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Special Focus | December 2016

Sustainable technologies: Italy leads the way

In September 2016 ACIMIT members companies involved in the´Sustainable Technologies´ project were 42, and since June 2011 more than 1,000 Green Labels have been produced.

Italian textile machinery companies are working to provide technology solutions that place reduced consumption in energy, water and chemical products at the centre of the production process in the textile industry, supporting their customers in order to reach the target in terms of efficiency and cost savings.

ACIMIT Sustainable Technologies, realised in cooperation with the engineering firm D-APPOLONIA and supported by the Ministry of Economic Development and Italian Trade Agency, is a project with the aim of developing and promoting these key issues for the textile industry. The commitment of Italian textile machinery manufacturers involved in ACIMIT project to research advanced solutions that respond to sustainability criteria translates into environmentally efficient technology solutions that provide significant benefits to users, in terms of reduced production costs. The transparency of the technical information provided is the first step taken to make visible the attention placed by Italian machinery manufacturers on issues involving sustainability.

ACIMIT Green Label
The ACIMIT Green Label is a document, validated by an international certification body, RINA (www.rina.org), that identifies the energy and environmental performances of textile machinery and makes them easily recognizable and comprehensible. Specifically, the quantity of equivalent emissions of carbon dioxide (Carbon Footprint - CFP) produced during the machine´s operation, is the parameter that has been chosen to provide an environmental efficiency value to the machinery being labelled. Based on a standardized and certified procedure, RINA verifies (for some manufacturers, drawn from those participating in the project every two years and representing about 20 per cent of the joined companies) both the evaluation criteria and operating conditions of the machinery being assessed for the labeling process.

The ACIMIT Supplier of Sustainable Technologies registered trademark identifies Italian textile machinery manufacturers who comply with the´Sustainable Technologies´ project, and thus use of the ACIMIT Green Label.

Commitment to sustainability
In September 2016, ACIMIT members companies involved in the project were 42. Since June 2011 more than 1,000 Green Labels have been produced. The companies involved in the project in recent years have implemented technological innovations on their machines with a resulting improvement from the point of view of energy and environment. About 90 per cent of the suppliers of sustainable technologies have made some innovations on their machines. Of these, 48 per cent has made changes across the overall portfolio. Technological areas in which companies have mainly invested concern: software, mechanical components and production process.

Moreover, data provided by companies allowed to calculate the impact generated by the project. The analysis allowed to quantify the really achieved reduction of emissions of CO2 equivalent generated in 2014 from companies implementing technological innovations on their machines with the Green Label, improving their energy/environmental performance. In particular, in 2014 it has been estimated a lower reduction of emissions of 221,181 ton CO2 eq over the previous year, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions generated by 38,534 cars driving (on average) 35,000 km per year.

The technology innovations implemented by companies involved in the project within their machines translate, as well as benefits in terms of environmental impact (reduction of emissions of CO2 equivalent of the sample machine in use phase), also in economic benefits for machine users. The saving for the users of textile machines produced by ´Suppliers of Sustainable Technologies´ was calculated on the information provided by the database of the Green Labels and on the quantity of material processed by the sample machine defined by each company. As regards the energy consumption the reduction also reaches 30 per cent. As for the water consumption in the finishing sector the reduction is on average 27 per cent.

Finally, the experience of the case study companies has shown that ACIMIT Green Label has become an added value for the end-users, that use it to have the economic benefits just explained, but also to meet the requirements/regulations of local Governments like in China and in India that are increasingly demanding investment in environmentally friendly technologies (aimed, for example, at water, chemicals and thermal energy saving).

Italian excellence
Meanwhile, Italian textile technology showcased a high level of innovation and sustainability features at ITMA ASIA + CITME 2016 , confirming its leadership once again. About 130 Italian exhibitors occupied an overall exhibition space of more than 5,400 sq meters. About 60 Italian companies presented their products as part of the National Sector Group, organised by ACIMIT (the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers) and ICE-Italian Trade Agency.

The high number of Italian exhibitors testified a positive outlook on the future of Asian markets, and Chinese one in particular. Asia, on the whole, is a constant benchmark for Italian textile machinery manufacturers, absorbing 45 per cent of their sales abroad. The high number of Italian exhibitors in Shanghai, Raffaella Carabelli, President of ACIMIT, says, showed that our companies are confident in a further growth of the Asian markets, and China in particular. Compared to the previous edition of ITMA ASIA, the space booked by Italian exhibitors has grown by 13 per cent.

The Chinese market is the primary destination for Italian exports. In the first half of 2016, the value of Italian machinery exported to China totaled 152 million euros (+11 per cent over the previous year), around 17 per cent of Italian total exports. The other main destinations of the area for Italian companies are India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

The demand for machinery in Asia focuses mainly on machines capable of combining savings in production costs with respect to environmental issues.Visitors at ITMA ASIA + CITME were once again be able to ascertain in person the extremely high quality and uniquely innovative character of Italian technology on display, said Raffaella Carabelli. Less than a year from ITMA Milan, Italian machinery manufacturers presented in Shanghai with further new proposals, aimed at providing rigorous production standards while cutting costs for energy, water, chemical products and other raw materials.

Around 40 Italian machinery manufacturers have signed up to ACIMIT´s Sustainable technologies project, committing themselves to supplying increasingly sustainable machinery, both from an economic and environmental standpoint. The project is an initiative supported by the Ministry of Economic Development and by the ICE-Italian Trade Agency and is documented on the new website www.green-label.it presented during the ACIMIT press conference at ITMA ASIA.A website is an additional tool made available to textile operators, commented ACIMIT´s President, aimed at providing a better understanding of what we want to achieve in terms of sustainability.

In addition to the 40 companies which already participated in the ´Sustainable technologies´project, other Italian exhibitors at ITMA ASIA displayed the progress made by their technology concerning cost reduction and production resource savings to the visitors.

As far as relevant the Asian market, ACIMIT that brings together the majority of Italian textile machinery companies (which account for 80 per cent of Italian turnover), has been realising an active promotional program in Asia, in order to support the associated companies in their sales efforts. This program is realised in cooperation with ICE-Italian Trade Agency.

Italy, with its high-tech and eco-friendly manufacturers, is one of the most important player in the textile machinery industry. Italian high-quality machines will foster China textile industry´s quality and will provide environmental conservation, explained Claudio Pasqualucci, Italian Trade Commissioner in Shanghai. China is implementing policies for the reduction of carbon emissions. The new measures for low carbon economy which is low energy consumption, low material consumption low-emission and low-pollution, one of the future choices in the economic development.

For that reason, we think Italian textile machines eco-friendly technology, should be appropriate with Chinese policies. In Easter China, that is the area of competence of ICE Shanghai, there are the top three Provinces for textile and garment industry: Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Fujian, that along with the Provinces Guangdong and Shandong reach around 80 per cent of the industry´s production capability  and Italy remains one of the leading suppliers of textile machinery in China: it´s strong in machines for preparing especially textile fibres and yarns, machines for cleaning, dyeing and finishing machines, knitting, stitch-bond, lace and auxiliary machinery.

ACIMIT & ITA
ACIMIT represents an industrial sector comprising around 300 manufacturers (employing close to 12,000 people) and producing machinery for an overall value of about 2.6 billion euros, with exports amounting to 86 per cent of total sales. Creativity, sustainable technology, reliability, and quality are the characteristics which have made Italy a global leader in the manufacturing of textile machinery.

The Italian Trading Agency (ITA) is the Italian Government agency, which promotes the internationalisation of the Italian companies, in line with the strategies of the Ministry of Economic Development. ITA provides information, support, and advice to Italian and foreign companies help to develop, facilitate and promote Italian economic and trade relations with foreign countries, focusing on the needs of SME, their associations, and partnerships.

ITA operates worldwide from a large network of Trade Promotion Offices linked to Italian embassies and consulates and working closely with local authorities and businesses. ITA provides information, support, and consultancy to Italian companies on foreign markets, promoting and fostering export and cooperation in all areas - capital goods, consumer goods and services with the target of increasing and make more effective their presence on international markets.

ITA provides a wide range of services overseas helping Italian and foreign business to connect with each other: identification of possible business partners; bilateral trade meetings with Italian companies, trade delegation visits to Italy; official participation in local fairs and exhibitions; forums and seminars with Italian experts. ITA has been in the People´s Republic of China for 50 years with now six offices respectively in Beijing, Shanghai, Canton, Hong Kong, Chengdu, and Tianjin organising hundreds of promotional activities every year to enhance the relationship between China and Italy.

For more information please visit: www.green-label.it.
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