Friday 29th November marked the most important appointment for the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the UK. Held in the charming Church House Conference Centre, nestled in the beautiful background of Dean’s Yeard and just a few steps from Westminster Abbey, it was an unmissable event for everyone dealing with Italy and the UK in London.
Now in its 41st edition, the Annual Conference of the Italian Chamber of Commerce brought together the most influential figures from a broad spectrum of business activities between Italy and the UK. At the heart of the, was the topic of Energy & the Environment, theme that has been presented and debated frequently throughout the entire year.
Introduced by the Honorary Chairman of the Conference, The Italian Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta and President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce Alessandro Umberto Belluzzo, the first panel of guests was presented by the respectable European Editory of the Financial Times Tony Barber and by Robert Leonardi, Visiting Professor from LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome.
To open the talks was Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, who soon set the tone for an inspiring and stimulating morning of debate with the claim that whereas ‘nothing is certain’, it is today undeniable that climate change is an inexorable reality threatening every aspect of our lives.
In this scenario, investing in sustainability is as much a necessity as a profitable investment. To expand on this statement, a series of respected businessmen such as Pietro Di Maria, General Manager of Green Network Energy, Stefano Martinetto, CEO of Tomorrow Ltd, Andrea Giannotti, International Media Relations Novamont S.p.A. and Andrea Ceglia, Managing Director of Max Mara.
Longing for the stabilisation of the financial system and the mitigation of the risk to people’s businesses, it was agreed that government policies are essential. In such scenario, Doug Simpson Principal Policy Officer for Environment, and Sir Roger Gifford, Chairman Green Finance Institute illustrated the importance for companies to not only operate with sustainable principles but to also endorse a green philosophy for reasons that go beyond marketing and company image.
The high calibre panel of speakers continued with, amongst others, Jalaj Hora, SVP for Quality, RM and Product Engineering at Burberry presenting the highly innovative Econyl Burberry, a sustainable nylon yarn made from regenerated fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic. Stimulating us to reflect upon our shopping habits, it demonstrated that it is possible to be ‘conscious consumers’ and contribute to a beneficial development of the economy.
With such provoking topics, an opportunity for the audience to ask questions granted few lucky ones to challenge the speakers. As consumers we buy the change we wish to see in the world, and whereas most of us is today more and more environmentally conscious, the risk is often to get brainwashed by green marketing and neglect the effective sustainability of products, as we are always juggling convenience, price and awareness along with our desire for our better world. How can we trust what companies claim to do is effectively true? After forty years of continued dedication to foster a mutual and enriching collaboration, this year’s edition of the Annual Conference confirmed again the proven commitment to help existing businesses grow and stay in the UK, creating a hub of support and guidance for both start-ups and established companies devoted to sustainable activities.