instituto e has teamed up with the Italian Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea to calculate carbon and water footprints in the life cycle of different products. Follow the blog to read the latest reports from our journey.
Martina Hauser has worked for the Italian government as a peacekeeper and an expert, but her work in different parts of the world has also made her quite a globetrotter: right now she has projects in 48 countries!
One of those countries is Brazil, where her task force from the Italian Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) has teamed up with instituto-e on a number of projects, including TRACES and Water TRACES.
“I work in the ‘voluntary’ market,” Martina explains. “With companies that have no obligation to cut down on CO2 emissions, but that want to do something. We offer companies a free CO2 audit, to give them an idea of what they consume and, more importantly, what they emit. They are usually shocked by the results and keen to cut down on their CO2 emissions. We help them achieve that.”
More and more companies are queuing up to work with Martina and her team and there is now even a waiting list of more than 100 companies (in addition to the 100 they already work with!).
In order to ensure that the project continues and keeps growing after they leave, the team is focusing strongly on knowledge transfer and capacity building. “We have developed a curriculum that we are implementing at design academies and universities to create teams that can do our job and that can teach new teams,” she explains. “Train the trainer as it were – and so by the end of the year, I want to have 100 people working on our projects.”
I think Martina’s approach can be described as that of a pragmatic optimist: she believes there isn’t one all-encompassing solution to the growing shortage of resources we face, but every small contribution can make a difference. The important thing is to act.
“I’m done with all the talk of sustainability and saving the planet,” she says. “It’s time to do something! And every little bit makes a difference. There are sustainable ways of living and the options are growing as we speak.”
We can’t force emerging markets to stop consuming or not to drive cars. We don’t have the right to. But even large countries like China and India are making major efforts in this domain. Every individual can contribute, even if it is small. In the end, this is going to have to be a joint effort by individuals, companies and governments to find as many solutions as we can.”
© 2013 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands
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