SOCIETY | Oct 28, 2019

A Report for sustainable innovation

Engineering’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report explains how innovation can foster sustainability and improve people's lives.

Innovation is not just the application of technology to the world around us. It can have very important social implications, improving people’s lives and helping to create a shared well-being”. This is one of the phrases that accompanies Engineering’s 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which details the Group’s activities carried out during the year from the point of view of usefulness. Usefulness for people who live and work in a world transformed by digital technology, in which innovation, and therefore those who develop innovation, must have a positive impact on the community, listening to and analyzing its needs in order to conceive and implement something that is not there yet, but that can change the world for the better.

Gambling on ingenuity. On human intelligence capable of transforming the world and of improving it, but also of respecting its delicate balances and of preserving its increasingly precious natural resources”. Engineering’s vision is wholly concentrated in this sentence which opens the report, whose pages then delineate the meaning of the projects carried out in favor of sustainability.

Protagonists of innovation

In the introduction signed by Renato Soru, we understand how important the role of a large company working in the field of innovation is: “Nowadays we are all called upon not only to maximize efficiency and profit within companies, but above all to attune ourselves with a world that faces significant changes and challenges in which the survival of our communities seems to be at stake”.

Being innovators today means, in fact, transforming the organizational and business processes of companies, in order to profoundly change habits and lifestyles, to change the way people work as well as their way of caring for themselves. Being innovators means choosing and mixing technologies to promote sustainability and to contribute, in small or large matters, to changing the world around us for the better.

How can people’s lives change for the better thanks to innovation?

The report identifies three different ways in which digital technology, and innovation in general, affect people’s lives, that is transforming the way they live, work and care for themselves. When we talk about changes in people’s lives, we can think of all those activities ranging from automation to digitalization of processes, to improved mobility regulation, to easier access to public services or, again, to the possibility of taking part in city life more easily.

An example comes from the Polis 2020 project, a digital participation platform funded by the Puglia Region, which puts businesses, associations and citizens at the center of territorial development. Another example of a project which can improve the world in which we live is Waste4Think, which aims to raise awareness about the impact that generated waste has on the environment and above all to encourage circular economy by suggesting ways to reuse it.

When we talk about sustainability linked to innovations in work, we need to think about the great opportunities given by smart working: an example is the Secure Drive project, a platform which allows Poste Italiane employees to work in a more flexible and autonomous way. The use of Virtual Reality and of Mixed Reality can modify, improving outcomes, the training of a company’s employees. This is the case, for example, of Formazione 4.0, a project through which remote training is carried out in virtual rooms with 3D models and multimedia contents, in order to train partners and resellers wherever they are in the world, without forcing anyone to move.

If we talk about innovation to transform the way we care for ourselves, we talk about the technologies which today not only digitize healthcare, but improve both diagnosis and the care of people. An example of this is CuraVesta, an innovative “mobile health” service for public health assistance, supported by mobile devices which allow patient monitoring and personalized digital assistance. Another case is that of the Tuscany Region, whose medically assisted procreation project supports couples throughout the territory, without forcing them to make long and useless journeys.

Why a Social Sustainability Report?

This was explained by Concetta Lattanzio, Corporate Communication and Social Responsibility Director of Engineering: “Understanding, interpreting and responding to these social, environmental and economic changes, integrating sustainability and business to improve competitiveness and create shared value through innovation. For Engineering it is a challenge within the challenge: an objective which must be pursued with the awareness that the future we pursue will be on a human scale only if achieved whilst following a responsible path of development”.