FACTOR20 - Forwarding ACTions On a Regional and local scale to reach UE targets of the European Climate Action Plan “20-20 by 2020”

LIFE08 ENV/IT/000430

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Contact details:

Contact person: Valentina SACHERO
Tel: +39 02 67652331
Fax: +39 02 67654468
Email: valentina_sachero@regione.lombardia.it

Project description:


Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a major aim for mitigating the impacts of climate change. Italy has already seen innovative actions to define models and tools for GHG-emission accounting. In general, these initiatives have been aimed at raising stakeholders’ awareness of the need to reduce emissions at local level. Strategies have focused on clarifying the need to adopt a systematic and strategic approach in defining institutional Action Plans, including sectors not bound by the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). However, in general, the potential of non-ETS sectors to reach the national GHG reduction targets is still underestimated. To increase the effectiveness of the strategies adopted, planning should also involve all the relevant institutional levels, both regional and local, and should be intertwined with a strategic evaluation phase.


The FACTOR20 project aimed to promote an integrated management approach, to build on and improved existing approaches to GHG-reduction strategies at local, non-ETS levels. It sought to define a tool for promoting local actions, and worked to harmonise regional databases on local electrical energy systems and the monitoring of the impacts of energy activity on GHG emissions. The aim was to feed this baseline data into a ‘burden-sharing’ tool (Sirena-Factor 20), to support the definition of regional non-ETS sectoral targets on GHG reductions, the use of renewable energy sources and energy saving; and to demonstrate this in three Italian regions (Lombardia, Sicily and Basilicata).


The FACTOR20 project demonstrated actions on a regional and local scale to help the relevant authorities reach greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets set in the European Climate Action Plan “20-20 by 2020”. It promoted an integrated management approach and harmonised regional databases containing data on energy consumption, generation and network infrastructure, and the monitoring of energy activity impacts on GHG emissions. This provided the baseline data for regional information systems and policies. The data was fed into a ‘burden-sharing’ tool developed by the project - Sirena-Factor 20 - in order to define regional sector targets on GHG reductions, the use of renewable energy sources and energy saving. These formed the basis for local targets for sectors outside the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), such as the construction industry and transport sector.

As a result of the project, different administrative levels (national, regional and local), involved in energy and environmental planning, committed to adopting the same methodology and tools to set targets and monitor the achievement of national GHG reduction targets. The Sirena-Factor 20 model was implemented in two local areas within each of three partner regions (Lombardy, Sicily and Basilicata). Almost all local authorities in these regions adhering to the Covenant of Mayors initiative, involving a specific energy balance methodology; in Lombardy (about 800) and Sicily (50) are using the Sirena-Factor 20 tool to establish a baseline and fulfil monitoring obligations. In addition, three provinces (Bergamo in Lombardy, Palermo in Sicily, and Potenza in Basilicata) and four municipalities (Lodi, Cucciago, Castelbuono and Comiso) adopted Factor20 tools to promote plans and actions for reducing CO2 emissions. Synergies were created among national, regional and local authorities, to define GHG reduction targets. The Sirena-Factor 20 tool acted as a storage area for energy data at a regional level, and for ex-ante evaluation and ex-post accounting of regional and local energy policies. This helped to implement Regional Energy Balances and assess regional and local scenarios. Ex-ante evaluation of sustainability energy actions was combined with guidelines and projects for implementation. In particular, eight lead actions were assessed and one action plan was initiated, in the province of Bergamo in Lombardy, to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy source interventions in 400 public buildings. In addition, five biomass-based district heating networks are being established. The main project outputs included a methodology for future ex-post assessments, guidelines for the evaluation of local action plans, and the evaluation of the action plans drafted by the project both in terms of energy requirements and energy savings. The project’s socio-economic benefits mainly derive from the implementation of local action plans, for example, the energy plan adopted by the Province of Bergamo should permit savings in the energy bill of around €4 million and stimulate investment of around €54 million.

The project’s dissemination and communication activities included organising over 40 public events (e.g. technical workshops and training sessions), publications both specific to the pilot areas and of a more general nature, and leaflets and newsletters targeted at local authorities, professionals, SMEs, associations, universities and citizens.

FACTOR20 is directly relevant to the implementation of the EU 2020 climate & energy package (20-20-20), and Directives on renewable energies (2009/28/EC), energy performance of buildings (2010/31/EU) and energy efficiency (2012/27/EU) in Italy. The Effort Sharing Decision is also highly pertinent, which sets national targets of 10% emissions reductions for non-ETS sectors. At the national level, the project contributed to the definition of the National Plan for Energy Efficiency that Italy, as a Member State, has to prepare in accordance with the Directive for Energy Efficiency.

The main project innovation is that its methods and the Sirena-Factor 20 tool specifically target the non-ETS sectors, which according to some estimates account for 58% of EU greenhouse gas emissions. In terms of environmental benefits, the Factor20 project promoted plans and actions for CO2 emission reductions in three provinces and four municipalities, to help them achieve emission reductions of at least 20% by 2020.The project methodology helps local authorities to identify future initiatives that can reduce emissions, with respect to the application of local regulations. In this sense, the project demonstrative value is high and its replicability potential is significant.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors


energy efficiency‚  information system‚  decision making support‚  integrated management‚  emission reduction‚  climate protection‚  greenhouse gas‚  renewable energy‚  climate mitigation strategy

Target EU Legislation

  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2009/28 - Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (23.04.2009)
  • Directive 2010/31 - Energy performance of buildings (19.05.2010)
  • Directive 2012/27 - Energy efficiency (25.10.2012)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Regione Lombardia – DirezioneGenerale Ambiente,Energia e Reti
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description The beneficiary is the Directorate General for Networks, Public Services and Sustainable Development of the Regional Government of Lombardy in northern Italy. It deals with all issues related to energy, waste, water and subsoil.
Partners Centro per lo Sviluppo Tecnologico, l’Energia e la Competitività delle PMI SpA, Italy Regione Sicilia–Assessorato Industria, Italy Regione Basilicata–Direzione Generale Attività Produttive, Politiche dell’Impresa, Innovazione Tecnologica, Italy Sviluppo Italia Basilicata SpA, Italy


Project reference LIFE08 ENV/IT/000430
Duration 01-JAN-2012 to 31-DEC -2013
Total budget 2,512,600.00 €
EU contribution 1,206,300.00 €
Project location Lombardia(Italia) Basilicata(Italia) Sicilia(Italia)


Read more:

Leaflet Leaflet of the project
Leaflet Leaflet of the project - Regione Basilicata
Poster Notice board of the project
Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version