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Nota de prensa: Se lanza un primer Matchmaking de economía Circular entre EU y Colombia

  • LCBA Colombia traza un puente entre agentes en la reducción de la huella de carbono, a través de la transferencia de tecnología y conocimiento
  • LCBA brinda herramientas para potenciar la eficiencia y competitividad de las empresas colombianas

Low Carbon and Circular Economy Business Action (LCBA) en Colombia , iniciativa financiada por la Unión Europea, desarrollará el próximo 29 y 30 de Junio una ronda de negocios de economía circular donde, a través de encuentros virtuales de 45 minutos, se realizará un acercamiento entre empresas de tecnologías bajas en carbono de la Unión Europea y empresas que buscan soluciones sostenibles en Colombia, desarrollando relaciones de valor en el marco del evento en aras de promover una transición sostenible hacia una economía circular.

Los Sectores presentes serán: manejo de residuos sólidos y líquidos, transición energética, reciclaje, economía circular, aprovechamiento de residuos y generación de energía a partir de residuos agrícolas.

La iniciativa que se extiende también en otros países de Latinoamérica como Argentina, Brasil y Chile, con el fin de promover la transición sostenible hacia una economía circular y baja en carbono, apoya la innovación y la sostenibilidad de las empresas convirtiéndose en una plataforma que traza un puente entre agentes en la reducción de la huella de carbono, a través de la transferencia de tecnología y conocimiento.

El evento contará con la participación de más de 50 empresas entre colombianas y europeas en encuentros virtuales de 45 min.

Entre las necesidades tecnológicas colombianas a destacar encontramos:

  • Tecnologías para generación de energía a través de residuos agrícolas y urbanos.
  • Tecnología para caracterización y tratamiento de biogás.
  • Tecnologías de eficiencia energética.
  • Tecnologías para uso y manejo de plásticos.

Low Carbon and Circular Economy Business Action (LCBA) Latam

LCBA es una plataforma financiada y apoyada por la Unión Europea, para favorecer la transferencia tecnológica y de conocimiento y que pretende desarrollar relaciones de valor agregado entre proveedores de tecnologías bajas en carbono de la UE y empresas que buscan soluciones sostenibles en Argentina, Brasil, Chile y Colombia. Este proyecto también se está implementando en México y Canadá.

huella de carbono

The carbon footprint: what is it, why and how to reduce it?

Sustainable development has become a great challenge for humanity in recent years. However, the footprint that we are leaving on the next generations is not to be proud of. The launching of projects like LCBA is proof that we are heading towards a sustainable transition towards a low carbon economy and that we still have time to achieve sustainable development.

Carbon footprint is a very popular concept lately, but not everyone understands what it is. In this sense, it may at first seem obvious what the meaning of the carbon footprint concept is. However, this is not the case, since it is not yet clear, for example, how to measure the impact and what part corresponds to each of the actors who are part of society (companies, civil society, etc.).

Therefore, it is important to understand the concept of a carbon footprint, why reducing it is an urgent necessity and no longer an option. It is also relevant to know what are the mechanisms that exist today to reduce it. In this text we are going to try to give an explanation to these frequent doubts.

huella de carbono - carbon footprint

The concept: what is the carbon footprint?

The consumption of products and services is the engine of production, and every production process involves the emission of greenhouse gases (except those that exclusively use clean energy). We can affirm that any human activity has an impact and leaves its mark.

If we want to define the carbon footprint more precisely, it is an environmental indicator that measures the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by an individual, an organization, a product, an event, or a specific activity. The carbon footprint is measured in the unit known as “CO2 equivalent”, which results from considering the molecular weight of carbon dioxide, converting other gases to their equivalent value according to their global warming potential and “adding” (or subtracting).

The way to measure the carbon footprint is still in the process of elaboration and fixation. In fact, today there are different standards, measurement methods (such as life cycle analysis) and certifications. There are also variations depending on whether we focus on organizations, people, products, industries or territories, and how each of them are defined. In short, there is still a long way to go to fine-tune the calculations on the carbon footprint.

The effects: why should the carbon footprint be reduced?

It is indisputable that the environmental impact of our activities is a reality and has a cost, both for the environment and for the health and well-being of people. However, it is also clear that the carbon footprint is not just an environmental issue.

This impact also has repercussions on economic profitability. In fact, this has been the dominant perspective for a decade. Although in the short term (especially in some sectors) it may be more profitable not to bet on decarbonization, in the medium and long-term managing and reducing the carbon footprint implies a structural recession, if not a collapse (check OECD models).

A non-circular economy model is simply not sustainable. Therefore, this process of necessary change can also be understood as an opportunity to orient business models towards neutral or low carbon emissions, as indicated by the World Economic Forum, occupying the leading positions in this movement.

tronco arbol

The practice: how to reduce our carbon footprint?

First, we have to consider whether the reduction of the carbon footprint refers to individuals or organizations. In this article, we will focus on organizations, as they have a high impact in terms of economic activity.

To measure the footprint systematically, it is necessary to register in one of the official registers created by the authorities for this purpose. In the case of Spain, for example, companies should be part of the Carbon Footprint Registry. And so with each respective country in question.

In these registers are the tools necessary to carry out an inventory of a company’s emissions in a specific time (established in a base year), determine its scope (there is a scale of three emissions depending on whether they are direct, indirect by energy or other indirect) and also account for the removal of CO2, that is, the absorption that our business activity could carry out.

From this moment on, compensation measures can be evaluated on an objective basis, that is, all investments in projects that lead to the reduction of emissions. These projects include reforestation, clean energy generation, or waste management.

Lastly, let’s tackle the process of reducing the carbon footprint. At this point, it is worth mentioning investment projects. These projects are based on technological innovation and modification of the organization’s production processes and their objective is to achieve less generation of waste and polluting emissions. The application of efficient practices, the recycling of materials or the use of low carbon fuels are some examples.

We want to look back and be proud of our footprints

In today’s challenging environment, it is everyone’s responsibility to find solutions. Therefore, we must bet on new technological avenues, strategic alliances and, above all, a new awareness of our environment, our society and our way of life.

que es economia circular - what is circular economy

What is the circular economy?

Humanity is at a crossroads. The current environmental, social and economic situation lead us to rethink the need to adopt a series of changes in our way of thinking and living, and also in the ways of producing and consuming. It seems that the time for the circular economy has arrived. But what is it and what exactly does it entail?
There are various theories and concepts, different models regarding what the circular economy is, how it can be put into practice and where it can lead us. And, although several firm steps are already being taken within the framework of this new model (LCBA is a good example of this).
The objective of this article is to show what the circular economy is, why putting it into operation is a necessity and what would be, broadly speaking, the stages of this new structure of the economic model.
que es economia circular - what is circular economy

The concept of circularity

To offer a broad and simple definition of the circular economy, it could be said that it is an economic system (a model or a strategy) that aims to reduce consumption and waste of resources as much as possible by applying reuse, repair and recycling processes, among others.
It is based on principles from the school of industrial ecology and goes through “closing the loops” of industrial flows and lengthening the life cycles of products, since resources are limited and our current model inevitably leads to collapse.
Understanding this circular economic model is easier if we understand that the model we come from can be classified as linear: raw materials and manufactured products (and the energy involved) follow a path that passes through the extraction / production, consumption / use and waste / disposal phases. The motto would be “produce, use and throw away.”
Sustainability is the great workhorse; Is a sustainable circular economy possible? Criticisms focus on the cost-benefit ratio, on the one hand, and the impossibility of going to the extreme without fundamentally altering our way of life. Technological innovation will play a central role in this movement so that it does not become a simple regression.

Benefits of the circular economy

In any case, it does not seem likely that there will be a plan B, and it is not necessary to arrive at a “pure” system to begin to see the benefits of the circular economy:
  • The most immediate of the benefits is that reducing consumption would reduce dependence on raw materials and energy in many economic sectors, improving security of supply (and prices).
  • In a context of growing pollution, overconsumption and rising inequality, the impact of a “change of chip” on people’s well-being and health (physical and mental) would undoubtedly have a positive effect.
  • The environmental impact (the first advantage for some, collateral for others) is not trivial. Most of the “pre-circular” processes involve a very high ecological cost, with repercussions (global warming aside) that are difficult to predict in many areas.
  • Innovation would be boosted by the need to seek more efficient solutions, and competitiveness would also be stimulated, resulting in more efficient economic processes from a global point of view.
  • The management of waste and its reintroduction into the production cycle would generate (it is already being seen) new business opportunities and new economic sectors (and labour niches).
  • Both the savings of final consumers and their differential participation on a small scale in this new economy would make it possible to improve the quality of life in a generalized way.

Thus, the benefits cover fields as varied as productivity, climate change, savings or health. All of them have in common being concerns of the first order in this first half of the 21st century.

The stages of the circular economy

The theoretical model of the circular economy is expressed graphically with a circle. But that circle would have different forms depending on which sources are consulted; in this infographic you can see the one from the European Parliament Studies Service. And it could have several phases or stages, which we present below.
  • Share. This is “phase 0”, and the recurrent theme would be to move “from ownership to use” of products, goods and services. Sharing practices lead to a huge optimization of resource and energy consumption.
  • Repair. That is to say, fixing damaged goods, a traditional practice that programmed obsolescence has cornered and that is making a comeback (including the famous “right to repair” defended by the EU).
  • Re-use. Nor should this stage be underestimated, on the contrary: in the reuse of goods (with the use for which they were conceived or for any other) lies the key to reducing the generation of waste.
  • Remanufacture. It consists of returning damaged goods to the manufacturer, who can give them a second life with reused, repaired or new parts. Electronic products are the paradigmatic example, but it is quite a challenge.
  • Recycle. We are familiar with the resurrection of certain materials (paper / cardboard, glass, certain plastics), but there is room for improvement, from the moment of triage to technological optimization contributions.
And with this would the circle be closed? From a practical perspective, there would always be a margin both for the extraction of new resources and for the generation of some wastes; But if these phases are put into operation at full capacity, it will be possible to see very substantial changes in our economic, social and environmental model.

A path of no return

The energy, production and consumption transition towards the new circular paradigm can be more or less abrupt, more or less fast, more or less efficient or more or less attractive in terms of competitive advantages; but what seems certain is that it will be inevitable.
For this reason, LCBA Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia strongly supports and supports the implementation of new low-carbon and circular technologies in the four markets in which it operates, favouring this energy transition.
If you are a European provider of this type of technology or a company with a project related to the circular and low-carbon economy in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia, request your participation, and you will be able to benefit from numerous advantages. Learn more details here.