Parma, 4th February 2019 – Chiesi, an international research-focussed pharmaceutical Group (the Chiesi Group), announces at a conference open to all of its employees that it has changed its statute to become a Benefit Corporation, thus choosing to adopt a new model made available by an Italian law (208/2015).
A Benefit Corporation is a new legal form of business enterprise which represents a paradigm shift. It was introduced in 2010 in the USA and is becoming increasingly widespread throughout the world. Italy was the first country outside the US to introduce this model in January 2016.
A Benefit Corporation represents a step forward insofar as it changes the very concept of a company by redefining its purpose. Whereas the main objective of traditional companies is to distribute dividends to their shareholders, benefit corporations are the expression of a more evolved vision and incorporate a two-fold purpose into their business objectives: in addition to the objective of generating profit they also pursue the goal of making a positive impact on society and the environment, and undertake to create value not only for shareholders but also for the other stakeholders. A Benefit Corporation represents a new legal tool which forms a solid foundation on which to base the long-term alignment and safeguarding of the mission and the creation of shared value.
Chiesi has taken a global approach. The Group’s US affiliate, Chiesi USA, has in fact also become a Benefit Corporation thanks to the law, together with those in Brazil, the UK, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and France. In spite the fact that the law has not yet been passed in these countries, these affiliates have provided for ad hoc statutory integration, specifying social and environmental impact objectives.
“Since Italy has introduced benefit corporations, more than 300 businesses have decided to adopt this model. Chiesi Farmaceutici has joined this pioneering group to become a key member, thanks to the value of its business and its own positive impact. The decision to extend the integration of social and environmental objectives to the foreign affiliates makes Chiesi a unique case for now and I am sure that other companies will soon follow our example” comments Paolo Di Cesare, co-founder of Nativa, country partner of B Lab, the international organisation responsible for making the Benefit model available all over the world.
“This transformation is an important milestone in a continually evolving journey: acting as an increasingly positive force is our main focus, promoting a different approach that raises greater awareness of the way business is done and generating a positive impact on society and nature, in order to contribute to truly sustainable development”, explains Alberto Chiesi, President of Chiesi Farmaceutici. “This decision, which is consistent with 84 years of company history, has allowed Chiesi Farmaceutici to adopt a model that we hope will be understood and introduced by a number of other companies, so that together we can contribute to tackling the great challenges of our time. Challenges which the United Nations has also decided to promote with the 17 Sustainable Development Objectives”.
The Chiesi Group
Based in Parma, Italy, Chiesi Farmaceutici is an international research-oriented group with over 80 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical sector, and is present in 27 countries. The group researches, develops and commercialises innovative medicines in the respiratory disease, special care and rare disease therapeutic areas. The Group’s Research & Development centre is based in Parma (Italy) and integrated with 6 other important research and development groups in France, the USA, the UK, Sweden and Denmark, to promote its pre-clinical, clinical and registration programmes. The Group employs around 5,700 people.