B Lab EU: Tell us briefly who you are and what your company does? Chiesi:: Chiesi's history begins in Parma (Italy), where in 1935 the first Chiesi-owned laboratory was established.
Today, Chiesi is an international group with a strong focus on research and development, production and commercialisation of innovative therapeutic solutions in pulmonology, neonatology, rare diseases and special care.
The Group employs nearly 6,000 people in 28 countries and provides medicines to patients in more than 80 nations.
B Lab EU: Many congratulations on your recent B Corps certification! Why did you decide to become a B Corp? Chiesi: B Corp Certification is an official recognition of Chiesi's longstanding commitment to improving the quality of human life in a responsible manner considering society and the environment. For this reason, it felt natural for Chiesi to become a B Corp.
At Chiesi we are aware that we are part of a fragile ecological and social system and that our success is intertwined with the success of the overall system itself. Society, the community, our patients, our people and the whole planet are its living parts that we have to protect and develop.
B Lab EU: Did the certification process take long? Did you have to make a lot of changes to your business processes? Chiesi: The B Corp certification has been a truly global and collective achievement for us.
The process started in October 2017. With the aim of having a unified measuring standard, all of our 28 branches were involved in a process of evaluation through the B Impact Assessment. We were able to identify areas of evolution and to establish best practices that we then spread across all our branches throughout the world.
2018 was dedicated to defining actions for corporate and local improvement, involving dozens of people in country teams, in order to reach the objective of submitting the request for certification in December 2018.
In December of that year Chiesi also became a Benefit Corporation, thus choosing to adopt the new legal status available under US and Italian law. This requires Chiesi to maintain a legal requirement to pursue a business model that puts social and environmental values on an equal footing with profits.
B Lab EU: What does being a B Corp mean to you? Chiesi:With the B Corp Certification, Chiesi reinforces its mission to improve quality of human life, achieving results with integrity and acting responsibly towards society and the environment. The B Corp certification is not intended as a destination but rather as a business philosophy and a set of practical navigation tools that will lead all our choices in the future.
B Lab EU: Do you expect to see business benefits of being a B Corp? Chiesi: Chiesi has just achieve the B Corp certification and this represents a starting point for the company.
There are several practical implications arising from our B Corp journey. For example, thanks to the B Impact Assessment, Chiesi was able to gain a better understanding of itself in terms of its environmental impacts and to identify possible actions needed to mitigate and fight the ongoing climate crisis.
Overall, the B Corp process led to a new comprehensive 4 year Sustainability Strategic Plan at both corporate and affiliate level. The plan contains several actions and projects along 5 areas of intervention (Governance, Patients, People, Environment, Community) that will be implemented in the coming years.
B Lab EU: What are you looking forward to most about the 2019 Summit? Chiesi: We're really looking forward to sharing ideas and being inspired by other B Corps and companies that are committed to using business as a force for good.
B Lab EU: What are your plans for the future to use your business as a force for good? Chiesi:At Chiesi we are committed to improving the quality of life of our patients, to protect the planet and its inhabitants, to support our communities, to develop our people and to guarantee the transparency of our work. And we are spreading this commitment throughout our value chain, by involving our suppliers and partners. br>
Chiesi's people also play an important role in this commitment. Indeed, internally, we've now launched “We Act - Actively Care for Tomorrow”, a sustainability program that engages the whole Chiesi workforce in a coordinated effort for the future.
B Lab EU: Thank you and look forward to seeing you at the Summit!