UNIDO is working to reinforce the concept of environmental protection, sensitizing firms in developing countries that environment is not only a burden to respect, but an opportunity to acquire competitiveness in international markets.
Environmental protection and economic growth are often seen as two incompatible goals, that is why environmental protection is considered as an additional cost able to slow economic development. The private sector is questioning this paradigm and is reconsidering the relation environment/economic growth.
New environmental rules and new consumer demands, in terms of "new quality products, are certainly a challenge for many firms, but an opportunity only for companies prepared to implement innovative solutions. "Efficiency", "innovation" and technology are the keywords to support the improvement of industrial processes such as recycling and re-use of materials, products that use lower quantities of raw materials, use energy produced from renewable sources, and energy efficiency which cuts consumption per unit.
UNIDO activities aim to spread among entrepreneurs, a greater knowledge of opportunities and incentive policies for environmentally friendly investments in emerging economies. UNIDO ITPO Italy is directly involved in programmes and promotional/technical activities focused on definition, evaluation, and promotion of investment projects. In order to stimulate private participation in carrying-out eco-friendly projects, UNIDO promotes investments and technology transfer and identifies opportunities for industrial/technological partnerships as well as investment opportunities in different developing countries Industrial collaboration among firms from developed and developing countries has a fundamental role in starting green-growth processes in order to satisfy actual needs without compromising the possibilities for future generations.