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Avignonesi, corporation and environment beyond profit. Benefit Corporation in the territory of Nobile

Virginie Savery’ Montepulciano brand is now aiming for B Lab certification: attention to welfare, territory and local communities
Avignonesi, Benefit Corporation

The primary goal of any company, no matter what it produces, is to make profit. It goes without saying that without profit there is no economic stability and consequently, no survival. This is the Golden Rule of capitalism, which, however, for several years now, has taken a step forward. It first started in the United States, and since 2016, also in Italy, establishing the legal status of Benefit Corporations. This means, essentially, that a for-profit company that wants to go beyond profit can be established, aiming to make a positive impact on society and the environment. The non-profit USA B Lab has been promoting and certifying Benefit Corporations since 2006, and continues still today. The green light is coming soon to the historic brand of the Nobile di Montepulciano wine Avignonesi - 169 hectares of vineyards, for 600.000 bottles produced every year and a turnover of 8.8 million euros - purchased in 2009 by Virginie Saverys, the latest generation of the Belgian family historically linked to maritime transport.
Over the years, Avignonesi has increasingly placed its relationship with the surrounding environment front and center, at the purely agricultural level, focusing on biodynamic change, as well as at the social level, strengthening the bond to the territory and its employees, and “has been a Benefit Corporation, as required by Italian legislation, since 2016”, CEO Matteo Giustiniani explained to WineNews. This means, basically, that social and environmental sustainability objectives have been included in the company’s statute alongside those linked to profit. The aim to be a Benefit Corporation is a fundamental step, “certified by the American B Lab, which will have to verify that the objectives we have set forth have actually been achieved. Avignonesi, however, has demonstrated in the questionnaire that measures the environmental and social performance of the company, that it has all the credentials”, continued Giustiniani.

They will be taking this important step “by the end of 2021. It will take time, because fortunately more and more companies are aiming for the certification of Benefit Corporation. To us, it means growing and improving continuously, from various points of view. For instance, the fight against emissions to corporate welfare, the relationship with local companies to the choice of suppliers, shortening the supply chain, and numerous other issues that can be attributed more to a non-profit than to a company that aims for profits. Internally, this continuous analysis and self-criticism has made us review several processes, involving workers and increasing productivity. On a communicative point of view, these are sensitive issues, therefore, concluded the CEO of Nobile di Montepulciano wine, “we assume that Avignonesi's brand awareness among consumers can also benefit from them”.

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