That’s what emerges from the General Assembly which took place at the Dallara Headquarters in Varano de’ Melegari, Italy
88% of lighting companies believe that sustainability generates profit, but more tax breaks are needed to help companies in the green transition. Lighting is an increasingly green sector that recognises the strategic value of sustainability in processes and market positioning. That is the photograph taken by ASSIL on the occasion of the General Assembly at the Dallara headquarters in Varano de’ Melegari.
ASSIL, the Italian National Association of Lighting Manufacturers, brings together about 90 companies representing a sector with a total turnover of about 2.8 billion, which, despite the energy crisis and inflation, is maintaining the good results achieved in 2022. In the first 9 months of 2023 – according to ANIE data – lighting manufacturers’ companies saw a slight increase in demand from the domestic market, generating an increase in turnover compared to the same period in 2022 of +0.2%. On the other hand, there was a slight decrease compared to the foreign market, -0.5%.
The 2023 sustainability survey among ASSIL member companies at the Shareholders’ Meeting shows that 56% have drawn up a sustainability report, and 51% have obtained a sustainability rating (22% unsolicited and 29% solicited). For the companies working in the lighting sector, the attention to these issues represent, first and foremost, a competitive advantage (51% of respondents), while for the 40% an applicable opportunity for development. On the other hand, 4% of entrepreneurs consider it a business cost, and only 6% associate sustainability with obtaining and financing opportunities. According to 66% of companies in the sector, certifications are the best way to recognize a sustainable product. For 30% – on the other hand – a clear signal is the use of recycled materials or the product’s recyclability. 88% of companies believe that sustainability helps generate profit in the long term. But how can this type of path be encouraged? First of all, it is tax relief that can help companies (52%), and secondly, support for innovation (33%) without overlooking training (15%).
“The data collected during the Assembly reflect a specific wish to build a sustainable corporate DNA capable of intercepting all the competitive advantages of the green revolution. In this way, the companies working in this supply chain will be able to embody even more excellence and innovation.” – remarked Aldo Bigatti, President of ASSIL.
Sustainability today is a mandatory path for every company that aims at market leadership because, as Giovanni Fracasso, Professor of Finance – MBA at Bologna Business School, recalled, “it represents the engine of an epochal change”. That process has to start from the board of directors and involve all parts of the business because it is strategy and not marketing. Sustainability also influences the supply chain and, in reshaping chains, if a company is sustainable, it becomes a protagonist and so can become before others”. Companies working in the field of lighting represent a supply chain that applies high-quality standards, and through innovation and the trend of sustainability can achieve relevant goals. “Lighting plays a key role when it comes to sustainability. As a supply chain, we must strive to show the benefits of proper lighting through companies riding the innovation wave.” – recalled Carlo Comandini,
Vice President of ASSIL. “If we took advantage of the current Italian public incentive mechanisms and of the measures contained in the PNRR, in 5 years we could generate savings equal to 1.5% of the 2030 European targets. During the public Assembly, the institutions attending reaffirmed their openness to establishing synergies with the Association. “When we talk about energy and technological transition, we do not think primarily of the light issues, and this is a mistake,” remarked the President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Stefano Bonaccini. “On the other hand, the contribution of what pertains to the theme of light is fundamental, but it is a matter that needs to be explained by experts. For this reason, we are fully willing to work with industry representatives to develop tools for efficient energy resources management, clearly indicating the improvement possibilities and opportunities.
Michela Zanetti, Mayor of Fornovo di Taro and representative of ANCI Emilia-Romagna, also spoke on the topic of co-design – “Many times we ask ourselves about the issue of sustainability, especially that of lighting – in our case of public lighting – which is one of the central themes. With the energy crisis, the public lighting topic has become compelling, and for those who did not act in time, it represented a substantial backlash. Local administrations need to engage all proposals for improvement and efficiency. Expertise, knowledge and co-design are the three approaches we need.
ASSIL – National Association of Lighting Manufacturers, federated with ANIE Confindustria, brings together about 80 manufacturers of luminaires, lighting electrical components, light sources and LEDs, among the most representative companies operating in the Italian lighting market. ASSIL companies, with a global turnover of about € 2.8 billion, account for more than 65% of the total Italian turnover in the sector and employ over 8,700 people. The Association’s mission is to represent, protect and support its member companies to promote the growth of a quality industry based on innovation and internationalization.