GreenItaly Report 2022: Green Economy and Sustainability Strengthen the Competitiveness of Companies

The thirteenth GreenItaly Report draws attention to the potential of the green economy to strengthen the competitiveness of businesses and their ability to respond to crises. Presented by the Symbola Foundation and Unioncamere, it explains the need to accelerate the process of ecological transition in the Italian economy, with the associated challenges and opportunities.

GreenItaly 2022: the industrial green transition

The recovery after the pandemic has been challenged by the Russia/Ukraine conflict. Rising energy and raw material prices, equipment and labor shortages, and logistical disruptions have all contributed to putting more pressure on a delicate path already needed to secure the future of industry and Italian and European economy.

This is the picture painted by the GreenItaly 2022 Report through current data and stories. The conclusion is clear: the key to overcome these challenges is to invest in sustainability and the green and digital transition. Reconfirmation of the Next Generation EU setting.

“In the year of post-pandemic recovery, in 2021, the share of eco-investor companies grew, relaunching the country’s green transition process. In fact, it has gone from a share of 21.4% in 2020, the year in which green investments had in any case held, to one of 24.3%.” Specified Andrea Prete, president of Unioncamere, during the presentation in Rome of the thirteenth edition of the GreenItaly Report. “For years, our productive world has shown specific attention to environmental sustainability issues, and today – added President Prete – also due to the energy emergency, it looks with interest at the potential of renewables. But, unfortunately, the authorization times are slowing down the installation of plants for the production of this type of energy. Suffice it to say that in 2021 only a power of 1,351 MW was installed, a figure very far from the target set by the Government of 70,000 MW to be installed by 2030.”

The challenge of the green economy for Italian industry

According to the latest GreenItaly report, 531,000 companies invested in green technologies and solutions between 2017 and 2021. At a regional level, Lombardy is first in terms of number of companies with 90,500, followed by Veneto with 51,780, Lazio, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Sicily, Tuscany, Puglia, Marche. While at the provincial level, Rome leads the ranking, then Milan, Naples, Turin, Bari, Brescia, Florence, Bergamo, Vicenza and Salerno.

With these data, Italy ranks above the European average, with some strengths and some weaknesses. On the one hand, in fact, Italian manufacturing and businesses stand out for their ability to know how to recycle materials and implement processes aimed at cutting waste (Italy confirms itself in first place in the circular economy and for the recycling rate, with better results than in Germany, Spain and France). On the other hand, unfortunately there is still little development of renewable energies.

But the fact that is most striking when reading GreenItaly 2002 concerns the effects of these investments. The report shows that the companies that have begun to focus on more efficient processes and technologies with a lower environmental impact would be more dynamic on foreign markets than the others. In numbers, this translates into an increase in exports of 35% in 2022 for those who have invested in sustainability against 26% for the others. The same goes for turnover (49% against 39%) and hiring (23% against 16%). This is an incentive to invest in the green economy.