Transition to green technologies in emerging countries: how research can help in directing resources

Selecting the geographical areas and green technologies for successful funding of sustainable economic growth is a difficult task particularly in emerging countries. Academic research is fundamental in providing tools to support public and private institutions in this task.


Enrico Cagno, Full Professor in Industrial Systems Engineering at School of Management, Politecnico di Milano
Giulia Felice, Associate Professor in Economics at School of Management, Politecnico di Milano
Lucia Tajoli, Full Professor in Economics at School of Management, Politecnico di Milano

Recently, the COVID crisis brought to the public eye the extent to which research is in many ways fundamental for the survival of the community. This was extremely evident for disciplines with a direct and recognized impact on human lives and development. Still, the direct and indirect impact of academic research in many other areas and disciplines might be considerable for the well-being of people and the evolution of societies along many dimensions.

An important case, particularly relevant in the current economic phase, is the role of academic research in providing analyses and methodologies that can support private and public institutions in appropriately conveying and using resources in countries, regions, sectors to foster an equitable and sustainable economic growth.

A pertinent example regards the resources to support the transition of countries to green technologies. Climate finance has a fundamental role in tackling climate change and in promoting environmentally sustainable growth in transition and developing economies. A precondition to succeed is the ability to select those countries where the support to green investment does not crowd out private investment, but instead opens room for its expansion, in line with the existing market potential. Several banks and institutions operate with this aim and, as is well known, a large part of the funding in the Next Generation EU is devoted to the European Green deal. The Glasgow Cop26 Summit has once again simultaneously highlighted the unavoidable global dimension of the green transition and the asymmetric position of developing and mature economies due to their different stage of development.

An important issue in maintaining the different approaches of developing and mature economies towards green technologies is that in many cases it is not easy to support green transition in developing countries because of a lack of adequate information on the access and opportunities provided by the technologies. Funding could be misallocated, that is to say, it could be conveyed where it crows out private investment, or where there is no potential for the investment in the new technology to diffuse after initial support. This is where research becomes useful. Methodologies and tools can be developed supporting institutions in the selection of areas and technologies for successful funding.

In this context and to this aim, research at SOM can contribute to developing a conceptual framework and providing methodologies to obtain an overall evaluation of the readiness of countries, regions or sectors to adopt green technologies, ranking countries or areas in terms of their exposure to these technologies. In a recent project developed for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the ultimate aim was to capture the extent to which targeted countries could benefit from funding green technologies, in particular those developing and emerging countries for which data on the diffusion of green technologies are scarce or not available. The creation and use of a technology by a country or a firm is the pre-requisite for its diffusion and eventually adoption. Therefore, in order to benefit from the promotion of green investment, the target country should already have an adequate level and mix of use and production of the green technology. This mix depends on the overall economic situation and level of development of the country, as indicated, for instance, by income per capita, installed production capacity, and the level of technology in closed products. There is no specific universally accepted definition or measurement of the diffusion of a technology. International trade of products embodying a specific technology reveals the presence of that technology in the trading countries. Therefore, trade is often used in the economic literature to track technology diffusion. The advantages of using trade data and advanced methodologies to elaborate them are that they are reliable and available for the majority of countries at a very refined product category level and for a long time span.

Following this approach, researchers at SOM used official and public trade data of “green goods” (as defined by the World Trade Organization and the OECD) covering all countries to assess potential diffusion and adoption of “green” technologies, by building a set of indicators to gauge market maturity and production capacity of a country for a given product. Based on these indicators, a sequence of steps was developed to identify the opportunity for successful actions. The methodology was then discussed and improved throughout the implementation of the project with the EBRD experts that were going to use it, and then validated with the country’s experts on the actual diffusion of the products analysed in terms of demand and production capacity.

The EBRD will use the methodology described above as a tool to select the potential targets of the funding, that is to say, the couple country-technology. The methodology is easily replicable on publicly available data and therefore suitable for orienting the institution in its choices. The EBRD is owned by about seventy countries from five continents, as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank. This implies that its activities impact a large population, of firms, which will be financially supported by EBRD to adopt/produce green technologies, and of citizens who will benefit through sustainable growth and higher quality of life thanks to the firms’ adoption of green technologies.

The project could potentially affect several Sustainable and Development Goals (Health and Well Being, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action) to the extent that should support the diffusion of green technologies and goods in developing and emerging countries.


Space Economy: towards a new frontier for innovation and sustainability

Space and digital technologies combined represent a powerful force enabling cross-sector innovation towards making our world more sustainable. However, technological opportunities are mere fertile ground, which to yield fruit needs managerial and enterprising strategies for the strategic renewal of established organisations and for the creation and growth of innovative startups


Angelo Cavallo, Assistant Professor in Strategy & Entrepreneurship at School of Management, Politecnico di Milano

Space Economy is a phenomenon at the frontier of innovation and sustainability which materialises in the combination of spatial and digital technologies for developing business opportunities that give many businesses, in different sectors, the possibility to increase their competitiveness on a global scale through innovation on all levels – from product/service, to processes, right down the overall business model.

The economic value generated by the combined use of space and digital technologies was estimated at about 371 billion dollars in 2021 (Satellite Industry Association). However, the value of the Space Economy goes beyond market estimates and stands out for the opportunity to innovate in many fields and at the same time help make our planet more sustainable through the integration of terrestrial and satellite data, at the foundation of new space-based services. Using high resolution global maps of land coverage, climatologists can develop climate models and understand how the climate is evolving on the earth’s surface. Multispectral images and radar, combined with machine learning and deep learning techniques, means it is possible today to create predictive deforestation models. Timely and constant monitoring of forests is essential to the implementation of conservation policies. Another field of application for satellite data is the monitoring of pollution.  A now well-known case regards the monitoring of pollution levels during the lockdown period resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, a large number of these analyses are conducted using data from terrestrial sensors, spread right throughout Europe. Satellite technologies are complementary and useful in areas where there are no terrestrial sensors.

An increasing number of academics include the combination of digital–space technologies among the drivers that can help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a tool adopted globally to steer economic and social activities towards the attainment of sustainability goals.
For example, space-based services contribute to the SDG 7 “Affordable and Clean Energy” which sets out to guarantee access to energy for a much vaster pool of users and can be promoted through the remote monitoring systems of plants in places where weather conditions and other natural phenomena can cause major damage to infrastructure and where maintenance can be difficult.

The development of a space economy market and of space-based solutions depends however on the structuring and exploration of new business models, retracing the entire value chain, from which services can be developed for those who create new infrastructures right down to the end-users of those services, making their operations more efficient and/or create new products. Innovating traditional business models and moving towards a platformization, servitization and open innovation model is fundamental to make sure new space-based services have a large-scale economic, environmental and social impact.

QS Online MBA Rankings 2022: MIP Politecnico di Milano is eleventh in the world with the International Flex MBA

The School of Management of Politecnico di Milano confirms its inclusion in the rankings promoted by QS Quacquarelli Symonds dedicated to online MBA courses.

MIP Politecnico di Milano, the Graduate School of Business which is part of the School of Management of the Milanese University, is ranked 11th worldwide among the best business schools in the field of online MBAs according to the QS Online MBA Rankings 2022.

The International Flex MBA was the first smart learning MBA launched in Italy in 2014, based on one of the most advanced digital learning platforms in the world, developed on Microsoft technology.

Since 2018, it has featured in the renowned Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) classification, which every year evaluates the quality of the courses delivered remotely around the world. This year, the competition involved a broader panel of Business Schools: the number of Schools rated rose from 57 to 72 worldwide.

In the words of Vittorio Chiesa and Federico Frattini, respectively President and Dean of MIP Politecnico di Milano: “We are happy with our confirmed presence in the rankings and the excellent positioning achieved again this year, despite the entry of new schools. Since we launched the first edition of our International Flex MBA in 2014, we have continued to work on improving the quality of distance teaching and learning.”

From an analysis of the individual parameters on which the rankings are based, it emerges that MIP has distinguished itself because of the range of courses it offers. In particular, the placing of the International Flex MBA excels in the Faculty & Teaching parameter, where it is fourth worldwide. With respect to Class Experience (percentage of activities carried out in person, flexibility/online accessibility, technical support), it ranks seventh, while on the employability of the participants it is in twentieth place.

See the full rankings here.

Purpose Talks – Gli effetti del purposeful management: l’esperienza di Fabio Moioli

What does it concretely mean to marry a leadership model guided by a higher purpose and capable of putting people at the center?

Find it out during the next Purpose Talk, the second round table dedicated to purpose organized by our Business School. You will be able to witness the testimony of Fabio Moioli, Head Consulting & Services Microsoft, who will share his experience as a manager and the path that the company is making towards purpose-driven management!



Mario Calderini, Full Professor of Management for Sustainability and Impact al Politecnico di Milano

Fabio Moioli, Head Consulting & Services di Microsoft


The event is held in English.


Politecnico di Milano won the Italian final of the CFA Research Challenge 2022

Five engineers of the School of Management beat University Federico II Naples and University of Pavia with the financial analysis of Reply and prepare for the EMEA regional final. The world final will be held on 16 May.


The team from the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano won the Italian final of the CFA Research Challenge 2022, the global finance competition organised by the CFA Institute and promoted in Italy by CFA Society Italy with the valuable support of FactSet Italia and Kaplan Schweser.

The final round took place in Reply’s Milan headquarters on Tuesday 1 March, involving ten universities, 50 students and over 30 professionals. The Italian phase, coordinated by CFA Society Italy, saw the participation of teams representing the following universities: Università Cattolica, Politecnico di Milano, Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, University of Florence, University of Bologna, Libera Università di Bolzano, University of Pavia, Università Politecnica delle Marche and Università di Napoli Federico II.

Students Gianluca Dente, Alberto Gegra, Andrea Rampoldi, Alessandro Criniti and Francesco Saverio Pirolo, under the guidance of professors Laura Grassi and Marco Giorgino and CFA mentor Alberto Mari, presented their financial analysis of Reply’s stock to a panel of six experts from the financial sector: Mauro Baragiola, Luca Forlani, CFA, Marco Greco, Paolo Perrella, CFA, Patrizia Saviolo, CFA, and Carla Scarano. Second and third place went respectively to Università di Napoli Federico II and the University of Pavia.

Politecnico di Milano will go straight on to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) regional final, which will be held on 28 April. As testament to the high quality of our students and the professionals who guide them, Italy already won the EMEA regional final in 2011, 2014 and 2016.
The World Final, on the other hand, will be held on 16 May 2022, pitting the winners from EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific against each other, and the winners will be officially announced on 17 May 2022.

“CFA Society Italy, in its many years of activity, has built a close relationship with the Italian universities to promote the principles of integrity and professional excellence to the younger generation”. CFA project coordinator Giuseppe Quarto di Palo said. “We are delighted to be able to offer universities and their talents the opportunity to measure themselves in a realistic competition, aimed at reproducing the experience of a research office of management companies or investment houses. We also offer the best students scholarships to the CFA Programme, in order to obtain a globally recognised certification in the financial sector”.

The Research Challenge is an initiative that channels important objectives into the world of education and academia. It is becoming increasingly important to bring students closer to the job market, combining academic knowledge with the techniques and tools used by professionals in the financial sector. In addition, we want to highlight the excellent standards of Italian universities at European and global level”. Giuliano Palumbo, president of CFA Society Italy commented. “This project could not exist without the valuable contribution of the association’s volunteers and the partners who supported the initiative FactSet, Kaplan Schweser and Reply, companies that were researched by the students”.

As Michael Jordan once said, talent wins games, but intelligence and teamwork win championships. I’d like to congratulate the students of the Politecnico di Milano who demonstrated not only above-average technical skills, but also and above all teamwork and spirit of cooperation aimed at achieving the final victory” stressed Stefano Di Rosa, CIIA, Senior Sales Rapresentative of FactSet Italia, sponsor of the Italian edition of the CFA Research Challenge since 2016.

Year after year, the competition allows the best talents from Italian universities to pit their wits against professionals  of the highest calibre, increase their knowledge of the fundamentals of equity research, develop soft skills and compare notes with each other”. commented Politecnico di Milano professors Laura Grassi, Assistant Professor of Investment Banking, and Marco Giorgino, Full Professor of Financial markets and institutions. “We are very proud of our team’s victory, which rewards our five members for their great sacrifices, and in turn makes them a reference for future colleagues next year. For them, this is the best way of entering the professional world and for our university it is a further acknowledgment of our quality. We are now looking to EMEA, with the will, commitment and desire to replicate the same result”.

“The CFA Research Challenge was definitely the toughest challenge of our lives, and at the same time the most stimulating experience on both a professional and personal level. It was an incredible opportunity that allowed us to work closely with our CFA mentor Alberto Mari, and with our professors Laura Grassi and Marco Giorgino, whom we’d like to thank very much. We would also like to thank the CFA Society Italy for making this possible and we look forward to carrying our country’s flag high in EMEA,” were the first words expressed by the Politecnico di Milano team after the win.


Citizens know better?

A team of scientists asked citizens to evaluate social impact and select which research to support. Here’s what they found.


Diletta Di Marco, PhD Student in Management Engineering – Innovation and Public Policy 

Science strives to improve the conditions of humanity and nature. But it is not always clear how to identify the research that serves the most pressing needs. For a long time, the direction of science has been chosen by professional scientists alone, through peer reviews, but new initiatives of participated democracy are trying to second the desire of citizens to take an active role in important decisions about science. For example, a Danish local government has asked citizens to choose which medical research projects should be funded by voting online.[1] Also, the Canadian Fathom Fund has chosen to top up funding to scientists that display their project on crowdfunding platforms and collect at least 25% of their budgeted costs online.[2] 

In a world facing unprecedented social, environmental, and economic challenges, the main idea of these initiatives is to involve those most affected by the problems and their consequences – the citizens themselves.

While scientists, research organizations, and research funders are experimenting new ways of actively collaborating with citizens, one concern is that what constitutes a high social impact is problematic and subjective. Moreover, the mechanisms used to actively engage citizens in the agenda-setting process can create biases or grant undue influence to wealthy or powerful groups.

For all these reasons, assessing the impact of research is an exciting area for professional scientists, funding agencies and policymakers, who are keen to identify new criteria for judging the sustainability and value of research, in addition to traditional ones which are more centred around prerequisites like age, gender, previous experiences in research, and previous project experience in the same area of research.

In an attempt to investigate this important but under-explored area, a research team of our School of Management has studied how the public evaluates social impact and choses to grant or deny support to scientific research. The team consists of Chiara Franzoni and Diletta Di Marco from Politecnico di Milano, in collaboration with Henry Sauermann from ESMT Berlin.

The team selected four real research proposals that were actively raising funds on the platform The projects were in very different domains, ranging from environmental studies on the diffusion of otters in Florida, to social studies on sexual orientation and pay-gaps, to curing Alzheimer’s disease, and Covid-19. They recruited more than 2,300 citizens on Amazon Mechanical Turk and asked for their assessment of one of the four projects in terms of the three criteria normally used in research evaluations: i) social impact, ii) scientific merit, and iii) team qualifications.
They then asked the citizens whether or not they had a direct interest or experience in the problem that the research was trying to solve (e.g. a family member affected by Alzheimer’s disease when evaluating a project studying a cure for Alzheimer’s), and finally elicited the citizens’ opinions on whether or not the project should be funded. They did so under two different voting mechanisms: i) as a simple free-of-charge recommendation to fund or not to fund the project (costless vote) and ii) as a small direct donation to the project (costly vote), which the evaluators could do by choosing not to cash in a $1 bonus given by the team. At the end of the day, the team then devoted the donated bonuses to real research projects.
They later analysed the responses with statistical and econometric modelling and with qualitative coding of the textual responses.

Their analyses showed three key results:

  1. Firstly, citizens placed a strong emphasis on social impact. They were more likely to support a project if they assessed social impact to be high, even if they assessed scientific merit or team qualifications to be low. A complementary analysis of opinions provided in the form of open-ended responses corroborated this view. Citizens tended to focus on the perceived importance of the problem (e.g. size of the affected population, problem severity) and paid less attention to the project’s ability to solve the problem.
  2. Secondly, the voting system adopted substantially affected the composition of those who voted. Costly voting shifted the crowd’s composition towards people with higher levels of education and income. This suggests that mechanisms that impose even a small personal cost trade off the intended benefits of inclusion and representativeness when involving citizens.
  3. Thirdly, citizens who had a personal interest in the problem addressed by the project were more likely to vote in favour of the project, irrespective of using a costless or costly voting mechanism. However, they did not seem to overestimate the project’s social impact expectations. This suggests that crowdsourcing may give more power to interest groups and members of the public with personal interests in the research. At the same time, even citizens with a personal interest in the project seemed to be able to provide unbiased assessments of social impact if asked to do so independently from expressing their support for the project itself.

The findings of this broad research project contribute to advancing the academic debate in different areas, like the management of online communities (by shedding light on the link between voting mechanisms and self-selection and the literature that compares crowd and expert contributions with science funding).
More importantly, they have an immediate practical use for policy makers, funding agencies and interest groups that strive to promote participated democracy.

Considering that traditional research grant mechanisms and review mechanisms focus on things that could go wrong and pay too little attention to potential gains, these results suggest that citizens’ evaluations of social impact are not necessarily “better“, but they may provide a different and potentially complementary perspective.


[1] Accessed November 15, 2021.

[2] Accessed November 15, 2021.

Symplatform 3: the conference on digital platforms

There is a word that is appearing more and more frequently in the newspapers, in our meeting and in the LinkedIn feeds and that word is “platform”.

Whether talking about a new scandal by one of the big tech companies, the new innovation strategy of a large industrial group …or just a new digital service, the word “platform” appears in a variety of sectors.

But what does platform really mean? What do Uber, Amazon, Apple and any old daily newspaper have in common? Or why it is correct to consider an app like Strava, the famous service for tracking sports performance, a platform? These and many other issues are at the heart of Symplatform: an event where academic knowledge encounters the world of practitioners to construct a critical discussion on what platforms are, how they work and what they can become for people, organisations and our society as a whole.

We are pleased to launch the third edition of Symplatform, a symposium on digital platforms that aims to bring academics and practitioners together.

Symplatform is a joint project developed by Trinity College Dublin, the Politecnico di Milano School of Management and the Audencia Business School.

Here is a short video presenting the conference.

The event programme and registration can be found at this link:

For further information, write to and

P.E.A.S: the app for measuring the environmental impact of fashion

An intelligent system that integrates social and environmental traceability of garments with gamification: P.E.A.S – Product Environmental Accountability System is an innovative project created thanks to the support of Regione Lombardia, theSchool of Management of Politecnico di Milano, the companies MOOD, 1TrueID and WWG, in collaboration with WRÅD


A new frontier in the field of communication for sustainability in the fashion and clothing sector, P.E.A.S. technology not only makes it easy for everyone to view information on the origin and impact of our clothes but, thanks to an algorithm, it is also able to tell us how much the initial environmental cost of what we wear is amortised over time thanks to our love and use – thus incentivising, with a game, its long-term use.

Every second, the equivalent of a lorry load of clothes is either burnt or dumped. The social and environmental problems caused by the fashion industry stem from the fact that we have all been induced to emotionally disconnect ourselves from the clothes we buy” states Matteo Ward, CEO of WRÅD and initial creator of P.E.A.S. “For years we have all been reminded of the importance of loving our clothes and living in them for a long time in order to have a positive impact on the environment, but little, if anything, has changed – quite the contrary! This resulted in the need to create P.E.A.S., a smart game to counteract the overproduction and overconsumption of clothes in an innovative way”.

P.E.A.S. technology offers customers the chance to connect with their clothes through their smartphone, to interact with them and to monitor in real time how much of a concrete positive impact the way we wear them can have on their environmental footprint. To do this, P.E.A.S. develops and processes scientific data obtained, for this first pilot project, thanks to a Life Cycle Assessment, carried out by the Process Factory company, which calculated the environmental impact of all the production steps necessary to transform a tuft of cotton into a sweatshirt. An analysis of the production chain, tracked in a blockchain with reduced energy consumption, which therefore produced a snapshot of the environmental cost of the product with respect to 13 different areas of impact, from climate change to water consumption. P.E.A.S. uses and processes these to help us understand the real value of the sweatshirt and to inspire us to use it for a long time.

At each interaction with its users, P.E.A.S. recognises how long the sweatshirt has been used for, provides updates on the relative dilution of its environmental cost, rewards virtuous behaviour linked to its use and rewards, the most important of these being the radically revolutionary choice not to have abandoned it. On average, in the world, an item of clothing is thrown away once it has been used only 7 times. This consumption is excessive, and incompatible with any kind of contemporary sustainable development strategy. It must be countered.

This is the common goal that motivated this unique partnership between the Politecnico di Milano School of Management, the companies Mood, 1TrueID and WWG and WRÅD, united in their diversity of skills and functions by the desire to take the relationship between people and clothes to a new level of connection, for the good of society and the planet.

The results of our scientific research on the causes of non-sustainability in the fashion and luxury system show that it is impossible to achieve long-term sustainability goals without the active contribution of all stakeholders. To think that the responsibility for change lies with one specific link in the fashion supply chain is wrong and is also potentially counterproductive. With P.E.A.S., for the first time we have made an attempt to bring together all the parties in the sector, from fashion brands to suppliers upstream in the chain, to the end customer. Only with a responsible and collaborative attitude will it be possible to change the pace and achieve ambitious results in a short time” (Alessandro Brun, Full Professor of Quality Management and Supply Management, Politecnico di Milano School of Management).

P.E.A.S. is a technology that aims to cater for both companies, with customisable designs and applications, and, in the future, the general public. “It can only be called innovation when it is sustainable and has a positive impact on people, communities and our environment” (Mohamed Deramchi, CEO and founder of WWG).

The project was supported by Regione Lombardia through the Fashiontech call for applications, a measure that supports research and development projects aimed at achieving innovation in the “Textiles, fashion and accessories” sector, according to the principle of sustainability, from an environmental, economic and social point of view.

International MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano in world top 100

91st in the world for the International Master in Business Administration at the Milan-based university’s School of Management in the most recent Financial Times Global MBA Ranking. This MBA is second in Europe among business schools linked to technical universities.

MIP Politecnico di Milano, the Graduate School of Business at Politecnico di Milano’s School of Management, again confirms its competitiveness on the international stage, receiving further major recognition. MIP’s International Full-time MBA, one of the Business School’s flagship programmes and a strategic step in advancing the career of middle and senior managers, is rated among the best 100 Masters in Business Administration in the world. According to the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking, published today, MIP’s International MBA is ranked 91st globally. Looking only at the ranking of business schools linked to a technical university, MIP is in second place, immediately after Imperial College Business School (UK).

In the words of Vittorio Chiesa and Federico Frattini, President and Dean of MIP Politecnico di Milano, respectively: “For a growing number of students across the world, our Full-time Master in Business Administration is the launching pad towards a high-flying career. The exceptional quality of our educational programme is recognised in the authoritative Financial Times classification, underlining what we have always believed in: choosing an MBA today is decisive for the professional growth of company leaders”.

Among its strengths that helped MIP enter the FT ranking are the participants’ substantial increase in salary. In the categories relating to career progress, the percentage rise in average salary three years after completing the MBA has climbed from 76% to 94%, compared to last year’s figures. In the category value for money, PoliMI’s Business School is 6th in the world.

Looking at other criteria, international mobility scored highly; this considers the students’ nationality and the location where they worked before taking our MBA, immediately afterwards and then again three years later. MIP’s 28th place confirms the excellent quality of its alumni, acknowledged both nationally and internationally.

MIP is placed in the upper half of the classification in another criterion that is rapidly gaining importance, especially for the only School in Europe that has achieved its B Corp accreditation. MIP is 30th in the world for the percentage of training hours covering topics relating to CSR (ethics, green issues, social responsibility) and ESG (environmental, social and governance) out of the total number of teaching hours (ESG teaching).

MIP’s two most senior professors concluded by saying: “In a dynamic market that faces new challenges every day, companies must be guided by managers equipped with the best skills to ensure that their business is competitive, and that their employees are motivated and can grow professionally and personally. Gaining a diploma issued by a business school of excellence, one of the few boasting the three main international accreditations, can certainly be the spur to invest in one’s future”.

MIP’s educational portfolio of excellence covers about 40 Masters, including 7 MBAs and Executive MBAs, 200 open executive programmes and a series of training programmes customised for companies. MIP’s International Full-time MBA is a 12-month programme, where participants spend the last three months working on a project. The courses are organised into pillars, covering the central topics, and into more vertical specialisation courses.

Presenting Green SUIte: a sustainability challenge involving 60 corporate teams

Agos, Gruppo Enercom, Sparkasse, Gruppo Tea and the Politecnico di Milano School of Management, backed by the Startup Intelligence Observatory, are promoting and rewarding virtuous behaviour inside and outside the company, in collaboration with the Up2You startup. 


Green SUIte is an environmental challenge – organised in collaboration with Up2You, an innovative start-up and B Corp certified company that promotes sustainable development – involving the employees of Agos, Gruppo Enercom, Sparkasse, Gruppo Tea and the Politecnico di Milano School of Management with a view to raising awareness, educating participants, and triggering a virtuous, sustainable conduct.

The project springs from an idea developed by Agos and Up2You at one of the round tables of the seventh Startup Intelligence Observatory, one of the 46 Observatories of the Politecnico di Milano School of Management aimed at driving open innovation and contamination with start-ups.  Green SUIte is designed as a fun means of highlighting issues related to sustainability, in line with the goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the ESG rating, through the active involvement of the employees of the participating companies. The event has been received positively, with about 600 of the companies’ 5,000 employees setting up 60 highly competitive teams.

For 12 weeks, the Green SUIte teams will take part in quizzes and missions aimed at developing a sustainability culture and an awareness of environmental issues, promoting the idea that being sustainable needn’t be tiring or boring. By engaging participants in small daily actions, such as creative cooking to reduce food waste, researching and bulk purchasing local, seasonal products, participating in shared mobility programmes, and making more virtuous use of technologies, greater awareness is raised on the environmental impact of each individual action, encouraging participants to be more environmentally friendly both inside and outside the company and to rethink their day-to-day lives from a new perspective. A case in point is the “Cross over to the dark side!” mission, in which participants will be encouraged to use their PCs and phones in dark mode. “Black is chic! But in addition to being cool (and making you feel cooler), the dark mode reduces energy consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions.” Difficult not to follow the Green SUite advice!

Green SUite is an innovative multi-company digital platform backed by a strong team spirit and concerned with involving business teams in sustainable actions. At the heart of the platform lies Play, a product by Up2You, the only company in Europe that, in addition to being authorised to manage Carbon Credits certified by VERRA and Gold Standard, does so using Blockchains.

This project has quickly become a virtuous example of Open Innovation, an approach that – partly aided by the pandemic – is increasingly proving to businesses the importance safeguarding our ecosystem while pursuing innovation and that collaboration is often key for developing solutions that can really change and have a lasting impact on a company and society as a whole.

The Startup Intelligence Observatory’s 2021 research data speaks volumes: more than one third of all major Italian companies already collaborate with start-ups, recording a positive trend compared to previous years. A truly comforting piece of information for Italy’s entire innovation ecosystem; one that reveals a paradigm shift, underscored by a growing number of success stories,” says Alessandra Luksch, Director of the Startup Intelligence Observatory. The Green SUite project has been made possible by the activities developed by the Startup Intelligence Observatory to promote open innovation in enterprises and by its lively community of partner companies. This initiative just goes to show that no one can innovate alone, and that collaboration can quickly generate concrete results and widespread benefits.”