Image by Noah Buscher


Maria Ludovica Montanari

While executives all over the world are preparing for what is awaited to be the deepest economic recession since the Great Depression, talking about Sustainability standards seems utopian.

Anyhow, whilst many of you will associate the above-mentioned term with the concept of ecological development, Sustainability has a far broader domain: it is the endurance of a system or a process, its ability to exist constantly - as well as coexisting with biosphere - and it can be referred to almost any challenge that we’re currently facing, even the most cluster-specific ones. 

Start looking around yourself, and you will notice how good actions and practices often give birth to virtuous circles. Innovative products lead to cash-flows that allow their producers to invest in R&D, leading to more innovative products. Firms that have good relationships with customers increase their employees’ work satisfaction, leading to better relationships with customers. Well designed urban areas lead to better quality of life, greater economic activity and higher property values, bringing to higher tax revenues, that can help improve the areas even more. 

In fact, during an interview that took place in May, Ada Rosa Balzan (our latest woman crush), an italian counselor and expert on sustainability strategies and the inventor of SI rating - a rating on sustainability impact of businesses on Environmental, Social and Governance matters - explained that in order to make a company sustainable, you shall always start from the strengths you already possess, combining them to the problems, necessities and characteristics of the cluster around your business to make the greatest possible impact on your operational and geographical zone. Indeed, she reveals, “Businesses are often far more sustainable than they think they are”, they shall just focus on their pivotal aspects, to invest more funds and efforts on them, either to start or - in this peculiar historical moment - to restart. Looking at the current situation in Italy, she explained, industries that are taking the lead in this respect are certainly those that have international import-export contacts, for whom the sustainability question comes from a market full of awareness, in which consumers care more about the respectfulness of what they buy. Food, Wine and Fashion are paradigmatic. 

To conclude, Sustainability can be all summed up by “doing well by doing good in our area”, and even if we're not going to shift the world’s course alone, while standing together and veering our perspectives to create a shared growth within our surroundings, we can finally “be the change that we want to see around us”.