Stop Crimes on Renewables and Environment - SCORE
In the last decade there has been increasing investment in renewable energy and forest management in Italy. Solar farms, wind farms and the production and trade of timber/wood products have seen economic growth despite the global economic crisis. However, this growth has been coupled with increased interest of organized criminality groups in these sectors. Mafias took to dumping, racketing, producing illegal or poor products and services, resulting in damage to the environment and to the economy, and conflicting with healthy and legal market competition. Assuring legitimacy and making the renewable energy sector "clean" from criminality thus became an important priority.
The Stop Crimes on Renewables and Environment (SCORE) project was initiated to promote the direct engagement of stakeholders in combating organized crime and illegality in the renewable energy and forest/wood sectors. SCORE assisted enterprises in playing a more active role against criminal infiltration in the economy; promoting direct engagement through voluntary business tools based on Corporate Social Responsibility. Through SCORE, researchers, NGO activists, bank officers, experts in ethical/financial institutions, and enterprise representatives worked together on a common objective: delivering concrete instruments to fight the increased influence of organized crime. Over the past two years, project research has informed the identification of new criteria and principles for companies, government and banks. Conferences and seminars were organised for entrepreneurs, attorneys, police forces, businesses and environmental associations, pilot projects were started up for the prevention of illegality. SCORE also developed a network for exchanging information on results from research studies and best practices.
Research over the course of the project has been somewhat reassuring: while criminal infiltration cases were serious, they are still exceptions rather than the rule, with wind power still the economic sector least affected by phenomena of illegality. Yet many problems remain: although regulations and the size of incentives have changed, there are still many shadowy areas and there is still a need for serious measures to prevent illegality in the renewable energy sector and in the management of forest resources. Project results are available in more detail for download from the website.
SCORE was financed by the Directorate-General for Freedom, Security and Justice of the European Union, under the program "Prevention and Fight against Criminality". The Department of Land and Agroforestry Systems (TESAF) of the University of Padua and FSC Italy were involved in carrying out the forest component of the project.
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