Short supply chains, circular economy, and big data: a more crisis resistant mountain sport system invests in innovation and sustainability

Economy - published on 17 February 2021

Source: Fondazione Cortina 2021 press office

“Sport, Banks and Industry. Winning together”, the Market Watch of Banca Ifis presents roundtable on the mountain sport system supply chain at Cortina 2021:

Eco-sustainability and 4.0 digital technologies strategic levers to beat crisis

41% of companies expect an increase in turnover in the two-year period 2021-2022

80% will invest in training and 18% are ready to hire to acquire new skills

Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL), 15th February 2021 – They are committed to reducing their impact on the environment, thanks to short supply chains and production processes based on principles of
the circular economy. In addition, they invest in new technologies and training, and adopt an open and collaborative innovation model. These are the key characteristics of the Italian companies
that make up the mountain sports system supply chain analysed in the Market Watch SME of Banca Ifis, National Partner of Cortina 2021.

The report was presented this morning at the roundtable organised by Banca Ifis, «Sport, Banks and Industry. Winning together», on the opportunities and prospects for collaboration between sport,
finance and industry. The debate, moderated by Gianni Valenti, the Vice Deputy Director of La Gazzetta dello Sport, was attended by Ernesto Fürstenberg Fassio, Vice President of
Banca Ifis, Alessandro Benetton president of Fondazione Cortina 2021, Carlo Boroli Vice President of Assosport and Carlo Fernandez, Operations Manager of Liski.

We are proud to be National Partner of Cortina 2021. A fundamental step to remember the deep bond of Banca Ifis with the entrepreneurial realities of the territories in which we operate.
Sport is a source of inspiration and symbol of integrity, which on skis, as in life, is expressed through respect for people and the environment. Two essential themes of our business strategy to
create value in the medium-long term for the communities and territories in which we operate – explains Ernesto Fürstenberg Fassio, Vice President of Banca Ifis.

As these World Championships demonstrate, sport can prove to be a formidable development driver for the territory, helping to develop skills and opportunities among young people, activate
valuable partnerships with companies, and attract public and private funding – comments Alessandro Benetton, President of Fondazione Cortina 2021 – With this initiative
Banca Ifis, a company with strong Venetian roots that has made innovation its distinctive feature, demonstrates that it deeply shares the values of Cortina 2021, promoting excellence and
competence, but also the ability of acting as a system to achieve objectives.

The companies of the Italian Sportining Goods Industry are keeping on investments in research and development, despite the slowdown in the market due to Covid. This foresight will be the
boost for the relaunch of the sector as soon as we return to normal life and will consolidate our brands internationally – Carlo Boroli, Vice President of Assosport, added.

The SME Market Watch portrays a sector of excellence that has been able to resist the crisis better than others, showing itself to be more resilient also thanks to greater
specialization. A sector made up of 550 companies active in the footwear, clothing, and sports equipment sectors. 200 of them are very specialized, concentrated in central-northern Italy, and in
the area of Asolo and Montebelluna, generating an annual turnover of over 6 billion and employing around 30,000 people. These businesses are characterized by a strong commitment to sustainability
and innovation.

More than 91% of the companies surveyed said they adopt measures to reduce the environmental impact. Over six out of ten companies have redesigned their production processes
based on the principles of the circular economy, with the aim of reducing environmental impact through the re-introduction of resources into production cycles. Within this subset, 46% of
respondents aim for “zero waste” and 6% adopt the principles of “circular design” in the planning of new products. Mountain sports system companies also use short supply chains that involve
national companies in 88% of cases, 37% of which are from the same territory, thus reducing logistics and minimizing emissions into the atmosphere.

For producers in the supply chain, the role of research and development is fundamental: in 2020, 66% of the companies maintained or increased the share allocated to investments
in research and development. 45% of companies adopted an open and collaborative model of innovation, focusing mainly on co-creation (49%) and partnerships with other companies in the supply chain

The companies in the supply chain focus on product customization (64%), adoption of service models (56%) and implementation of 4.0 technologies to improve the customer experience. The main areas
in which these new technologies will be introduced are e-commerce (61%), new products or services (58%) and dialogue with customers (56%). Now, technological investments are mainly directed
towards cybersecurity systems, big data & analytics, cloud systems and simulation.

Among the excellences examined by the study, the Asolo and Montebelluna sports system area stands out for being international (worldwide, it produces 25% of inline skates, 50% of technical
mountain shoes, 65% of après-ski and 75% of ski boots) and sustainable. The area’s businesses invest more in environmental sustainability projects than the industry average, especially in the
reuse of recycled materials, energy saving and geographical shortening of the supply chain.

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