- Economy and marketing
Green transition, an opportunity to strengthen the economy
Analyzing the data of the GreenItaly Report, the president of the Symbola Foundation, Ermete Realacci, declared: "There is an Italy that can be a protagonist with Europe at COP27 in Egypt: it makes the green transition an opportunity to strengthen economy and society and already involves 2 out of 5 manufacturing companies. Accelerating on renewables and energy efficiency to replace fossil fuels in addition to fighting the climate crisis makes us freer and helps peace. There is already an Italy that makes Italy ready for the challenge of the climate crisis: in the GreenItaly 2022 Report we see an acceleration towards a more human-friendly economy that focuses on sustainability, innovation, communities and territories ".
In 2021, the share of eco-investing companies increased, relaunching the country's green transition process: in fact, it went from a share of 21.4% in 2020 to a share of 24.3% in 2021.
In the five-year period 2017-2021, over 531 thousand companies have decided to invest in green technologies and products: 40.6% of companies in industry have invested, a value that rises to 42.5% in manufacturing.
The most dynamic green companies on foreign markets
What are the reasons for companies to invest in green products and technologies? Eco-investing companies are more dynamic on foreign markets than those that do not invest: 35% of the former expect an increase in exports in 2022 against a smaller 26% of those that have not invested. In addition, turnover (49% against 39%) and hiring (23% against 16%) increase more.
Contracts relating to green jobs, with activation in 2021, represent 34.5% of the new contracts planned for the year. Specifically, the figures sought by companies for the green jobs professions are the most qualified and experienced professionals in relative terms compared to other figures. At the end of the year, the employees who carry out a green job profession amounted to 3,095.8 thousand units, of which 1,017.8 thousand units in the North-West (32.9% of the total national green), 741.2 thousand in the North-West. East (23.9%), 687.9 thousand units in the South (22.2%) and the remaining 648.8 thousand in the Center (21%).
The potential of renewable sources
In 2021, the production of electricity from renewable sources in the world was equal to 28.3% of the total, with wind and solar energy fivefold in 10 years. In 2021, 36% of electricity consumption in Italy was met by renewable sources, with a production of approximately 113.8 TWh. However, the installed power is still far from the climate neutrality targets set for 2030.
The president of Unioncamere, Andrea Prete, stressed that "for years our production world has shown specific attention to the issues of environmental sustainability, and today, also due to the energy emergency, is looking with interest at the potential of renewables. But, unfortunately, the authorization times are slowing down the installation of systems for the production of this type of energy. Suffice it to say that in 2021 only 1,351 MW of power was installed, a figure very far from the target defined by the Government of 70,000 MW to be installed by 2030 ”.
Italy leader in circular economy
An excellent result for the ecological transition and the development of an increasingly green economy also concerns the circular economy where Italy is a leader and has the highest percentage of recycling of all waste: 83.4% (2020), 30 percentage points more than the European average (53.8%) with historical growth in the use of secondary materials in industrial sectors in the two-year period 2020-2021.
The Geographies of the GreenItaly Report
The Geographies of the GreenItaly Report extensively describe the Italian productive sectors, with sustainability and circular economy that are consolidated as themes in the strategies of companies.
In the agri-food chain, Italy has decreased sales of plant protection products by 19%, and is a leader in the European organic sector, with an incidence on the agricultural area used by 17.4% (2021). In addition, Italy is the largest organic district in Europe.
Even in the construction world, as evidenced by the investment data, there is a strong push towards sustainability. Tax incentives and state bonuses recorded a growth in investments (+ 25%) in the redevelopment of the housing stock in 2021.
The furniture-home supply chain, as already noted in the previous editions of the report, is confirmed as strongly active on the sustainability issue: 95% of the wood is recycled to produce panels for furniture, while 67% of the companies use secondary raw materials and '81% sustainably produced wood and recently came up with a plan to accelerate the ecological transition.
The mechanics sector, second in Europe for employees, is dealing with the risk of procurement of critical raw materials of which Italy is heavily dependent on abroad. However, the sector is looking for solutions to extend the useful life of machinery, recover materials to give them new usefulness in the sector, digitize and make processes more efficient.
Even bio-based chemistry, thanks to new products, expands the fields of industrial application, from agriculture to cosmetics, through fuels to furniture.