Green economy

Emilia-Romagna has a strong presence of companies oriented towards sustainable business, that cover a wide range of sectors, with a presence in the main regional clusters, including firms in traditional environmental sectors such as waste or water and also those ones that, regardless of the productive sector, act in a greener way.

About 6,500 companies have been identified as belonging to the green economy in 2022, with a turnover of over 90 billion euro and 300,000 employees.



Innovation ecosystem

The regional production system is strongly oriented towards sustainability, supported by the innovation ecosystem that is able to create collaborations and synergies between knowledge system and business. Here are some key actors:

logo clust-er greentech

Clust-ER GREEN – Energy and Sustainability

Clust-ER Associations are communities of public and private bodies (research centers, companies, training institutes) created to support the competitiveness of the most important production systems in Emilia-Romagna.

logo Regional High Technology Network

Regional High Technology Network

Discover the High Technology Network industrial research offering in ‘Energy and Sustainability’

Eit Climate-KIC

EIT Climate - KIC

A Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon, climate-resilient society. Climate-KIC Italy is based in Bologna. Among the regional partners/members: ART-ER (core partner), Universities of Bologna, AESS.

Eit RawMaterials logo

EIT RawMaterials

Established in 2015, it is the World's largest innovation community in the raw materials sector, aimed to advance Europe’s transition into a sustainable economy. Among its partners and members: ART-ER (core partner), Universities of Bologna and Ferrara.


(Ecosystem for Sustainable Transition in Emilia-Romagna)

Ecosister is a regional Foundation managing a Technology Transfer and Innovation Programme worth110 million euro, supported by the NRRP (National Resilience and Recovery Plan), involving a PPP of 23 participants supporting ecological transition in EmiliaRomagna.

Main trade fairs

Hydrogen Expo

Piacenza, IT

Remtech Expo

Ferrara, IT

HESE - Hydrogen Energy Summit&Expo

Bologna, IT


Rimini, IT

KEY - The Energy Transition Expo

Rimini, IT


Ravenna, IT


The Emilia-Romagna Region promotes sustainable development, involving economic and social actors. The Pact for Labour and Climate - signed in 2020 by 55 local stakeholders - aims to share a single strategy capable
of tackling current difficulties by supporting the economy and society. It is a Pact whose primary aims are generating high-value jobs, reducing inequality and taking Emilia-Romagna through environmental transition, thereby helping to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, in particular achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and 100% renewable energy by 2035. The strategic document “Pathway to Carbon Neutrality before 2050” identifies - for each sector - the policies and activities related to the attainment of these objectives.

  • The Regional Energy Plan sets the strategy and objectives of the Emilia-Romagna Region for climate and energy up to 2030 in terms of strengthening the green economy, energy savings and efficiency, development of renewable energy, interventions on transport, research, innovation and training. A plan of 8.5 billion euro from pulic and private investments has been approved for the perdiod 2022-2024.
  • The Waste Management Regional Plan led to an increase up to 73% of separate collection in 2021 with the aims to achieve 80% in the period 2022-27.
  • The Green Public Procurement (GPP) Plan led to 818.3 milion euros in green purchases in 2021, applying Minimum Environmental Criteria in 44% of the calls for tender. 
  • The new regional S3 Smart Specialization Strategy  identifies and analyses the regional main sectors for the future innovative investments in Emilia-Romagna
  • Regional Law for the promotion of Investments in Emilia-Romagna (LR 14/2014) and National incentives are strongly related to sustainability.

Sustainable production and consumption are supported by the adoption of “process and product” certification
tools, such as the wide use of organic certifications and environmental Management System certifications
(e.g. ISO14001). Moreover, the regional companies are first in Italy for the number of EPD certified products (Environment Product Declaration) in 2021.