Published on December 16, 2019

Ethical and sustainable profits

By Francesco Signor, Corporate Communication Manager Viasat Group

Shortly after last August the 15th, the Business Roundtable, a large Corporate America association with over 180 companies employing ten million people, has partially revisited one of its core principles through a website announcement. Business Roundtable’s ‘statement of principle’ bluntly says that ‘the purpose of a company cannot be reduced to the mere profit of its shareholders’. From such a new perspective, contribution and responsibilities towards employees, suppliers, environment and society are at the heart of companies’ mission. Investors are, therefore, only one of the 5 stakeholders that companies have to take into account in their activities. In fact, the business world has been changing for years now. “Leading companies are investing in their employees and communities – said Jamie Dimon, President and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co and President of the Business Roundtable – because they know it is the only way to achieve long-term success. These modern principles reflect the unwavering commitment of our business world to guide our economy at the service of all Americans”. If companies need to protect the environment by adopting sustainable behaviours, ensuring their employees’ dignity and respect, encouraging diversity and inclusion and not pursuing profit at any costs, ethics and morality are not the only reasons. According to Morningstar data, as at 30 June 2019, the assets invested in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) funds grew at three times the speed in comparison to the traditional ones (7%, against the 2% recorded by other sectors). Sustainability is an essential prerequisite for increasing profits, maximizing earnings for shareholders and creating value for companies. It is no coincidence that, for 12 years, the story of Viasat Group has also been told through its Social Report, describing our commitment, the will to expand our boundaries in the search for ‘sustainable’ business models (economic, social and environmental) and taking care of the expectations of all stakeholders, whose interests intertwine with those of the company. Since 2018, the Group has decided to implement its reporting presenting our environmental, social and economic performance, according to 2016 GRI (Global Report Initiative) guidelines. Such a choice has allowed us to develop a common language to communicate and ponder on sustainable reporting, turning it into a further advantage to emerge on a competitive market.

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