11 April 2019
“There is no doubt that sustainability has now become a business asset,” said EcoAge founder Livia Firth, speaking during the “Sustainability as business value creation” panel discussion organised by Tendercapital at Salone del Risparmio in Milan. “It’s on everyone’s lips, from the Central Bank of America to all the highest profile CEOs. We need to start thinking about the impact our investments have on communities. If we don’t focus on that, we’ll be exposing our investors to enormous risks.” Tendercapital chairman Moreno Zani also spoke on the panel: “In recent years companies have realised that investing in socially responsible activities or taking steps to benefit the environment can generate important returns in terms of investment, particularly because the investors’ customers are keenly focused on where their money is going.”
Also speaking at the event were Carlo Capasa, the President of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, top model Eva Herzigova and Rossana Orlandi, one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in Italian design and lifestyle. Capasa commented on a study carried out by the National Chamber of Italian Fashion and McKinsey on department stores in 25 countries, according to which 90% of brands chosen will be sustainable within ten years. “This acceleration will cut out anyone who fails to adopt sustainability criteria,” said Capasa. “70% of consumers are now willing to spend more for a sustainable product. Sustainability is going to be one of the main drives in the future fashion industry. We represent all the main Italian fashion brands, except Dolce & Gabbana, who generate over half of the total revenue in the sector. All our companies are also creating positive behavioural guidelines which will have knock-on effects across the entire industry.”
But how is it possible, with sustainable projects, to deliver results to stakeholders who want to maximise their profits? “We need to promote a culture of sustainability and explain that – thanks to this culture – results can increase and continue to increase in the long term,” explained Firth. “Look at what big companies like Unilever and Kering have done. I’ve become a lot more aware thanks to my children. When you’re responsible for others, you ask yourself what you’re going to leave behind for them. Is it going to be a world where they can live in peace? I want to pass on the values of sustainability. We must do this for the future generations.”
Indeed, many companies are adopting a circular economy approach based on recycling and zero waste. “It’s very important that design looks at the whole production cycle,” explained Orlandi. “It needs to understand what materials are being used and what the recycling possibilities are. We need to reinvent, recycle and rethink materials – we need informed design.”
Within the context of sustainable investments, ESG Tendercapital offers a range of funds focusing on the world of biotechnology, sustainable agriculture and green energy.