Ethics and sustainability are part of the illycaffè DNA: since our founding in 1933, we have set ourselves the goal of improving people’s quality of life. In adopting Benefit Company status in 2019, we reaffirmed our choice to seek continued growth by operating in a sustainable way for the communities with which we interact, formally integrating this commitment within company bylaws.
Sustainability has always been an operating principle at illycaffè. It is applied to our entire supply chain, built on a system of direct relations with suppliers on the basis of four pillars: selecting and working directly with the best Arabica growers; transferring knowledge and expertise to the growers, training them at illycaffè’s University of Coffee (UdC); and through direct, hands-on work in coffee fields with specialized agronomists to achieve sustained, high-quality production while also respecting the environment.
We combine these actions with rewarding growers for the quality they achieve by paying premium prices, higher than the market average, while fostering continuous improvement to create sustainable coffee and a community of growers. These, and numerous other initiatives, contributed to our B Corp certification.
“We work every day to implement our principles and reconcile economics with ethics. We launched the B Corp certification procedure to underline our commitment to keep generating a positive impact on society and on the planet, joining a network of like-minded companies that promote business models based on a strategy to create sustainable value in the long term.” Massimiliano Pogliani, illycaffè CEO.
With our new status, we confirm our commitment to reaching our established targets for sustainability to create durable and shared value. Only 3% of the 100,000 companies that have applied to date for B Corp certification have met the excellence criteria established by B Lab, the international certifying entity for B Corp status.
illy achieved its B Corp certification with the support of Nativa – Regenerative Innovation Company, who support businesses in their evolution toward a regenerative and sustainable economic paradigm.
“This outstanding achievement by illycaffè shows that in the coffee sector too we can act generatively. Today all companies must necessarily evolve in this direction, and we believe that illy’s success will inspire many others, in Italy and globally, to accelerate along this path.” Eric Ezechieli, co-founder of Nativa, Regenerative Innovation Company, and country partner for B Lab in Italy.