Archivi tag: environmental impact

Jungle of sustainability.

2015_07_15-02 Wood

Image: Hugh Kretschmer

Lost in the jungle of sustainability acronyms? Don’t worry, here comes TriplePundit to our rescue with (very incomplete and partial) list of the most important acronyms you should know. Thanks TriplePundit !

Vi siete persi nella giungla delle sigle della sostenibilità? Niente paura, ecco che in nostro soccorso arriva TriplePundit con l’elenco (assolutamente incompleto e parziale) delle più importanti sigle da sapere. Grazie TriplePundit !

  • Agenda 21 A non-binding, voluntarily-implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development.
  • AODP The Asset Owners Disclosure Project survey of investors on climate actions
  • BCI The Better Cotton Initiative, guidance on fair labor and sustainable cotton production
  • B Corp B Corp, or B Corporation, is a business certification from B Labs. benefit corporation is a legal business construct, like an LLC or C Corp, except it has sustainability at its core.
  • BREEAM Building Research Establishment Global’s Environmental Assessment Method for green building
  • BSR BSR is a global nonprofit organization with member companies and a widely attended annual conference.
  • CCS Carbon capture and storage (or sequester) projects
  • CDP Formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project (now just CDP); issues corporate surveys on climate change, water and forestry, with additional supply chain reporting guidance.
  • CDSB Climate Disclosure Standards Board; provides guidance on climate reporting, and proposed stock exchange listing rule on climate emissions reporting.
  • CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
  • CO2e Carbon dioxide equivalent — frequently used in emissions reporting.
  • COP Communication on progress — a reporting requirement of being a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact.
  • CSR or CR Corporate social responsibility or corporate responsibility, commonly used interchangeably
  • DFPRW Declaration on fundamental principals and rights to work
  • DJSI Dow Jones Sustainability Index
  • EEIC Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition: a code of conduct for the electronics supply chain
  • EIA Environmental Impact Assessment
  • EPD Environmental product declaration
  • ESG Environment, social and governance disclosure. Used interchangeably with CSR.
  • FiT  Feed-in tariff, the price renewable energy generators are paid by utility companies for their energy
  • FLA Fair Labor Association
  • FSC Forest Stewardship Council, creates standards for sustainably-harvested woods and fibers.
  • FT Fair Trade
  • G3/G3.1 Global reporting initiative’s third generation of sustainability reporting guidelines
  • G4 Global reporting initiative’s fourth generation of sustainability reporting guidelines
  • GEP Gender equality principals
  • GHGP Greenhouse gas protocol for emissions reporting
  • GIIRS Global impact investing rating system; third-party ratings for impact investments
  • GISR Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings
  • GRI Global Reporting Initiative
  • ILO  International Labor Organization core labor standards
  • IR/IIRC Integrated reporting framework of the International Integrated Reporting Council
  • ISO 14001 International Standards Organization’s Environmental Management System
  • ISO 26000 ISO social responsibility standard
  • ISO 31000 ISO risk management standard
  • IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. See also ICUN Red List of threatened species
  • KPI Key performance indicator
  • LBC The Living Building Challenge™ is a building certification program, advocacy tool and philosophy that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today
  • LCA Lifecycle assessment or Lifecycle analysis
  • LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for green buildings
  • MDGs United Nations Millennium Development Goals
  • OSHA U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration, provides standards for workplace safety
  • RECs Renewable Energy Credits — similar to carbon offsets, but just for renewable energy
  • REDD Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, a U.N. forestry program
  • RSPO Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
  • SASB Sustainability Accounting Standards Board; offers sustainability accounting standards by industry
  • SEA Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • SFI Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • SDGs U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
  • SRI Socially Responsible Investing
  • ULE UL Environment, a standards board
  • UNDHR United Nations Declaration on Human Rights
  • UNGC U.N. Global Compact; companies endorse and report on their progress in meeting 10 CSR principals
  • USGBC U.S. Green Building Council; responsible for the LEED standard for green building
  • VCS Verified carbon standard, carbon offset certification body.

2015_07_15-01 Triple PunditTriple Pundit is a new-media company for highly conscious business laders.  They have grown to become one of the world’s most well read websites on ethical, sustainable & profitable business with over 450,000 unique monthly readers. Their philosophy is based on the triple bottom line, People, Planet & Profit.  The TBL argues that economy, environment and society are inseparably related and an understanding of all three is critical to long term profitability.

Rubbish Island.

Thilafushi. Viaggio nell’atollo della spazzatura.

«Esco a buttar via l’immondizia». Quante volte l’abbiamo detto. C’è un’imprecisione. “Via” non esiste. “Via” è sempre “da un’altra parte”. Anche alle Maldive. Thilafushi è un’isola artificiale a 8 km dalla capitale, Malé, che “cresce” di un metro quadrato al giorno. Ospita tutti i rifiuti prodotti da vacanzieri (con gli italiani in testa) e abitanti delle 1190 isole. E minaccia di rovinare per sempre il mare più bello del mondo.

2015_06_24-02 Thilafushi

Da Malé arriva ogni ora a Thilafushi una quantità di rifiuti equivalente a quella trasportata da cinque camion della spazzatura. Non c’è impianto per il riciclaggio della plastica, alle Maldive. Bottiglie e contenitori vengono separati per essere poi trasportati all’estero.

2015_06_24-01 Thilafushi

Possiamo vedere i fumi velenosi che s’innalzano per la combustione delle sostanze più svariate e l’angoscioso vagare di persone in cerca di materiale da recuperare. Nelle falde acquifere finisce un mix di sostanze – mercurio, cadmio, amianto, piombo – i cui effetti potrebbero distruggere anche l’industria della pesca.

Fulco Pratesi racconta il suo viaggio all’interno di questa bomba ecologica, nell’articolo su Io Donna | Corriere della Sera, del 23.05.2015, che potete leggere qui.

See also: Paradise trashed: The beautiful island in the Maldives that’s been reduced to a pile of rubbish

The Greenest School on Earth.

Is your school the greenest on Earth? The Greenest School on Earth recognition is an annual announcement made by the Center for Green Schools, highlighting a K-12 school that exemplifies how sustainability can be integrally woven into the infrastructure, culture and curriculum of a school. The Center for Green Schools defines a green school as one that achieves zero environmental impact (including energy, water, waste and carbon), a positive impact on occupant health and performance, and 100% environmentally literate graduates. These are encompassed in three pillars—environmental impact, human health and ecoliteracy.

2015_02_18-01 Peter Pan

Photo Gabriele Zini

Peter Pan” kindergarten in Cavareno (Trento, Italy) has just applied – thanks to Macro Design Studio – 2014 call for the Greenest School. Cavareno is a small (1,000 inhabitants) village located 1,000 meters high in Non Valley (Trentino, Italy) a wide green valley covered with meadows, woods and apple trees. Even a small village like this one can do a lot in terms of sustainability explained and experienced in school, from the very early children age. The first building for the kindergarten was built in 1913 and then enlarged forty years later. After a complete requalification of the complex in 2009, now “Peter Pan” school is located in a new timber building with a lot of natural light and beautiful colours. Do you want to take a trip in this school …? Keep on reading 🙂

Environmental impact

2015_02_18-02 Peter Pan

Photo Gabriele Zini

Waste is 100 % differentiated and then transferred to CRM Centro Raccolta Materiali (waste materials collection center of Cavareno, shared with other municipalities), that allows to recycle or dispose locally, according to the current regulations, 32 different categories of waste. In addition, a multilevel education, constantly promoted and supported by the municipality, has contributed to the growth of the attention to waste materials selection and reuse. Moreover, the school uses cloth towels and napkins.

Rainwater is harvested for garden irrigation and toilet flushing. Heating system and domestic hot water for the building are guaranteed by the municipal biomass district heating, installed in 2012 and serving all the village’s public buildings. During 2013/2014 school season, total annual consumption was approximately 111,000 kWh, for a cost of about € 8,900 (net of tax reductions). The energy performance index, including domestic hot water, which is largely produced by solar panels, is about 80 Kwh/sqm per year.

The school was built through the redevelopment of two existing historic buildings (the kinder garden and the rectory) with a bio-compatible timber structure (average transmittance 0.20 W/sqmK). These two aspects (redevelopment, timber) have saved embodied energy and CO2 emissions. Other features: bioclimatic design, green roof, solar greenhouses, use of natural materials and finishes, both inside and outside, Km0 cooking, with purchase of organic products for the canteen.

Human Health and Performance

??????????Average children absence is between 8 and 8.3%, including those children who do not attend for a few months, because they go and visit their relatives in their home countries (Romania, Albania, Morocco, etc.). Average teachers’ absence is not significant, because much related to operations or medical situations that have nothing to do with their profession.

Children can greet their parents seeing them from the window, even while inside the classroom and under the supervision of the teacher. Children can easily find sheltered and reserved places, but always under the teacher’s gaze ..

The wide open spaces, e.g. the dining room, with a large fresh air supply “smell” never smell musty; indeed, sometimes they smell of freshly baked bread.


??????????Environmental education is emphasized in this school through several activities.

School: guardian of ancient seeds, to preserve local biodiversity; for the home production, in order to reduce carried products (Participation in the competition “For a handful of seeds“). Waste recycling together with children (paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, wood), and with adults (all).

High use of paper and waste reuse for new products; prevailing use of natural or recyclable products for decorations (paper, wool, clay, wood). Constant presence in the surrounding land, at least twice a week to get to know, appreciate and learn how to “manage” it, in every season. When it’s possible in winter even with cross-country skis or snowshoes.

2015_02_18-03 Peter Pan

Photo Gabriele Zini

Implementation of specific local projects: paths that identify beautiful and characteristic elements to watch or attend; ancient trees to preserve and cure; the area between heaven and earth, between past and present (project with FAI); movable frames and landscaping of “de Zinis” Park, the crib or the sprawled exhibitions; the realization with Pro Loco (local tourist office) of “real” postcards that show the beauty of our country.

To walk to the villages where the children come from; involvement in significant moments of the agricultural works: seeding and harvest of potatoes, radicchio …The cultivation of vegetables in the garden.

Participation to projects with MART (Museum of Modern Art) in Rovereto to bind art and recycling.

People, elderly, grandparents, typical figures of the village and of the area sometimes enter the school (or we meet them outside) to let us know works, activities, experiences of today or of the past.

Moreover, school and municipality are involved in the network of the Alta Val di Non – Futuro sostenibile association, founded in 2009 to promote an aware and responsible management of the whole territory of the valley, with the mission to protect the landscape. Their challenge is focused in particular on the protection of the incomparable and fascinating meadows. It is a long range battle which also involves the massive use in the past of herbicides and fungicides without adequate regulations to protect citizens.



2014_04_11 immagine 01Pulitzer price winning author Russell Baker once said ‘The American dream is to turn goods into trash as fast as possible’. Let’s throw it away, we use to say. But ‘away’ doesn’t exist … ‘away’ is always ‘elsewhere’. Trashed is a documentary that follows Jeremy Irons through once beautiful destinations that are now converted to landfills. He sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution. This is a meticulous, brave investigative journey that takes Irons (and us) from skepticism to sorrow and from horror to hope.

10 small things to keep in mind (from the movie’s web site)

  1. Take care of your teeth and the environment at the same time. Changing your toothbrush every three months works out at roughly 320 toothbrushes per person over the course of their life. But where do you think these end up? Opt for a non-plastic toothbrush.
  2. Have a nice (for the environment) cup of tea. 165,000,000 cups of tea are drunk in the UK every single day. Thats a lot of teabags! They are only between 70-80% biodegradable. The rest is made of polypropylene. Change your normal teabag for a fully-biodegradable one.
  3. Use your local greengrocer or farmer’s market. Packaging in supermarkets is out of control, especially with fresh fruit and vegetables. Shopping at your local farmer’s market or greengrocer not only cuts down on plastic packaging but it is also likely to cut down on packaging used to transport the food.
  4. Don’t drop your cigarettes butts. Cigarette butts contain millions of toxins that are especially deadly to marine life. There are easy and eco-friendly ways to deal with this – one of them being a portable ashtray (or … don’t smoke at all !).
  5. Join a local beach clean-up group. In the past 21 years, volunteers with the International Coastal Cleanup have cleared millions of pounds of litter from 211,460 miles (340,312 kilometers) of coastline worldwide. That distance is the equivalent of going around the Earth eight times!
  6. Take re-usable bags to the shops. Five trillion plastic carrier bags are produced each year. Eventually, more than 98 per cent end up in landfill. About 200 million litter the countryside. Millions more find themselves in the sea and in the stomachs of marine life. Get into the habit of taking your own bags to the shops.
  7. Get creative with wrapping paper. 8,000 tonnes of wrapping paper is used each year – the equivalent of approximately 50,000 trees. And most of this ends up in landfill NOT in recycle plants. Get creative and look around you for other ways to present your gifts,.
  8. Spread the word ! One of the most important things we can all do is to tell friends, family, colleagues, anyone who will listen, about how important it is to reduce our waste and help make our planet cleaner and safer for all. Inspire people by making changes yourself and hopefully they will follow!
  9. Switch from disposable to cloth nappies. 3 billion disposable nappies are thrown away each and every year in the UK, 90% of these are landfilled. Using cloth nappies takes some getting used to but the individual difference it makes is huge!
  10. Stop using disposable plastic bottles. We throw away 200 BILLION litres of water bottles a year. Need we say anymore? Why not invest in a re-usable bottle? The same thing goes for your daily morning coffee – why not invest in a reusable cup rather than throwing out a disposable one every day?

You can see Trashed yourself by streaming it directly to your computer (Vimeo, MyMovies) or from iTunes.

‘That plastic bottle in your hand will feel as dangerous as a molotov cocktail’. – New York Times

Fashion for Sustainability.

2013_10_04 immagine 02Need an elevator pitch for the importance of sustainability in fashion? You can do no better than the trailer for Thread, an upcoming documentary about the internal workings of the garment industry and its social and environmental impact. Directed by Michelle Vey and produced by eco-fashion pioneer Marc Zaroff, with the backing of supermodel-activist Amber Valletta, Environmental Media Association president Debbie Levin, Textile Exchange executive director LaRhea Pepper, and philanthropist Lyn Lear, the film promises to ‘help viewers understand the environmental and social component of their consumer choices, inform them of their options, and inspire them to take a more active stance on environmental issues.’  [Source: Ecouterre]

Thread | FAQ about fashion and sustainability: here.

Did you know that [from Thread website]:

  • TEXTILE WASTE occupies nearly 5% of all landfill space;  The ave US citizen throws away 68 ins of clothing/yr — 1 million tons of textiles are thrown out every year.
  • 1 trillion kilowatt hours are used every year by the global textile industry = 10% of total CARBON IMPACT.
  • In 2009, the world used 3 trillion gallons of FRESH WATER to produce 60 billion kgs of fabric; it takes 700 gallons of FRESH WATER to make 1 cotton T-shirt.
  • 20% of industrial fresh WATER POLLUTION comes from textile treatment and dyeing.
  • The loss, in dollars of materials, due to failure of companies and individuals in the US to RECYCLE, has been estimated at $30 billion per year.

2013_10_04 immagine 01Ecouterre is your online guide to the best ideas, innovations and emerging trends in eco fashion, sustainable style, organic beauty and ethical apparel. Ecouterre is a website devoted to the future of sustainable fashion design. We’re dedicated to showcasing and supporting designers who not only contemplate cut, form, and drape, but also a garment’s social and environmental impact, from the cultivation of its fibers to its use and disposal. Our ethos: To follow the evolution of the apparel industry toward a more environmentally sound future, as well as facilitate a conversation about why sustainable fashion matters.