Month: November 2022

  • 25 November 2022

    From toilet paper to value paper

    As we know, today it is especially important to be able to transform our economy from linear to circular, and during Re-think in Milan, Coos Wessels presented us with a reality that transforms waste into useful products for the market. Coos Wessels, Managing Director at CirTec, discussed what the business is doing to upgrade toilet paper to value paper. First, he explained that CirTec is an acronym for Circular Technology, in particular, they focus on the recovery of valuables from sewage and wastewater streams, using low-value residual energy for treating concentrated waste streams. His intervention focused on the recovery of cellulose from sewage. While presenting, Wessels tried to avoid the word wastewater, because as he said, sewage should be considered a valuable source of many materials and not waste. In fact, the consumption of all natural resources is still increasing worldwide, underlying the need to recover valuable materials from different sources such as sewage. For instance, in sewage, they found cellulose (which is the main element of their business) together with bioplastics, phosphate, and more. Therefore, sewage can have a significant impact. However yet, up till now only about 1% of what is in our sewage water is used. Italy, Wessels continued, is the largest consumer of tissue papers and in Europe, there are about 9.6 million tonnes of tissues consumed. However, about 6.5 million tonnes end up in the sewage system and come up at the sewage treatment plant while the rest is used for other things. In this context, CirTec can recover approximately 4.5 million tons of material saving about 4.9 million trees a year and producing a forest of 29,700 hectares. CirTec was born while looking at the Dutch water authorities and realizing that it is possible to produce energy while treating sewage. From this idea, they...
  • 18 November 2022

    ATM Transition

    As part of the last Re-think held in Milan in February 2022, Paolo Marchetti, Commercial, Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability Director of ATM, Azienda Trasporti Milanesi, spoke about how important the company’s focus on sustainability and circular economy issues is, what projects are underway and what its goals are. Paolo Marchetti started his speech by remarking on the importance of speaking about sustainability for a company that in the city of Milan has a great impact. ATM is a group composed of 10,000 employees and operates in Milan but also in its surroundings in 96 municipalities, operating around 185 kilometers, before Covid-19, it carried 2.5 million passengers per day. It operates not only in urban and suburban public transport but also in automatic metros and in the backend of the industry, managing rail diagnostic, and maintenance of the fleets, infrastructure, and network technologies. Moreover, to be most integrated, it also manages the bike-sharing system and the car park around the city. All these modes of transportation guarantee the company to build a strong strategic plan with really focused pillars regarding its vision. First of all, Marchetti underlined how ATM is able to make the city of Milan a liveable, sustainable and smart city. At ATM, they work to guarantee this vision by operational excellence in building a stronger sustainability policy, not only regarding carbon neutrality but also all the points of view of the company with the help of technological innovation, and with benchmarks as well. In fact, for instance, the company also operates in Copenhagen, which was very important in improving the automatic metro management. The network in Milan is complex and integrated, there are different layers aimed at guaranteeing all the types of movement in the city: 5 metro lines, 19 tram lines, 4 lines of trolleybuses and 158...
  • 10 November 2022

    50 anni di Teleriscaldamento

    Quest’anno A2A festeggia i 50 anni dalla nascita della prima centrale di teleriscaldamento a Brescia. A2A ha deciso di celebrare questo importante traguardo, organizzando insieme a Tondo un Hackathon aperto ai licei ed istituti bresciani, al fine di trasmettere la conoscenza sugli elementi chiave che riguardano il teleriscaldamento e allo stesso tempo per poter essere ispirati dalle idee fresche e innovative dei ragazzi. L’Hackathon si è tenuto il 21 e 22 ottobre e si è svolto nella sede di A2A di via Lamarmora. L’evento ha visto la partecipazione di studenti e studentesse provenienti dal Liceo Gambara, dall’Istituto Salesiano Don Bosco e dall’Istituto Itis Castelli. I partecipanti sono stati numerosi e volenterosi. Alla fine della seconda giornata sono stati decretati tre gruppi vincitori, uno per ogni challenge proposta, ai quali è stato assegnato un premio. L’evento è cominciato la mattina di venerdì 21 ottobre con l’apertura di Michele Rota, Responsabile sviluppo teleriscaldamento per A2A Calore e Servizi e Vincenzo Oliviero Innovation Manager di A2A, che hanno accolto i ragazzi introducendo brevemente le tre sfide. La prima challenge è stata introdotta e raccontata da Daniele Pasinelli, Referente Progetti strategici in A2A Calore e Servizi e Luisa Zacchi, Asset Management coordinamento in A2A Calore e Servizi. Il teleriscaldamento offre molti vantaggi: utilizzo di fonti di calore locali, elevata sicurezza dell’approvvigionamento, ridotto fabbisogno di spazio, spese di manutenzione ridotte. Il teleriscaldamento risulta anche tra gli strumenti più efficaci per la riduzione delle emissioni di anidride carbonica e la sua diffusione è in costante crescita, soprattutto in Europa. Eppure, si può ancora fare meglio, sfruttando fonti energetiche rinnovabili (biomasse, geotermia ecc..) e\o integrazioni di calore da recupero industriale nelle reti di riscaldamento e riducendo il consumo di combustibili fossili. Dunque, la sfida della prima challenge era quella di trovare delle nuove opportunità di integrazione delle...
  • 4 November 2022

    Reuse wine waste

    During the Re-think Circular Economy Forum in Milan held in February 2022, we had the pleasure of listening to a talk by Silvia Buzzi, HSE and Sustainability Manager at Caviro Extra, who told us about a wonderful circular reality Silvia Buzzi takes us into the world of wine: Caviro is an all-Romagna group that has as its input to enhance the entire wine supply chain. It is also a beautiful tangible example of regenerative capitalism. Caviro is a second-degree cooperative, encompassing 29 members including 27 social wineries. It was founded in 1966 and has recovery in its DNA, because physiologically in the agricultural world it is essential not to throw anything away. The mission is to valorize members’ grapes, not only to valorize the grapes by paying them at an average price above the market price but to valorize all the by-products of winemaking because grapes hold so many surprises. There are 12,000 winemaking members scattered in seven regions of Italy, from northern Italy to southern Italy, because this makes it possible to guarantee a great variety of wines, thus satisfying the most demanding palates. Caviro’s wines range from the daily wine we know, Tavernello, and Castellino, to super-premium category wines such as Amarone Della Valpolicella. These members cultivate more than 36,000 hectares of vineyard area in Italy, this means that where there is a cooperative there is no land abandonment and this is fundamental; therefore, without land abandonment, because the remuneration is certain, we can be sure that land use change does not happen and the biodiversity that our territory needs is guaranteed. Silvia Buzzi explained that Caviro’s supply chain processes about 10 percent of Italian grapes, about 700 thousand tons per year, and makes wine from them clearly, exceeding 220 million liters of wine poured on the market,...
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