Italian Farmer Vows Green Revolution

Italian wine, oil producer hopes to cut his farm's C02 emissions to 0 by 2009.

ByABC News
October 24, 2008, 5:23 AM

ROME, Oct. 24, 2008 — -- Global warming was a sore subject in Italy this week.

First Italy squashed Europe's hope to push through a climate package that would show the world Europe was serious about halting global warming.

Then the European Environment Agency announced that Italy, Denmark and Spain were still "off their Kyoto track" and would not meet their individual countries' targets for cutting emissions under the Kyoto Accord.

But in all this gloom, there was a bright spot in Umbria, the "green heart "of Italy.

A small Italian olive and wine producer has decided it's his task to make a big example and has decided to show the way.

Meet Lorenzo Fasola-Bologna, a dashing 37-year-old with a winning smile, big ideas and lots of energy. He calls his project "the 360 degree Green Revolution." He has set himself a challenge: to cut his family farm's CO2 emissions to zero by the end of 2009.

"It is not about changing one thing," he said. "It's about making many multilayered changes. It's a 360-degree change!"

Fasola-Bologna sees it as his mission to preserve the good life and the environment he was lucky to be born into for future generations.

"What we have here is sensational," he said referring to Umbria. Umbrians know that their fertile land of rolling hills with vineyards and olive groves is the wealth they have inherited. Saving this and the way of life it calls for is vital for future generations.

Fasola-Bologna's family has owned the castle and surrounding land called Castello Monte Vibiano near Mercatello, about 15 miles south of Perugia, for centuries. In 2003 Fasola-Bologna overhauled the 1,000-acre farm so that it is now producing top-quality wine -- about 240,000 bottles a year -- and olive oil from 13,000 trees.

Already a leader in his field, Fasola-Bologna turned Monte Vibiano olive oil into a luxury blend and invented quick-freezing of the extra virgin oil on the same day it is pressed and putting it in miniature bottles to preserve its "green" flavor.

About 12 million of these little bottles of super fresh oil are produced every year, and they are now served with first class and business class meals on most leading world airlines.