Interview to Rossella Sobrero
CRS is a very discussed topic in the world of enterprises. In your opinion, does CSR in Italy find the same response when it is to be applied to internal management and decisional policies of an organization? Is it still felt CRS can only be considered a cost for the business companies?
The problem is, first of all, cultural. In Italy, just few were the initiatives with the aim to make the awareness to adopt CSR strategies as an investment bringing positive results grow in the world of enterprise. Only in the last years the idea it is worthful to invest in sustainability has been affirming itself: and this because the economic feedback can be both in a short and in a long term.
Furthermore, it is not already understood some initiatives of CSR can be realized without added costs or sustaining low resources. Initiatives able to make better the corporate climate, actions of voluntaty work of enterprise, projects in order to optimize the logistics etc. can bring great results with a bit of effort.
At the same time, the awareness it exists a strong relationship between social responsibility and risks management is affirming itself. The theme of reputation is absolutely current (see also the recent case VW) because as today we know enterprises are easily exposed to criticism.
It can be said CSR in Italy means bringing innovation, why it can be considered innovative?
In the opinion of many enterprises choosing strategies respectful of the environment still represents an innovation. Many studies demonstrated management of an enterprise should adopt principles of CSR with a positive effect on the capacity of innovation of the organization itself. Particularly, the awareness that – in order to make business – it is important the creation of a structured dialogue with the stakeholders has been growing. Some enterprises are starting with a serious comparison with stakeholders and influencers which allows them to innovate their processes and products thanks to the growth of the level of competences and knowledge of an organization. This is true for the sustainable management of the chain, for the reduction of environment impact of some processes and for the valorization of diversity etc.
Adopting this kind of approach brings positive results in plans of development of the enterprise because the logic is the one of collaboration and not the one of contrast. Giving entrance to the opinions of the stakeholders in the organization means opening to new opportunities: not only more incentives useful to the reinforcement of the chain of the value, but also an increasement of the human capital and of the level of confidence.
In your opinion, which can be the contribute of the scientific research to the world of enterprises?
Scientific research is doing great steps and enterprises of every sector should sustain it. Talking about research in the communication field, we know new technologies allowed to manage in a new way reactions of stakeholders with a level of interaction unimaginable until few years ago. Furthermore, collaborations among profit and no profit subjects can be translated into co-creation processes: for example, thanks to the exchange of knowledge and complementary visions, some problems can be solved joining together different skills.
The consultancy world can represent a medium between research and effective application in the company of a CSR system sustainable and responsible?
I believe an external subject, if competent and prepared, can help the company to set, manage and develop a project towards CSR. Obviously, in a relationship among more partners and not between a client and a services supplier.
Rossella Sobrero for many years she has been dealing with social communication, CSR, sustainability. She co-founded and President of Koinètica, she teaches Public and Social Communication at University of Studies of Milan and Non Conventional Marketing at Catholic University of Milan. She designs and manages social communication project and training courses for public and private institutions. She is part of the Consiglio di Amministrazione della Fondazione Pubblicità Progresso and of the Consiglio Direttivo Nazionale di FERPI (Italian Federation of Public Relations). She collaborates with numerous magazines, she publishing many volumes about CSR and social communication. She has created and managed the blog “CSR e Dintorni” dedicated to corporate social responsibility and social communication.