Sustainability ABC

Sustainability ABC


Welcome to “The Dictionary of Sustainability”. Here, we explore the landscape of terminologies related to sustainability, offering a clear and comprehensive understanding of the fundamental concepts and emerging practices in the field of environmental, social and economic responsibility.


Industrial symbiosis by definition is the mechanism that occurs when multiple companies share underutilized resources or waste materials in such a way as to obtain mutual benefits.

The term symbiosis (from the Greek σύν «with, together» and βιόω «living») belongs to the lexicon of the biological sciences and encompasses a range of ways through which various life forms select mutually advantageous behaviors during their evolutionary history that they lead us to live together by exploiting each other’s characteristics.

The endless literature on the history of industrial districts perfectly illustrates how company ecosystems sometimes mimic their natural counterparts.

With a bit of imagination it feels like listening to David Attenborough’s documentaries while discovering the events that led actors of various kinds to find socio-economic contexts in which knowledge, capital and entrepreneurial skills could come together in order to generate wealth.

Today the world of districts, particularly in Italy, has shrunk and in some cases has lost the innovative energy given by local specificities, yet some of the keys to their relaunch could lie precisely in the search for solutions that combine sustainability objectives with those of cooperation in a market where value chains have undergone epochal upheavals in recent years.

If Cicero wrote Historia magistra vitae in De Oratore, the same could be said of nature and the ability it still has today to inspire innovation.


When we talk about Upcycling we are referring to the process that allows you to convert one material into another of higher quality.

There are many examples of this mechanism; from the old firm jacket in 70s fashion enriched with skilful patchwork work to processes more rooted in the history of the manufacturing industry such as the use of bovine hides as raw material.

Some might raise an eyebrow at this statement, given the media coverage that the complaints against intensive farming with the aim of growing future furs have had, however we need to recover another central definition, namely that of by-product.

The cowhide industry illustrates how a waste (or more technically “production residue”) from the food industry destined for landfill can actually be transformed into a high-quality material for aesthetics, functionality and durability.

Biodermol is an entrepreneurial project that insists on the search for low-impact biological solutions to be alternated with the more classic auxiliary chemical products used in the pre-tanning phase, which represent a crucial moment in which the leather is processed in order to be placed in the conditions to have new life.

This is the objective, in particular, of the White Line: a line of agents based on an enzymatic recipe implemented in 2015 and which to date has the beauty of six different products according to customer needs.


Key Performance Index

Keep people Interested, Informed, Involved, Inspired

Anyone who frequents this platform will have read this slogan at least once, often followed by a criticism of the coldness of the numbers as opposed to the priority to be given to people within the company.

We can only agree with this position, however it is worth explaining why the sustainability of an organization must necessarily pass through a system of certified indicators and how to circumvent the conflict mentioned above.

Let’s start from the basics.

Definition of KPIs:

KPIs are quantitative measures that allow companies to evaluate the progress and success of their initiatives. In sustainability, they become the precision tool for measuring concrete impacts and progress towards ethical and environmental objectives.

KPIs are therefore a crucial map, but, like any other competitiveness tool, its potential depends on the people we entrust it to and the context in which we use it. The choice of indicators is not discretionary, but linked to criteria of relevance, measurability and consistency with the company mission.

The risk is otherwise that of carving certain metrics in stone and binding ourselves to them, underestimating both internal needs and changes outside the organization.

It follows that the right KPIs and their pursuit are nothing more than the natural consequence of an evolved company policy that constantly listens to the needs of its stakeholders.

The mission of Biodermol and of those who choose us lies in the search for increasingly cleaner and innovative solutions in order to contribute to leaving the planet more liveable for the new generations.

It is time for the private and public sectors to become aware of the importance of being able to have a positive impact on the life of their community and their planet.

Only once you understand their dimension in relation to this, will the KPIs have a meaning that goes beyond the cold numbers to be discussed in a Board of Directors meeting.