We The Italians | Italian report: GreenItaly 2016

Italian report: GreenItaly 2016

Italian report: GreenItaly 2016

  • WTI Magazine #85 Nov 21, 2016
  • 905

WTI Magazine #85    2016 November 21
Author : Fondazione Symbola      Translation by:

The green economy has proved to be one of the most significant and effective responses to the crisis. A reaction that crosses the deep nature of our economy: the push for quality and beauty, natural allies of an efficient use of energy and matter, innovation, high-tech. An evolution of system initiated "from below" and often without public incentives from a substantial part of our companies. A choice based on investments that produces jobs, something not that obvious in times of crisis, yet a courageous and successful enterprise.

As shown by GreenItaly 2016 numbers, the seventh report by Fondazione Symbola and Unioncamere, promoted in collaboration with CONAI and with the sponsorship of the Ministry for the Environment. The report measures and weighs the strength of the national green economy: since the beginning of the crisis, more than one company out of four has bet on the green economy, meaning more innovation, research, design, quality and beauty. Over 385,000 Italian companies, ie 26.5% of the total, which since 2010 have invested, or will do so this year, in green technologies to reduce environmental impact, save energy and reduce CO2 emissions. A proportion that rises to 33% in manufacturing, where the green orientation remains a strategic driver for the Made in Italy, translating in greater competitiveness, export and employment growth. In manufacturing, 46% of the companies that invest in green technology exports abroad, compared to the 27.7% of companies not investing; 35.1% of green businesses increased sales in 2015, compared to 21.8% of the other; 33.1% introduced innovations, against 18.7% of the other.

Our green economy has created 2,964,000 green jobs, aka people applying "green skills". A figure that corresponds to 13.2% of the national total employment. Our green economy will grant 249,000 new jobs with green skills: 44.5% of the demand for non-part time jobs, a percentage that rises to 66% in research and development. The contribution of green jobs to the country's gross product is estimated for year 2015 to 190,5 billions of €, representing 13% of the total Italian yearly production.

These companies show that our place in the world is not that of the competitiveness at low prices and environmental and social dumping, but that of quality, made of attention to detail, human capital, cohesion, beauty, innovation and sustainability. Investing in green companies become more sustainable and above all more competitive and open up a path that goes into the future. In the green economy, our country has rediscovered ancient vocations - the recycling and efficient use of resources - and found a productive model through innovation, research and technology that strengthens our identity and traditions.

GreenItaly 2016 demonstrates once more that the green choice pays. This development model is proving to be a valuable tool to intercept new consumption habits and lifestyles based on increased demand for sobriety, attention to social justice and equity. The rapid rise in global affairs of these emerging styles is leading to an acceleration of the circular economy.

Innovation means also digitization: and it is no coincidence that green companies are also the most digitized ones in our manufacturing base. Suffice it to say that 4 out of 5 are present on the web, have digitized processes and focus on digital skills, compared with just over half of non-green companies.

Energy primates and recycling of waste

Thanks to those who have bet on efficiency, Italy is first in Europe for several different environment areas. With 14.3 tons of equivalent oil per million euro, we are second among the five major EU economies for minor energy inputs in production, after the United Kingdom (11.6, but they have an economy far more financial than manufacturing) and ahead of France (14.5), Spain (16.8) and Germany (17.7). With 312 tons per million euros, we are second, again behind Great Britain (260), for reduced use of material, better than France (358), Spain (362) and Germany (462). With 107 tons of equivalent CO2 produced for each million euros we are second for lesser intensity of atmospheric emissions, this time behind France (93, helped in this case by nuclear) and ahead of Spain (131), United Kingdom (131) and Germany (154).

But we are first in containing the refused products: we produce only 42 tons per million euros, better than Spain (49), United Kingdom (59), Germany (64) and France (84). This leadership puts us at the forefront of the circular economy and allows us to be already European leaders in industrial recycling: our country has recovered to be sent for recycling 47 million tons of non-hazardous waste, the highest absolute value among all European countries (in Germany 43, France 29). Recycling in industrial production cycles has allowed us to save primary energy for over 17 million tons of oil equivalent, and emissions by about 60 million tons of CO2. And in the packaging industry, where the recycling rate (2015) is now accounting for 66.9%, the amounts continue to grow: according to the latest Eurostat data, from 1998 to 2013 Italy is the European country with the greatest increase in packaging sent for recycling (+4.2 million tons).

In June 2016 the share of electricity production from renewable sources in our country surpassed that from fossil sources. And Italy has the world record, among the industrialized countries, of share of photovoltaic (8%) in the national electricity mix.

Geography of eco-investments

There are many businesses in the green regions of the North, but their presence has spread throughout the country. Lombardy is the region with the highest number of eco-investing companies, 69,390, almost a fifth of the national total; followed by Veneto with 37,120 units, Lazio with 33,630 green businesses, Emilia Romagna with 33,010 and Tuscany with 29,160. Then we find Piemonte with 28.480, Campania 26,910, Sicily 23,630, Apulia 23,330 and Marche 11,870. At provincial level, in absolute terms, Rome and Milan clearly lead the list thanks to the presence of, respectively, 25,240 and 22,590 businesses investing in green technologies. In the third, fourth and fifth position, with over 10,000 eco-investing companies, we find Torino, Napoli and Brescia.

The first region for recruitment of green jobs is Lombardy, where currently close to 20,000 new jobs have been created, equivalent to just over a quarter of the national total (27.6%). Lazio follows at a distance with 9,000 recruitments (12.2% of the national total), then Veneto with 6,400 green jobs (8.9%), Emilia Romagna and Piedmont with more than 5,000 in each case.

Below this threshold are placed two southern regions, Campania and Sicily, where the assumptions of green jobs are just over 4,000. Approaching even more to the territories, the first provinces for green jobs are the great realities of Milan, with 12,000 recruitments, and Rome, with more than 7,000. Turin is in the third place, with 3,700 new green jobs demand, Naples is fourth with 3,000, Bergamo fifth with 1,870.