Impact Watch

We want to promote a sustainable and increasingly inclusive business culture. It is for this reason that we created the Impact Watch: Banca Ifis’ Observatory dedicated to the aspects and trends of sustainable transition, with a particular focus on the path of SMEs.

Measuring the ecological transition of SMEs

Sustainability is an opportunity that brings growth and benefits to SMEs. Investments, in particular in energy savings and natural resources, allow cost containment in the long term and a better reputation among all stakeholders.

To concretely measure the progress in sustainability of Italian SMEs, we have created an Ecological Transition Index capable of measuring the intensity of activity in sustainability by surveying the actual interventions implemented, the percentage of turnover invested and the structural and organisational measures adopted.

Early results indicate that the ecological transition is being driven by the largest SMEs. Despite the barriers related to the costs involved, almost all companies see the ecological transition as a priority for their business and are ready to invest in training to increase their expertise.

Key results of the study

Ecological Transition Index

34/100 the score of the Ecological Transition Index.

Best performing sector

+23 points on average in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical sector, the best performing sector.


95% of SMEs in the sample declared that they had benefited from the green transition.

Looking into the future

48% of SMEs will have made at least one investment in environmental sustainability by 2024.

Data as of March 2022.

Source: Banca Ifis’ calculations based on Format Research for Banca Ifis involving a representative sample of 3,009 SMEs interviewed in February/March 2022

To overcome regulatory, technical, economic and cultural barriers

The construction sector is one of the keys to improve the sustainability of the planet because it has a significant footprint in consumption and emissions.

Despite the regulatory, technical, economic and cultural barriers, the introduction of a circular economy in the construction sector provides significant benefits not only in environmental terms but also of an economic, operational and competitive nature.

We therefore carried out a specific study in this field, and in particular the case of the Circl building in Amsterdam, made with parts of demolished buildings and 16 thousand old pairs of jeans as insulating material for the floors. This is a sign that a breakthrough is not only possible, it has already begun.

Key results of the study

Energy consumption

40% impact of the Construction sector on energy consumption in Europe.

European recovery target

50% vs. 70% European target (Directive 200/98/EC) the average recovery rate achieved by construction companies.

Waste production

70 million tonnes total production of waste from construction and demolition operations in Europe.

Data as of March 2022.

Source: Analysis of the Banca Ifis Studies Office of Eurostat and Ispra data Special Waste Report – 2021 Edition.

Anticipate changes by applying them to your busine

Age, ethnicity, gender identity, disability: words that today relate to the concepts of minority and difference, but which require work to transform them into inclusion and equality.

Knowing the emerging scenarios of society allows us to respond to the needs of a changing world, where new business models are required to better manage human resources and communication.

Key results of the study

High-tech helpers

There could be as many as 1.5 billion people over the age of 65 in 2050. It will be a challenge of ethical progress to ensure social equality, access to technologies and improvement of the quality of life.


Ethnic affiliation is increasingly becoming an element of differentiation: habits in Western countries will be influenced all the more by multicultural uses that brands will have to recognise, celebrate and value.

Fluid identities

Virtual worlds encourage the experimentation of multiple identities. Consumers (especially Gen Z and Alpha) will increasingly need to offer gender-inclusive products and experiences, characterised exclusively by cases of use.

Disability and neurodiversity

With more than 1 billion people with disabilities and 15-20% of the world’s population living with neurodiversity, new design approaches must provide an accessible experience for all with architectural structures that do not have physical and sensory barriers.