“From co-habitation to co-planning, this is the goal for companies involved with the territory and local communities,” concluded Amapola partner Sergio Vazzoler as he closed the webinar on Wednesday 21 September for an expert public of members of CSR Manager Network, Italy’s national association of professionals involved with management of corporate socio-environmental and sustainability issues, of which our CEO Luca Valpreda is a member.
At the heart of the virtual meeting was an analysis of the growing importance of relations with local communities, followed by the presentation of AmapoLAB, Amapola’s local community “engagement” project, a toolbox with listening and communication tools for companies hoping to leverage the full potential of the territory.
The large number of participants at the webinar showed great interest in the case study of a company that has been using the AmapoLAB methodology for the last two years: Solvay, an international chemicals group active in 52 countries with 26,000 employees, whose Solvay LAB, developed in the Piedmontese town of Spinetta Marengo (near Alessandria), was selected last year as the best international practice by its head office in Brussels.
“Far-sighted managers should take a step towards local residents in the belief that they can learn a lot from them, whereas local communities should get rid of the often negative prejudices against business organisations, so that an open, constructive dialogue can be built between the two sides,” commented Sergio Vazzoler.
Building positive relations with the territory and local communities generates advantages for all concerned:
• The business organisation, as an acknowledged key interlocutor, will win growing attention and interest from institutions, people, employees and intermediaries in local government and development decisions;
• The local community will gain not only jobs and wealth from the presence of the company, but also subsidiarity and attention to its needs.
The webinar is part of the packed calendar of events for members of CSR Manager Network – webinars, workshops and conferences – creating a competence development laboratory, where experiences and best practices, from Italy and abroad, can be shared and new models, approaches and regulations can be examined. The network, with more than one hundred CSR professionals, is chaired by Fulvio Rossi and promoted by the ALTIS business school of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan) and by the ISVI institute for corporate values. Since 2016 it has represented Italy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.