Speaking of Corporate Social Responsibility, the European Commission defines it as the responsibility and awareness of companies of their impact on society. “Precisely for this reason – explains Andrea Mezzadri, professor of business economics at the Catholic University – it is increasingly appropriate for companies to adopt internal processes that integrate social, environmental and ethical issues with a dual objective. On the one hand, creating value for both shareholders and all stakeholders who gravitate around the company; on the other hand, understand the impacts of one’s work in order to increase or encourage the positive ones and to limit or cancel any negative ones “.
This is even more evident for sports clubs, whose relationship with the territory is a fundamental and constitutive element, often integrated into the corporate mission. “It is important that CSR activities are shared as much as possible and reported both inside and outside the company – continues Professor Mezzadri -. The first step to obtain a consistent and aware CSR is undoubtedly the definition and mapping of the stakeholders. We must ask ourselves which are the most relevant subjects for the company and with whom we interact most frequently “. It is the identification of the “who”, the definition of a stakeholder map in which the stakeholders are classified according to the level of interest they have in the company and the level of influence they have on it. In this way the essential ones are identified, which it is absolutely necessary to involve, and those that are desirable or weak, which it is appropriate or necessary to involve.
After reflecting on the “who”, it is necessary to identify the “what”, ie the most relevant aspects on which to focus the CSR activity. That is, those that most reflect the impacts of the organization and that influence the perception and judgment of stakeholders. “In a project with a major player in the construction sector – says Professor Mezzadri – we have identified as priorities the issues of safety and quality of the work carried out, compliance with regulations, selection of suppliers and attention to environmental effects , on which the attention of the top management will therefore have to focus in the future. All this through an accurate series of interviews and focus groups, conducted with internal managers and representatives of external stakeholders “.
Establishing continuous communication with all stakeholders is absolutely essential, especially those who play a key role. One of the most effective tools is the sustainability report, not surprisingly used more and more worldwide, also thanks to the growing diffusion of the GRI standard (Global reporting initiative) for its preparation. “In a document of this type – concludes Professor Mezzadri – the organization talks about itself, measures and reports to its stakeholders the objectives to be achieved in the field of CSR and the activities developed to do so. The sustainability report allows the construction and consolidation of a strong social consensus around the company. And, if well managed, it can become a fundamental element of the strategy».