Because managers also need to go back to school, about sustainability

The long period of scorching heat has made it clear to everyone how the indiscriminate use of the planet’s resources cannot continue and how it is important to identify a development model that guarantees one management manager of productive cyclerespecting the interests of all those who come into contact with economic actors and no longer focused only on maximizing economic profit.

We are finally realizing thatbusiness it is not a simple projection of an individual property right but an entity that produces wealth and which involve not only the interests of the shareholders (shareholders), but also of all these subjects (stakeholders) which has economic relations with it (primarily that workersbut also suppliers, financiers, institutions and local communities).

Big has been in recent yearsAttention of European institutions on these issues, both through specific interventions aimed at ensuring the sustainability above all of environmental resources (such as for fisheries limited only to adult specimens, or for an intelligent exploitation of food resources or cultivation of forest heritage with reintegration of the roof units) both through the recent proposal for the adoption of two directives which concerns preparation of company accountsnow enriched with non-financial information, andduty of supervisionwhich hangs over top management.

This is a consideration that is only seemingly taken for granted, then, once you are fully awareirreplaceable economic and social role which the company carries out is fatal for unions to abandon an antagonistic role and accept a sharing of responsibility according to the participation model developed in Germany in the last century and which is spreading across the continent, also thanks to EU legislation.

And it is also in this way that the classical arguments from participation (as sharing of results and attention to protection of workers’ health), but also the questions of sustainabilitynamely the preference for renewable energyattention to materials and production processes that allow the maintenance ofenvironmental balance, to avoid a strange use of resources that are not inexhaustible. Therefore, we return to discuss corporate social responsibilityas a representation of productive activity, not only limited to the economic aspects, but also open to other non-financial indicators of well-being, such as the suppression of discrimination, the protection of the welfare of workers, respect for the rights of all trades that even in developing countries participate in the production chain , purchases the raw material or prepares semi-finished products.

Big has been in recent yearsAttention of European institutions on these issues, both through specific interventions aimed at ensuring the sustainability above all of environmental resources (such as for fisheries limited only to adult specimens, or for an intelligent exploitation of food resources or cultivation of forest heritage with reintegration of the roof units) both through the recent proposal for the adoption of two directives which concerns preparation of company accountsnow enriched with non-financial information, andduty of supervisionwhich hangs over top management.

In the first sense, on the basis of a proposal for a European directive, the so-called The directive on corporate sustainability (CSDR) 2021/0104 of 21 April 2021, the budget regulations must be updated, which extends communication obligations affects companies to a wide range of ESG aspects (that is: environmental, social and governance) regarding the production activity, the business and strategic model, the risks to which the companies themselves are exposed.

On the other hand, the control obligations according to the proposal for the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive of 23 February 2022, COM(2022) 71 final, 2022/0051 have been significantly expanded to identify effects actual or potential negative effects of the company’s activity on human rights and onenvironment. These are changes that also involve aspects of the organization of the company itself, integration of the approach in the organization of human resources, establishment and maintenance of a internal complaint procedureas well as monitoring the effectiveness of policies and measures due diligence adopted, including through public declarations.

Both proposals, designed for companies of greater economic importance, therefore aim for a robust proposal integration of responsibility of top management, called for an increasingly comprehensive and in-depth control of the overall organization of the value chains that lead to the final product being brought to the markets of the most developed countries. In this way, we try to curb the phenomenon that was once widespread above all in multinational contexts (but now also taken over by many local realities), which leads to a tendency of irresponsibility of economic entities for all the choices that are located “upstream” and “downstream” of the production segment they monitor.

Naturally, the most delicate aspect of these innovations is represented by the difficulty of identify procedures from enforcement (or the “effectiveness”) of the disciplines also voluntarily adopted, since it is clear howantagonism from interests between shareholders may not always be able to ensure compliance with external legislation, such as that intended to protect interests per definition outside the shareholder structure, such as stakeholders. The point is indeed central and requires, first of all, to fully assess whether it is current forecasts about the subject criminal relevance of false corporate communications they cannot be extended also at non-financial accounts. However, the effect of these innovations cannot be minimized either, insofar as an expansion of top management’s responsibilities can lead to, in the form of behavior of omission, making it relevant to refrain from monitoring and intervening in situations that he too has declared that he wishes to respect (so to make a examplethe sole director of a large textile company could be held responsible for the violations of workers’ rights that occurred in Indian or Bengali territory).

At the same time, it must not be forgotten that in recent years, albeit in sectors adjacent to those mentioned so far, a strong recovery of the activity of administrative supervision about the subject occupationespecially in connection with protection of health he was born in contrast to undeclared workso much so that not only the staff and competences of the national labor inspectorate have been significantly increased, but also in Europe a ground-breaking “European Labor Authority” has been established based in Bratislava to coordinate the activity of administrative labor inspection, in particular to control , that companies which take advantage of the rights of free movement, have a real right to them and, on the other hand, do not constitute organizations that are only fictitiously based in other countries of the European Union.

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