“The future depends on what we do in the present”, Gandhi said. Today, aided by the renewed awareness brought by the pandemic, Barabino & Partners decides to embark on a new path of transformation, setting out to become a Benefit company.
In a context in which sustainability, n its three declinations, environmental, social and governance, becomes a pillar of the future development of brands and companies, our company takes an important step. This is a natural evolution of the social and environmental commitment we have been making since the 1990s, in 2020, the year of resilience, and in 2021, the year of sharing.
What does it mean for us to become a Benefit company? It means embracing a new idea of the company and of doing business. Formalizing the realization that “business should not only think about itself but about the whole ecosystem around it”, as Luca Barabino noted in conversation with Forbes back in May 2020. Make a commitment to place profit goals next to – because for businesses to be useful to the social, economic and developmental system, they must be profitable – the aim of having a positive impact on society and the biosphere.
For our society, it is a matter of crystallizing a profound conviction: we need to reinterpret the pursuit of profit as we have traditionally known it. We need to redefine its contours from the perspective of “just profit”, as Barabino asserted as far back as pre-pandemic times, so that the company itself can play a useful role in the market, in the territory and in the communities of reference – towards customers, employees, collaborators and interns, but also supporters and suppliers first and foremost – in relation to environmental and social issues.
This is why we decided to formalize the start of the transformation process of Barabino & Partners into a Benefit company, with the consulting support of PwC and PwC TLS. A process that, naturally, will see us engaged for a long time and will evolve the very “identity card” of Barabino & Partners. The group’s corporate charter will become an expression of a business activity shifting in the direction of a management that is not only profitable, but also responsibly committed to defined goals.
Our historical and current approach is based on the idea that the enterprise should contribute to the creation of goals, which for too long have been translated primarily into spending power, leaving out instead the aspects related to relationship and empathy, attention to people’s well-being and the preservation of the environment, as well as to the conditions under which the activities – in the sense of sharing, climate and belonging – of the enterprise are carried out. There is an inverse proportionality between income and happiness such that, above a certain threshold, as income increases, happiness understood as a condition of physical and mental well-being decreases.
What can generate a positive impact on well-being? An atypical good, that is too often perceived as a “cost” in terms of time and money: relationship. Yet, it is the lifeblood of civil society in all its dimensions. Establishing, cultivating, growing, and enhancing relationships has always been Barabino & Partners’s mission, aware of their immense generative value of opportunities, growth, integration, and innovation, which is even stronger today.
Becoming a benefit company will mean having a positive impact as a goal and, above all, rediscovering a purpose that is not extraneous, but rather ingrained in our DNA that will guide B&P’s future strategic choices in compliance with the principles of responsibility, sustainability and rigorous and ethical behaviour.
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