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The Consulate General of Italy London becomes even greener with Pure Air Zone

Updated: May 2

Can we create a "bridge" of clean air between London and Italy?

The answer is yes! The Italian consulate in London is the first Pure Air Zone consulate and provides clean air to the over 300 of our compatriots who visit the facility every day.

Consulate General of Italy London becomes even greener with Pure Air Zone

We had the extraordinary opportunity to speak with Consul Domenico Bellantone, the person in charge of this project, to ask him some questions.

Why did the consulate decide to become Pure Air Zone and embark on the ESG journey?

"It's not quite intuitive to think of a consulate as an organization that 'pollutes'. In truth, social and environmental impact is a matter that everyone must address. Every business is a sustainable business. Can you tell us more about the origins of your strategy?"

Following the "Green Farnesina" initiative, through which the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages its offices in Italy and abroad to adopt sustainable policies and approaches, the idea was born to start an experimental project that could make the Consulate General of Italy in London the first foreign venue channeled into a virtuous ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) path, consequently aligning with the objectives of the sustainable development agenda.

From discussions with Tecno ESG (an Italian group specialized in sustainability strategies that currently oversees more than 3600 small and medium-sized enterprises), the idea arose to verify how ESG parameters could be applied to a Public Administration office. In these considerations lies the synthesis of the innovative character of the project initiated by the Consulate General of Italy in London.

The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a sustainability model aligned with ESG parameters that could potentially be replicated in other government offices and locations.

What is the basis of the consulate's social and environmental impact journey?

We applied a digital ESG assessment tool to the headquarters of the Consulate General, provided by Tecno Group, the evaluation of which is recognized and certified by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), one of the main international standards for ESG measurement and reporting by companies. This resulted in a numerical score indicating the level of alignment of the Consulate with ESG parameters. From here, the subsequent lines of action were traced which in the coming months will further improve the achieved score.

What are the pillars? What are the first steps?

For each of the three ESG dimensions (social, environmental, and governance), after defining a starting score, a series of actions have been outlined that, once implemented, will allow for an improvement in performance in each dimension and consequently in the overall one.

a) In the environmental dimension, initiatives such as "plastic-free" with the goal of completely eliminating plastic in offices; transitioning to Net Zero events, and a plan to monitor employees' home-to-work commutes have been identified.

b) The governance dimension, which involves transparent and accurate methods, includes the appointment of a Sustainability Champion and a communication plan for the initiatives undertaken in the sustainability sphere (consular website, social media channels, media coverage, etc.).

c) Regarding the social dimension - which refers to the well-being of employees and users of the Consulate General - we have initiated a collaboration with U-Earth for the creation of the first facility equipped with a "pure air zone". U-Earth has provided air purification systems that harness biotechnologies and allow those in the environment where the purification system is installed to benefit from completely clean and purified air. This initiative will benefit both the staff working in the consular headquarters and, in terms of customer care, the many users who visit the Consulate every day to avail themselves of the services offered.

For the implementation of the Consulate ESG - Pure Air Zone project, which represents the best example of synergy between public and private sectors, we decided to rely on the support of Italian companies (Tecno ESG and U-Earth) both because they are examples of excellence in their respective fields and because, as an Italian institution abroad, we never lose sight of the goal of promoting and supporting the best expressions of Made in Italy.

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