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Italian CSR ‘needs tax break stimulation’

October 2003

Socially responsible Italian companies should be rewarded with tax breaks, a government-funded report will recommend next month.

The Bocconi University study of 91 Italian firms found that although they had a ‘generally positive attitude to CSR’, many regard it as ‘an occasional topic not closely related to business strategy’.

It argues that fiscal measures such as tax breaks for corporate community investment are needed, adding that the Italian government and public authorities must do more to raise awareness because one of the biggest barriers to CSR in the country is lack of public support.

Full results of the study, carried out with the Confindustria business federation and the Italian ministry of welfare, will be announced at the Italian government’s European Conference on CSR in November as part of its presidency of the European Union.

The conference, to be held in Venice, will focus on how public policy can promote responsible business practice, which is one of the five main priorities of the Italian EU presidency.

Linked to the study will be the launch of a ‘simple’ voluntary standard. The study and the standard will be the main outcomes of the CSR Social Commitment project commissioned by the ministry in June 2002 to find ways of promoting corporate social responsibility, in particular within small and medium-sized companies.

Italy and the UK signed a joint statement of intent earlier this year to work together on CSR (EP5, issue 2).




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