According to a report by Ember, the group of independent climate experts, Italy is among the seven European countries that are not making enough progress to reach the decarbonization target set by Europe. Also Germany, Belgium, Poland, Chechnya, Spain and Romania are on the naughty list.
A further confirmation of the peninsula’s negative trend came with the sentence of the European Court of Justice which reported the violation of air quality rules perpetuated by Italy. In 2014, the European Commission started a legal against the country “for having systematically and persistently exceeded, in a certain number of zones in Italy, the limit values for PM10 particulate matter”. The Court eventually found that “from 2008 to 2017 inclusive, the daily and annual limit values for PM10 particulate matter were very regularly exceeded in the zones concerned”.
It is in this context, which is not exactly among the best, that initiatives such as those of Snam and CDP become precious. The energy infrastructure company and the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti group collaborated together to create Arbolia, the start-up aiming to plant 3 million trees by 2030. It is a benefit corporation, i.e. a company that, in addition to profit objectives, aims to have a positive impact on society and the planet. Italy was among the first countries to adopt this legal structure and today there are more than 500 companies in the country that have adhered to this model.
The ultimate goal of Arbolia is to make a substantial contribution to the decarbonisation process, combating CO2 emissions by absorbing about 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. In fact, the company wants to add 500,000 trees every year to the 12 billion already present in order “to improve ecosystems, promote biodiversity and make cities more resilient”. Therefore born to develop new green areas in the country, Arbolia’s mission is, as stated on their website, to “contribute to the fight against climate change, to the improvement of air quality and the creation of opportunities for social and economic development for cities and territories”.
The company will carry out afforestation and reforestation activities in areas made available by public administration and individuals on behalf of companies and people who want to contribute to the improvement of the environment. Furthermore, Arbolia will take care of the maintenance of the trees for the first two years and will also offer carbon footprint analysis services to companies and public administration. These services will be possible thanks to the collaboration with TEP Energy Solution, Snam’s subsidiary that operates in the energy efficiency sector.
Finally, Arbolia will also promote dialogue between stakeholders on issues relating to the development and promotion of forestry activities.