Description of the activities

Moleskine is a premium and aspirational lifestyle brand with global reach. It is synonymous with culture, travel, memory, imagination and personal identity. A symbol of contemporary nomadism, its product range encompasses notebooks, diaries, journals, bags, writing instruments, reading accessories and hybrid products that migrate content from paper to digital devices and vice versa. Moleskine has its finger on the pulse of contemporary creativity and is present across a network of websites, blogs, online groups and virtual archives, not least within the brand’s own online community, myMoleskine. The Company sells its products through a multichannel distribution platform in more than 115 countries.

1. General comment: Environmental impact

The question of sustainability has always been at the heart of Moleskine’s concerns. The environment is a primary resource that the Company is committed to protecting. It therefore seeks to balance economic benefit and environmental protection in all of its activities, developing them with respect for current environmental regulations while bearing in mind the rights of future generations. As the Company operates primarily as a distributor, most of its environmental footprint comes from the operations of its suppliers. It therefore seeks to implement its values through the supply chain. 

2. Material aspects

Climate Impact/CO2 emissions/Deforestation

Moleskine acts to reduce the direct and indirect environmental impact of its activities on a daily basis, both in the office (e.g. by installing solar panels to improve energy efficiency) and in the production processes that it manages.  

Given that Moleskine’s key products rely on the supply of paper, the company recognises deforestation as a material side-effect of its business. Moleskine produces and sells products according to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody, which guarantees the traceability of wood within the transformation process. The company has also obtained the latest Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC Mix), which ensures that 100% of Moleskine’s paper products come from responsibly-managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits (see the section on “Risks of non-compliance with standards and regulations” on page 97 of this report).

Waste management

Moleskine creates objects that are primarily designed to be kept, reused and treasured. Wasteful packaging is kept to a minimum and Moleskine’s packaging is frequently designed to be reused. For instance, the paper band that comes wrapped around Moleskine notebooks can be personalized to record details of the user’s thoughts and experiences. More than 88% of the paper products in the 2017 catalogue have a reusable paper band.

Sustainable procurement

Moleskine adheres to a set of legal and ethical standards as defined in the Group’s Code of Ethics, adopted since 2013. This Code serves to reaffirm the Group’s deep-seated commitment to meeting the highest standards of legal and ethical conduct in its commercial dealings and employee management.

Relationships with Moleskine’s suppliers and distributors are governed by the principles of propriety, transparency and good faith. The Company undertakes to use objective, openly-declared and transparent selection criteria, and to respect scrupulously the conditions contained in the contract.

Suppliers are selected based on fair and impartial criteria after evaluating the quality and value for money of their products or services, their technical and professional suitability, their respect for the environment and their commitment to social well-being. Those suppliers and distributors operating in sectors and/or with procedures that are not in line with the values contained in Moleskine’s Code of Ethics are considered to be incompatible, even if the financial terms they offer are favourable.

Moleskine’s purchasing conditions require suppliers to guarantee that every stage of their chain of production complies with the SA8000 international Social Responsibility Standard. This standard, which is regularly updated, applies to all working conditions and covers safety, hygiene, under-age workers and non-voluntary work (exploitation), the legitimacy of employment contracts and the environment.

These strict standards ensured that 89% of goods purchased in 2017 by the Company came from certified vendors.

Controlling the impact of chemical usage

Moleskine products are made out of paper or other materials that impact the environment in some way. Moleskine is actively engaged in taking precautions to help safeguard the health of the environment and people. All Moleskine notebooks are made with paper that is acid- and chlorine-free, making them environmentally-friendly products. The Company aims to buy all of its products from suppliers that can either:

(a) guarantee that “REACH” regulations on raw materials have been respected. These aim to improve the protection of human health and the environment through better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances; or

(b) comply with “Proposition 65” of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, which lists chemicals requiring a disclaimer to be made to customers and forbids some chemicals from being released in drinkable water sources.

All Moleskine products in the 2017 Catalogue are REACH and/or Proposition 65 compliant.


Moleskine is committed to contributing to the development and wellbeing of the communities in which it operates. It aims to introduce wide-ranging innovation at all levels of the organization and constantly acts to maintain and improve the way it does business, actively seeking to intercept emerging trends and mindstyle changes. 

It consolidates its commitment to these values through a series of external initiatives aimed at encouraging talent and innovation:

  • The Moleskine Open Innovation Programme: Fueling talent, ideas and passion.

This was a call for innovative ideas to add to the growing Moleskine+ ecosystem of smart objects and services. The project invited talented start-ups and scale-ups from all over the world to submit concepts, projects and proposals and turn inspiring ideas into business reality.

  • The Moleskine Creativity Hub: Towards a stronger emotional connection with our community.

This project aims to generate content, engage the community and promote innovative and leading-edge research within and across disciplines. The content is generated in original ways by the Moleskine community, including students, writers, designers, thinkers and business innovators, all expressed through various platforms and spaces including the Moleskine Café and Fold magazine by Moleskine.

In 2017, the company sustained creativity in the community through the Moleskine Creativity Hub and Moleskine Incubator for young creatives and emerging talents. It totaled 15 cultural sponsorships and held 15 events at the Moleskine Café.

Community engagement

The Moleskine Foundation: Quality education is key to driving our collective future

The Moleskine Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created in 2006 as “lettera27”, an unconventional cultural incubator. The Foundation built on lettera27’s successful heritage of working with people, values and projects, and operates in complete independence from the Moleskine company.

The Moleskine Foundation believes that quality education is key to producing positive change in society and driving our collective future. It is committed to providing youth with unconventional educational tools and experiences that help foster critical thinking, creativity and life-long learning skills, with a focus on communities affected by cultural and social deprivation.

To achieve this, the Foundation works at the intersection of three focus areas: innovative education, art and culture for social transformation, advocacy and cross-cultural awareness. With a special focus on Africa, the Foundation works closely with local organisations to fund, support and co-create a wide range of distinctive initiatives. Together with its partners and beneficiaries, the Moleskine Foundation strives to catalyse systemic change through an open, participatory and cross-sectorial approach.

Moleskine has made annual monetary contributions to support the Foundation’s projects since its creation in 2006. Until 2020, Moleskine will contribute either 1% of its EBITDA each year, or EUR 0.5 million, whichever is higher. Starting from 2018, Moleskine will also support the  Moleskine Foundation by allowing its employees to work for the Foundation on a voluntary basis 8 hours per year and to make payroll-deducted donations to the organisation.

Employee development and satisfaction

Moleskine aims to create a trustworthy working environment where people can express their talent, explore and co-create, with no limit imposed by race, gender, religion, age or political opinion. Moleskine’s human resources policy nurtures its employees’ sense of belonging and pride through meaningful activities and actions that are related to the Company’s unique purpose and culture.

In addition, Moleskine’s ‘hiring from within’ and ‘horizontal job rotation’ approach led to more than 30 employees at the headquarters being offered national and international job rotation opportunities and promotions in 2017 (on an average of about 250 FTEs at the HQ). This way of managing valuable human resources has been proved to motivate employees, increasing performance and work satisfaction. 

Moleskine is carrying out its next employee satisfaction survey in 2018.

3. Respect for Human Rights

The legal and ethical standards that Moleskine adheres to are described in the Company’s Code of Ethics, adopted in 2013. This Code reaffirms the Company’s commitment to meeting the highest standards of legal and ethical conduct in its commercial dealings and employee management. All of Moleskine’s employees must accept the Code when joining the company, as are all vendors who supply Moleskine with raw materials or finished products. 57% of goods purchased in 2017 come from vendors that have signed the Code and agreed to carry out their operations accordingly.

The Company considers unacceptable any type of violence, harassment or undesirable conduct that violates the dignity of a person. All those who observe or are the victim of any form of harassment (sexual or linked to personal, cultural or religious diversity) are asked to report this to the relevant managers or to the Supervisory Board.

The Company aims to propagate and reinforce a safety culture by developing awareness of risks, and developing knowledge of, and compliance with, current prevention and protection legislation, promoting responsible behaviour on the part of all workers. No employee and contractor may expose others to risks and dangers that might cause harm to their health or physical safety, and each worker is responsible for and must act to ensure effective management of workplace health and safety.

As mentioned above, Moleskine requires its suppliers to guarantee that every stage of their chain of production complies with the SA8000 International Social Responsibility Standard (which covers, amongst other points, working conditions, under-age workers and non-voluntary work).

4. Anti-corruption and bribery matters

Moleskine is strongly opposed to all forms of attempted or actual corruption and bribes. Relationships with the Public Administration must only be handled by individuals expressly authorised for this task and are guided by the utmost honesty and transparency. 

In 2013, Moleskine implemented the Italian Legislative Decree 231/2001 by adopting the Organizational and Control Model aimed at preventing bribery and the corruption of public administrations and private entities. It also complies with the Italian Entrepreneurial Association Guidelines (Confindustria Guidelines). A Supervisory Board oversees the efficiency of the Model and must be informed of any possible violation. The Supervisory Board reports twice a year to the Board of directors. No cases of corruption or bribery were registered in 2017 by the Supervisory Board. About 70% of employees in Moleskine offices have been trained on these matters.