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“I like working in an environment that promotes social good.”

Andrea works in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Generali GroupHead Office in Trieste, Italy. As someone who volunteers in Africa, he understands the importance of making a wider social contribution, even through the business of insurance.

Profile

Hometown: Trieste, Italy.
Resides: Trieste, Italy.
Hobby: Playing football and basketball. I teach basketball to a children’s team and play the guitar in a band called Experience. I also volunteer in Africa – while it may not be a hobby, I do it with passion.
Best song ever: “Africa” by Toto.
Looking forward to: Working to help the disadvantaged in the developing world through microfinance projects. That is one of my goals. I’m also looking forward to becoming a father soon.
Years at Generali: 4.

Working for an insurance company

I wanted to work with CSR and insurance organisations are the right place to do this. People put together money to negate common risks, so this industry is in many ways a “social business” fundamentally.

Favourite area of work

Ethical investments: we have developed a responsible investment policy that says that we will avoid areas where human rights are not respected. This is a controversial and challenging area – a concrete step towards positive change in the corporate environment.

What corporate responsibility means to Generali

It’s about developing strategies for sustainable growth that are in line with business interests. For example, in the area of product we may offer insurance or investment opportunities with social or environmental value; in regards to humans resources, it might include developing careers in a more efficient way within an organisation. It applies to marketing activities, to the relationships with the financial community and suppliers. It’s cross-functional.

Making CSR come true

If we don’t ‘live’ CSR within our organisation to begin with, we won’t be able to communicate it authentically. Getting this right is a challenge and not always easy. CSR initiatives must be seen as an opportunity to increase business and decrease risk – in short, to do business responsibly. This is what we aim to do.

Volunteering and charity

We have 1,400 employees involved in volunteer initiatives in 15 countries. Last year, they devoted more than 13,000 hours in areas such as cleaning public spaces, assisting elderly citizens, tutoring children and assisting the disabled. We recently decided to launch a long-term project – the result of an internal CSR contest – to help tutor disadvantaged students and to offer healthy meals. This initiative will launch in Spain first and later expand to other countries. In addition, we are involved in an effort to provide funding to leukaemia and other chronic disease patients so that they can afford travelling for treatment.