Trends Impact Awards: How is your business helping nature?  - Companies

Trends Impact Awards: How is your business helping nature? – Companies

Advertisements

Advertisements

The Trends Impact Awards will reward SMEs and large companies that have a lasting impact on their environment. There are six categories and a Global Impact Award for the most comprehensive project. This week, we present to you the Trends Impact Award Ecology.

Excess nitrogen, persistent drought, air pollution, last year’s heavy floods or the drastic reduction in avifauna. So many problems we face. The natural ecosystems in which we live, work and do business are on the verge of collapse. Climate change and loss of biodiversity – less diversity within an ecosystem – are strongly linked.

The linear economic model of the last century and unbridled growth are now reaching the limits of what our planet can bear. The injunction today is to become climate neutral as soon as possible in order to guarantee that the quantity of greenhouse gases does not increase further.

What can we do ?

Ecosystem (or ecological) services are the services that a healthy and biodiverse ecosystem provides to society; they are essential to our economy. Think of air and water quality, carbon storage, coastal protection against storms, recreation, soil quality or pollination by bees, which is necessary for many crops. In sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and health, the link between biodiversity and business is obvious, but indirectly all sectors are linked to nature in one way or another if we consider the entire value chain. Water treatment, reforestation, rewilding or regenerative agriculture restore natural ecosystems. They have a positive impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

It’s not how many trees you’ve planted that matters, but how many are left after five or ten years and, more importantly, whether they’re developing as an ecosystem. – WAYNE VISSER (ANTWERP MANAGEMENT SCHOOL)

What projects are we looking for?

“The most common environmental projects focus on the promise of becoming climate neutral and propose actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by working around energy conversion, explains Jochen Vincke, partner of the consulting firm PwC. Examples include the transition to solar or wind energy, the reduction of energy consumption or the reuse of energy. In the field of real estate development, we are witnessing a transition from neutral buildings from an environmental perspective in terms of energy and water consumption to environmentally positive buildings, these are buildings that produce more energy and water than they consume and that share the surplus with neighboring ecosystems.”

Wayne Visser, professor of sustainable transition at the Antwerp Management School, expects large and small projects that restore natural ecosystems. “Companies have projects to restore wetlands, mangroves or rainforests. Forest planting initiatives are increasingly popular. We will have to be critical about this because what they are looking for are forests restored, not just the number of trees planted. Many of these projects fail. It is not how many trees you have planted that counts, but how many are left after five or ten years and, more importantly, s ‘they develop as an ecosystem.’ Smaller scale projects include regenerative agriculture, green roofs and facades, offices with a positive effect on biodiversity.

Three examples outside our borders

– Steel producer ArcelorMittal launched a project in collaboration with the Luxembourg municipality of Esch-sur-Alzette. The heat from the plant facilities is recycled and connected to the Belval district district heating network. The combustion gases from the furnace are used to heat the water which is injected into the district heating network. This reduces electricity and natural gas requirements, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the company saves the water needed to cool the facilities.

– The Canadian city of Barrie has grown so rapidly that its water and waste treatment infrastructure has not been able to meet the needs of its growing population. Instead of building expensive new infrastructure, the city saved money. Thanks to a plan involving more efficient shower heads and toilets, the city was able to save 55 liters of water per person per day. Money earmarked for major infrastructure projects can be spent on other purposes.

– The Norwegian fertilizer company Yara created a new ammonia-focused division with Yara Clean Ammonia. The company has high expectations of ammonia because it does not emit CO2 during combustion and is suitable for the production of hydrogen. Thanks to ammonia, it wants to produce fertilizers and fuel for boats without emitting greenhouse gases.

Excess nitrogen, persistent drought, air pollution, last year’s heavy floods or the drastic reduction in avifauna. So many problems we face. The natural ecosystems in which we live, work and do business are on the verge of collapse. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity – less diversity within an ecosystem – are strongly linked. The linear economic model of the last century and unbridled growth are now reaching the limits of what our planet can sustain. The injunction today is to become climate neutral as soon as possible in order to guarantee that the quantity of greenhouse gases does not increase further. Ecosystem (or ecological) services are the services that a healthy and biodiverse ecosystem provides to society; they are essential to our economy. Think of air and water quality, carbon storage, coastal protection against storms, recreation, soil quality or pollination by bees, which is necessary for many crops. In sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and health, the link between biodiversity and business is obvious, but indirectly all sectors are linked to nature in one way or another if we consider the entire value chain. Water treatment, reforestation, rewilding or regenerative agriculture restore natural ecosystems. They have a positive impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services. “The most common environmental projects focus on the promise of becoming climate neutral and propose actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by working around energy conversion, explains Jochen Vincke, partner of the consulting firm PwC. Examples include the transition to solar or wind energy, the reduction of energy consumption or the reuse of energy. In the field of real estate development, we are witnessing a transition from neutral buildings from an environmental perspective in terms of energy and water consumption to environmentally positive buildings, these are buildings that produce more energy and water than they consume and that share the surplus with neighboring ecosystems.” Wayne Visser, professor of sustainable transition at the Antwerp Management School, expects large and small projects that restore natural ecosystems. “Companies have projects to restore wetlands, mangroves or rainforests. Forest planting initiatives are increasingly popular. We will have to be critical about this because what they are looking for are forests restored, not just the number of trees planted. Many of these projects fail. It is not how many trees you have planted that counts, but how many are left after five or ten years and, more importantly, s ‘they develop as an ecosystem.’ Smaller scale projects include regenerative agriculture, green roofs and facades, offices with a positive effect on biodiversity. – The steel producer ArcelorMittal has launched a project in collaboration with the Luxembourg municipality of Esch-sur-Alzette. The heat from the plant facilities is recycled and connected to the Belval district district heating network. The combustion gases from the furnace are used to heat the water which is injected into the district heating network. This reduces electricity and natural gas requirements, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the company saves the water needed to cool the facilities. – The Canadian city of Barrie grew so rapidly that its water and waste treatment infrastructure could not meet the needs of its growing population. Instead of building expensive new infrastructure, the city saved money. Thanks to a plan involving more efficient shower heads and toilets, the city was able to save 55 liters of water per person per day. Money earmarked for major infrastructure projects can be spent on other purposes. – Norwegian fertilizer company Yara has created a new ammonia-focused division with Yara Clean Ammonia. The company has high expectations of ammonia because it does not emit CO2 during combustion and is suitable for the production of hydrogen. Thanks to ammonia, it wants to produce fertilizers and fuel for boats without emitting greenhouse gases.

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.