Italian companies are becoming greener Italian companies are becoming greener

Italian companies are becoming greener

Telecom Italia is also committed to respecting the environment

- + Text size
Print

A few days ago, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) launched a global warning about the rising temperature of our Planet: “continued emissions of greenhouse gases will lead to long-lasting changes in climate systems, increasing the likelihood of a severe, pervasive and irreversible impact on populations and eco-systems”.

The increasing temperature, also the result of CO2 emissions, will cause glaciers to melt and a rise in sea level.

It is a tragic scenario if we think about all the animal species living in the glaciers that will see their living areas and food resources increasingly reduced. And then rising sea levels (24 centimetres are estimated) and an increase in temperature (that will reach +2°C degrees higher than the period 1986-2005) will have an impact across the globe.

But there is a solution: the IPCC demonstrated how carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced, thus slowing down the phenomenon.

This requires everyone's commitment, including individual citizens, companies and governments. A drastic reduction is required in the use of fossil fuels, which is responsible along with cement production for 89% of emissions while deforestation needs to be stopped.

But let's take a detailed look at European Union directives on environmental sustainability and what action Italian companies, including Telecom Italia, are taking

First step: Plan “20-20-20”

Given the alarming increase in temperatures and greenhouse gases, the EU issued Plan "20-20-20", which came into force in June 2009, and is valid from January 2013 to 2020.

Its goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, to increase the amount of energy produced by renewable sources by 20% and to achieve an energy saving of 20% by 2020. In short, this is the EU's commitment intended to address an issue that concerns all EU countries.

But what guidelines are included in the Plan?

Surely the first requirement for the EU was to find a way to be committed to the “post-Kyoto” (the Kyoto protocol is an international agreement to counter environmental warming) period without waiting for unlikely global agreements to be made.

Sustainability around the globe.

Sustainability around the globe

With Plan "20-20-20", the EU has shown its interest in and commitment to the health of our planet. Some countries are already demonstrating this by their good conduct.

But which country is the greenest?

The Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report 2014, compiled by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Accenture, allows the energy performance of 124 countries to be analysed based on three indicators: economic growth, environmental sustainability and safe energy.

Below are some interesting points:

  • Norway is in the lead, followed by New Zealand and France.
  • Italy stands out (negatively) in 49th place as last among EU countries.
  • Brazil, in 22nd place, is the country with the best performance of all emerging countries.
  • China, in 82nd place, is the largest consumer of energy in the world.
  • Many developing countries produce enough energy for only50% of the total population.
  • 32% of countries rely on imports to meet their energy requirements.

The leading position of European countries, especially in Scandinavia, depends on investments and grants for the development of economies with low emissions thanks to their use of renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, since tax benefits are not available in all countries, renewable energy sources are considered an additional cost.

“Our analysis shows that there is no single path to follow. Each country needs to work with its own resources and reductions, making difficult choices and compromises,” explains Arthur Hanna,Energy Managing Director at Accenture and a member of the World Economic Forum, adding, “this index helps individual countries to take stock of the situation regarding their challenges in terms of energy transition and to identify the main obstacles to success such as grants that distort markets, continuous uncertainties about energy policies, and funding for research and development of new energy sources and technologies”.

Made in Italy

In Italy, one in five companies has chosen the green economy and almost half of all the start-ups founded in 2014 immediately invested in “clean” technologies. Moreover, Italy leads the ranks in Europe as an economy less dependent on coal, and for its industrial waste recycling. It is a good step ahead for our country that has 350,000 companies that can be called “green” and focus on technological development and the structural system to reduce harmful emissions and environmental impact.

Reducing CO2 emissions produced by burning traditional energy sources (such as oil) can be done by encouraging the use of renewable energy sources, namely, all fuels that produce energy without releasing carbon dioxide. By their very nature such energy sources are not "exhaustible" on a human time scale. They include hydro-electric power, solar energy, wind power, wave power, geothermal energy and tidal power among others. With its territorial structure, Italy is a particularly lucky country, since its energy resources include wind and solar power, but, above all water power, which is the most widely used renewable resource.

Telecom Italia's commitment and its agreement with A2A

Telecom Italia has chosen to acquire energy entirely produced from renewable sources, making investments that reflect the principles of the green economy while striving to raise awareness of the importance of these decisions: today, 100% of the company’s energy requirements comes from green energy sources.

But how can we be sure that energy is produced from renewable sources? Thanks to Guarantees of Origin, namely, certificates that testify the origin of the renewable sources used.

Last summer, Telecom Italia signed a two-year agreement with A2A, confirming its commitment to protecting our planet.

The agreement, presented at the first “Telecom Italia Energy Day event, stated that A2A obtained Guarantee of Origin certificates in order to guarantee energy requirements for the entire Group over the next two years.

For Telecom Italia, the agreement is a choice that is consistent with its existing policies on sustainability, and can further reduce the environmental impact of its activities, with a reduction in CO2 emissions of over 70%.