Green Deal

  • By Simina Scripat English Version The crisis caused by COVID-19 and the effects of climate change made the transition to an economic system in which production and consumption are more sustainable increasingly urgent. This implies a total paradigm shift from the status quo. In this new perspective, the needs of the present must be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To achieve such development, in 2015 the Member Countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. These goals are based on the three pillars: environmental, social, and economic. Given the close interconnection of these levels, a transformation of the economic system can also bring environmental and social benefits. Generally speaking, studies have shown how the circular model can benefit the achievement of all SDGs. For example, it has a direct effect on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6). In fact, several parts of the world currently experience severe water shortages at least once a year. The use of circular practices, such as the development of small-scale water purification technologies or wastewater treatment to reduce the discharge of wastewater into drinking water sources, may offer a solution to this water access issue. Circular economy (CE) can also directly benefit the achievement of SDG 7 – ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Energy is one of the most polluting sectors, and as a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation shows, the transition to renewable energy can address 55% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By introducing CE in five sectors (key cement, plastics, steel, aluminum, and food), it would be possible to reduce these emissions by 9.3 billion tons, thus curbing the other...
  • English Version Pietro Lanza General Manager of Intesa (IBM Group) and Blockchain Director of IBM Italia was with us at our Re-think Circular Economy Forum in October. Together we discussed how the transition towards the Circular Economy and the Green Deal create new opportunities for businesses in which technology and digital innovation play a key role. According to Pietro Lanza, what we are experiencing is a new industrial revolution that is based on exponential technologies, such as IoT, AI, cognitive computing, and Cloud. These technologies are growing at a global scale and allow companies to move towards new business models, enabling the Green and Digital Transition to a Circular Economy. The technology sector is then becoming a key player in redesigning businesses for Italian mid and big-size companies, especially because the supply chains of many industries are becoming more complex. Why are these technologies important? To unlock the potential of a Circular Economy through these new technologies, it is useful to highlight seven essential steps. First of all, it is necessary to understand and leverage the usage of IoT platforms. The second step is about focusing on the right data and analyzing them. This step is usually supported by AI combined with Machine Learning. The next one deals with rethinking the operations, an area in which Intesa is deploying a lot of effort, helping its clients in redefining their processes from the product design to the supply chain to the overall industrial processes. In this step blockchain, augmented reality, and optimization of the processes through innovation are often used. The fourth step is about connections: we are living in an interconnected world, which means that it is important to leverage on open platforms to connect in real-time actors across all the network. The blockchain is an example of a connected...
  • English version In October we had the pleasure to host Federico Porrà, Policy Officer at the European Commission, at our Re-think Circular Economy Forum, an event we designed to stimulate critical thinking towards some elements of the current industrial economic system and to show the possible evolutionary trends of the Circular Economy. Federico Porrà explained the European Commission’s vision and policies on the Circular Economy for the period 2020-2024, in particular by presenting the new EU Circular Economy Action Plan, a key pillar of the European Green Deal, which is the project through which the European Union decided to set the goal to reach climate neutrality by 2050. The European Union, in fact, recognizes that the Circular Economy is one of the key pillars for the economic recovery of the post-Covid era and an opportunity to support the green transition and create inclusive growth. Today, the Circular Economy is even more relevant than before, precisely because it is a tool that can be used to create local jobs and boost sustainable growth, while supporting resilient supply chains and new business opportunities. This is why the Commission is working to mainstream circularity principles along all the main strategies adopted in the context of the Green Deal. An example is the Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims at making food systems fair, circular, healthy and environmentally-friendly, and food chains more sustainable. What does the Plan entail? Building on the first Action Plan launched in 2015, the new Circular Economy Action Plan is currently one of the most ambitious documents ever adopted on the Circular Economy, thanks to its comprehensive approach targeting the entire life cycle of products. In fact, it introduces legislative and non-legislative actions to reform the way we think about sustainable products, production processes, consumption, waste, secondary raw materials, and...
  • 29 May 2020

    Farm to Fork Strategy

    English Version By Kastsiaryna Serada – Research Fellow and Policy Analyst at Tondo The EU has adopted its “Farm to Fork” strategy, a corner stone of the European Green Deal. The new strategy is aimed at building healthy and sustainable food supply chains that work for consumers, producers, climate and environment. Implementation of the Farm to Fork strategy will contribute to achieving a circular economy and reducing the environmental impact of the food processing and retail sectors by taking action on transport, storage, packaging and food waste both at retail and consumer levels, including through binding targets. The coronavirus provided no shortages of lessons and has shown how crucial a well-functioning food system is, and how important it is to restore the balance between human activity and nature. New European strategies towards green transition, including Farm to Fork seek to achieve a new balance of nature, food systems and biodiversity; and at the same time to increase the EU’s competitiveness and resilience. Agriculture needs to become a part of the climate solution and contribute to the EU climate objectives towards 2050. The strategy seeks to enable Europeans get healthy, affordable and sustainable food and make healthy and sustainable choices. Sustainable food labelling framework that covers the nutritional, climate, environmental and social aspects of food products will be developed to these ends. The Commission will explore new ways to give consumers better information, including by digital means, on details such as where the food comes from, its nutritional value, and its environmental footprint. Imported food that does not comply with relevant EU environmental standards is not allowed on EU markets. Organic farming should constitute 25% of the total farming practices, that is a three-fold increase in comparison to now and the use of chemical pesticides, as well as of fertilisers, antibiotics to be...
  • 30 March 2020

    Green Deal

    By Katsiaryna Serada – Research fellow & policy analyst at Tondo English Version In December 2019, the EU launched a European Green Deal, a new sustainable economic growth strategy and policy agenda aimed at decoupling economic growth from the use of the primary natural resources and building a globally competitive, digitalized, low-carbon, climate – neutral, resource-efficient  economy. A new growth strategy underscores the importance of the twin transformation – green and digital – to increase the global competitiveness of the EU industry, benefit the consumers and protect the environment. Despite the sweeping adverse economic impacts of the quarantine measures to fight COVID-19 taken worldwide, the European Green Deal is likely to sustain the increasing political pressures of reprioritization. First, positive short-time effects of the reduction of the GHGs emissions due to the global economic slowdown are likely to be off-set by the rebound effect of the economic stimulus policy packages aimed at supporting the industries, therefore, the commitment to achieve climate policy targets and goals remains valid. Second, the European Green Deal is framed as an industrial and economic strategy aimed at “stimulating the development of lead markets for climate neutral and circular products, in the EU and beyond” and enhancing European Single Market. The implementation of the European Green Dean is supported with the new comprehensive EU policy package that includes new European Industrial Strategy, European Circular Economy Action Plan, Biodiversity Strategy, SME Strategy, Farm to Fork Strategy. The Commission’s European Green Deal Investment Plan (EGDIP), a renewed sustainable finance strategy, to be launched in the third quarter of 2020, is to further scale up sustainable finance to meet the investment needs of moving towards greener and more circular economy. However, the European Regional Development Fund, LIFE and Horizon Europe will complement private innovation funding and support bringing innovative...
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