«Here is the South ready to invest in sustainability and innovation»

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«Sustainability must be the guideline for businesses and credit operators: in the South we are working on this path». Giuseppe Nargi, regional director of Intesa Sanpaolo with responsibility for Campania, Calabria and Sicily for the Banca dei Territori division, looks at the performance of the economy in the southern regions with optimism, both for the results achieved so far and looking at the prospects.

You talk about sustainability and necessary transitions, but are southern companies culturally ready?

We are working in this direction. We have established two ESG “laboratories” dedicated above all to small and medium-sized businesses in manufacturing, services and tourism. In urging companies to embark on a path to become sustainable, we are clearly helped by the legal indications, but above all by the market. There is no doubt that consumers are more demanding than they used to be and that they are increasingly choosing sustainable products. And then there is also a need to reorganize, dictated above all by the high cost of energy, even now that it is no longer at peak level as in 2022.

In your opinion, are these companies also ready for the digital transition?

Yes. In the South we have numerous innovative companies and an overall lively productive fabric. Campania, for example, is the third region in Italy for the number of startups. And we have dedicated the national Up2Stars program to valorising these. For our part, we have taken on a new mission: we create contact between those who produce innovation and those who buy it, we make agreements with business incubators, such as Incibum or 012Factory. We recently launched a call in the bioeconomy sector with Cdp, through the TerraNext accelerator and a selection of partner companies in our area. We have a budget of 500 million which we invest in operations of this type, clearly in the South.

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