Il profilo di Marco Roveda sul sito della Schwab Foundation (in inglese)

La Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in occasione della premiazione a Istanbul degli Imprenditori Sociali, pubblica l’highlighted profile di Marco Roveda, vincitore del premio per l’Italia.

Marco Roveda

Organization: LifeGate Group
Year Founded: 2000
Country: Italy
Geographic Area of Impact: Italy.
Model: Social Business
Focus: Communication / Media,Consumer

The Innovation
LifeGate group is not only the Italian answer to the Kyoto
protocol, with its carbon emission compensation programme, but it
is a 360 approach to promote awareness and consciousness for a
future in harmony environment. Founded in 2000 by Marco Roveda, a
well-recognized bio-farming pioneer in Italy, LifeGate aims to
contribute to a new way of doing business that places environment
at the center. The most important message of LifeGate is that one
can do good through profit as long as there is a close link between
profits and ethics. LifeGate’s enterprises are based on three
interrelated concepts, “People, Planet, Profits”.

The exaggerated materialism of the past 30 years has undermined
basic human values. Fortunately, many today recognize the
importance of family and environment as fundamental underpinnings
of all healthy and happy societies. Three decades ago, Marco Roveda
came to the conclusion that the idea that “profit=happiness” was an
illusion. LifeGate is the first business of its kind in Italy. It
breaks with the past proposing a new way to work and live and
therefore becoming a unique model for the new economy where
business becomes conscious business and
people become aware of their actions and how they affect others and
the environment.

In order change people’s mindsets and society as a whole, LifeGate
operates a number of activities and never stops developing new ways
to pass on the message. «Impatto Zero» (zero impact),
a project to evaluate and reduce carbon emissions which has
involved a number of universities and over 450 companies so far.
Impatto Zero compensates companies emissions with a reforestation
program in one of the biggest natural parks in Italy (Parco del
Ticino) and in Costa Rica, in partnership with the Costa Rica
Ministry of environment and Energy. To date, 13 million square
meters of new forest have been created through the program.
Moreover, LifeGates accompanies all involved enterprises from the
beginning of the relationship by evaluating and advising them over
work and production processes from an ethical and environmental
angle (LifeGate CSR Services). Eighty percent of the enterprises
have worked with LifeGate for the past 3 years. LifeGate
Ecopartners, an eco-strategy consulting enterprise. Services
include market analysis, brand positioning, and marketing strategy.
LifeGate Energy (2006), the first Italian distributor of 100% clean
energy, last year this company distributed over 30 million KWH to
businesses. The next step is to open up to private citizens by the
end of 2008 once the legislation is in place. LifeGate Energy has
already collected 5000 private citizen subscriptions for future
clean energy supply. LifeGate Portal, a website with over 10.000
articles (health, environment, biological food, FairTrade,
psychology, etc.) that promotes individual, social and
environmental awareness. WIth 400 thousand visitors per month,
LifeGate Portal also offers a free magazine (at Zero Impact), which
is sent to the 100,000 LifeGate subscribers. LifeGate Radio with
420.000 listeners per week, offers high quality music complemented
by ethical messages or advice. No traditional advertising is
allowed and sponsorships are accepted only from conscious and
ethical companies. LifeGate Engineering offers a specialized
service (consulting, assessment, guidance, and implementation) for
the realization of the most effective renewable energy system for
homes, private enterprises and public services. It aims to obtain
maximum energy efficiency, quality and environmental sustainability
at the construction and management level. LifeGate Ecojeans,
produced in Italy using biological, European-grown cotton
cultivated without the use of pesticides and chemical products. The
cloth is dyed with pure indigo, the rinsing is conducted with water
and pumice stone. The carbon emitted during production of Ecojeans
is compensated by reforestation activities, and 5% of the profits
finance a project that spreads consciousness. LifeGate Café:
all products available come from biological agriculture or from
FaireTrade markets. Additional services include catering, hosting
concerts and photography expositions. LifeGate Holistic Hospital, a
meeting point for complementary medicine. LifeGate Music Shop,
on-line music and scores sale Future projects include
movie with an international cast that aims to ?internationalize?
Roveda’s message. LifeGate is as well working to put together an
ethics committee to define the overall direction for the future of
LifeGate. This will join the other active two committees. The
Scientific committee that studies and discuss all issues on present
or future projects and the Administrative Committee.

The Entrepreneur
Born in Milan in 1951, Marco Roveda is an entrepreneur, a
philosopher and a visionary. To pursue his love of architecture, at
the early age of 20, he founded a construction company and by age
22, he owned two such companies and managed 40 employees. By the
age of 27, he and his wife Simona, were a wealthy couple. But
Roveda realized that material wealth would never bring him
happiness. He sold the businesses and moved to Ticino, Switzerland,
where he dedicated his time to pursuing manual activities, leaving
his mind free to think creatively. After 3 years, he returned to
Italy where he started a biodynamic farm (Fattoria Scaldasole),
which became nationally renowned for its biological yogurt,
bio-juices, and other products. He sold the business to Plasmon,
the Italian giant of baby food, and began contemplating a new
concept of quality life, rather then a quality product, hoping to
inspire others to rediscover non-materialistic values while
producing goods and services that were compatible with those
values. LifeGate is the manifestation of those efforts.

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