Sustainability is also social

Sustainability is a widely used word and perhaps also abused in certain contexts.

Often when we talk about sustainability, we think about the environment. Almost daily we hear increasingly heated debates about climate change, the careful use of natural resources such as renewable energies, and the precious preservation of water. Nature understood as the mother of everything, from which we cannot just take but we must also learn to respect and give back to through long-term sustainability planning.

We’re more and more led to associate environmental with economic sustainability, understood as a system’s capacity to generate lasting growth of all the indicators and parameters that traditionally indicate wellbeing: wealth and work. Often, therefore, we stop to consider the compatibility between the development of economic activities and protection of the environment as two fundamental pillars for lasting and sustainable development. But there’s also a third pillar of sustainability that often stays in the shadows and yet remains essential: social sustainability.

By social sustainability, we mean the ability to guarantee conditions for human wellbeing (safety, health, education, democracy, participation and justice) fairly distributed across class and gender. When inequalities grow and social cohesion is lost, neither economic nor environmental sustainability can be achieved.

All of modern society, hence also companies in every sector and category, must put these objectives first and achieve them to be able to think about a bigger future. These issues certainly aren’t easy, but they have been brought to the forefront by the United Nations too, through the drafting of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

There are many gestures that each of us can make as citizens and companies regarding social sustainability. This is something that Ruffino has understood, a wine business established in 1877 in Pontassieve. The company has an environmental and economic model of sustainability among its development assets, as seen in the numerous certifications achieved and its increasing range of organic wines. Also from the standpoint of achieving the sustainable development objectives set by the UN, Ruffino has always put people first through its commitment to others, which is accomplished through activities supporting local excellences and wider-ranging plans and aspirations.

One wonderful project in which Ruffino has participated for four consecutive years is linked with Dynamo Camp.

Fondazione Dynamo Camp began nearly forty years ago in the hills near Pistoia, in 900 hectares of the WWF Oasis. Dynamo Camp was founded by the actor Paul Newman with centres all over the world. The noble purpose of Dynamo is to offer recreational therapy to children and teenagers aged between 6 and 17 who suffer from serious or chronic illnesses. The aim is to inspire self-confidence in sick children and in their abilities, as well as improving the quality of life of their families. The centre and medical assistance ensure a protective environment where socializing and experimenting are important tools in facing life, focusing on one’s own abilities and not on the disabilities caused by illness. One project in which Ruffino takes part is managing the grounds and giving employees the opportunity to make a personal contribution through hours of volunteer work, half of which is paid for by the company.

It’s a wonderful and important project in which environmental and social entwine, resulting in a magical synergy that, once achieved, may lead to truly surprising and moving results.

 

By social sustainability, we mean the ability to guarantee conditions for human wellbeing (safety, health, education, democracy, participation and justice) fairly distributed across class and gender.