Italy and the Green Economy

Published on Monday, 27 November 2017

Technology and the environment. Environment and work. Remember? Just a few years ago they sounded like opposing concepts. Today this is no longer the case. Actually, their very convergence offers extraordinary opportunities for a new development model.

Fondazione Symbola continues to have faith in Italy and the figures in the GreenItaly 2017 report presented on 22 November at Palazzo Chigi, confirm that the foundation’s faith is justified. “The Green Economy is the best response to the crisis,” confirmed the Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, happy to find himself “for once at a meeting of optimists.” Among the most optimistic was Ermete Realacci, president of the Environment Commission at the Italian Chamber of Deputies and founder of Symbola, the research of which justifies his positivity. Since 2011, 335 thousand companies involved in industry and services (27.1% of the total) have invested in green technology in order to reduce their environmental impact, thus saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions. This share rises to 33.8% for the manufacturing sector, “where the green approach is a strategic driver for the ‘Made in Italy’ identity, translating into greater competitiveness, growth in exports, revenues and employment.”

The country described in the Symbola report is “the Italy that makes Italy what it is, a country that does not forget the past but innovates and looks to the future with hope.” Our economy is setting many records in terms of environmental performance. For energy consumption, we have managed to improve our performance from 16.6 tonnes of oil per million euros in 2008 to 13.7 in 2015: Great Britain burns 8.3, France 14.4, Spain 15 and Germany almost 18. Italy is also very good at reducing the amount of refuse we produce: our 41.7 tonnes for every million euro produced (data from 2014) is the most efficient of the main economies of the European Union and significantly better than Germany on 65.5 tonnes.

Echoing Realacci’s optimism was our CEO and General Manager, Francesco Starace, according to whom the green economy is “the combination of two factors: sustainability and intelligent convergence that creates value in the long term. Italy is very advanced on this front.”

An economy capable of creating such convergence can enjoy positive and long-lasting effects in terms of economics and employment. An example of this is the gradual reconversion of 23 power plants through the Futur-e project, a “huge operation based on the principle of the circular economy” and also renewables. “When we began to manage the renewables revolution,” continues Starace, “no one was thinking of energy storage and batteries, an aspect that today is normal and has created a convergence between two industrial sectors.”

Enel too has great faith in Italy. In reference to the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan, presented for Capital Markets Day on 21 November in London, Francesco Starace pointed out the constantly growing investments in our country and the capacity of our company to be at the cutting edge of the global energy transition.

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