Sustainability: Italy

September 2021

Italy ranks rather high in the Global Sustainability Index, with a strong food and agricultural sector and lower pollution compared to regional peers. The country is rich in biodiversity and has strong protective policies. Nevertheless, its main sustainability issues derive from elevated water stress, an increasing occurrence of extreme droughts and high exposure to climate change.

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The Country Briefings series examine market potential, economic and consumer trends impacting each country and how they are set to change.

Each Country Briefing covers one of these topics:

Economy, Finance and Trade: Understanding the structure, health and potential risks of an economy are important for decision-making within an existing operating environment as well as for expansion strategies. Real GDP growth, inflation and exchange rate fluctuations will directly impact consumer market potential. Import and export trade profiles help gauge how open an economy is to trade and investment, while analysis of government finances can be used to explore macroeconomic stability and susceptibility to economic shocks.

Income and Expenditure: Insights into income, wealth and expenditure of consumers are vital in helping businesses make strategic decisions with regards to which country (or even which region within a country) to enter, which consumer segment to target, which products or services to market, and at which price point. Other factors such as the size and expansion of the middle class and income inequality are also important in helping companies gauge the potential of a country market.

Households: Global shifts in gender, ageing, migration and housing are transforming the size, location,  general make-up as well as income and expenditure of households around the globe, with diverse implications for governments and companies. Households insights can help identify the decision-making processes and consumption tastes of different household groups and types within a country, and assess household appliance and digital readiness that is key for formulating market technology and internet strategies.

Business Dynamics: A stable and competitive business environment is vital to operate efficiently and attract inward investment. Businesses can assess these factors alongside challenges such as corruption, political instability and terrorism, also gain insight into business operating environment and make strategic investment decisions. Transport infrastructure, ICT readiness and labour force dynamics will also identify potential issues with a supply chain and the level of workforce skills.

Sustainability: Insights on key sectors directly related to the environmental sustainability of a country such as energy, water, pollution, environmental resilience, forest and biodiversity and food and agriculture help businesses to make strategic decisions in relation to environmental and sustainability trends, improve brand reputation and ensure long-term operations while ultimately growing the bottom line.

The briefings cover 103 countries and identify topics of crucial interest to planners, marketers and researchers.

Sustainability: Italy



Gradual coal phase-out to be accompanied by expansion of renewables
Italy to use EU recovery fund to accelerate decarbonisation process
Mediterranean biodiversity under further strain due to poor marine protection
Critical state of the water infrastructure remains a threat for Italian water supply
Innovation to play important role in building the long-term resilience of the agri-food industry
Drought to remain among most damaging threats for Italy under climate change


Chart 1 Environmental Sustainability Index Italy Chart 2 Global Sustainability Ranking: Italy Chart 3 Energy Ranking: Italy Chart 4 Energy Availability Landscape in Italy Chart 5 Energy Efficiency, Security and Equity Landscape in Italy Chart 6 Pollution Ranking: Italy Chart 7 Air Pollution in Italy Chart 8 Waste and Water Pollution Landscape in Italy Chart 9 Forest and Biodiversity Ranking: Italy Chart 10 Forest and Biodiversity Landscape in Italy Chart 11 Water Ranking: Italy Chart 12 Water Availability, Equity and Security Landscape in Italy Chart 13 Water Security and Efficiency Landscape in Italy Chart 14 Food and Agriculture Ranking: Italy Chart 15 Food and Agriculture Landscape in Italy Chart 16 Role of Agriculture in the Economy of Italy Chart 17 Environmental Resilience Ranking: Italy Chart 18 Environmental Resilience Landscape in Italy

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