Sustainable development - GulfToday

Sustainable development


Top officials at the opening of the Italian pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

This year marks the largest presence of Italian delegates ever at the leading Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX), with 55 companies travelling to the UAE for the three-day event.

The 3-day event is being helat at Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) at Expo 2020 Dubai

The Italian companies will be housed inside the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) pavilion, realized in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy in the UAE and the Consulate General of Italy in Dubai. Integrating components of the ecosystem, ITA facilitates trade opportunities, technology transfer, and showcases the latest innovations from Italian SMEs and startups – all in line with Italy’s National Sustainable Development Strategy to implement the UN 2030 Agenda and achieve the sustainable development goals.

Talking to the Gulf Today, Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE said “the year on year, the UAE is seeing increased participation from Italian companies in its trade fairs, as it is one of the many activities that Italy takes part in to further explore partnerships, exchange experiences, share knowledge and increase trade. Italy’s economy is rich in vital sectors such as renewable energy. At WETEX, in particular, the Italian exhibitors will impart know-how from different regions of Italy in the sustainable management of natural resources.”

He also said “The trade exchange figures between Italy and the UAE reflect our strong bilateral and economic relations. The UAE is the largest Gulf trading partner to Italy, while Italy is the 2nd largest European partner to the UAE. In the renewable energy sector, Italian export increased by 11 % in the 1st semester of 2021. It has even increased for almost 4% compared to 2019, before the global pandemic started. This year promises to be a year of redemption for the Italian companies in the sector.  Our largest physical participation at WETEX since it opened in 2009 confirms our intention to further strengthen cooperation with the Emirates.”

Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, said: “Italy’s long-standing relationship with the UAE spans across various sectors. Opportunities for cooperation between the two countries are built around innovation, renewable energy, water solutions, technology, infrastructure, SMEs, startups, smart cities and the circular economy – all are key in the UAE Vision to build a future economy. What Italy brings to the table in this bilateral cooperation is the knowledge, which resulted to 23 Billion Euro turnover on renewable energy components; and excellence, which produced 1,180 patents registered  in solar and wind power fields. This sector alone improved employment rate in the country by having more than 400 companies in the sector employing 60,000 workers. An interesting data to note is how the micro, small and medium-sized companies act as a flywheel of the ‘Green Key’ of the Italian economy.”

With Italy being Europe’s second largest manufacturer and the world’s sixth exporting country of technologies used exclusively in renewable energy sources , Italian companies will be sharing their expertise at the 23rd edition of WETEX.  As a leader in the sector, the country has developed the Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate, which aims to increase its share of renewables to 32 per cent by 2030, increasing power generated by renewables to 65 per cent, providing more than 55 per cent of the country’s national electricity consumption. The Plan also places a strong emphasis on wind energy and photovoltaics, which translates to an increase of installed power from renewable sources by 75%. ”

Amedeo Scarpa continues, “We put a spotlight on the innovative startups that can take companies through open innovation processes, industrial innovation 4.0, and implementation of new digital solutions. We take pride in the works that continue the Italian tradition of mechanics applied to industrial processes and ‘Made in Italy’ products that are backed by research, use quality materials, and are enhanced by modern technologies.”

Apulia, a dynamic region with a strategic geographical position in the southeast of Italy and recognised as one of the most industrious regions in the country, will presents a total of eight companies in a stand-alone pavilion next to the Italian Trade Agency.

“The Middle East is a strategic market for the Apulia region,” said Alessandro Delli Noci, Councilor for Economic Development of the Apulia Region. “We are bringing to WETEX the best of our expertise in the Green Economy, showcasing what we have achieved in the sector of renewable energy, environmental technologies and sustainable construction. This exhibition gives our exhibitors the opportunity to pave the way for new successful business relationships with the regional players.”

During the three-day fair, visitors can meet with Italian manufacturers and service providers that offer advanced solutions to environmental and food sanitation, integrated waste treatments, environmental rehabilitation plants, water treatments, dewatering equipment, chemical dosing, seawater desalination plants, alternative fuels, metering pumps, laboratory testing, renewable energy systems, and plants for civil use and agriculture. Leading customers towards digital transformation and automation process, the Italian exhibitors will present IT infrastructures, cybersecurity processes, technological solutions aimed at green-farm 4.0 and telecommunications, and AI-based software that helps monitor electricity usage building management costs, and hardware sensors that analyzes data.

In addition, in order to enhance the leading role of Italy in these sectors, on October 7, the Italian Pavillon at EXPO 2020 Dubai will host the Innovation Talk “Recycling for a sustainable development: the Italian proposal”, a pragmatical roundtable between Italian and Emirates stakeholders to exchanges views and discuss on sustainability issues and the environmental and economic impacts of the most advanced technologies.

Meanwhile, Applying innovation and entrepreneurship to the service of sustainability is one of the objectives that the ISA Group has set for itself in its 2030 strategy, and it is an example of what it is taking to Expo Dubai 2020 to represent the country. On this stage, the company will show the world its leadership in the Latin American energy sector and its role in the energy transition. It will also present its cutting-edge initiatives in sustainable development, with which it is making a tangible and relevant contribution to major causes of global interest, such as climate change mitigation and the construction of social fabric.

In line with its commitment to protect the planet, and as an example for other companies, the company, in alliance with Ecopetrol, will offset the carbon footprint of the entire Colombia Pavilion during the week of October 3-9, in order to become Net Zero Carbon. This will be registered through EcoRegistry, the carbon market platform based on blockchain technology developed by XM, an affiliate of Grupo ISA in Colombia, which allows the issuance, transfer, and retirement of carbon credits.

The resources obtained through this compensation will be invested in the conservation project, Cocoman Frontera Redd+, which works to prevent the deforestation of the forests of the Higher Community Councils of Novita, located in the department of Chocó in Colombia, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. The activities developed with this funding are: support for forest ranger families, promotion of productive alternatives to logging, environmental education, conservation of native species and seedling trees, among other activities of great importance to protect this important green lung.

Another of the global impact projects with which Grupo ISA will be presenting at Expo Dubai 2021 is Conexión Jaguar, the sustainability program with which, together with its technical partners, South Pole and Panthera, contributes to the conservation of biodiversity, climate change mitigation, the development of rural communities and the connectivity of the jaguar’s natural habitats in Latin America.

In addition, the group will be part of the academic agenda sharing best practices to protect the climate and biodiversity, making known the scope of Ecogox and EcoRegistry tools that were developed in Colombia, with a high innovative component and impact on climate change mitigation.

ISA Group, as a multi-Latin company, will also have the opportunity to promote the approach of the country and the region to the Vision 2030 agenda of the United Arab Emirates, a project that, within its roadmap, seeks to develop sectors such as infrastructure, energy, and clean technologies, mitigating the risks of exclusive dependence on oil.

“We know that the only way to protect the planet and leave a world for new generations is by working as a team and inspiring others. Expo Dubai 2020 is a platform that will allow us to build alliances, learn from other visions, share our experience and bring best practices to Latin America,” said Juliana Suso Jaramillo, Chief Institutional Relations Officer for ISA Group.

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