Corporate social responsibility according to IMA

Impronta Etica is an Italian non profit organisation for the development of a Corporate Social Responsibility culture. It was founded in 2001 by some companies located in Emilia-Romagna Region, which were already active in CSR.

The association’s mission is promoting sustainable development, creating a network between socially concerned firms and organizations which are willing to start up social accountability practices.

“A socially responsible company is a company which carries out a corporate strategy which takes into account the interests of its stakeholders, setting out its policies and its management practices, and which takes into account the economic, social and environmental impact of these activities.”

IMA joined Impronta Etica on March 2012.

The growth of a modern company goes hand-in-hand with its involvement in local issues as it is in the territory where it is rooted that it draws the energy and resources for its future development. It was once believed that with globalisation an industry’s ties with its geographical roots would be severed, but indeed it has not turned out this way at all.

For many years IMA has given practical expression to its active and disinterested solidarity by contributing to all kinds of charity, cultural and social events without any commercial goal or staked interest in mind whatsoever. Management has first and foremost been attentive to current social issues and to promoting cultural growth in general whenever deciding these sponsorships.

The company's 50-year anniversary marked a turning point in this approach. We wanted to move away from a “silent”, almost anonymous action largely decided by top-level management, to another, much more modern dimension, without a doubt far more capable of foreshadowing the role the manufacturing sector will play in the world we will be passing on down to our children.

First of all, it has to be clearly stated that whatever commitment towards society and the world at large a corporate industrial body may decide to undertake, it cannot be the responsibility of its management alone. This means that workers, regardless of their corporate function, must be directly involved in the very choice of the projects a company intends implementing, at least in the mid-term.

Bearing this in mind, a call for ideas was decided upon, each proposal submitted being subject to evaluation by an independent committee. The response was truly surprising. Almost forty projects were put forward and, of these, three were selected for implementation. Independent committee members also included representatives of Impronta Etica, a consortium that in the last ten years has tackled critical issues, also on an international level.

An approach of this kind, and real personal involvement, can favour identification in corporate goals, not least of which is to actively contribute to the sustainable growth of the global economy. That’s how IMA workers have become citizens of the world through being corporate citizens first.

 

By Daniele Vacchi