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Parma showcases connection between finance, industry and sustainability

24 August 2021

From July 5th – 11th, 2021 Parma hosted the annual ‘Green Economy Festival’, an event that since 2011 has showcased thematic discussions, projects, and players related to the green economy.

This year’s edition of the festival placed a spotlight on climate change, renewable energy sources, urban regeneration, and sustainable fashion and tourism models. Parma brought together leading financial institutions, actors, and businesses whose work focuses on sustainability. With 150 speakers, 40 sessions, and 50 entrepreneurs completing the dynamic programme of events, the week was filled with important discussions related to food supply chains, green chemistry, sustainable mobility and transport, as well as a tour dedicated to highlighting ‘Sustainable Factories’ in Italy.

Fostering economic resilience through sustainability

The city of Parma was delighted to welcome the participation of the President of the Emilia Romagna Region, mayors, business leaders, economists and representatives from key local institutions such as Annalisa Sassi, President of the Parma Union of Industrialists, Paolo Andrei, Dean of the University of Parma, Alessandro Chiesi, President of Parma Io Ci Sto!, and Federico Pizzarotti, the Mayor of Parma.

The festival provided an exceptional opportunity to begin answering difficult questions such as: Will it be possible to travel with zero emissions in the future? Can we reduce the presence of chemicals in agriculture? How can we handle large fluctuations in global tourism that are growing as countries are better able to cope with the pandemic? Can fashion ever be truly sustainable? What impact will sustainability have on the world of finance?

Smart city for a smart, sustainable economy

A fundamental part of designing smart cities that can address these challenges in a sustainable and inclusive way involves a deep examination of the critical role that finance and economy have to play in fostering resilient, sustainable solutions. As a RUGGEDISED fellow city, Parma seeks to inspire decisive change in the behaviour of its citizens, institutions and businesses. Mirroring the themes of the Green Economy Festival, it aims to do so by hosting important conversations that encourage innovative ideas on topics like green chemistry, smart mobility, transport, renewable energy, circular economy, and more.

Parma Futuro Smart is living up to its role as a RUGGEDISED fellow city by participating in the organisation of events like the Green Economy Festival which can be replicated in similar-sized cities across Europe. The city of Parma is proud to have hosted such an influential event and looks forward to spearheading more in the future.


The Green Economy Festival was promoted in Italy by the ItalyPost in partnership with the Symbola Foundation and the Corriere della Sera. The event was organised in collaboration with the European Commission and the support of Lago e Crédit Agricole and Gazzetta di Parma.

The programme was developed thanks to the Festival’s scientific committee, chaired by Ermete Realacci, the President of the Symbola Foundation, and the promoters of the ‘Manifesto di Assisi.’

Adapted from the article ‘Green Week’ (in Italian):