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Monday, January 20, 2014

Greening Italy: Italian Companies Jump On Green Technology

Italy increasing investment in 'green technology' as it sees it as a way out of an economic recession with 20% of companies now investing in it - particularly with regards to the high unemployment rates among the young.

From Gazzetta del Sud:

''Not only is there an Italy which is making it thanks to the green economy, but the green economy can help the country make it'', said Environment Minister Andrea Orlando at the presentation of the fourth annual 'GreenItaly' study in Milan on Monday. 

 Data from the report ''showed that those who invested in the green economy proved more resilient during the crisis and succeeded better in taking advantage of the recovery'', added Orlando. The green economy sector, which is based on sustainable development, social equity, and the reduction of environmental risks, attracted companies which ''invested in innovation, technology and research''. 

Firms investing in the green economy will be making 38% of all projected hires in the industrial and services sectors this year - an estimated 216,500 out of a total of 563,000, the report found. 

Green economy companies moreover will make up 61.2% of all research and development hires in Italy and 42% of all hires of workers under 30 in 2013. Youth unemployment in Italy reached a record of 40.1% last month. Eco-friendly investments have benefited exports with 42% of the 34,000 Italian green manufacturing firms exporting their products abroad in 2012. 

Green firms also tend to be innovators. In the manufacturing sector, 30.4% of green firms produced entirely new products or services compared to 16.8% of non-green enterprises. More than half of Italy's green firms - 52% - are based in the northern Lombardy region which has 60,000 eco-enterprises, 18% of the total, the report found. Italy's capital Rome Is the province with the largest number of companies investing in the green economy with 20,450 firms, about 6.2% of the total. The country's financial capital Milan follows with Turin, in the North-West, and Naples and Bari in the South. About 28.5% of green firms are based in the South, followed by central Italy which has 19.8%. On a regional level, the north-eastern Veneto region has 30,670 green companies - 9.4% of the total - followed by the central Emilia-Romagna and Lazio with 28,000 companies each, 8.6% of the total, then Piedmont, Campania, Tuscany, Puglia, Sicily and Marche. 

According to Ermete Realacci, who chairs the Symbola Foundation and the Lower House environment committee, investing in the green economy also implies investing in innovation and quality. ''Saying that 'when Italy acts, Italy makes it' can sound like a slogan but it's true'', he said."

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