RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES (SDGS) AND THE WINE SECTOR


Written by Karen Vega, Business Development Specialist.

 


Times are hard all over the world because of the social, health and economic crisis caused by the pandemic. In these times of great uncertainty and in this critical economic situation, the wine sector, along with other agricultural sectors, will have to intensify their environmental efforts in line with the European Green Pact and the ‘From Farm to Fork’ and Biodiversity strategies.

The European Green Pact establishes an action plan for:

  • Encourage efficient use of resources by promoting practices towards a clean and circular economy.
  • Restore biodiversity and reduce pollution.

Many winegrowers and their cooperatives have been strengthening their sustainability policies in recent years, placing great emphasis on the mitigation of their emissions. Viticulture is an essential part of rural ecosystems and offers a range of benefits that go far beyond wine production. However, in order to achieve the objectives of the European Green Pact, viticulture must have the opportunity to invest in the protection of its natural resources and have adequate guidance and support from government institutions.

Among the main advantages and benefits of the implementation of sustainable practices are: increased energy efficiency, access to specific financing programs for sustainable products, improved commercial image, mitigation of economic risks due to future legislation, transparency and increased confidence of their stakeholders and cost optimization throughout the value chain.

Main SDGs involved in the wine sector:

Companies can have a great positive impact on society by promoting responsible consumption and a healthier lifestyle. On the other hand, they must also improve working conditions throughout the labor chain, ensuring the physical and emotional integrity and safety of their workers.
Promote and invest in content of interest related to the wine sector and sustainable lifestyles to ensure access to employees with skills that meet future business needs.
Also the realization of internal training plans that help to improve the awareness and efficiency of employees.
On the one hand, implement training and support programs and, on the other hand, invest in the integration of technology into agricultural systems as a key facilitator to create opportunities for women to participate in viticulture and at the same time fulfill family responsibilities.
Apply precise agricultural technologies that enhance productivity and minimize water use. This includes drip irrigation systems, water quality control, efficient crop rotation and field application methods, waste control, efficient use of water both for grape washing and at the infrastructure level, etc. This also enhances the resilience of the sector to imminent climatic variations such as drought.
Sustainable initiatives in the wine sector include the adoption of measures that ensure decent, fair and inclusive work: fair labour contracts, flexible working hours, breaks, eradication of child labour. On the other hand, especially in these difficult times, we must promote the creation of synergies with other sectors such as tourism and hotels.

From the point of view of infrastructure, seek investment to support the development of agriculture and markets that include water, connectivity/technology, roads, storage logistics, etc. In this way, the social and technological occupation and development of agricultural areas is promoted.

Wine, being an agricultural product with high added value, is an economic activity that contributes significantly to the establishment of population in rural areas. Its good practices can safeguard the natural heritage of the surrounding areas, promote urbanization and transport plans, improve air quality in the surrounding communities, etc.

Organic farming is the most responsible way to produce food. It is necessary to put in value the commitment to ecological viticulture and sustainable production: to promote recycling, the reuse of organic material either in the manufacture of compost or in the generation of energy from biomass, etc.

Reducing the environmental footprint by implementing new practices and technologies such as the use of renewable energy, reduction of logistic flow, optimization of water use, reduction of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, among others. On the other hand, the cultivation hectares are also used for projects to fight climate change such as CO2 sequestration.

 

The absence of systemic pesticides and herbicides allows and favors a rich variety of both plant cover and insects and birds in the organic vineyard.

 

 

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.

 

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.

The path to a sustainable future


Written by Ginna Castillo, Climate Change Mitigation Consultant


Historically speaking, cities emerged as places of encounter and agglomeration. Nowadays, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 55% of the world’s population lives in those places, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the most effective strategy to avoid exposure to the virus has been social distancing which means that 55% of the population must rethink their way of living in order to avoid Coronavirus. In terms of transportation, new questions are arising on how to move through the city while remaining healthy or even if it is necessary to move on a daily basis at all. 

So far, even under strict lockdown people working in essential occupations had to commute every day. Now, as some sectors of the economy are gradually re-opening in some countries, the possibility of social contact is getting higher, thus citizens are drastically migrating to individual yet affordable means of transportation. Governments are also being part of this shift by encouraging the use of non-powered vehicles or walking. There are around 250 local actions around the world to support walking and cycling during social distancing (Dataset from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center).

There is no doubt cycling is rising as the most resilient mean of transportation during the pandemic since it allows longer distances than walking on a small or cero daily budget. According to the World Economic Forum, most of the local initiatives have to do with free rides on shared bicycle services and offering more kilometers of bike lanes by adapting space from local roads or even highways in cities like Bogota, Milan, Barcelona or Brussels, to name a few. Meanwhile, community collaboration efforts are also taking part in transforming urban mobility through projects such as Lend-A-Bike in Manila.

These governmental or community initiatives have the potential of keeping ongoing after the COVID 19 pandemic is over, even if most of them are only taking place as temporal measures during the confinement. The first step in this direction is being taken by the government of the Ile-de-France region who is now considering cycling as the main mean of transport after deconfinement (LeParisien). But that is just the tip of the iceberg, discussions about mobility are happening everywhere and new questions are arising on unnecessary car trips, home office and proximity to jobs and services, among others.

It is well known that climate change is one of the most urgent environmental challenges of our time, so if all cities were to pay attention to these new questions and initiatives instead of following the business as usual scenario before the pandemic, wonderful things would happen simply because we are now capable of changing habits on a global scale. For starters, and just by cycling, greenhouse gas emissions would drastically drop. According to the ranking of urban transport modes made by travelandmobility.tech, moving by a gasoline car generates around 96% more emissions than moving by bicycle (gram per passenger kilometers). That is during the whole life cycle of each vehicle: manufacture, operation, maintenance, and disposal.

Still, this seems to be the first step of a very long path. From this point forward, cities will have the challenge of redistributing public space and perhaps redefine street hierarchy by putting people before cars. Land use will have to be even more diverse in order to guarantee proximity between homes, services, and jobs so that the distances for commuting are either walkable or suitable for cycling. Last but not least, public transport will get more relevant on long distances and intermodality would have to become a reality. All these changes will ultimately lead to a more sustainable way of life and a more sustainable future.