In 2016, benefit corporations were introduced in Italy as firms that exercise an eco-nomic activity with the objective of sharing profits while pursuing common-benefit purposes and operating in a responsible, sustainable and transparent manner. The empirical analysis carried out on the population of 305 firms depicted a niche phe-nomenon, where benefit corporations are mainly start-ups or very small enterprises operating in the service industry and based in the north of Italy or in the main cities. These firms hardly follow the reporting practices required by regulation, as the large majority produce short reports without clear plans explaining how to put the com-mon benefit into operation. Furthermore, the reports rarely present key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the firms' sustainability performance and impacts on the environment and society. This analysis sheds light on the need for future research aimed at answering the question if benefit corporations actually “walk the talk” or if this new form of business presents higher risks of value-action gaps.

Le società Benefit in Italia: un’analisi sulla diffusione e sulle prassi di rendicontazione

Silvia Cantele
;
Bettina Campedelli
2021

Abstract

In 2016, benefit corporations were introduced in Italy as firms that exercise an eco-nomic activity with the objective of sharing profits while pursuing common-benefit purposes and operating in a responsible, sustainable and transparent manner. The empirical analysis carried out on the population of 305 firms depicted a niche phe-nomenon, where benefit corporations are mainly start-ups or very small enterprises operating in the service industry and based in the north of Italy or in the main cities. These firms hardly follow the reporting practices required by regulation, as the large majority produce short reports without clear plans explaining how to put the com-mon benefit into operation. Furthermore, the reports rarely present key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the firms' sustainability performance and impacts on the environment and society. This analysis sheds light on the need for future research aimed at answering the question if benefit corporations actually “walk the talk” or if this new form of business presents higher risks of value-action gaps.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1053679
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