Italy is known for the Roman Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Renaissance art of Florence. These tourist attractions make Italy a popular vacation spot and therefore bring in a substantial source of revenue; the estimate for this past year is $23.5 billion. Although these sites contribute to the reputation of Italy, the country is most known for its love and production of food. From the pastas to the wines to the olive oil, Italy is brimming with delectable dishes that contribute to the financial stability of the country. As the food market has long been a source of revenue for Italy, businesses are starting to realize that going green helps generate revenue, save money and contribute to global climate control.
Italy, the Chianti region in particular, is known for producing fine wine from its many vineyards. Although most of the vineyards have been around for thousands of years, some such as Casina di Cornia, are beginning to practice sustainable methods through their wine production. A small vineyard nestled between Florence and Siena, Casina di Cornia prides itself for being an eco-friendly company. With a pomegranate, the Mediterranean fertility sign as their symbol, the company has slowly started to live by the ideology of respecting the land. After research and dedication, the vineyard finally convinced local authorities to allow them to install a solar panel roof on their shed. They use organic grapes and work hard to preserve the fertility of the land. The best part: after all of this green effort, Casina di Cornia was chosen as one of Great Wine Capital’s finalists of the Best of Wine Tourism 2010.
For the past few years, the Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio olive oil farm, located just north of Rome, has been working towards the goal of eliminating its CO2 emissions. With the help of new and innovative technology, the farm hopes to earn back its original assets in up to five years. One investment is 24 hi-tech solar panels which store electricity for up to three days. Another economically and environmentally friendly investment is miniature tractors which run on bio fuels. The new wave of bio fuels is estimated to save around 4,500 litres of petrol every year and reduce CO2 emissions by ten tons. They also plan on re-using wood chips found on the farm to heat olive oil boilers as opposed to traditional methane gas boilers.
Grom is a well known gelateria with several locations located throughout Italy. Renowned for its high quality and delicious gelato, the company prides itself in using only organic and fresh products. Adopting the motto “Grom Loves World”, the company has made an effort to be eco-friendly. Swapping plastic spoons for Materbi, a biodegradeable material from corn starch, and using FSC certified paper, Grom lives up to their word. The company recently opened up branches in Paris, Tokyo, and even New York so the eco-friendly initiative must mean they are doing something right.
As more and more Italian businesses in the food and wine industry participate in the green movement, they are creating opportunities to remain competitive and increase revenue. Hopefully it is only a matter of time before other industries begin to contribute to the health of the Italian economy while helping to combat climate change.
By Alexandria Bachert. Alexandria can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.