Beltrame Group also chooses ESIndex® for Sustainability.
We talk about this with Valerio Forti, EHS Director & Security Manager of Beltrame Group. He is also the leader of “Shaping the Future,” the sustainability project of this historic Italian steel group. Since we started working with AFV Beltrame on Embedded Sustainability, Dr. Forti has been our main interlocutor.
Now that a first significant part of the journey together has been completed, we have interviewed him. First of all to collect his and his collaborators’ impressions about the experience made during the analysis of their current status with our ESIndex®. Then we asked what value the company has drawn from the Preliminary Report elaborated by our experts. We wanted to understand how this has helped the Group to acquire a vision of sustainability that was more effective in supporting Beltrame in the achievement of its objectives. Here is how it went.
Q: Dr. Forti: first of all, what led you to choose Exsulting’s Embedded Sustainability Index® to deepen the Group’s sustainability vision and positioning with respect to Materiality?
A: We have been on the path to sustainability for several years, but based on actions and initiatives that weren’t always framed in a systemic vision. Most of the time they were mainly related to environmental or circular economy projects. At the end of 2019 we launched the Shaping the Future project, to give unity and promote the theme of sustainability. To reset the path we wanted to find a tool that would allow us to measure ourselves and then guide us through the various steps in an integrated way. I had the opportunity to participate in a presentation of the Embedded Sustainability Index®. I immediately considered it to be an excellent tool. It gives an objective indication to the company, briefly describing the aspects related to uncertainty (risks/opportunities) and resilience. ESIndex® is inspired by the ISO 26000 and ISO 31000 Guidelines and allows to get a global rating and trace the way to the next steps of our project.
A team for the test
Q: To take the initial ESIndex® self-test you have formed an internal team, which is in our opinion the best way to do it. How was it to compare the experience and the point of view on the company of the group members during the evaluation of the factors?
A: Embedded Sustainability must touch all areas and business processes, so we have created two inter-functional committees within the company, one more strategic (SSC – Steering Sustainability Committee) and one more operational (OSC – Operational Sustainability Committee). The self-assessment was carried out by involving members of the operational committee (e.g. EHS, Energy, Human Resources, Management Systems, Finance and Controlling, Communication). This made possible to adopt the various points of view on the company of the figures involved. It was a moment that allowed us to compare and align ourselves, also on the terminology to be used.
A clear and unique indicator
Q: How has ESIndex® for Sustainability changed your understanding of Embedded Sustainability during the assessment process?
A: In my opinion, the way it is built, ESIndex® allows you to clearly focus on the relationship between uncertainty, risk and resilience of an organization. The tool expresses the result with a single, unambiguous and clear number, which provides a precise indication of the degree of sustainability of the company. In particular, the experience with ESIndex® has allowed us to understand the need to integrate sustainability management in every process if we want to improve the overall performance of the company.
The Preliminary Report and the first Actions
Q: You subsequently obtained the Preliminary Report on ESIndex® for Sustainability. It is a strategic and pre-operational tool that indicates the main strengths and critical points. In addition to the priorities of intervention and a series of suggestions on the first concrete actions to be implemented. Did you find the output of the analysis satisfactory compared to your expectations?
A: Yes, I found the analysis largely satisfactory. The Preliminary Report allowed us to reflect on the overall vision proposed by the self-assessment of the Index. In a simple and schematic way we found the essential information on the materiality map and various strategic indications gathered together. This is useful to support the Company in the process of reflection and decision making for the implementation of Embedded Sustainability. In particular, the next actions that we will introduce on the basis of the suggestions that have emerged concern:
- the review of stakeholder mapping, with a specific assessment of the relevance and degree of mutual influence, i.e. the ability to influence the objectives of the company
- the deepening of the materiality analysis, pointing to key Threats and Opportunities able to influence the capacity of the company to achieve its objectives and generate the desired Value.
A different Point of View
Q: Is there any indication that you found particularly useful or surprising, compared to your previous knowledge of the company and its materiality?
A: I would say that the Report confirmed what we already knew but allowing us to look at it with new eyes, with a different perspective. We are aware that we are at the beginning of a structured path and we operate in a complex sector with important material aspects (e.g. energy management, health, safety, supply chain management). Consequently, the overall integration of Sustainability in the company’s processes, starting from the definition of strategies and objectives, needs to be improved. We need to find a sustainability business case for the company that goes beyond the issues already touched on, for example, by circular economy projects.
Promoting a Sense of Urgency
Q: How has the Preliminary Report helped you as a leader and the Company focus the strategy for the future of your sustainability program?
A: The Report, combined with its presentation to Beltrame’s top management, has helped to promote a sense of urgency in defining a global sustainability strategy and, above all, to make it clear how Strategy, Vision and Sustainability should be integrated and proceed in parallel.
A Team’s job
Q: As a user of the service and an expert on sustainability “in the field,” would you like to suggest something that you think could improve the user experience when using our ESIndex®?
A: I think the way it is proposed is the ideal one: a short introduction without entering too much into the mechanisms and algorithm of calculation. Then the Preliminary Report commenting on the output. I suggest to take the self-test in a collegial way with more subjects who are competent about the factors scored in the ESIndex®.
Recommended to all Businesses
Q: Is there any advice that you would give to a colleague, manager or entrepreneur, who is considering taking the Embedded Sustainability path, with or without the Embedded Sustainability Index®, but perhaps hesitates or doesn’t know whether to prioritize it?
A: Personally, I would advise any company to start the path or, at least, start immediately with the self-assessment of the Embedded Sustainability Index®. The result could be surprising and suggest a new judgement on the need to undertake the path towards Integrated Sustainability. Even for companies considering themselves already structured on the subject,
Straight to the point
Clear, straight and essential words from a manager engaged every day “in the field”. Such words clearly explain why AFV Beltrame Group also chooses ESIndex® for sustainability. Such words are the best commentary on our ongoing experience with an important Group with a complex but essential activity in the Circular Economy.
We can only thank Valerio Forti for the time he has dedicated to us. With him we thank Antonella Ciscato, Group Communication Manager, for her collaboration in the interview and the precious material provided.
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