innovation

  • By Giovanna Matrone and Simone Bambagioni, Tondo associates English Every day organizations take decisions with a direct impact on their internal and external stakeholders. In order to build trust and make stakeholders understand the organization’s true value, risks and opportunities linked to these decisions need to be transparently communicated. A key enabler to realize this process is the sustainability report. A corporate sustainability report is a periodical report released by companies with the goal of making public their commitments – as well as their actions – in social and environmental areas. Although it isn’t (yet) mandatory, an increased interest of public opinion on these areas pushes companies to disclose non-financial information about how they operate and run their social and environmental challenges. So, it becomes mandatory for organizations to give insights about how they’re taking care of environmental (CO2 production, raw material use, energy management) and social (Diversity Equity and Inclusion, respect for human rights) concerns. Being a not-mandatory self-initiative, there is not a regulatory standard to refer to. Therefore, to make this reporting as useful as possible for companies as well as for stakeholders, a unified – widely recognized – standard is required allowing reports to be quickly assessed, fairly judged, and simply compared. Since international companies have started developing sustainability reports, the most used framework is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). However, while some (medium-large) organizations choose to write a standardized report useful for specific certifications, others opt instead for a free-style report. Either way, some items are often included: a CEO statement briefly introducing the vision and the drivers behind the sustainability report; a presentation of the organization’s governance structure and business model; a SWOT analysis for opportunities and threats linked to company’s business; a materiality analysis in which the main worries of the organization and stakeholders...
  • 3 September 2021

    Pulp Pantry

    English Food waste is still one of the biggest world problems, indeed according to FAO around 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets lost or wasted every year. As Kaitlin Mogentale, founder of Pulp Pantry told us, generally, food waste creates a huge burden on the world, environmentally and socially, as resources are extracted to produce food that will never be eaten. In fact, it is estimated that if food waste were a country, it would be the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China and the US. Who is Kaitlin Mogentale and what is Pulp Pantry? Kaitlin Mogentale earned a degree in Environmental Studies, with an emphasis on Social Entrepreneurship, and Urban Policy & Planning at the University of Southern California, is a self-proclaimed food waste warrior and the founder of Pulp Pantry, which she started in 2015. Pulp Pantry transforms upcycled ingredients —the overlooked, nutritional byproducts of fruit and vegetable processing —into wholesome, better for people and better for the planet, snack staples. “Waste Less, Thrive More”, is the company motto, because a thriving humanity depends on a thriving, healthy planet. Kaitlin had her business idea while looking at a friend who wanted to waste his carrot pulp. She could not stand it and decided to make cookies from the saved carrot pulp instead. She started her business when she became closely acquainted with the unsettling disparities in the American food system. In a country where obesity and preventative diseases are sweeping the nation, the paradox is that the foods people could benefit from most are the very foods going to waste at the greatest rates: fruits and vegetables.  The mission of Pulp Pantry is indeed to transform upcycled ingredients – the overlooked, nutritional byproducts of fruit and vegetable processing – into products with the ingredients, nutrition, and...
  • Gianluca Tettamanti, Professore Ordinario presso l’Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, è stato nostro ospite in occasione di Hacking the City lo scorso aprile. Il prof. Tettamanti ha condiviso con noi una parte della sua ricerca, che analizza il ruolo che hanno – e soprattutto quello che potranno avere in futuro – gli insetti nella valorizzazione dei rifiuti. La necessità di valorizzare i rifiuti, come quella di accedere a nuove fonti di nutrimento, è di centrale importanza data la rapida crescita della popolazione globale che ha generato un importante aumento della domanda di cibo, e in particolare di proteine, a livello mondiale. Questo tema assume un’ulteriore urgenza se consideriamo che ad oggi circa un terzo del cibo prodotto a livello mondiale (pari a circa 1,3 miliardi di tonnellate) viene sprecato. Un ridisegnamento dei nostri sistemi produttivi è quindi necessario se l’obiettivo è quello di garantire la sicurezza alimentare della popolazione globale: tale ripensamento deve passare non solo attraverso una riallocazione delle risorse disponibili, ma anche dalla valorizzazione dei rifiuti che produciamo. In questo senso l’impiego degli insetti può essere estremamente utile: alcune larve possono infatti crescere su substrati di scarto producendo dei materiali di un certo valore. Questa possibilità consente di ridurre i rifiuti e, allo stesso tempo, di produrre materiali che possono essere utilizzati con nuovi scopi. In ambito zootecnico, per esempio, è possibile reintrodurre questi materiali come fonte di alimento per altri animali. Alcuni dei vantaggi più importanti che derivano dall’utilizzo di questi insetti sono i seguenti: – Gli insetti possono essere allevati su materiali di scarto di diverso tipo: materiali vegetali, reflui zootecnici, rifiuti urbani e molto altro. In generale questi materiali non sono in competizione con l’alimentazione umana: è quindi possibile nutrire questi insetti senza sprecare risorse. – Gli insetti hanno un elevato indice di conversione: essi sono...
  • 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...
  • Comunicato Stampa Versione italiana Studenti universitari, neo-laureati e dottorandi si sono sfidati nella progettazione della città circolare del futuro durante il primo hackathon italiano sull’Economia Circolare Pochi giorni fa si è concluso Hacking the City | Design a Circular Future, il primo Hackathon realizzato da Tondo – organizzazione no-profit internazionale operante nel settore dell’economia circolare – in collaborazione con il Circular Economy Lab di Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center e Cariplo Factory e con il patrocinio di Fondazione Cariplo. L’hackathon ha visto come protagonisti studenti universitari, neolaureati e dottorandi di tutta Italia, che hanno proposto soluzioni concrete per la progettazione della città circolare del futuro, dando spazio a creatività, innovazione e passione e facendo fronte alle attuali sfide ambientali, sociali ed economiche. L’evento, che è stato realizzato interamente online, è nato con l’obiettivo di ideare e sostenere progettualità innovative e circolari, coinvolgendo i principali atenei italiani ed alcune delle maggiori aziende operanti in Italia su quest’ambito. “Siamo molto soddisfatti dalla buona riuscita e delle proposte innovative sviluppate durante Hacking the City – Design a Circular Future. L’hackathon si è rivelato un’importante occasione per mettere in relazione studenti, Università, aziende e singoli professionisti a favore di una crescita sostenibile e di un impatto sempre più trasversale della circular economy. È sempre motivo di ottimismo vedere con quanta passione e attenzione le nuove generazioni affrontino il tema della sostenibilità, evidenziando l’esigenza di promuovere un mondo più green e inclusivo”. Commenta Carlo Mango, Direttore Area Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica di Fondazione Cariplo e Consigliere Delegato di Cariplo Factory. Otto sono i settori strategici individuati, all’interno dei quali i partner industriali hanno definito delle challenge. Nello specifico: Salvatore Ferragamo per l’area Consumer Goods, Esselunga per l’area Food, Arup per l’area Design, Cisco per l’area Digital, Mapei per l’area Buildings, IREN per l’area Energy, Punch Torino...
  • By Giovanni Colombo, Senior Public Affairs Manager at EIT Food – from ReThink 2020 English Version EIT Food is one of the eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities created by the EU under the umbrella of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and is building an ecosystem to generate innovative solutions to make the food system more circular and bring these solutions to the market.  The “Circular Food Systems” is one of the six Focus Areas. EIT Food, as Europe’s leading food initiative, is working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy, and trusted.  It works in synergy with Europe’s leading agri-food companies, research institutes, universities, and startups to transform the food system and tackle some of the big societal challenges such as food waste. In the EU, around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually, which represents 20% of food production and it is estimated that this could feed 200 million people. The production and disposal of this food waste generate 170 million tonnes of CO2 which accounts for 6% of greenhouse gas emissions of the European Union. The global cost is 870 billion euros. Today, the reduction of food waste is an opportunity because it could help to close the gap between the food needed to feed the planet in 2050 and the food that was available in 2010 by more than 20%. This has been recognized also by the UN SDGs target n° 12.3 which asks us to halve the food waste by 2030. In the European context, food waste covers food loss and food waste and it occurs at all stages of the value chain. Even though in Europe food waste occurs mostly at the consumption level, synergic efforts should be addressing the problem of food waste at all stages of the value chain. Colombo...
  • 5 March 2021

    Interview with Ccrave

    By Elia Bidut English Version Ccrave, a Portuguese circular content and commerce platform Ccrave is a circular content and commerce platform, born thanks to the efforts of Vincent Van Dessel and Liina Edun. Ccrave is a start-up based in Lisbon that has recently participated in Rise for Impact, a 3 months acceleration program and one of the best impact accelerators in Portugal. Ccrave secured its seed funding and is taking off in 2021.  We had the chance to speak to Vincent about the experience of starting a new circular venture and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on CCrave. Vincent, what has been the main difficulty in setting up a new company in the circular economy field? Circular economy is still a pioneering concept and relatively unknown for end consumers but also for businesses. We will only succeed at this systemic change by connecting all the dots in the circular ecosystem. Identifying all relevant stakeholders and building a circular ecosystem with brands, material producers, circular experts, and European circular organizations has been my main task for the last one and a half year. It’s a never-ending journey. Finding the right co-founders was another big challenge as we always aim to have circular advocates as team members. We managed to attract people with a previous successful career path in linear business ventures to shift to a promising circular one, like our new Head of Digital, Beatriz. As a circular business venture that aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, you need to walk your talk and lead by example. Therefore to be credible we have to apply circular principles in the core of our company as much as possible. Hosting our website on a green platform, carbon-neutral logistics where possible, sourcing the right products – our vision is there...
  • 1 January 2021

    KAFFEEFORM

    English Version Winter is coming and the cold weather with it as well which encourages all of us to look for something to keep us warm. For instance, a blanket, a jumper, a pair of soft and thick socks or a hot drink. Indeed, one of the most popular beverages in the world is coffee which, actually, has no seasonality anymore. Coffee has been consumed for over 1000 years now and around two billion cups are drunk everyday worldwide. This makes coffee the most consumed beverage and the second largest traded commodity after oil. According to the International Coffee Organization, Europe accounted for 34% of global coffee consumption in 2019, followed by Asia and Oceania, Latin America and North America. Therefore, the European Union has the world’s highest per capita consumption with 5kg of coffee per person per year, which is surprisingly high. The increasing production and consumption of this beverage comes with the consequent huge generation of spent coffee grounds left from coffee brewing. According to Solange et al., 6 million tons of spent coffee grounds are generated every year worldwide thus resulting in a great amount of unused organic waste. Spent coffee grounds are usually known and used for their natural and strong properties as fertilizer for gardens, plants and compost. However, over the last years numerous researchers and companies have been focusing on other possible ways to benefit from such waste. For instance, coffee residues can be exploited in pharmaceutical industry, in the food sector or in bio-refineries and for a variety of different products such as the coffee cups created by KAFFEEFORM. THE KAFFEEFORM STORY KAFFEEFORM was born in Berlin from the initial vision of creating something new and lasting out of supposed waste. It all started with Julian Lechner, product designer, who after years of...
  • 27 July 2020

    CE and COVID-19

    By Alexandra Kekkonen – Tondo’s associate English Version What have we learned about Circular Economy from COVID crisis? The massive disruption of the global value chains in the result of the measures taken by the governments to address the Covid-19 crisis has revealed the fragility of our lineal global economy model and productive arrangements linked to a single geographic location and a single supplier, high degree of dissolution of our innovation, production, supply and consumption systems. (Serada, 2020) It has raised the concerns about the resilience of our economies and led to intensification of such trends as diversification of sourcing and supplies, reshoring, developing strategic autonomy in the critical sectors, intensifying automation, transforming supply chains into more simple, digital, regional more transparent, facilitated by the new delivery modes and contactless innovations. The experiences obtained during the COVID 19 crisis have reaffirmed – there is a need of the great reset and building a more resilient, just, responsive and sustainable economies. Circular Economy is increasingly considered a valuable option allowing to collectively reimagine and redesign our systems to ensure an ecologically safe and socially just space for all. The circular economy also now has the opportunity and duty to further incorporate equality and resilience into this model.  Product design and product policy factors such as repairability, reusability and potential for remanufacturing offer considerable opportunities to enhance stock availability and, therefore, resilience. Rethinking business models in terms of the circular economy presents many opportunities to improve competitiveness, efficiency, innovation and sustainability including through facilitating an access to and shared use of underutilized products.  Circular supplies represent a model for developing components that are reusable and recyclable at the end of a product’s life.  Product life extension prolongs the useful life of a product through improved product design and long-term maintenance.   Resource recovery...
  • 8 July 2020

    CE in Estonia

    By Alexandra Kekkonen – Tondo’s associate English Version Estonia is an innovative nation in Northern Europe known globally for its digital ambitions. It is one of the top countries in Europe in terms of start-ups per capita and ranks first in the Entrepreneurship Index by the WEF. The country is a world pioneer in providing public services online – 99% of all public services provided 24/7 online. Thanks to smart e-solutions, it takes only a few hours to start a company and minutes to declare taxes.   Estonia has a small population (1,3 m.) and territory (45,226 km²). Unlike other countries, the country is characterized by strong deurbanization tendencies in 15-years perspective. Another distinct feature of the Estonian society is so-called slow living approach: a large part of the population does not consider economic growth a priority[1]. These trends are enhanced by declining and ageing population (as of January 1, 2020, the share of people over 65 in the population structure of Estonia was 20.04% of the population) Ecological footprint per person is 7.1 gha, whereas biocapacity [2] is 9.5 gha per person, leaving a room for improvement. Approximately 71% of Estonia’s gross domestic product (by value added) is generated in the service sector, industries account for 25%, and extractive industries (including agriculture and mining) – about 4%, mainly oil shale. Estonia is the second largest emitter of CO2 per capita in the European Union and by far the most carbon-intensive economy among the OECD countries. The reason for that is oil shale, sedimentary rock that has been mined in Estonia for electricity generation since the fifties and, since recently, have also been used for liquid diesel fuel production. The country contains second largest deposits of oil shale (2.49 billion metric tons of shale oil) in the EU after Italy (10.45 billion...
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