The connection between the Moravian--Silesian Region and Italy and France may be surprising for many people. We can see some similarities in the leaning church in Karviná, which leans even more than its more famous counterpart in Pisa; in the countless pizzerias across towns and villages throughout the region; and in a passion for regional football clubs. In terms of economic cooperation, finding links is much easier. Dozens of Italian and French companies operate across the whole region. They cover a wide range of activities from engineering to logistics, power engineering to water management. All these companies chose the Moravian-Silesian Region as their second home.
Today's trend, not only in business, is to focus on sustainability and the reduction of environmental impact. This is also the case with French and Italian companies operating in our region. One of the pioneers is the Italian company Brembo, which produces brakes for premium cars. They strive to produce their products in such a way that they are the smallest possible source of pollution for their surroundings. The result, for example, is a new type of brake disc that, thanks to an innovative brake surface treatment, reduces wear and dust emissions during braking while extending brake disc life. But innovation is not only about new products; it is also about production processes. This includes, for example, the introduction of efficient water recycling systems or heat recovery systems that allow energy savings of up to 30%. The company is also committed to recycling its manufacturing waste to the maximum extent possible, resulting in the reusability of up to 53% of the company's own waste.
However, other socially responsible companies can also be found in other sectors, like power engineering, water management and construction. The French company Veolia, which provides services not only to companies but also to municipalities, puts a high value on resource efficiency and maximum recycling. They try to achieve these goals mainly thanks to their technical know-how and innovation. Apart from that, they also support start-up projects focused on the environment and circular economics. Thus, Veolia has become the main partner of the Climate Challenge Accelerator Programme, which offers support to the ten best sustainability projects. Ostrava Waterworks and Sewerage Company (OVAK) takes care of water purity in Ostrava, but few people know that the French company SUEZ International is the majority shareholder. Thanks to systematic work and the use of solutions such as smart metering, intelligent readings and regular testing of water samples, OVAK is one of the companies with the lowest water loss so residents of Ostrava and its surroundings do not have to worry about the lack of clean water from their taps.
This was just a short list of companies from Italy and France that operate in our region and care about the local environment. However, there are many more socially responsible companies like these in our region, and their activities contribute not only to economic growth in their area but also to environmental protection.