A LAND WITH A GREEN HEART
Green areas, start-ups and advanced research; alternative energy sources for heating, lighting and mobility; widespread bike sharing services; eco-friendly homes, certified wood, differentiated waste collection close to 75%: living sustainably in Trentino is already a reality
The need to safeguard the extraordinary natural heritage of Trentino has become, over time, a strong stimulus for the development of new ways of designing, producing and selling goods and services able to combine innovation and environmental sustainability. Today, Trentino can boast an array of top-class technological and productive expertise in the field of green technologies and especially in the wood and sustainable construction industries, renewable energies and in the so-called smart technologies linked to sustainable mobility.
In Rovereto, on the grounds of a former tobacco factory, the Progetto Manifattura – Green Innovation Factory brings together 50 companies, mostly start-ups, in the fields of sustainable construction, renewable energies, technologies for the management and monitoring of the environment and natural resources and circular economies.
Another jewel in the crown is represented by Habitech, the Trentino campus for Energy and the Environment which aims at integrating the know-how of universities, laboratories, research bodies, businesses and other institutes. An entity that comprises over 300 members between businesses, research institutes and public bodies.
The forests in Trentino have created a landscape which is the result of an ancient relationship between the local communities and their woodlands. Dense and uniform, these forests cover more than 60% of the territory and produce 43% of the national wood output. The most representative type of forest, by area, is Norway spruce (32%), beech (14%), larch (13%) and silver fir (11%). Trentino has always employed a strict and consolidated system for the management of the wood industry that checks and certifies the source of all wood from sustainable forests. Thanks to this extensive and sustainable management of the woodlands, the timber from Trentino forests is of superior quality with a particularly fine and resistant grain which makes it especially suitable for construction. The city of Venice still stands on trunks of larch taken from the forests of the Val di Fiemme. Also in Trentino we have ARCA (Architecture-Comfort-Environment): the first system in Italy that certifies buildings and components in high quality wood.
Peio ski resort now plastic free
During the 2019_2020 winter season, the Pejo 3000 ski resort, located in the Val di Pejo in the Stelvio National Park, became the first in the world to ban plastic products. So, it's farewell to plastic dishes, glasses, disposable straws, and bottles in the lodges. In addition, there are information panels informing skiers about the project, asking them to limit their use of plastic, starting with packaging and plastic bottles, and encouraging them to take their waste back with them. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg of a much broader effort for greater sustainability being made in Val di Peio.
Since September 2017 there is a new Plan for Electric Mobility. The aims of the project are to ease the creation of charging points, incentivise the purchasing of both electric vehicles and, possibly, the electricity needed for this alternative mobility (from bicycles to freight transport). Furthermore, it aims at increasing the use of public bike-sharing services as an extension of public transport systems already in place, especially in more densely populated areas and tourist destinations. Another goal is to subsidise the use of pedal assisted cargo bikes for deliveries in urban areas. Currently in Trentino there are over 70 charging points and about 1,000 registered electric vehicles. There are also 48 tourist accommodation facilities that offer electric vehicle charging services to their guests. The Trentino Guest Card, which any guest can acquire by spending a night in any of the more than 1,400 facilities partaking in the scheme, includes an electric charging service in numerous public charging points and other structures.
After having created a network of over 431 kilometres of cycling paths, Trentino moved its attention to projects that promote the use of eco-friendly mobility solutions. Since June 2014 the bike-sharing project “Trentino e.motion” has been in place. Electric bikes and charging points are available in the municipalities of Trento, Rovereto and Pergine Valsugana and in other valleys of Trentino. Thanks to e-bikes, pedal-assisted electric bicycles, it is hoped to promote this form of transport to both residents and tourists as a new way to get around and explore the territory.
Even snow becomes more sustainable
In the Trentino ski areas, skiers have at their disposal a range of ski-lift facilities that are amongst the most modern in the entire Alps, having been built, on average, no more than 15 years ago and which respect the highest health and safety standards in Europe. Cable cars with cabins for 8 or 16 passengers, 4- or 6-seater chairlifts with automatic coupling, technologically advanced ski-lifts such as the Funifor and the D-Line which allow for increased velocity, safety and comfort but also reduced noise and maintenance costs.
When it comes to saving and sustainability, the ski area of San Martino di Castrozza is a prime example. All lifts are powered by clean energy sourced from seven hydroelectric stations that allow for a notable reduction in CO2 emissions. In recent years, major ski areas have invested heavily to improve their snowmaking systems which guarantee quality snow cover across 90% of the slopes. These systems are fed with just air and water, the latter of which is not subtracted from residential areas as it is non-potable and mainly sourced from rainfall. Evaporation and melting then return most of the water used with only modest variations to the hydrological balance.