D-Orbit is now Benefit Corporation

Pubblicato il 04 Set 2014

D-Orbit, the Italian startup which developed an innovative decommissioning device to be installed on satellites prior to launch and able to dispose them at the end of their lifetime, avoiding debris-related risks and providing therefore safe access to space has become a certified Benefit Corporation.

Thanks to its new way of doing business – says the company, born in 2011 in a note – which links social and environmental issues to the market economy laws and to the logic of profits, D-Orbit is now stronger and continue its climb towards success, meeting high standards of transparency and accountability and therefore showing that it is possible to make money while respecting the environment and the society.

The idea reflects the founders’ intention of using technical competences to provide concrete solutions to issues of spatial safety and sustainability. Actually if in the past years we spoke of air, water, earth pollution, nowadays we have to speak of space pollution. Bringing sustainability principles into a new dimension – the one of space – which seems so distant from the social needs but which is actually always present in our daylife (e.g. GPS, meteo braodcasting, air safety) is a core element of the business philosophy of the startup both in terms of positive impacts on the principal spatial industries’ profits and in terms of advantages for the whole society.

So, from the beginning, D-Orbit’s priority has always been the respect of its mission: safeguarding space for future generations, avoiding what scientists call “space debris”, and so adding a new dimension to the notion of sustainability, always ensuring competitive advantages for its clients. So the CEO and Founder Luca Rossettini does not hesitate to say: “D-Orbit was born with the intention of offering a reliable, cost-effective product, a concrete solution to our clients’ compelling needs from the perspective of a sustainable spatial market. It’s in the DNA of our company and of our people.”

Thanks to its innovative way of doing business, the Italian company awarded this honor – the B Corp certification – which means transparency, accountability as well as innovation, respect and environmental sustainability. “Passion, committment to a cause we truely believe in and a strong will to contribute to make this world – space included – a better place”, says Rossettini when describing the elements which helped the company during the assessment process.

Therefore, in a society which has always exploited more than it could afford and in which companies performances are judged only according to immediate profits, B-Corporations – like D-Orbit – differ from traditional companies precisely in the way of doing business: not only do they aim at increasing profits, but they also aim at solving social and environmental issues, achieving long-lasting and positive results. Without claiming to change the world but only trying to make it a better place, Benefit Corporations are the new innovative corporate form, halfway between a for-profit and a non-profit company.

Although at the beginning they did not raise particular interest, this new corporations are becoming more and more common in the USA where a legislation already exists. In the last few months some B Corps have started to appear in Europe and in Italy too…

It is undeniable that Fordism, Capitalism, Economies of Scale and Free Markets did contribute to the economic welfare of a large part of the world population, but it is now time to consider their consequences. For too much time, companies have followed market economy laws and money logic without considering moral and ethical issues, forgetting the values of justice and solidarity as well as the respect for the Other, for nature and for common goods, and therefore leading themselves to their own failure.

Today there are more than 1000 B Corp all over the world with a majority of them located in the USA. In Italy there are only very few examples – like the one of D-Orbit – which however obtain positive judgements and attract the attention of entrepreneurs, institutions and investors.

Such an economic reform would carry innovation together with real possibilities of sustainable growth and honest profits. In addition, when the new, emerging companies will be concretely able to operate in order to solve public issues – e.g. environmental policy, plans for the conservation and the development of territorial resources, social welfare policy – they could really contribute to lower public expenditure. It is enough to think that governments always take care of all the expenses related to spatial monitoring, leaving to the ESA the task of monitoring space debris.

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