In 2016, benefit corporations were introduced in Italy as firms that exercise an economic activity with the objective of sharing profits while pursuing common-benefit purposes and operating in a responsible, sustainable and transparent man-ner. The empirical analysis carried out on the population of 305 firms depicted a niche phenomenon, where benefit corporations are mainly start-ups or very small enterprises operating in the service industry and based in the north of Italy or in the main cities. These firms hardly follow the reporting practices required by regula-tion, as the large majority produce short reports without clear plans explaining how to put the common benefit into operation. Furthermore, the reports rarely present key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the firms' sustainability performance and impacts on the environment and society. This analysis sheds light on the need for future research aimed at answering the question if benefit corporations actual-ly "walk the talk" or if this new form of business presents higher risks of value-action gaps.
Keywords: Sustainability disclosure, Non-financial reporting, Benefit Corpora-tions.