The legal status and environmental certification accelerate the transformation of companies, and represent an excellent opportunity for designers to grow

The history of design is also that of the factors that have imprinted radical turning points on processes and production.

Among the external levers, the most strategic one in our times is the environmental question, with all the social implications that closely concern the territory and the communities.

For this reason, the arrival on the market of B-Corp and benefit companies has represented, even in the world of design, the accelerator, if not the origin, of virtuous practices and transformations, opening new doors to designers who today work for more sustainable production, correct or experiment with models from scratch, give shape to scenarios accelerated by the fact that there are companies certified as virtuous who always want to be moreover.

B-Corp and benefit corporations, what they are and how many there are

Today, there are over four thousand B-Corps and more than ten thousand benefit corporations in the world. Of the first group, one hundred and twenty are Italian; in the second, those of our country exceeded one thousand.

It is the fastest growing community in Europe according to the continuous monitoring of Nativa, the company (B-Corp - of course) that started the movement in Italy.

Technically, although they are two complementary aspects of a way of thinking about the company not only for business but also for its social purposes, benefit companies and B-Corps are two different things: the first is the legal form - and therefore the public recognition, by the State - that a company can assume; the other, a company that has obtained certification by passing an evaluation assessment on the sustainability of its ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance.

In Italy there are twenty-one B-Corp companies active in sectors such as manufacturing and construction and construction which have to do with design and architecture in the first place, but all they somehow have to do with the design culture, understood as the driver of transformation.

They range from Alessi to 24Bottles, the brand born in 2013 to reduce the impact of plastic bottles and which has made stainless steel water bottles a refined and pop object, passing through Alisea, which has been producing design since 1994 and in 2013 it activated the production of innovative materials in a circular economy, registering three patents related to the reuse of waste graphite, materials at the base of the refined pencil Perpetual.

What does design have to do with being a B-Corp or a benefit company

An example of how to become a benefit company activates new visions and projects comes from Campania and revolves around Keep Life, the 'differently wood material obtained from dried fruit shells, patented by Pietro Petrillo and llaria Spagnuolo.

"Keep Life was born transforming shells of walnuts and hazelnuts, chestnuts and almonds, pistachios and peanuts" says Petrillo, "it is a brand accompanied by a patent for industrial invention, an eco-sustainable and bio material -inspired which can be used in the field of product and interior design”.

What does Keep Life have to do with the world of benefit companies?

“Last year, the brand became part of the long-term design activities of Piila, the company I had already founded, and its vision is based on the desire to involve and support the territory, building a network with companies interested in the development of sustainable agriculture, small producers from which the shells are recovered, green realities and aware designers".