Italian Minister for the Environment, Andrea Orlando: Pushing the Green and Bioeconomy to Come Out from the Crisis


The main entrance of Ecomondo in Rimini
The main entrance of Ecomondo in Rimini

It´s bioeconomy time. Ecomondo 2013, the International exhibition dedicated to green economy which takes place in Rimini, Italy, from 6 to 9 November, dedicates big part of its busy program of scientific seminars to the bio-based economy and innovation and sustainability of the chemical industry, offering industry and trade visitors, thanks also to the expo showcase in the halls, the opportunity of combining new knowledge and contacts made with the most innovative Italian and European business, academic and institutional experiences.

Chairman of the exhibition´s Technical & Scientific Committee is Fabio Fava, professor of Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Bologna, who explains “Considered as biorefineries and bio-industries, green chemistry represents, along with sustainable chemistry (in other words chemical processes that are more efficient in their use of resources, more selective and intensified, with fewer solvents and less CO2 and waste production), an emerging scientific, technological and business space at Ecomondo 2013”.

The scarcity and costs of oil, as well as the need to reduce the environmental impact connected with its use in chemistry and that of conventional chemical products, get the adoption of green chemistry instruments and strategies in sync with the guidelines of the European Commission and with the priorities of Bioeconomy of the new European framework program supporting industrial research and innovation, Horizon 2020, priorities established by the Public Private Partnership wanted by the major European bio-industries.

Ecomondo is hosting the sector´s most important industrial names, and attendees have an insight on the state of progress of Italian biorefineries being implemented in several industrial sites undergoing re-conversion. In this context, a particularly important role is played by the presence of the National Technological Cluster on ´Green Chemistry´, wanted and financed by the MIUR as a ´hub´ for the sector, a driving force for the growth of bio-based industry throughout Italy.

The exhibition hosted last Wednesday an international event on bio-based industry, at which there will be a presentation of the Italian ´case study´ on bioeconomy, which is the subject of a book recently published by Kyoto Club (´Bioplastics: A Case Study of Bioeconomy in Italy´) and a highly successful conference held at the European Parliament on March 6th, thanks to the collaboration between Kyoto Club and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, entitled: “Bioplastics: a case study of Bioeconomy in Italy in the light of Horizon 2020”.

Pushing the Green and Bio-Economy to come out of the crisis. This is the proposal by the Minister for the Environment Andrea Orlando. According to the Minister, “From an élite phenomenon, the country´s environmental conscience has become an aspect for progress and for upgrading our economic model. Ecomondo is trying to give concrete form to the green economy, laying the foundations for a new model of development.”  He added, “The challenge is to transform environmental challenges into ones shared by the entire community. Sustainability must be social, not just environmental: improving the quality of life is a necessity that cannot be postponed.”

A challenge that, according to Orlando, is particularly crucial on the employment front: “Structurally speaking, the Green sector needs a younger more qualified workforce than other sectors. It is no coincidence that the States General of the Green Economy launched in Rimini the idea of a “Green new deal” for Italy, built round the sustainable city concept.

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