Not a day goes by without someone reminding us that the future of the economy in general and of businesses in particular will be increasingly linked to two key words: sustainability e digital. Two concepts with which over the last few years all citizens have learned to be familiar, leaving the small circle of professionals. Luckily.
The future is ours, of each one of us, and the more we are aware of the need for certain choices we face the better it will be for our destiny and that of the planet.
And therefore: sustainability, first of all. We have already talked about it in two previous articles. Even before being an action plan, it is now an inalienable moral duty. We can now say that there has been a real turning point. Until recently, talking about sustainable businesses, sustainable economics, was a topic for conferences and philosophers. From idealists. Now it has become a theme and a principle to which businesses flourish.
I cite two very significant examples in particular. Business roundtable e Blackrock. It is possible that these two names mean nothing to most people. Yet, those who deal with economic-financial and corporate matters know well that they constitute two realities of great weight, for different reasons.
The first is a sort of association that brings together the CEOs of the largest companies in the United States and explores issues relating to the life and management of companies and their mission in society. The second is perhaps the most important investment fund in the world (certainly among the largest: today it manages around € 6,6 billion) with stakes in a myriad of the most important companies.
They are certainly among the top institutions of the economic and financial establishment worldwide. Well, both share the attention they are increasingly dedicating to the issue of sustainability: the conviction that a change of pace is increasingly urgent, a cultural leap to put the environmental issue, the issue of social responsibility and that of governance, that is the company organization, at the center of interests, which takes them into account.
There is an acronym, ESG which summarizes all this: it stands for Environment (Environment), Social (Social), Governance (Organization) and in the economic-financial language it labels companies and investments that are sensitive to these issues.
One might think that such institutions are inspired by very different values: profit at any cost, whatever it costs. If, on the other hand, they are decisively heading in that direction, it means that we are really experiencing the consequences of a change.
Maybe it will also be a bit instrumental in not losing ground (the so-called green-washing), but the important thing is that it happens.
Digital, then. A huge world. Now digital is an integral part of everyone's life. The first Iphone model is from 2007. It seems a century ago, but today we entrust an important part of our life to smartphones. It is the interface with a gigantic world of opportunities (and also of problems, mind you, but this is not the place to talk about it).
We well know how digital is helping us to work and continue school from home, shopping online and much more during these horrible months of pandemic. To maintain relationships. Intangible yes, but always better than nothing.
Well, why this attention to two words? Because I think they are an indispensable reference scheme for our Tuscan territory.
From BlackRock's global vision to the local one of Tuscany, the concepts must be exactly the same at the basis of economic activity.
In Tuscany we have some more advantages. Environmental (and artistic) treasures, which we must protect. We think of the economic and cultural value that certain agricultural but also artisanal and manufacturing productions of the highest quality have. Our companies constitute a productive and economic fabric often of excellence and have only to gain by placing sustainability at the center, that is, the preservation and enhancement of the territory. I believe that there is already a good sensitivity on this.
Instead we need to do more digitally. Winning certain, albeit understandable, resistance to investing, to teaming up as well. Finding the solutions that make those companies even more efficient organizations, able to expand their market to an increasingly supranational dimension. It is not easy, but it is inevitable.
Investing in sustainability and digital is one of the key factors for the Tuscan economy to bring the future even more on its side.