Plastic Waste Reduction Standard


Written by Alfredo Gil, Climate Change Waste Manager.


Our daily life is surrounded by plastic. Due to its high versatility, low price and properties (flexibility, durability and
lightness) it is present in packaging, clothing, construction materials, all kinds of objects and even as an ingredient in cosmetics. However, plastic is also often associated with the "use and throw away culture" since much of this material is used to manufacture a wide variety of containers that have a very short useful life. The simple gesture of throwing a plastic bottle on a beach takes about 500 years until it completely decomposes on the seabed. 8 million tons of plastic waste reaches the seas and oceans annually. This amount is equivalent to the weight of 800 Eiffel Tower, it could cover 34 times the island of Manhattan or equal the weight of 14,285 Airbus A380 aircrafts.

Currently, the most effective solution, when it is not possible to avoid its use or generation at source, consists of the recovery and recycling of these plastic waste. In order to encourage and evaluate the impact of this type of initiative, VERRA, with the support of the 3R Initiative, will launch the new “Plastic Waste Reduction Standard” in early 2021. This program aims to maintain consistent accounting and accreditation of a wide variety of plastic recovery and recycling activities anywhere in the world and to promote funding for projects that increase the recovery of plastic waste from the environment and / or its recycling. The Program will allow projects to be independently audited to determine to what extent they have reduced plastic waste and / or increased recycling rates. The so-called “plastic credits” will be equivalent to one ton of recovered or recycled plastic and will be issued based on the amount of plastic that is collected and recycled above the reference rates (usual or imposed by regulations) in each region.

These methodologies provide procedures for estimating net plastic waste recycled through mechanical recycling activities. Eligible initiatives will be the installation of new recycling facilities, capacity increases or technological improvement in existing recycling facilities, recycling of types of materials (including packaging) that have not been previously recycled in an existing facility, as well as incentivizing or facilitating the increase in the collection of plastic waste. The new program also establishes procedures to estimate the net plastic waste removed or diverted from its destination or usual final disposal through formal and informal recovery activities, with the aim of preventing this plastic from remaining or ending its life cycle in the environment.

Although this program is still in development and in public consultation phase, the technical department dedicated to the waste management sector at ALLCOT is already working on the use of these new methodologies to evaluate, develop and certify the first recycling and recovery of plastic waste projects in the VERRA registry. ALLCOT offers technical support throughout the initial evaluation process of eligibility under the new program of the different initiatives, the development of the project design documentation and the necessary calculations to determine the volume of “plastic credits” that will be generated. Once the project is registered in the program, ALLCOT will participate in the development of the Monitoring Reports and the periodic verification process.

Through participation and development in these new plastic waste recycling and recovery projects, ALLCOT continues to align its activity as always with the objectives established by the 2030 Agenda. These projects, framed in the “Plastic Waste Reduction Standard” will contribute decisively to the following Sustainable Development Goals: 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 11. Sustainable cities and communities, 12. Responsible consumption and production, 14. Life bellow water and 15. Life on land.

 

The importance of the food sector in sustainability


Written by Karen Vega, Business Development Specialist.

 


1. SDG ADVANTAGES IN THE FOOD SECTOR.

Sustainability should not be confused with terms such as ecological, biological or organic product. Sustainability is a step beyond and covers multiple aspects that are part of the company’s context such as reputational image, concerns of its stakeholders, use of natural resources, protection and conservation of biodiversity, among others.
In 2015, the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which require joint action by governments, private sector companies, civil society and all citizens in order to achieve them. The SDG are an ambitious plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity, and companies play an important role in achieving them.

In the face of the current growing relevance of SDG, companies in the food sector are beginning to align their strategies with the 17 SDG, integrating many of these issues into their business model, supply chain and stakeholder relationships; investing in sustainable sourcing, processes, materials, machinery and products throughout the value chain.

We are in a challenging time for corporate resilience and although it presents many challenges it also opens a range of opportunities for those companies that have the vision and commitment to lead the changes that are coming.

The SDGs can be used to guide, direct, communicate and report on their strategies, objectives and activities, allowing companies to capitalize on a variety of benefits and create added value to their business. Some of these opportunities and benefits are:

  1. Obtain a broader vision of the sector, its environment and its needs, allowing the identification
    and even creation of future market niches.
  2. The SDG aims to realign global public and private investment flows by reorienting them to meet sustainability objectives. Allowing small businesses and entrepreneurs, committed to sustainable and inclusive business models, to connect with capital to grow their business;
  3. Decrease business and reputational risks by reducing their climate impact and adopting fair and inclusive labor practices.
  4. Building resilience to the costs and/or requirements imposed by future legislation.
  5. Strengthen relationships with stakeholders and remain at the forefront of new policies.
  6. The SDG brings together priorities and purposes in all its dimensions (social, economic, environmental) allowing the use of a common language that can help create synergies with governments, NGOs and other businesses.

2. HOW TO START THE PROCESS TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE COMPANY.

The process of becoming a sustainable company includes knowing its impact on natural resources, generation of waste and spills, generation of direct and indirect emissions, as well as the interrelations with its stakeholders. ALLCOT helps companies to determine this starting point through its services of environmental footprint calculation and mapping of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Once this baseline has been identified, it is necessary to know then how to take actions that will make our company improve its focus on sustainability and be aligned with global agreements on the issue, the demands of our stakeholders and the requirements of Agenda 2030. All companies, regardless of their size or sector, have a responsibility to comply with all relevant legislation, respect internationally recognized minimum standards and uphold universal human rights.

ALLCOT helps companies to meet their obligations and guide them to take initiatives beyond these minimum responsibilities to advance social and environmental goals.

From ALLCOT, we quantify, evaluate and help design your strategy for mitigation and sustainability through:

Tabasco and Biden


Written by Enrique Lendo, Business Development Mexico Advisor.

 


While the results in Gorgia and Arizona secured Joe Biden´s Victory, Tabasco faces the worst flooding in its history and uncertainty regarding potential support to rebuild it´s towns and economy. What happened in the states of Tabasco, Chiapas and Veracruz in the past days is not the result of atypical rain but a direct consequence of Mexico´s vulnerability to climate change. It is ironic to confirm that being Mexico an oil country, climate change is now collecting the bill.

According to Mexico´s Natural Disasters Trust Fund (FONDEN), 91% of the monies spent in disaster relief between 1999 and 2017 went to climate related events. Climate vulnerability is based on geographic and physical factors, but lack of urban planning and a culture of prevention, as well as weak capacities to reduce and manage the crisis, exacerbates the impacts. The economic cost of hurricanes and heavy rain events between 2002 and 2015 amounted to 18 billion dollars; while the flooding from last week surpassed 200 thousand people affected and 50 thousand homes damaged.

Mexico contributes with less than 2% to greenhouse gases global emissions. However, given our condition of highly vulnerable country it is imperative to flag that we are being part of the solution. What happens in other countries, especially high emitters, is particularly important. Joe Biden´s victory is a cause for celebration because it confirms the strategy that will drive the world towards decarbonization through green economic growth.

Never on the history, a president elect had such a clear environmental mandate. According to one exit poll, 74% of Biden´s voters considered climate change as especially important for its choice. Other poll concluded that 67% of all voters, not just Biden supporters, are in favor of increasing public investment in clean and renewable energy.

It is in this context that Biden proposes a “Green Deal” that will take the US to reach carbon neutrality in 2050 and its electricity sector to become 100% clean by 2035. In order to reach such goal, they will invest $2 trillion dollars of public funds that will leverage $5 additional trillions from the private sector and subnational governments; and also create 10 million new jobs. They will rejoin the Paris Agreement and consider trade sanctions to polluting countries.

After the electoral results in the US, there is no doubt that the preferences of citizens, consumers and investors are leaning towards decarbonization and green growth. A few days before the elections, China, Japan and South Korea joined the European Union with net zero emission targets by midcentury. With a similar target about to be announced in the US, 60% of the global emissions will be neutral by 2050. In the private sector the story is not too different, the value of oil and gas companies within the S&P 500 has gone from 15 to less than 3% over the last decade, predicting its eminent extinction.

With the US as its main trading partner, opportunities to develop Mexico´s low carbon potential are greater than ever. From investing in clean energy production to supply national and binational electricity markets, to manufacturing of goods and technology to service the growing demand of renewable energy, to propelling carbon emission offsets in the forest and agricultural sectors, possibilities are unlimited. Mexico is on the verge of the conditions that will define its future.

Article originally published in Reforma news paper.

From ALLCOT we offer our clients a wide range of possibilities to strengthen their strategy and message on sustainability.

Written by Natalia Rodrigo Vega, Head Group Business Development ALLCOT.


Established in 2009, ALLCOT is a veteran project developer offering knowledge, expertise, and management to initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to actively combat the climate crisis under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

ALLCOT develops emission reduction projects under various carbon quantification standards (CDM, VCS, GS) and for various sectors (forestry, waste, renewable energy) covering the entire carbon credit value chain its later management in the markets created under the Paris Agreement.

ALLCOT supports projects, companies and public bodies to improve their sustainability performance by offering consultancy services, including the development of strategies to calculate, reduce and offset GHG emissions, as well as the identification of best practices for reporting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For ALLCOT, sustainability has always been a priority on our agenda and modus operandi, is part of the DNA of all of us who make up ALLCOT. At ALLCOT we are committed to sustainability towards our employees. Without a sustainable model for our TEAM, it is difficult to sell a sustainable business model to outside.

Therefore, from our organization we promote flexibility and teleworking before the pandemic. The fact that our staff are masters of their time, without leaving aside their work commitments, improves their self-esteem and efficiency in their jobs and, at the same time, allows them to reconcile with their personal life, hobbies and other
obligations. In fact, we have seen that there has been no decrease in the response capacity during the pandemic and we have all been working at maximum capacity all these months.

The COVID-19 pandemic is significant threat to the health and well-being of billions of people around the world. As the world begins to open up from the blockages and enters a state of unprecedented vulnerability, or what many have called “the new normal” it makes sense to reflect on what we have learned, review our fundamental assumptions, and begin to chart a course to continue working TOGETHER to build a sustainable world.

Without a doubt, the pandemic has had a significant impact on our work. On the one hand, in view of our projects being implemented, the pandemic has made field visits impossible and follow-up and socialization work has had to be done remotely. This has not paralyzed our work, but it has slowed it down and helped to generate more uncertainty in the study of primary and secondary sources.

For this reason, ALLCOT has invested all its strength in seeking alternatives to these new uncertainties generated in the project and to be able to successfully close all its phases.
On the other hand, in relation to the projects that we had pending to execute, we have to adapt and reinvent ourselves to this “new normality”. The coronavirus pandemic presents an excellent opportunity for us to act in solidarity so that we may be able to turn this crisis into an incentive to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Initially, our objective was focused on supporting companies and institutions, both in thepublic and private sectors, focused on leisure activities, events, catering and tourism. As a result of the pandemic, these sectors are defined as the most affected, so their financial capacity is limited to being able to continue their business and it is very difficult for them to make extraordinary investments. For this reason, from ALLCOT we have strengthened our scope of prospecting and opening business towards the food, energy and transport sectors.

From the company we offer our clients a wide range of possibilities to strengthen their strategy and message in sustainability. Our work relates to non-financial reporting, sustainability reporting, environmental footprint reporting (emissions, plastic) and our flagship product: the mapping, identification, quantification and monitoring of SDG.

ALLCOT has merged its know-how in climate change project development, being our strengths the development of quantification and monitoring tools together with its experience in sustainability to develop a unique and innovative tool. This tool helps us to know at regional (country, nation) and sector level, the degree of commitment and alignment with SDG and Agenda 2030.

Article originally published in Corresponsables.

Self-observation of corporate sustainability

 


Written by Diana Nicol Garzón , Project Management Coordinator Colombia.


We could start by asking ourselves why companies, social constructs with economic and value-added interests, are called upon to integrate into their philosophies concepts related to sustainability, sustainable and human development among other areas until now more related to the public sector and the third sector (non-governmental organizations)?

To address this question, it is enough to understand that companies base their essence on people, from any logic as a group of interest. With this understanding, from ALLCOT we recognize that as agents of change we deserve our stakeholders (customers, employees, collaborators, partners, suppliers, shareholders, among others) to continually rethink our practices with a comprehensive approach and continuous improvement, as well as making
sustainability a pillar of our organizational strategy.

As a result of the above, within our good practices we can observe: the calculation and compensation of our carbon footprint, the broad portfolio of strengthening our corporate social fabric that promotes a good work climate, good labor practices beyond those established by law, among other activities in each of the areas of sustainability as a broad concept.

During our decade of existence in the market and the continuous relationship of ALLCOT with other market players, we have had the chance to identify opportunities and challenges of corporate social responsibility and sustainability itself, which have allowed us to rethink for our clients, services more in line from the perspective of process improvement and corporate environmental strategy, offering specialized services of high added value such as mapping and quantification of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), SDG label, Life Cycle Analysis, among others.

 

Climate Change and Politics


Written by Enrique Lendo, Business Development Mexico Advisor.


The United States of America (US) is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China. In 2018, it emitted 5.41 giga tones, contributing to 15% of global emissions. However, the relevance of the US is not limited to its emissions, it also has strategic roles in international negotiations, production and global trade, innovation, and capital markets. Had the US not come to an agreement with China in 2015, we might not have a Paris Agreement today.

It is for that reason that the Thump’s administration announcement to leave the Paris Agreement hindered the trust of contracting parties and worried many for the potential measures that the US would take at the national level with regards to climate change. Under the arguments of energy sovereignty and employment protection, the Trump´s administration has stood out for questioning climate science, reverting dozens of environmental laws and promoting oil and gas exploitation in public lands.

Despite being the largest economy in the world, the US is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This year is expected to be the warmest in the history of the country and the state of California is currently experiencing a record intensity of wildfires with over 3.4 million acres affected, equivalent to 3% of its surface. Some weeks before, Huracan Laura left 25 billion worth of damages in southern US.

Increasingly, north Americans have become more sensitive to climate change and, even conservatives, are beginning to link some of the impacts in their surroundings with this global phenomenon. Two-thirds of U.S. adults say the federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of global climate change and 64% say protecting the environment and dealing with global climate change should be top priorities for the president and Congress. Hence, climate change will have a more significant role in the upcoming presidential elections than in previous ones.

In order to set the path towards carbon neutrality in 2050, Joe Biden proposes to invest $1.7 trillion dollars in clean energy while creating 500 thousand new jobs. He has also promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement and to set a carbon tax in the US. While the Republicans´ proposal is ambiguous, they have realized that addressing climate change might look appealing to new generations and some private sector industries. It is for this reason that the Trump administration has proposed to plant a trillion trees and increase investment in carbon capture and storage without harming the fossil fuel industry.

Surprisingly, last week the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released the report “Managing Climate Risk in the Financial System” with concrete recommendations to measure, report and mitigate climate change risk. The announcement is worth noting for being the first time that a federal government appointed commission openly recognizes that climate change poses a systemic risk to the US financial markets.

As citizens, we have three options to influences decision making towards green and sustainable economic growth. On one hand, we can influence companies to produce sustainable goods and services through our purchasing power. On the other hand, we can propel capital markets by investing in low environmental impact funds. But the option with the greatest potential of influence rests on electoral processes.  The US presidential elections this coming November will define, among other things, the impact of that country to the global environment and the possibility to transit towards a low carbon global economy. I wander when will Mexico be ready place the environment among the top priorities within our political decisions.

Article originaly publised in Reforma news paper.

Renew or Die


Written by Enrique Lendo, Business Development Mexico Advisor.


Large oil and gas companies have been consolidating their positions in global markets with products that meet the needs of industrial production, mobility, electricity generation and other industries of modern economies. Without question, they are a strategic industry rarely challenged and even underregulated by governments. It has also been rewarded by capital markets with high rates of return and moderated risk factors despite their externalities. In 2020, five oil and gas companies toped the “Fortune 500” ranking. However, recent socio-economic trends will compel this industry to “adapt or perish”.

Firstly, innovation and technological development have boosted access to oil and gas substitutes along value chains in global and domestic markets. Renewable energy is gaining momentum due to reductions in the cost of production, increase of storage capacity and more reliable distribution technology. In 2020, 29% of electricity produced globally will come from renewable sources.

Secondly, oil and gas prices are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in international markets. Decreasing trends in oil demand for the past few years were exacerbated by mobility and other restrictions imposed to address the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first semester of 2020, oil demand faced a 20% contraction and prices went down to levels not seen for decades.

Thirdly, climate change impacts have made evident the urgency to transit towards a low carbon development model. In 2015, over 190 countries subscribed the Paris Agreement with the objective to stabilize the increase in global temperature at 1.5 °C by the end of the century. The energy sector contributes with over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions and, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), oil and gas production will have to decrease 55% by 2050 to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

Provably, the decisive factor to drive the transformation of the oil and gas industry will be the emerging perception of climate risk in capital markets. Last month BlackRock, the largest asset holder in the world, punished 53 companies due to its weak performance on climate action, including some of the largest oil and gas companies. In the same line, international financial groups are introducing specialized climate solution tools. City Group recently set a $250 billion dollar climate financing target by 2025 and Morgan Stanley will become the first large American bank to publicly disclose the climate change impact of its products.

It is in this context that oil and gas companies with long term vision have begun adapting to the changing environment. This past June, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which gathers a group of companies with a 30% of the production share in the industry, subscribed a carbon intensity reduction target consistent with the Paris Agreement. And last week, British Petroleum (BP), the fourth largest oil company in the world, released its strategy to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, which will very likely set a new benchmark in the industry. BP will go from an oil company to an energy solutions corporation charged with renewable and low carbon products in its portfolio.

In the framework of the Covid-19 economic crisis, even the most polluting companies and industries are presented with the opportunity to reinvent themselves to survive in the long term. What path will Pemex and Mexican energy companies chose?

Article originally published in Mexico´s newspaper Reforma.</span

Carbon Pricing-The Way to a Net-Zero Emissions Planet


Written by Enrique Lendo, Business Development Mexico Advisor.


Adopted in 2015, the Paris agreement sets the objective to stabilize the average increase of global temperature at 1.5 °C to avoid widely documented catastrophic effects. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this target will be reached only if global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) peak in 2030 and become net zero by 2050.

The transformation required to decarbonize our economy is monumental. It implies reconfiguring our energy mix, electrifying our transport systems, reverting deforestation rates, boosting resource efficiency and building smart cities, among many others. The OECD estimates that the investment cost in infrastructure to achieve the global climate change and sustainable development goals will be close to 7$ trillion dollars a year, equal to the GDP of Mexico multiplied by 5. 

Who is to pay for the transition cost? It is very likely that the only feasible alternative to drive the energy transition at the speed required by the Paris Agreement is the massive adoption of “carbon pricing schemes”, which are based on the “polluter pays principle”.

According to the World Bank, carbon pricing schemes throughout the world have increased exponentially going from 7 in 2000 to 61 today. Thirty of these are carbon taxes and 31 are emission trading systems (ETS). Carbon pricing schemes are applied both by national and subnational governments, cover 22% of global emissions and collected $ 45 billion dollars in 2019. Through immediate signals to economic agents, they induce innovation, resource efficiency and important changes to production and consumption patterns. 

Mexico was the first country in Latin America to adopt a carbon tax in 2014, which has collected $ 1.8 billion dollars since its operation began. Mexico´s ETS pilot program was launched this year, considering companies with 100,000 + tones of CO2 emissions from the energy and industrial sectors. The ETS will become fully operational in 2023 and become the first of its kind in the region.

Besides the carbon pricing schemes adopted at the federal level, in the last days some subnational governments in Mexico have shown interest to adopt GHG emissions taxes under environmental and public finance grounds, as well as in reaction to policies adopted at the federal level which prevent the transition to renewable energy. A couple of weeks ago, Tamaulipas became the first subnational government in Mexico to adopt a carbon tax and the state government of Jalisco announced that its carbon tax will enter into force in 2021. The states of Nuevo León, Coahuila, Durango, Michoacán, Colima and Guanajuato are also considering similar taxes.

While carbon pricing schemes around the world have advanced notably, their impact are still insufficient. According to the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), the price level to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement needs to reach $75 dollars per ton of CO2 in 2030. Half of the schemes currently operating around the world have set the price below $10 dollars and Mexico´s carbon tax is only $2 dollars per ton. In this context, it is imperative to secure a substantial increase both in the price level and in the emissions covered by carbon pricing schemes to induce the transformation required. In the same line, it will be necessary to link schemes within and between countries.  

Finally, to foster social acceptance, it is essential that carbon pricing policies consider compensation and transition measures to affected sectors and consumers, which can be financed with the same revenues. The post-Covid economic recovery process provides an opportunity to adjust the relative prices of energy in order to transit towards carbon neutrality by 2050.

Article originally published in Mexico´s newspaper Reforma

ALLCOT and Green Tank, an alliance to promote sustainability and a low-carbon economy in Mexico.

The two companies join forces to support organizations in achieving sustainable and non-polluting business models. The alliance aims to respond to current needs of the Mexican market and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

From the time of the launch of Agenda 21 and, more recently, the Agenda 2030, Mexico has actively voiced her commitment to sustainable development and to strengthening the channels for monitoring, communicating and regulating actions that have allowed us to reduce the gap between the high indices of inequality and the high indices of pollution of the 1980s up to the second decade of the 21st century. Undoubtedly, the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020 marks a turning point—not only in Mexico—that calls for being even more rigorous and exhaustive in complying with sustainability goals. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) take on greater relevance and emphasize the right path for humanity and the planet.  

Mexico became a signatory to the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement and included their objectives in national planning through passing reforms to the legal framework and prioritizing those goals in the development strategies. Green House Gas Emissions (GHG) are to be reduced by 22% in 2030 and by 50% by 2050, and the national contribution to the Paris Agreement is being updated to reflect a vision of net zero emissions by mid-century.

To meet its climate mitigation objectives, Mexico established a carbon tax in 2014 and, with its launch of a carbon trading system in 2023, will become the first Latin American country to set a ceiling on emissions through efficiency schemes that promote competitiveness in sustainability. In addition, in 2020 Mexico presented its National Strategy for Implementation of the Agenda 2030 including concrete action plans for achieving each of the 17 SDGs and putting people in the center of the development program under the slogan, “No One Left Behind”.

In response to these priorities, ALLCOT and Green Tank, after many years of promoting sustainability with different approaches, draw closer to combine efforts and advance toward a shared purpose. Today, our goal of promoting compliance with the SDGs and protecting the planet’s resources is intensified, but above all, we strive together to generate prosperity, shared value and promote better living conditions in communities.

ALLCOT, with more than 10 years of experience, develops sustainable projects around the world, supporting its clients and collaborators with know-how and management of initiatives that fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals and actively combat the climate crisis by reducing emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Since 2017, ALLCOT began operations in Mexico aimed at breaking paradigms in the private and public sectors by promoting vigorous efforts to reduce greenhouse gases through adopting sustainable projects designed to produce social impacts. Also, we have served as a spokesperson for the SDGs with leaders in banking, industry, waste management, construction, tourism and academia. ALLCOT is committed to and forms alliances with companies that, like us, value the environment.

The Green Tank team applies its extensive international experience and multi-disciplinary backgrounds to support businesses as change agents that protect the environment to foster successful and regenerative economies. Green Tank offers strategy, management and communication of projects and products that favor the planet and apply the Triple Impact approach. Our consultancy works to create shared value through collaborative models that stimulate cooperation among businesses and exchange of products or services between Large Businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises for achieving energy efficiency and the circular economy. Green Tank consulting services enable businesses to develop business strategies and measure and comply with the SDGs of the Agenda 2030, and the firm is committed to the movement of B Corps.

ALLCOT and Green Tank merge their pathways and combine tools to pursue a single vision of forming sustainable alliances to promote a sustainable and low-carbon economy and, why not?, to advance towards a carbon-neutral economy motivated by promoting the well-being of the people, communities and organizations where we leave our marks.

Hyper-complexity in the management of sustainable projects


Written by Nicol Garzón, Project Manager Coordinator.


The management of sustainable projects in a territory deserves a careful understanding of the complexity of its systems. Multiple interacting systems, composed of different variables and their relationships, converge on the territory, thus defining nodes of hyper-complexity. These nodes can be carefully managed from the collective expertise and ability to recognize the structural variables and asking the right questions before launching a response.

At the different levels of a territory, there are diverse complexities such as social, ecological, geological, edaphological, hydric, and atmospheric complexities, among many others.  These are not simple chapters of environmental impact studies (to give an example) to be presented to environmental authorities; they are a classification that allows us to understand the numerous list of variables that play a part in each territorial system. Additionally, if we add the fact that they are interconnected and are not an exclusive part of a specific classification, we are made aware of the complexity of understanding and working for the territories.

In our industry we have been inclined at different times, to provide simplistic answers for the territory, that spawn from our understanding of urban areas, without pausing to recognize the hyper-complexity of the territory and its issues, and from there, effectively add value to the territory. As humanity, despite the complexity of our thought processes, we usually use filters and lenses that simplify a territory into a handful of variables depending on the interest of the project, given the restrictions of the system: —usually— budget and time.

Faced with this critical scenario of project management in a territory, from an academic standpoint, and with the aim of recognizing the restrictions of entry, as well as the value of the territory, professionals have been investing without fear, in complex solutions for complex situations.

Interdisciplinary studies, a global understanding of projects —with all macro variables and interconnections—, the identification of the structural variables (that lesser number of variables that have an impact on a greater number of variables), and the differentiation between slow variables and fast variables, are usually heavily invested on. This investment is what allows ALLCOT to have a solid, concrete, understanding of the territorial dynamics.

It is in this scenario of a tongue-twisting language, that the purpose of ALLCOT goes beyond the design of environmental projects, by offering complex solutions to complex situations, which connect the territory and its expectations with market requirements.

ALLCOT maintains its focus on the results that add sustainable value to the territories, but recognizes and takes into account the different structural variables according to the territorial dynamics.

To our Project Managers, ALLCOT’s Project management is not a replicable formula; it is a continuous recognition of the uniqueness of each territory, and its challenges, its changing environments, and of high uncertainty. Projects in ALLCOT do not follow a linear logic, but on the contrary respond to the dynamics of change, to the adaptive processes, to the flows of social and ecological resilience and noticeably to market requirements.

Different countries of the world, including governments in Latin America and the Caribbean since 2015, have incorporated sustainable development goals, and the fulfilment of the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in their agendas, which has encouraged development of policies, programmes and projects in the territory, that either end up in a “picture-perfect result”, or go beyond, by adding collective value. It is here where managers who close the gap between policy and management, after investing in crafting the right questions, can make sustainable development projects a reality, by recognizing the limits imposed by nature, and achieving social prosperity, under the understanding of territorial complexities.