The recent 12 months have brought a revolution in our lives as citizens, as workers, as drivers. In addition to a deep impact in a very practical sense – i.e. movements, frequencies, work ways – there has been at least an equally significant impact on the way we question our lives, on the relationship we have with our respective communities and with the entire planet. The incentives to ask new questions or to recalibrate some existing questions, that have been induced by the pandemic framework, have been inserted in a track of reasoning that comes from further afield, and we are talking about questions on the relationship between economic system and society, the role of companies in the community, the relationship between production chains and natural resources, also placing them in a future perspective where it’s important drawing more in-depth assessments on impacts and balances.
Leafing through the pages of the main economic newspapers, we can see today how the reference to the ESG component, an Anglo-Saxon acronym that stands for Environment, Society and Governance, has become pervasive. The way in which companies are assessed for bank credit or investment has incorporated this logic, which seeks to examine the key traits of every single company in these areas.
The automotive industry and mobility in general, with all the players directly or indirectly involved, is invested by these factors that require a profound reconsideration from the bottom to the top of every company, up to the ropes and to the most intimate nerves of the entrepreneurs who guide them, if present.
The environmental topic (E of Environment in ESG) therefore calls for a careful evaluation of the emissions of greenhouse gases or polluting gases linked to the productive activity: in addition to technological innovation on engines, this concerns all the workflows and mobility connected to the own activity.
So, new ways of reducing the consumption of natural resources are emerging, with more intelligent use of available data. The spotlight is on a broader vision of products during their entire life cycle, which brings to design and share in a more transparent way with consumers the events related to aspects such as the destination of waste oil, jalopy cars, replaced parts, regenerated batteries and so on.
The social topic (S of Society in ESG) highlights a set of equally important and stimulating issues such as, for example, the rebalancing of the workforce in terms of gender: like many other areas, the automotive industry has several opportunities related to a reconsideration of the potential of female gender in many of its working positions, even in top positions. Another current issue is the respect of privacy: for an industry that rightly cares about customer data, also to increase the degree of personalization in its offers and interactions, it has become more essential to be able to ensure an adequate balance that does not end up generating intrusions into people’s private lives with annoying situations.
The governance topic (G of Governance in ESG) travels into many highly topical strands. For example, company ethics can encompass a wide range of situations such as the prevention and management of dishonest behaviors by employees or competitors that can generate damage to the company or the customer. In the area of mobility, there are undoubtedly extremely thorny issues such as insurance, tax, actual mileage of used vehicles and so on, which can benefit from an upgrade in formalization and transparency to safeguard them. The ethical issue should then be framed in an extended perspective along the entire supply chain and services, for which the company is increasingly called to actively and scrupulously verify that the entire upstream activities respect certain obligations and parameters.
RESET is an initiative of Quintegia in collaboration with Findomestic Banca, which aims at increasing the degree of attention and awareness on these issues by promoting virtuous behaviors and profitable interactions, starting from the development of the already important dimension of social responsibility, sense of company and relationship with the territory that car dealers have always shown, projecting the challenge in a new framework of elements and activities that will deeply characterize the business of the upcoming years.