sustainability

  • By Luca Bertolasi English Version Lac2Lab is a start-up currently under the constitution, whose project started in 2019. The team is made up of 4 co-founders, with different backgrounds: Paride Acierno and Luca Bertolasi for the economic-business area, Lorenzo Ippolito, and Arianna Palladini for the R&D and production area. Cell cultures are a laboratory technique that aims to reproduce biological phenomena through the growth of certain cell lines within laboratory slides, in a controlled artificial environment. The growth and proliferation of cells are guaranteed through nutrition, given by the FBS (Fetal Bovine Serum), which has various problems concerning the ethical, economic, and qualitative sphere. First, FBS is produced by killing bovine fetuses, and about 2 million of them are killed each year. Furthermore, the FBS has a considerable cost, and the cheaper variants are produced in South America, where herd control isn’t comparable to Italian standards. An ethical and sustainable product The purpose of Lac2Lab is therefore to place on the market a substitute product for FBS, totally ethical towards animals, obtained by reusing a material that would otherwise be wasted: cow’s milk. Indeed, approximately 116 million tons of milk and dairy products are wasted every year around the world. An in-depth analysis of the dairy market was conducted, in particular by examining the relationships between producer, distributor, and the final consumer. This analysis highlighted how to milk waste is an intrinsic problem in the supply chain. The Lac2Lab product is born from the requalification of expired or expiring cow’s milk, no longer destined for food consumption, to be used in Life Science technologies. This guarantees production based on a circular and sustainable economy. The whey, suitably transformed through original processes and replacing the FBS within the cell cultures, also reduces the distances between the additive manufacturer and users: the...
  • 19 March 2021

    Circularity from Farm to Fork

    By Francesco Cagnola English Version Once you get to know the functioning of the food system, it is possible to realize that the global dimensions and the complexity of the relationships between the stakeholders involved in this field have become extremely difficult to understand and analyze. Furthermore, paying attention to the transition required for a more sustainable food system that is in harmony with nature, it is clear that this is an environmental as well as an economic-social problem. In order to succeed in this paradigm shift, it is important that this complexity is understood as much as possible by everyone. Although it is a fundamental aspect, the management of organic waste is only one of the necessary actions to be implemented: to reach lasting benefits over time it is necessary to deal with reduction and reuse, as well as focus on recycling processes. On the other hand, understanding the system at the micro level – individual consumers and/or individual companies, meso level – industrial poles, and macro level – city, region, nation, is difficult for everyone. The same is true when trying to understand the management of some thorny situations – or trade-offs – that must be faced during the transition to sustainable systems (for example, the debate regarding the production gap of biological techniques, which have a lower production at equal size cultivated with respect to industrial techniques). Three principles for a circular food system Below, in an attempt to clarify the complexities mentioned above, we refer to the 3 principles introduced by the Ellen McArthur Foundation, and we will follow the path that leads from the producer to the consumer. The latter is explicitly mentioned in the title of the new EU strategy (“From Farm to Fork”, that is “From Farm to Fork”), but few of the non-experts...
  • 26 February 2021

    Circular Economy in rural areas

    By Jim MacNeil, Tondo Associate English Version Exploring circular economy in rural areas The use of real-world laboratories to experiment with alternative design, business models and economies While cities present unique challenges in transitioning to the circular economy, rural regions also face their own set of challenges in doing so. Mountains have always provided vital natural resources, social and economic services to communities. Mountain regions are primarily known for their tourism and concentrations of tertiary sector economies, which represent the main sources of income for many rural communities and has become the quick solution to increase the GDP of depopulating communities, a common trend of many mountain regions over the last half-century. In order to have resilient economies able to withstand unexpected and devastating events, firstly, there should be a certain degree of diversity where a system is not so reliant on one industry, and secondly, the system should be flexible in order to adapt to new modes of operating and respond adequately to these events. Circular systems, like natural systems, are intended to be collaborative. Therefore, as a society we also need a change in mindset away from the competitive nature of capitalist economies. In order to do this, businesses and communities should demonstrate the benefits of adapting a new collaborative approach. MonViso Institute (MVI) is an example of how rural actors are taking advantage of their geographical location not only as a centre of experimentation – providing students and visitors inspiration and tools for change, but also in their ability to be self-sufficient, which rural areas have as an advantage over their urban counterparts. MonViso Institute – Demonstrating Circular Solutions Nestled in the Po Valley at 1500 metres a.s.l. in the municipality of Ostana (Piedmont), Tobias Luthe and his group of researchers, designers and entrepreneurs are experimenting with...
  • 5 February 2021

    Spreco alimentare in Italia

    Spreco alimentare: una giornata per combatterlo By Sara Salerno – Circular Economy Analyst at Tondo Versione Italiano Oggi, 5 Febbraio, è la Giornata Nazionale per la prevenzione dello spreco alimentare ormai arrivata alla sua ottava edizione. È stata istituita nel 2014 quando su iniziativa dell’agroeconomista Andrea Segrè, coordinatore del Piano Nazionale di Prevenzione dello Spreco Alimentare (PINPAS) del Ministero dell’Ambiente, vennero convocati gli Stati generali della filiera agroalimentare italiana. Ed è da allora che questa giornata è stata inserita nella Campagna Spreco Zero. Ogni anno in questa occasione l’Osservatorio Waste Watcher, ideato da Last Minute Market e sviluppato con la partnership di SWG, presenta i risultati annuali dei monitoraggi condotti a livello nazionale sullo spreco alimentare domestico e sulle abitudini che gli Italiani hanno rispetto all’utilizzo del cibo. L’Osservatorio Waste Watcher, che ormai è diventato un punto di riferimento sia a livello nazionale che europeo, fornisce strumenti di comprensione delle dinamiche sociali e comportamentali che sono alla base della generazione dello spreco alimentare all’interno dei nuclei famigliari. Gli studi condotti dall’Osservatorio consentono, difatti, di produrre conoscenza, cultura e supporto per la progettazione di attività pubbliche o private mirate alla riduzione dello spreco che si perpetua all’interno delle mura domestiche. Lo spreco alimentare è infatti un tema fondamentale che risulta avere un impatto trasversale su economia, società e ambiente. Secondo il Food Sustainability Index in Italia buttiamo in media ogni anno circa 65 Kg a testa di alimenti. Tuttavia, secondo i dati pubblicati nel rapporto dell’Osservatorio Waste Watcher del 2020 lo spreco alimentare degli Italiani ha subìto per la prima volta un calo del 25% rispetto all’anno precedente: infatti si è passati da gettare settimanalmente 6,6€ a 4,9 €. Questo calo si é tradotto in un risparmio di circa 1 miliardo e mezzo su tutto il territorio nazionale, a riprova che...
  • 22 January 2021

    SDGs and CE

    English Version The article is based on Enrico Giovannini’s intervention at the second edition of Re-think-Circular Economy Forum last October 2020. Sustainable Development and Circular Economy: the new paradigm for the European Union – Enrico Giovannini, Founder and Director of the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) Enrico Giovannini begins his speech recognizing the circular economy as the key point of rethinking the economic and social model. He believes that, currently, the concept of circularity is mainly used in reference to material stuff and there is a limited thinking about the need to “recycle” also people. Consequently, without reinvesting continuously in people, they are most likely to be treated as “social waste” (Pope Francis). Having a large part of the population feeling like waste, will not ensure the social and institutional dimensions of sustainability. The current Covid-19 crisis clarifies that if people feel to be excluded from the social and economic processes,institutions are at risk of instability,as people will be in client of pushing for radical changes in the status quo, i.e.a revolution. The “Arab Springs” are an example of this: started as an environmental problem, then transformed into an economic and social crisis, ended with an institutional instability and a revolution. Also migration is an indicator of how people who are treated as “social waste” try to recycle themselves moving somewhere else. He reminds that the economy, society, environment and institutions need to be fully integrated in a vision of sustainable development according to the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work published a report discussing how, in business accounting, workers and their training are accounted for as a cost, like intermediate materials or raw materials, which reduce the company’s profit. According to him, this perspective does not...
  • 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...
  • 5 June 2020

    Seay

    English Version 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...
  • 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 English Version 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...
  • 6 March 2020

    Taller delle terre

    By Giacomo Losio – co-founder of Taller delle terre English Version 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...
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