakeholders attach to ethical, environmental and social aspects is constantly increasing. These changes in mentality and vision of the corporate landscape by investors is leading to a movement of the market in a new direction, opening new avenues, breaking existing balances and creating new opportunities for development in markets with large margins for growth.
Understanding the importance of this type of thinking that integrates financial and non-financial information led to the spontaneous formation of international Committees and Councils, composed of representatives of the most important companies and institutions worldwide. The goal was to establish guidelines, principles and frameworks that could unify and make comparable data and reports which, so far, have been published independently and unevenly by companies.
All the positive externalities of such documents were also evident, deriving from their use and implementation. National legislators and supranational bodies have therefore begun a manoeuvre of direction and support in favour of this new so-called integrated thinking. Although still poorly developed, it clarifies the opinion of the legislators and the direction they intend to take in the coming years.