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A performance monitoring system to evaluate corporate sustainability and responsibility in Emilia Romagna Region
The study illustrates the outcomes coming from a pro-active collaboration between University of Bologna and Emilia Romagna Region. The collaboration aims to evaluate the impact of regional policy on socio-economic and environmental performance recorded by economic activities benefiting from the Regional operative programme of the European Development Fund. The objective is to experiment the awareness of local stakeholders towards sustainable issues as test for proving how Region can play an active role in supporting the transition towards a sustainable economy. Indeed, sustainability, and specifically Agenda 2030, has recently become the central point of the regional policy. In particular, the regional laws 14/2014 and 16/2015 introduced a set of measures promoting principles and supporting actions on social innovation, corporate responsibilities (CR) and circular economy. According to the sustainable development goals (SDGs), Emilia Romagna Region has also published the Chart on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with the goal to promote business competitiveness and sustainable supply chain by stimulating the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). Since 2015, the submission of the Chart’s principles has been being mandatory for all companies receiving regional funds. In 2018, Region started to monitor the implementation of responsible and sustainable principles in firms submitting the Chart. Green purchasing, customer cooperation, internal management, environmental sustainability and stakeholder engagement have been identified as the key topics to investigate. The investigation has been performed by means of a questionnaire. The uniformity and consistency of the results has allowed the design of a Structural Equation Model (SEM) able of evaluating the indirect effects of internal management on environmental sustainability and stakeholder engagement, through green purchasing and customer cooperation. That observation model is the basis of a performance monitoring system (PMS) that estimates the effect of regional funding’s in promoting sustainable supply chain, welfare and environmental management. The correlation has been figured out by considering many aspects such as the type of call, the economic sector, the company size and the financial status. Considering the mentioned different variables, results have shown different performances for different calls thus confirming the effects of internal management on customers and supplier’s cooperation (direct effects) and on environmental sustainability and stakeholder engagement (indirect effects). These outcomes will support the definition of the forthcoming regulation laying down the Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027.