Quantis recently opened its Italian office in Milan and nominated long-time Quantisian Simone Pedrazzini to lead the expansion on the Italian market. We sat down with Simone to talk about his experience and vision for this new chapter in the Quantis story. Here are the highlights.
If we really want to transform our future, we have to address sustainability challenges from a business perspective. I love to find that point of connection where business purpose meets sustainability improvements. That’s where the conversion happens. That’s the greater challenge. And that’s what gets me up in the morning.
Quantis: Having joined Quantis 8 years ago as analyst, you’ve really grown alongside the company. What has this journey been like and how has it prepared you for your new role as director of Quantis Italy?
Simone Pedrazzini (SP): I’m grateful for the diversity of experiences I have to draw on to lead our Italian team. Having been an analyst, project manager, and then a business developer, I am able to trust and appreciate the contributions of each team member. Likewise, when I engage with companies, I can speak the technical language of operations as well as the business language of the C-suite. In many ways, my journey reflects Quantis’ evolution. Quantis used to be a technical consulting firm focused on providing Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). Now we’ve evolved to engage businesses on a more strategic level. We still love being LCA nerds, but we’ve also learned to speak the language of business so we can help companies to apply robust environmental science to their business and sustainability strategies.
Q: At Quantis, it’s often easy to align personal values with our mission. What does this look like for you? What gets you up in the morning?
SP: When I started at Quantis, I loved working with companies that were attuned to the environmental challenges their industry faced. It was inspiring to be on the same page. As I’ve continued in my career, my motivation has evolved. Today I love engaging with business leaders who may not yet be oriented toward sustainability — still operating under the “typical” business drivers. If we really want to transform our future, we have to address sustainability challenges from a business perspective. I love to find that point of connection where business purpose meets sustainability improvements. That’s where the conversion happens. That’s the greater challenge. And that’s what gets me up in the morning.
Q: Sustainability has evolved rapidly across the globe. In Italy, how would you describe this evolution and the state of sustainable business today? What are the current trends, opportunities and challenges?
SP: In the 2017 fiscal year, Italy was one of the first European countries to implement the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive 2014/95/EU, requiring companies to report on non-financial aspects of their operations. This regulation has generated great momentum in sustainability — many Italian companies published these sustainability reports. And now? We’ll see whether companies are just “checking the box” on this task, or whether they’ll seize this opportunity to put new and more robust sustainability strategies in place. In the latter case, a quantitative approach can bring great value. Businesses understand they need a 360º view of their value chain impacts. Robust metrics from a corporate footprint will help shape better strategies, clearer priorities, more ambitious goals, and more credible communications.
Q: Which industries are leading the way toward sustainability in Italy?
SP: There is significant sustainability momentum in the food and apparel industries around the world. Italian companies in food and luxury fashion are feeling the pressure too. Quantis has robust expertise on these topics, and it’s great to be able to draw on this collective global knowledge to guide Italian food and fashion companies toward more sustainable business models. Fortunately, Italian culture has unique strengths that are exactly the kind we need to drive this transformation to sustainable business. Italians often take on business (and life) with creativity and enthusiasm. There’s a passion that drives us and it’s going to drive the sustainable business transformation we need.
Q: Quantis’ mission is to guide companies as they seek to transform their business to a truly sustainable model. There are many opportunities to further this mission in Italy. What will be your first priorities as director of Quantis Italy?
SP: One of the things we understand at Quantis is the value of collaboration. As we dive more deeply into the Italian market, we’ll be exploring opportunities to work together with other companies and organizations on key sustainability initiatives, to co-organize events and develop synergies. For example, on June 20th, in collaboration with the CSR Manager Network, we will host a session in Milano (that will also be available remotely by webinar) on the strategic phases of a science-aligned corporate sustainability journey. (Details and registration available here.) In October 2019, we’re looking forward to taking an active role in the Salone della CSR e dell’Innovazione Sociale following the success of the apparel-focused session we hosted last year. Beyond new events and partnerships, we’ll keep cultivating our existing relationships with corporate partners. Thanks to Quantis’ varied areas of expertise, we’re able to guide companies all along their sustainability journey.
Q: You have been developing Quantis’ presence in Italy for almost 5 years. In what ways does an official branch and director role set your team up for success in this new chapter?
SP: Having a branch office allows us to share the best expertise Quantis has on a global level through a local and reactive team. With boots on the ground, we can understand the nuances of the market context and how we can serve our Italian partners. We can better collaborate and co-create solutions without having to coordinate complex travel logistics. Not to mention, it’s just easier when everyone speaks Italian!
Speaking of Italian — if you speak it, check out Simone’s interviews with the Italian CSR Manager Network and the Chamber of Commerce of Ticino. (Quantis is the official sustainability partner of the Chamber of Commerce of Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland.)
Discover some of Quantis Italy’s work in these case studies and article:
- Ferrero (in Italian)
- World Food LCA Database / Yara (in Italian)
- Fastweb (in Italian)
- Stanley Black & Decker (in English and Italian)
- “Per un 2019 all’insegna di una moda più sostenibile!” (event article, in Italian)
Ready to supercharge your sustainability strategy with robust metrics, connect with Simone to learn more about the Quantis difference.