Benetton looks to the future of responsible business

An innovative supply chain risk prevention model developed by Valore Sociale is tested in India

Ponzano, 13 May 2011. Benetton Group is testing a new production process and supply chain audit and control tool to prevent risks concerning human rights, the community and the environment. This is part of the group’s unceasing commitment to promoting sustainable development and business responsibility.

This risk assessment model – a tool for assessing rights violation risks developed by Valore Sociale(whose activity is to help in defining, disseminating and implementing a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) culture) – was experimentally applied to Benetton’s manufacturing organisation in a number of Indian production units.

According to the Valore Sociale standard, risk assessment enables potential social risks to be included when auditing normal production processes. This allows the company to prevent any negative impact on human rights or the environment, as it also enables suppliers to be assessed on the basis of the risk rating.

Benetton is the first Italian company to use this tool”, Mariarosa Cutillo, Valore Sociale’s general manager, declared, “thereby showing it wants to better understand the communities in which it works to avoid any possible negative effects linked to the manufacturing process. This is an ongoing project during which we have highlighted elements that will help Benetton in its effort to create ever-more sustainable production chains. Benetton has risen to a major challenge and we are working in close collaboration with the Group.”

 The application of a social risk assessment model is an example of how Benetton Group works to advance actions that ensure sustainable development, respecting people and the environment. In addition to guaranteeing the best results for shareholders, the criteria underlying Benetton Group’s investments and activities are focussed on improving the impact on the community, the environment and the company’s stakeholders.

The initial results of applying a risk assessment model to Benetton’s organisation in India will be presented at the international conference “La valutazione di impatto sui diritti umani: uno strumento concreto per promuovere l’etica nell’impresa” (“Assessing human rights impact: a real tool for promoting corporate ethics”), organised by Valore Sociale and Università Bicocca to be held Friday 13 May at the university’s Milan campus.

To Benetton Group, the application of this risk assessment model to its international production organisation is a further, important step forward within the frame of a far-reaching corporate responsibility programme, involving not only work processes and the supply chain but also product safety, environmental protection aspects, concern for the local area and social factors, and the training and quality of life of the people involved.

The Benetton Group and Valore Sociale alliance continues as risk assessment is extended to include production units in Bangladesh and Thailand.

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