This paper investigates whether or not Italian Certified B Corps® in the fashion industry achieved levels of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and financial performance that are comparable to listed companies in the same industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. After a review of the literature concerning B Corps, CSR and the circular economy, as well as some coverage of pandemic impacts, a quantitative approach is used to analyze the data empirically. Based on the data available, the study incorporated the entire population of Italian listed companies and B Corps in the fashion industry. Moreover, this study confirms the relationship between CSR and financial performance. The availability of sustainability documents other than the required social responsibility report does not directly affect a company’s profitability, but they are necessary for the long term. The results also confirm the positive relationship between sustainability certification and higher financial performance, as the most sustainable companies were also the most profitable. Certified B Corps® declare their willingness to adopt circular economic principles to the same extent as non-certified listed companies. Moreover, the results show that consumers mainly remember the information disclosed on a company’s homepage; therefore, managers should publish more there. However, they should not underestimate the importance of their sustainability report because it is an effective social communication tool, especially in the long term. Finally, obtaining the B Corp certification will allow companies to inform stakeholders of their social responsibility and achieve higher financial results.

Sustainable behaviour of B Corps fashion companies during Covid-19: A quantitative economic analysis.

Gazzola P.
;
Grechi D.
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

This paper investigates whether or not Italian Certified B Corps® in the fashion industry achieved levels of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and financial performance that are comparable to listed companies in the same industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. After a review of the literature concerning B Corps, CSR and the circular economy, as well as some coverage of pandemic impacts, a quantitative approach is used to analyze the data empirically. Based on the data available, the study incorporated the entire population of Italian listed companies and B Corps in the fashion industry. Moreover, this study confirms the relationship between CSR and financial performance. The availability of sustainability documents other than the required social responsibility report does not directly affect a company’s profitability, but they are necessary for the long term. The results also confirm the positive relationship between sustainability certification and higher financial performance, as the most sustainable companies were also the most profitable. Certified B Corps® declare their willingness to adopt circular economic principles to the same extent as non-certified listed companies. Moreover, the results show that consumers mainly remember the information disclosed on a company’s homepage; therefore, managers should publish more there. However, they should not underestimate the importance of their sustainability report because it is an effective social communication tool, especially in the long term. Finally, obtaining the B Corp certification will allow companies to inform stakeholders of their social responsibility and achieve higher financial results.
2022
2022
B corps; Circular economy; Financial performance; Corporate social responsibility; Fashion industry; Covid-19
Ferioli, M.; Gazzola, P.; Grechi, D.; Vatamanescu, M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2141551
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