About us

Problems can’t be solved by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them

(Albert Einstein)

Founded in 2008 by will of companies, business associations and sustainability experts, the Sustainable Development Foundation is a not for profit think-tank based in Rome aimed at encouraging the transition towards a green economy.

Chaired by Edo Ronchi, the Italian Minister of the Environment (in charge from 1996 to 2000) who signed for Italy the Kyoto protocol in 1998, nowadays, the Foundation relies on a network of 100 associated green companies and more than 50 top level senior experts and young talents in the sustainable development field.

As a reference organization active in deepening and spreading knowledge on thematic areas such as climate change, renewable energy, resource efficiency, sustainability strategies and reporting, sustainable mobility, etc., the Foundation holds workshops, lectures, conferences and learning events open to public participation.


At national level the Foundation is the reference organization for the “States General of the Green Economy”, a multi-stakeholder engagement process aimed at promoting solutions towards a green economy in Italy through a platform of policy recommendations elaborated according to a bottom-up approach.

Promoted in Italy by the National Council of the Green Economy (composed by 66 Italian business organizations each gathering several enterprises) in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of the Economic Development, the States General are an initiative integrated in the European Union process for implementing the commitments of the Rio +20 Conference.

The outcomes of the States General of the Green Economy are presented to the main public in a big event held in Rimini every year. In the past editions the States General have been participated by more than 2000 stakeholders.


In the international scenarios the Foundation is member of the UN Global Compact, organizational stakeholder of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and associated to the ISWA (International solid waste association) and Transport and Environment in Brussels. Furthermore, it cooperates with the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the Institute for environment and energy (IFEU) in Germany.


Under the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, the Foundation promotes every year the “Sustainable Development Award“, a prestigious award devoted to enterprises and start-ups particularly active in the field of the green economy.