The Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) of Puglia Region focuses on the social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The policy mix targets an approach that allows to associate research, innovation and technology with social and environmental sustainability issues, including also corporate social responsibility, safety and legality. Already in the 2007-2013 programming period, the Puglia Region had a series of initiatives promoting renewable energies and reducing the environmental impact : for instance, the inclusion of environmental indicators for companies grants, pre-commercial procurement for the acquisition of services for an adaptive platform dedicated to water management and the treatment, reduction and reuse of sludge in urban waste water treatment processes; participation in an IPA Adriatic project to build a pilot plant for geothermal air conditioning, unique in Europe in a protected area.
In October 2018, the Puglia Region presented to the Ministry of the Environment its expression of interest in the public notice concerning the implementation of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, with particular reference to the processes of elaboration of the Regional Strategies for Sustainable Development, assisting the Italian Regions in the regional implementation of the objectives of Agenda 2030. On 21 December 2018, the Ministry and the Region signed the cooperation agreement. In the meanwhile, different sections of regional administrations and legislative bodies are developing seminal activities for sustainability awareness in regional laws and policies:
- Deep reconsideration of the discipline on State Aid: definition of policy choices that contribute more to the adoption of virtuous behaviour by the companies and identification of criteria for monitoring and assessing the impact of the policy actions on territorial development. A grid of criteria and indicators useful for the selection and evaluation of investment projects proposed by the Apulian companies is being developing. It includes five guidelines with a prominent place to circular economy aspects. related to the
- The Apulian Parliament is carrying out several initiatives including the dialogue with UN agencies, support to awareness raising about SDGs, legal initiatives (e.g. Sustainable Development and Comparative Climate Law), a virtual showcase connecting projects with SDGs, as well as Conference of Presidents of the Legislative Assemblies of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces to join the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS)
In addition to the existing regional smart specialisation strategies which combine their objectives with SDGs, Italy has its own National Strategy for Sustainable Development (SNSvS). This strategy draws a vision of the future and development focused on sustainability, as a shared value and essential to address the global challenges of the country. Moreover, starting from the update of the "Environmental Action Strategy for Sustainable Development in Italy 2002- 2010", entrusted to the Ministry of the Environment by Law no. 221 of 28 December 2015, the SNSvS takes a broader perspective and becomes a strategic framework of reference of sectoral and territorial policies in Italy, playing an important role for institutions and civil society in the long process of implementation, which will continue until 2030. The strategy represents the first step to localise at the national level the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, assuming the 4 guiding principles: integration, universality, transformation and inclusion.