Italian top executives add their weight to WBCSD’s call to action for business leadership on human rights

22 leaders of major Italian companies have signed the Italian version of the CEO Guide to Human Rights, produced in a collaboration between the world Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and CSR Manager Network

Published: 29 Sep 2020
Type: News

Milan, 29 September 2020: The Guide, launched today in Milan during the 8th edition of the Salone della CSR e dell’ innovazione sociale, summarizes a set of principles and actions for CEOs to ensure that their companies effectively advance on defending and respecting human rights, boosting positive changes in the lives of the people and communities around which they operate.

The Guide sends a clear message on the need to elevate the ambition concerning human rights, the relevance of adopting standards which foster the respect for those rights and the importance to establish clear expectations for suppliers and partners, boosting the relationship and the collaboration between peers, governments and the society.

WBCSD’s CEO Guide to Human Rights brings to life the business drivers for action and the tangible steps CEOs can take to ensure their companies go beyond compliance and drive transformative change in people’s lives.

In the introduction of the CEO Guide, dozens of business executives from across the world call for urgent business leadership on respect for human rights. The Italian edition complements the original call for business leadership with a local perspective and call to action endorsed by the CEOs of member companies of the CSR Manager Network. These are:

  • Renato Mazzoncini, CEO and Managing Director, A2A
  • Giuseppe Gola, CEO, Acea
  • Umberto Tosoni, CEO, ASTM
  • Ugo Giorcelli, General Director, Benetton Group
  • Chiara Nasi, Chairman & CEO, CIRFOOD
  • Neil Palomba, President, Costa Crociere
  • Lucio Igino Zanon di Valgiurata, Chairman, Credem
  • Péter Ilyés, CEO, E.ON Italia
  • Roberta Neri, CEO, ENAV
  • Claudio Descalzi, CEO, ENI
  • Giuseppe Pasini, President, Gruppo Feralpi
  • Giovanni Battista Valsecchi, General Manager, Generale Conserve
  • Stefano Venier, CEO, Hera
  • Massimiliano Bianco, CEO, Iren
  • Domenico Fumagalli, Senior Partner, KPMG
  • Domenico Battagliola, CEO, La Linea Verde
  • Marco Tronchetti Provera, Executive Cive Chairman and CEO, PIRELLI
  • Matteo Del Fante, CEO, Poste Italiane
  • Stefano Cao, CEO, Saipem
  • Marco Alverà, CEO, Snam
  • Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO, Sofidel
  • Stefano Antonio Donnarumma, CEO, Terna
  • Marisa Parmigiani, President, CSR Manager Network
  • Fulvio Rossi, Past President, CSR Manager Network
  • Stefania Lallai, Director WBCSD partnership, CSR Manager Network

"We thank those who have signed up to the Italian version of the CEO Guide to Human Rights and we invite other organizations to do the same, because joining has a dual value: it helps make the voice of Italian companies heard in an international context, and it allows to highlight the importance of the impact of respect for human rights on business, on its competitiveness and, consequently, on the country" said Marisa Parmigiani, President of the CSR Manager Network.

The CSR Manager Network has long identified corporate respect for human rights as a key element in the management of sustainable business, and as WBCSD’s Global Network partner in Italy, took the opportunity to make the CEO Guide to Human Rights known to the Italian business community.
Collectively, top executives across over 70 member companies of WBCSD and CSR Manager Network are sending a message to raise the bar on respect for human rights, embed human rights in corporate culture, set clear expectations of suppliers and business partners and drive meaningful engagement and collaborations with peers, governments as well as civil society.
The CEO Guide highlights four drivers for action beyond compliance that make a compelling business case for any corporate leader:

  • Regulation is making expectations enforceable;
  • Public interest is high;
  • Business relationships are in the spotlight; and
  • Investor expectations are rising.

CEO leadership plays a crucial role in ensuring that human rights are taken seriously across their own companies and business relationships. To support this, the CEO Guide highlights actions that executives can take to advance respect for human rights:

  • Know the most important human rights for your company;
  • Lead from the top;
  • Engage transparently with stakeholders;
  • Collaborate beyond your comfort zone.

“Business has a fundamental responsibility to respect human rights, but also a huge opportunity to transform people’s lives for the better. Realizing universal human rights for all is one of the most powerful opportunities we have to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals”, said Filippo Veglio, Managing Director at WBCSD. “The Guide puts forward a bold and unprecedented statement from business leaders, whose companies’ actions and policies influence vast global supply chains. We hope their leadership will inspire other CEOs to take action in support of this important cause.”

More information:

  • The CEO Guide to Human Rights can be downloaded here in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and other languages.
  • Davide Fiedler – Manager, Social Impact, WBCSD

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