sustainability

  • 27 July 2020

    CE and COVID-19

    By Alexandra Kekkonen – Tondo’s associate 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 captures byproducts...
  • 5 June 2020

    Seay

    SEAY is production of sustainable beachwear from certified fabrics, short and local sourcing chains, conscious distribution policies and a marketing plan built around an intentional positive environmental impact.  The fashion industry is moving fast to meet growing demand for low environmental impact garments resulting as much sustainable as possible. Organic cotton, recycled fabrics, natural dyes and low-carbon footprint supply chains are becoming day after day more requested in a sector dominated by fast-fashion chains that struggle to guarantee to their shareholders a certain marginality, blocking them to adopt green business models, leaving room for small brands to raise their popularity. So far, in the beachwear industry, very few brands have focused their business on a low environmental impact model and it is with this idea in mind that in March 2019 SOSEATY Collective and its SEAY brand was born. Certified fabrics, short and local sourcing chains, conscious distribution policies and a marketing plan built around a green manifesto.  Not products with an ethnic look or typical of the fair trade sector, but goods able to express the latest fashion trends with the added value of materials and a business model capable of guaranteeing a circular economy. Sustainability in Fashion industry The colors and details of SEAY garments are aligned to the latest swimwear trends, but their certified yarns and the business model built around the paradigms of the circular economy describe the future of fashion. Giorgio Armani’s recent statements on the non sustainability – economic, ecological and ethical – of fashion as it has evolved in the last decade, is aligned with the vision of SEAY: fashion, which has always been a cultural expression, must stop responding to logics of fast fashion and return to a more human and sustainable dimension (both ecologically and socially). Armani underlined the necessary longevity...
  • 30 April 2020

    Tondo PodCast

    By Paola Vinci – Fashion Analyst at Tondo English Tondo PodCast is the first Italian PodCast that creates a dialogue with startups operating in the world of Circular Economy.  Tondo PodCast collects successful stories, narrated by founders and characters who explain the business models, the circular and the sustainable practices implemented in their startups. With this project, Tondo wants to give a voice to concrete and innovative solutions, aimed at creating a network of realities which operate in the Circular Economy, involving different actors who focus their activities on circularity, social equity and sustainability.    Tondo PodCast wants to spread a circular culture, breaking down communication barriers and raising people’s awareness of the necessity to adopt a regenerative and sustainable system. Through our interviews, experts and founders will tell the stories, the challenges and the future projects of their startups, representing an inspiring model for students, startup founders and entrepreneurs who want to approach the world of Circular Economy. The startups will be selected according to a circularity framework that includes the sustainable inputs and the possibility to convert products into services. These latters can extend products’ useful life undertaking recycling and regenerating processes, key element of the new business models.               The framework has been implemented in different sectors, as demonstrated by the startups that have already joined our project: Mogu, Orange Fiber, Enerbrain and Hexagro. We record periodically new interviews that will be published on Spreaker, Spotify, iTunes and on our social media channels.    You will also find the episodes on a specific section of our website, dedicated to Tondo PodCast. On May 21st at 18:00 CET we will launch Tondo PodCast during a live event that will host the founders of two important Italian startups that operate in Circular Economy. Register here for the live event: https://www.eventbrite.it/e/biglietti-tondo-podcast-live-event-104736794572?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch Italiano Tondo...
  • 20 March 2020

    Mogu

    By Stefano Babbini – CEO at Mogu Mogu creates sustainable and innovative materials, mainly applied in the interior design sector, starting from the idea that it is possible to grow microorganisms, through a fungal fermentation, to structure materials that would otherwise not be consistent. Therefore, starting from these two elements, the fungal strains and the fibers, a line of products has been developed by optimizing the materials according to some process variables, as well as selecting the post-treatments to arrive at high-performance finished products.Mogu’s business model has evolved over time, leading the company to create a functional identity for its target market, interior design and green building. The pillars of Mogu, as shown in the following figure, are their basic technology (fungal fermentation), an approach particularly attentive to design, combined with a strong innovative component related to the bioeconomy sector.The sector where Mogu operates, is that of green building, which is growing at very significant rates, while the products it is targeting are precisely those of interior design, with a focus in particular towards the flooring and the acoustic sectors.The modular Mogu Floor flooring is positioned in a luxury and premium market segment for flooring; the product is the composition of two main elements: the soul made through fungal bio composites, according to a soft and flexible formulation, combined with a Bio PU in which biomass is drowned: this acts as a cover of the final product, generating a product that it is 98% bio-based. The added residual biomasses confer the specific pigmentation of the material, which thus has two upcycling components: the fibers recovered from the textile industry waste that are part of the core, and the filler that also characterizes the aesthetics of the product . This project was also financed by the European Commission through SME instrument...
  • 6 March 2020

    Taller delle terre

    By Giacomo Losio – co-founder of Taller delle terre Taller delle terre (TdT) is a non profit organization that aims to revolutionize the industry of ceramic setting up circular economy production processes. The problem TdT wants to face is connected with the idea of linear systems which are no longer sustainable for our finite planet seeing they are designed on the endless processes of extraction, production, distribution, consume and disposal (the Story of Stuff, 2007).In fact, looking at the interior design sector, both ceramic and stone production chains are responsible for such negative externalities in terms of natural resources exploitation, amount of waste sent to landfill, related environmental impacts and costs for disposal.According to Confindustria Ceramica, in Italy the ceramic market is worth 5,4 billion euro per year (2018) and about 4,572 operating quarries consumed more than 4,6 million cubic meters of soil (Legambiente, Rapporto Cave 2017).At the same time also the world stone industry is responsible for sending to landfill a big percentage of the extracted material, between 20 and 30, with an estimated operating cost about of approx. 30 euro per tonne (Knowledgshare, 2016).These two linear production chains have also considerable negative effects on the environment during all the production and consumption phases (transport, packaging and final disposal): high levels of energy and water consumption; waste production and CO2 emissions (Legambiente, Rapporto Cave 2016). As underlined by United Nation SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), territories need to implement sustainability within 2030: the waste of resources and money can be contained only through innovative solutions that can generate positive effects in terms of environmental, social and economic development.Considering that in 2018, the 9% from the Italian ceramic industry revenues has been invested in new sustainable productions and green technologies, TdT developed a solution that meets these needs. The process TdT...
  • 28 February 2020

    Wave for Energy

    Andrea Gulisano – CEO at Wave for Energy Andrea Gulisano began his speech by pointing out that 40% of the world population lives less than 100 km from the coast and that the possibility of having energy from the sea would not be such a remote and undervalued resource. The energy from the sea has many positive and some negative aspects; among the positive ones there is the high energy density, as it is a very concentrated energy, at about 20 meters from the surface the maximum power of the hence. Moreover, the energy from the sea is also very predictable, there are technologies that can predict the amount of resources and give inputs to tune the different technological systems and achieve maximum results. It also has a minimal environmental impact. Among the negative aspects there are: the complexity of the regulations for installation, the absence of incentives and the use of materials subject to high corrosion. Gulisano spoke of Wave for Energy, the Spinoff of the Turin Polytechnic, founded in 2010, which works to create energy technologies for a more sustainable world and which has recently started working in the open sea and not only in the laboratory. The spinoff deals with marine energy and has soon broadened its horizons, especially thanks to the collaboration with Eni and with the University of Edinburgh. Among the projects of Wave for Energy, we find “ISWEC“, a WEC (Wave Attenuator) technology, born in 2012, which consists of a 100kW device consisting of a gyroscopic system that interacts with a sealed hull producing electricity. Wave for Energy has subsequently created a full-scale system that can be used in a real environment: the sea, the goal is to reach an industrial and commercial system. In 2015 he started the project in Pantelleria where a...
  • 7 February 2020

    H2Boat

    By Thomas Lamberti – CEO of H2Boat Thomas Lamberti started his speech by introducing the current ecological situation, underlining that thanks to the abundance of energy provided by fossil sources, mankind has experienced unprecedented growth, thanks to a rapid but not sustainable economic development based on a linear model of continuous growth. The cycle of oil formation and its consumption travel on two incredibly different time scales. Furthermore, the rapid release of fossil CO2 has brought the planet into the Anthropocene era, characterized by strong ecological imbalances. The future of humanity will require more and more energy, but in a sustainable way, within a circular economy approach. Lamberti then continued his discussion focusing on the importance of hydrogen as a new source of energy; he explained that the hydrogen energy is among the most promising solutions for storing energy produced from renewable sources. H2Boat, is a spin-off of University of Genoa, born within the Department of Mechanical Engineering DIME and they work together on the technology transfer. H2Boat was born out of the desire to concretely realize its ideas at an industrial level, always maintaining the innovative and enterprising spirit that characterizes the university activity.Among his projects, Lamberti is researching and developing innovative solutions in order to introduce hydrogen technology on the market and make it available in every sector and to engineer energy systems for sailboats and motorboats, with the intention to start a successful entrepreneurial initiative able to contribute to the clearance of fuel cell and hydrogen technology in the nautical/naval world and beyond. The launch product of H2Boat is the Energy Pack, an energy storage system produced from renewable sources for sailboats. H2Boat Energy Pack is a system that uses hydrogen technology for autonomous pleasure boats – in particular sailboats – from the on-board electrical needs point...
  • 29 January 2020

    The incoming bioplastics

    By Giovanni Perotto – Engineer and Researcher at IIT Giovanni Perotto, Engineer and Researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology, focused his speech on smart materials and bioplastics, presenting a very interesting speech on technologies developed to convert plant residues into bioplastics. In Europe in 2016, 55 million tons of vegetable waste was produced. This waste is unfortunately thrown, composted or incinerated, all solutions with low added value when not expensive.Perotto explained how in a simple carrot there are materials that nature has engineered for the function that the vegetable must carry out: growing, having a structure, working as long as it is needed and then being reintegrated into the environment once its use is over. The macromolecules inside the carrot like cellulose, pectin, lignin and hemicellulose, have the function of supporting the various parts of the vegetable.The focus of the research being carried out regards the ability to harness these properties to produce short-lived objects (single use, packaging) instead of using plastic. The aim is to obtain solutions to be used as an alternative to common plastic, making entire supply chains such as packaging and disposable plastic more sustainable from an environmental point of view. At the same time this will improve the economic sustainability of the food supply chain, turning all the plant biomass, that is currently being disposed, into a resource. These are the focus areas of his research at the Smart Materials laboratory of the Italian Institute of Technology: the development of technologies necessary to carry out this conversion and the work on vegetable waste materials in order to obtain a suitable performance and to facilitate the implementation of new Circular Economy systems.The goal is to convert what is available as a waste from the food industry, but to achieve this we need to get the...
  • 23 September 2019

    New trends for circular materials

    Marco Cappellini’s speech is focused on three themes: the production of new materials and their end-life management, the transition to “products as services” and the measurement of the circularity. Trends in corporates According to a report by OCSE, it is estimated that the number of used resources will double by 2060. In particular, this fact involves specific sectors, as the packaging and the fashion ones, that are promising the recycling and the creation of biomaterials starting from 2020/2030. However, there are no doubts about the possibilities of recycling, but there could be problems about who carry out the process: some corporates produce recyclable products, but they are not recycled. For this reason, it exists the idea that the circular economy is uneconomic: but this is not the truth because multiple international cases prove the contrary. New business realities are proposing new custom materials. Many of these start from the principle of being “biomaterials”, material that are easily biodegradable and, or, compostable; there are other recyclable materials that are recyclable only through very specific processes and methods. This is very worrying because, it is possible to order recyclable products, but it is very hard for consumers to manage the end-life of the products. We can say that corporates have to play a more important role in managing the recycling of materials, for example, by creating a clause that specifies the end-life of the products in the patents. Matrec’s example is about a material made of recycled rubber by PFU, that is a very useful material, but it is undervalued. The input is to add value to the material: Matrec worked for new solutions that can improve sound and heat insulation performance, but they are also working on three-dimensionality. The aim is to increase the value of the materials on the market...
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