Gros-Pietro: cohesiveness crucial to Italy's competitiveness

The image accompanying the News on the 'Cohesion is Competitiveness' Report 2023, which aims to periodically survey the level of 'cohesiveness' of the Italian production fabric, depicts a view of the city of Mantua

Intesa Sanpaolo and Symbola present the 2023 "Cohesion is Competitiveness" Report, a periodic survey of the level of "cohesiveness" of the Italian economy, in terms of cultural, social and environmental factors.

The presentation of the 2023 "Cohesion is Competitiveness" Report was attended by Intesa Sanpaolo Chairman Gian Maria Gros-Pietro, who emphasised how Intesa Sanpaolo's collaboration with Symbola is based on a shared focus on the themes of environmental sustainability, social cohesion and culture.

Some highlights from his speech:

  • "Cohesiveness can be crucial to the competitiveness of companies and the country"
  • "With Symbola we share the conviction that cohesion within companies strengthens ties and roots, outside the company, in the community and the region. In turn, this increases the sense of belonging and satisfaction of those who work at the company, as well as engagement and dialogue with customers, supply chain and district relations, in addition to generating positive effects on competitiveness"
  • "Businesses – which are the life force of the economy and society – are more successful and longer-lasting if they work for the benefit of all stakeholders. Italy has a wealth of this kind of cohesive, successful enterprises, even if they are not large"
  • "We want to be a bank that makes an impact, that is, a bank that leaves a positive mark on society. This means investing in the county's socio-economic growth, keeping a strong focus on young people"
  • "The very idea of profit – once the sole basis of business activity – must be expanded: we must move from the concept of profit to the concept of well-being. Business must create wealth, internally and externally, and it must ensure that this wealth is fairly distributed, in an inclusive manner, particularly to the younger generation"
  • "Our role is above all to be close to communities [...] and being close to communities also means safeguarding their natural balances. In our 2022-205 business plan, a central role is occupied by climate, social and governance issues, summarised in the acronym 'ESG'"
  • "Banks have a crucial role to play in establishing a new development paradigm, because banks are in a position to direct resources towards the goals necessary for this change. Intesa Sanpaolo is aware of this responsibility and is open to a constructive relationship with all stakeholders."

A cohesive business is one that places relationships at the centre of its business model, recognising the value of interdependence on all stakeholders, while also creating social and economic value with them.

The 2023 "Cohesion is Competitiveness" Report shows that cohesive businesses are growing and demonstrate a particular ability to outperform their peers in terms of:

  • turnover, with 55.3% of cohesive companies estimating increases in 2023 compared to 2022, compared to 42.3% of the others
  • jobs, with 34.1% of cohesive companies estimating an increase in 2023 compared to 24.8% of other companies
  • exports, with 42.7% of cohesive companies estimating an increase versus 32.5% of other companies

Cohesive companies also continue to show a propensity to go green and digital:

  • 62.1% have invested/plan to invest in environmental sustainability compared to 33.2% of other companies
  • 46.9% have adopted or are in the process of adopting digital technologies, compared to 24.4% of the other enterprises, and in three out of four cases have introduced or are introducing innovations (in the other enterprises, this figure does not reach half of the total).

The "Cohesion is Competitiveness" Report, presented in Mantua during Symbola's 21st Summer Seminar, is promoted by Fondazione Symbola, Unioncamere and Intesa Sanpaolo in cooperation with AICCON, IPSOS and the Guglielmo Tagliacarne Chamber of Commerce Study Centre.

Among the stories of "cohesive" companies featured in the Report are also those of Intesa Sanpaolo Group client firms that have distinguished themselves through innovative initiatives implemented in collaboration with their stakeholders.

Download the 2023 "Cohesion is Competitiveness" Report (Italian only).