ROMA – There are many Italian companies, including some small ones, that have not waited for the Green New Deal to become champions of the circular economy, or organic products, or sustainability. There are records that Italy has been boasting for some time, and that this year the Symbola Foundation, chaired by Ermete Realacci, tells in the study “Italy in 10 selfie”, presented this morning in the Foreign Press Room in Rome, with the participation of Marteen Van Aalderen, President of Foreign Press, Marina Sereni, Deputy Foreign Minister, Roberto Cingolani, Minister of Ecological Transition.
Faced with the common mission of restarting the economy in an inclusive and sustainable way, says Realacci, “Italy can make an important contribution to this challenge in many sectors in which it is already a protagonist, as we describe in this dossier, linked to a a way of producing attentive to quality, the environment, human relations. A stronger and at the same time more sustainable economy: starting with the circular economy that sees us achieving results that are double the European average and much higher than those of all the large Countries. Italy can be an outpost of that stronger and at the same time more sustainable and human-sized economy. Italy is often able to see its own ills, without facing them, but is unable to read its own points of Come on, as President Draghi recalled. Yet there is nothing wrong with Italy that cannot be corrected with what is right in Italy. These ten selfies demonstrate some of the talents we can bring to the field “.
And here are the Italian records, some of which are not too well known, because if it is easier to think of Italian excellence in the field of fashion or agri-food, it is not, for example, in that of renewable energy, yet it is Italian the most major player in the world in renewables. Enel, the Symbola report recalls, is also for this reason the most capitalized private electricity company on the European stock exchanges. And it is a true multinational, with wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric plants that operate not only in Europe but also in Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Americas.
For some years now, there has also been talk of Italy’s primacy in the circular economy: Italy is almost a “superpower” with the highest percentage of recycling out of all waste, 79%, double the European average, and for this reason it saves 63 million tons, equivalent to tons of CO2. 432,000 companies have invested in the period 2015-2019 in green products and technologies. They are the ones that innovate the most, export the most, produce the most jobs.
Leadership (or almost, we are in second place in the world according to a study by the University of Oxford) in the ability to export technologically advanced green products. The industries that have invested in this field are over 432 thousand, 31.2% of the total, with an even greater share in companies led by the under 35s. Since 2015, the share of green investments has tripled.
The Italian primacy in design is more well known: Italy is in the lead in Europe for the number of companies, with 15.5% of the total. The more than 34,000 companies in the sector employ almost 65,000 workers with an added value of over 3 billion euros. Milan is confirmed as the capital of design: it absorbs 18.3% of the national added value and 14% of the employees. We are amcje world leader in terms of trade balance in the nautical sector, and in the wood-furniture sector Italy is first in Europe in the circular economy with 93% of recycled wood chipboard panels and third in the world in terms of trade balance in furniture.
In agriculture we are ahead in sustainability with emissions (30 million tons of Co2) significantly lower than France (76 million) and Germany (66 million). A record that also allowed a strong hold in agri-food exports, the only sector that maintained the trade balance in surplus in the year of Covid. Also thanks to the monumental Doc, Dop and Igp production of high quality local specialties. A sector that attracts more and more young people: the primacy of agricultural enterprises led by under 35s is also Italian.
We also have a leadership role in Europe in pharmaceutical production, with 32.2 million euros, immediately after Germany with 32.9 million. And finally, we are the leading European bicycle exporter with 1,779,300 bikes sold abroad. First in the world also in the production of saddles with 53.9% of the world total. A contribution of great importance to sustainable mobility, with a strong capacity for vision with respect to the needs that have emerged with the pandemic.