LifeGate aims to contribute to a new way of doing business that places the environment at the centre.
Focus: Communications/Media, Consumer Awareness, Energy, Environment, Trade
Geographic Area of Impact: Italy
Model: Social Business
Annual Budget: US$ 16 million (2010)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 100%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Italy, 2007
Excessive materialism during the past 30 years has undermined basic human values, even though profit does not necessarily equal happiness. LifeGate is the first business of its kind in Italy that breaks with the past by proposing a new way to work and live. It offers a unique model for a new economy, where business has a conscience and people are aware of their actions and the effect these have upon others and the environment.
Innovation and Activities
LifeGate aims to contribute to a new way of doing business that places the environment at the centre, based on the three interrelated concepts of people, planet and profits. LifeGate operates a number of activities that seek to change people’s mindsets and society as a whole.
Impatto Zero is a project to reduce carbon emissions and offset them by creating and protecting forests. To date, the project has involved over 700 companies and resulted in the creation of 28 million square metres of new forests. Other activities include LifeGate Ecopartners, a consulting enterprise offering market analysis, brand positioning and eco-marketing strategies. LifeGate Engineering is a specialized consulting service in renewable energy systems for homes, private enterprises and public services. LifeGate Renewable Energy is the first Italian distributor of 100% clean energy to businesses and the public.
LifeGate Portal, a website of over 10,000 articles on health, environment, organic food, FairTrade, psychology and other topics, promotes social and environmental awareness and receives 400,000 visitors each month. LifeGate Radio, with more than 400,000 listeners per week, offers high-quality music complemented by ethical messages and advice. LifeGate iMagazine, originally in print, is now a digital version for iPads covering topics presented in the LifeGate Portal.
As part of LifeGate Planet, which has major NGO representatives on its board, Marco Roveda is writing a free e-book translated into five languages. It includes input from Ervin Laszlo, world leaders and Nobel Prize winners, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Wangari Maathai, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Shirin Ebadi, Deepak Chopra, Fritjof Capra, Lester Brown and Vandana Shiva.
Born in Milan in 1951, Marco Roveda describes himself as an entrepreneur, philosopher and visionary. In 1978 he embraced biodynamic agriculture, and in 1981 established the Scaldasole farm as the first organic food company in Italy. Inspired by this, +60,000 companies followed suit and transformed the organic production market in Italy, making it the top producer of organic goods in Europe. In 2000, Roveda founded LifeGate, which became a meeting point for people and companies to focus their ethical and sustainability principles. In 2004 he published Perché ce la faremo (That's Why We Can Make It), and in 2008 promoted the series I Sostenibili for Salerno Publishing with L’ecobusiness ci salverà (Will Ecobusiness Save Us?), an interview-biography by Enzo Argante. In 2010 he became the only Italian member taking part in the Worldshift Council of the G20. The mission of this council is to bring attention to the new emerging world by providing guidance for an informed/determined movement towards a peaceful, just and sustainable world civilization. Roveda lives in the Italian province of Como in the original headquarters of the Scaldasole farm, which is now Italy’s first solar tracker photovoltaic park.
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