Make a difference

What does it mean to make a difference, when you are a company that is looking for financial profit? Is it possible to  go beyond marketing sustainability and really have an impact and at the same time look at financial goals as well? Having kids you all of a sudden have to start thinking about the future. Not only your own, not only the next 30 years but also theirs. Suddenly it matters what happens to the world even when you won’t be part of it anymore. You want to leave your kids a better world and do everything in your power to not let them down. We at Alaska started our journey not knowing what to expect and invited experts  oftheir field to show us ways to become more sustainable as a company.

Sometimes we struggled to understand why certain things need to be done, but when we see the outcome we know that we are on the right track. One step after the other we get closer to our goals and see that the small changes we make are part of a bigger picture: becoming a benefit company.

But what does that exactly mean? With all the efforts we put in to become more sustainable in every aspect of its meaning, we were starting to have a positive impact on the people and the environment. That doesn’t mean that we had to decrease our profit and purely focus on the environment and the people, but we learned that sustainability means a balance between ecology, society and economy.

We promote non-profit initiatives that safe nature and biodiversity and integrate these efforts in our DNA by  reducing our impact and our use of resources. Using renewable energy, reducing the packaging and eliminating single-use plastics in packaging were big steps towards our objectives.

As founding members of the Sustainable Leather Foundation we know about our duty to be role models and leaders and becoming a Società Benefit is part of our  mission called Alaska 2030. Some background information For those who might not know: The first benefit corporation movement actually started in 2015 in Italy, when the Italian Parliament integrated a statutory form of the American benefit corporation model and called it Società Benefit. Firms that want to become a Società Benefit have to have purposes that go beyond maximizing the wealth of shareholders, which means they need to pursue profit with a general a specific public benefit. Therefore Alaska is striving for a positive social and ecological impact, which can be read up in our Alaska2030 sustainability report.

The three pillars of a Società Benefit are a clearly stated public benefit, responsible operations and a sustainable and transparent approach towards people and the planet. These objectives need to be integrated into the company DNA and be present in every day’s actions and decisions. Sounds like a lot of work, right? That’s true, and we are still not yet there. We are transparent and dommunicate openly our progress, which also means we show our flaws and vulnerabilities. But this is part of the process and nobody is perfect.

Sustainability is not a goal, but a road we have to choose every day and there is always something we can do better. As a Società Benefit, we have finally reached a goal in which we put a lot of hard work, time and efforts, and we are very proud to be able to announce that we did it!