November 2021

Autumn’s Pills

News

Cikis studio, a company that helps fashion companies create strategies for a sustainable turnaround, has published its annual report on the relationship between fashion and sustainability. What emerged is that 89% of Italian fashion companies are working on sustainability, but 53% of these have competitiveness as an investment objective. In Scotland over 5000 wind turbines are being decommissioned, which is good news for sustainability. The country’s renewable energy sector is already thriving and they are now aiming to implement the circular economy process that comes from a plant that is no longer suitable. This will have economic benefits because it will create jobs, train professionals who will have increasing skills in-plant recycling and valuable materials such as steel and iron will be reused.

Coming up in Milan is the Pre-COP Summit from 28 to 30 September. As part of the United Nations COP26 conference on climate change, states, international organisations, and NGOs will come together for a discussion to align on the key issues to be addressed at the world summit, scheduled to take place in Glasgow in early November.

The Walmart case covered by The Guardian newspaper. Since the early 2000s, the US giant has been implementing a series of strategies to achieve ambitious sustainability and zero-emission targets, but the article points to critical issues and casts doubt on the viability of the plans.

In Iceland, the world’s largest plant capable of removing CO₂ from the air was inaugurated on 8 September 2021. Its name is Orca and it was built by the Swiss company Climeworks with the aim of reversing climate change and achieving carbon neutrality. The goal is still a long way off: the plant only sucks in 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, a derisory amount compared to the total, but technological advances give hope for a better future.

Insect farming is often seen as a sustainable alternative to livestock farming, to reduce the damage of meat production and consumption, but this is not always the case. This article sheds light on the possible potential and damage of a booming business.

On Friday 17 September 2021, an agreement on cooperation in managing the climate crisis was signed by nine European countries: Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia and Croatia. The meeting was held in Athens in front of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

On Monday, 20 September, the UN climate round table took place in New York as part of the preparations for the 76th UN General Assembly. Prime Minister Mario Draghi spoke here via video conference. In his speech, he called for a determined approach to the global challenges and recalled the importance of timeliness in order to control the effects of climate change. The World Economic Forum, in the context of the 2021 Sustainable Development Impact Summit, asked four executives from leading circular economy companies for advice on how to virtuously initiate and maintain a circular transition within the business environment. Involve the parts of the organisation for a shared decision, to be applied to all areas with commitment and determination. This is the summary of the four positions explored in the World Economic Forum article.

The European Union is funding the CityLoops project, which promotes actions to manage organic waste and construction and demolition waste in a circular way within the urban context. In particular, one of the first cities involved was Porto, where a project was launched to reduce food waste by composting waste and using the compost to grow products for local use. This is based on the study of “urban metabolism”, an analysis of the city’s characteristics in terms of resources, consumption and waste, which leads to the drafting of a circular economy plan tailored to the context analysed.

In preparation for the United Nations Food System Summit, the FAO report “Tracking progress on food and agriculture-related SDG indicators 2021” was published, showing the alarming consequences of the pandemic on sustainability goals: a very high percentage of food is lost along the supply chain, small producers are the most disadvantaged, product prices are volatile due to restrictions, and many other critical issues can be found in the report.

Speaking at Global Citizen Live, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the allocation of €140 million for research on sustainable food systems in support of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). A global network of food systems research centres in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, whose mission is to help feed a rapidly growing global population. In recent years, the group’s main mission has been to provide tools to address the challenges of our time: pandemics and the climate crisis.

The water emergency in the city of Sydney needs timely and innovative action. The 2020 drought has caused reservoir levels to fall at an unprecedented rate, so citizens will be challenged to consider the use of purified wastewater to responsibly plan water use to ensure it is available to the city’s population of 7.1 million by 2041.

ISTAT’s Urban Environment Report for this year shows national development towards sustainability progressing at a very slow pace and differently between north and south.

The architecture of the Irish pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020 has been designed and built using a sustainable design approach that is adapted to the specific environment. At Expo Milano 2015, a structure was created following the same principle, which earned Ireland the ‘Towards a Sustainable Expo’ award in the Design and Materials category for demonstrating actions to reduce the environmental impact of their pavilion.

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