press release
Published: 14 July 2022

Health of the planet can be improved by companies' people-centred growth, says new study

There may be a path for companies to 'grow graciously' without causing harm to the planet, according to new research from the University of Surrey.

Using the high-fashion brand Brunello Cucinelli as a case study, researchers recommend shying away from one-off, large events and instead focusing more on embedding sustainability into everyday processes to make a real positive impact on the planet's health.  

Brunello Cucinelli's decisions to select suppliers for their sustainability approach and staff treatment and localising the supply chain to reduce carbon footprint and support the local economy, are just two examples of policies that companies can install to promote gracious growth.  

Professor Tazeeb Rajwani, co-author of the study at the University of Surrey, said: 

"If we are at all serious about improving the health of our planet, we will need to address how the byproducts of growth impact our environments. 

"Our research and work with Brunello Cucinelli centres on gracious growth - a philosophy that puts humanity and our planet at the heart of business strategy and operations. Simply, it is people-centred capitalism that combines profit and human dignity. This philosophy also applies to not only internal employees but also to the broader array of stakeholders surrounding the company." 

Surrey's research team was given extraordinary access to the Brunello Cucinelli business and was able to conduct a series of interviews, collecting archival financial and logistical information for observation to assist in the completion of the study. 

Brunello Cucinelli is a leading Italian luxury fashion company that designs, manufactures, and distributes men's and women's clothing and accessories collections. 

The University of Surrey is a research-intensive university producing world-leading research that transforms lives and changes the world for the better. Sustainability is an institution-wide area of research focus, delivering multi-disciplinary research to tackle the many challenges of climate change. The University is also committed to improving its own resource efficiency on its estate and being a sector leader. It has set a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. A focus on research that makes a difference to the world has contributed to Surrey being ranked 55th in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings 2022, which assesses more than 1,400 universities' performance against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

 
Notes to editors 

  • Reference: Tahiru Azaaviele Liedong, Paolo Taticchi, Tazeeb Rajwani, Niccolò Pisani; Gracious growth: How to manage the trade-off between corporate greening and corporate growth; Organizational Dynamics; 2022, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orgdyn.2022.100895Get 
  • Professor Tazeeb Rajwani is available for interview upon request. 
  • Contact the University of Surrey's press office via mediarelations@surrey.ac.uk. 
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