The life principles of indigenous communities, an alternative for communication


Written by Ronal Cubeo, Climate Change Mitigation Consultant


Out of the issues that trouble us as humanity, the most visible one nowadays is the COVID 19 pandemic. Certainly, the expansion, magnitude, and impact that it has had on countries at different stages of industrial and technological development have created great challenges, perhaps one of the most important being communication.

I was asked to write a short piece on “The importance of communication in the time of COVID” and relate it to the concept of MALOCA. In this sense, it is necessary to specify the concept and meaning of MALOCA in the indigenous populations of the Colombian Amazon. The MALOCA has at least three functions: first, as a physical space where families live; second,  as a vital space for culture and worldview of the indigenous community, it represents par excellence the space for transmission of knowledge through orality —from the origins of each living being, the relationship between man and the creatures around him, as well as the relationship with creative entities who live in other spaces healing rituals and traditional dances are performed in this space—; third, as a political space, it is also a space for discussion on issues that affect the community organization and lifestyle.

Regarding communication, it is worth mentioning that the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, although they present particularities in their worldview, also present common elements. One of them is that in order to communicate among themselves and with others, the first thing that must be done is to “order one’ s thoughts” in order to be able to transmit words that have real content, life content.

How can indigenous communities contribute to communication in the face of the current pandemic crisis? The first thing we should mention is that, in the worldview of indigenous peoples, the land and the living beings and other elements that constitute it are intimately related. In the beginning, when the Creator Being assigned each element a function, it was up to man to “administer” those elements in a harmonious manner in order to maintain the order that was given to him. Diseases are a consequence of the human transgression to those principles: when men look at nature as resources and resources as commodities that can be exploited, this rationality disturbs the indigenous world’s principles of life, and therefore changes are produced, along with its consequences.

In this sense, what indigenous peoples can contribute in terms of communication is linked to life itself, and refers to the principles of life, to retake the channels of communication with nature and other elements that compose it, in a holistic manner and under the principle of responsibility on behalf of the preservation of humanity. This is based on the principle that the earth and its entire composition was given to us by the Creator Being to be “managed” in a responsible manner, without altering its natural cycles.

ALLCOT, which aims to contribute through environmentally responsible projects to the reduction of GHGs, is expected to explore channels of communication with local communities, aware of the challenges involved in carrying out projects with diverse local actors, in a country whose territorial realities make up what Uribe de Hincapié (1999) calls “mixed sovereignty”, that is, the practice of local governance as a confluence of different actors.

Approaching indigenous peoples will allow us to explore other forms of organizations specific to each people, other ways of understanding the world, of understanding nature and, above all, other ways of communicating and relating to the land, to life itself. Understanding the principles of the life of each society is the unavoidable step to assume the challenge of assertive communication.

The invitation is to learn these “other” forms of understanding life, to seek this knowledge in the “other” that will enable spaces for discussion and decision-making regarding the environmental aspects. For indigenous communities, “what is not in the indigenous knowledge is in the other knowledge” (Palma, 2019), the other knowledge is outside the indigenous world, but it is not beyond their understanding, the discoveries should be complementary, not excluded. Exploring and comprehending these “other” ways of understanding life can contribute a great deal to the environmental agenda, national and global.

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.       

#SDG17 ALLCOT involves the little ones through “ALLCOTooNS and the SDGs”

 

The COVID-19 in a matter of weeks transformed our entire world. Daily routines and everything we took for granted, like being able to go outside or hug a friend, are becoming distant scenarios. However, this moment of confinement provides alternative spaces of reflection and encounter, with others and with ourselves.

The crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 has led us to rethink the entire economy and the existing work dynamics. Without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges is to maintain productivity and effectiveness at work, despite social distancing. For ALLCOT, the safety and welfare of our workers is a priority, so we follow the instructions given by the authorities and support from day one in the form of telecommuting. This way, our employees can continue to carry out their work from the comfort of their homes, thus balancing their personal and professional lives.

ALLCOT creates spaces to share with its employees

Since the beginning of this situation, we wanted to keep close to our workers and technology has become our best ally to achieve this. However, distance has never been an obstacle for us because the ALLCOT team is located around the world: Colombia, Mexico, France, Senegal, Spain, Guatemala, among others.  Considering this, we launched our monthly FORUM, a meeting space that allows us to relate to all workers, tell our stories, and, of course, catch up on the current state of the company. This reaffirms the reliability of ALLCOT, which in the midst of the crisis continues to operate at 100% of its capacity and in continuous growth.

These moments have enabled the construction of new spaces, and we wanted the families of our employees to be part of our daily battle for the environment.  This is how ALLCOTooNS was born, a diverse space where children could express their ideas, get to know each other, and share with the people in our organization.

ALLCOTooNS and the SDGs

Therefore, we have created “ALLCOTooNS and the SDGs”, a contest in which children can create from a craft, drawing or any object, what each SDG represents for them, and what actions could be taken to achieve it. ALLCOT Ethics Committee will be in charge of evaluating and informing the winners, who will receive an honorable mention and a bonus with which they must perform a small action in benefit of the SDG proposed. This competition is divided into two categories: under 10 years and over 10 years.

#SDG13 – 1st round: Artists and their Works

On this occasion, the first category chosen was SDG 13 “Climate Action”. Below, we present the artists and their works of art:

Francisco Cabrejo

Heronimo Pombo

Valentina

Raphael Leroy

Valentina Lopez

Diego Muñoz

Gabriela

Luisa de Brigard

Ines Muñoz

#SDG13 – 1st round: Winners

Our Ethics Committee, chaired by Mr. Van Kirk Reeves, has delivered that the winners of this first contest are:

  • Category under 10 years old: Inés Muñoz
  • Category over 10 years old: Diego Frowein 

Congratulations! 

Sustainability must not be compromised

 


Written by Enrique Lendo, Business Development Mexico Advisor.


Back in January, 2020 promised to be the “Super Year” of sustainable development. A growing number of companies, with assets close to $40 trillion dollars, committed to transit towards low emission and sustainable production and financing systems. For the first time, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report ranked environmental and climate risk at the top of its tables, over economic and geopolitical risk. In the framework of the United Nations, fundamental decisions for the climate change, biodiversity and oceans agendas have been postponed due to the pandemic. 

COVID 19 has exposed our vulnerability, as human species, before biological and natural phenomena as well as how fragile our economic and political systems are to global emergencies. The irrational management of biodiversity and ecosystems has triggered the evolution of viruses as climate change boosts its geographical reach and hastens its spread with massive consequences to human lives.  

On the other hand, social distancing and isolation measures recommended to contain the pandemic fosters significant changes in the scale and the structure of the global economy. 2020 will face one of the largest recessions in modern history with contractions of 13% in trade and 1% of global GDP and impact to 1.6 billion jobs throughout the world. The GDP contraction in México will be the range of 6 to 10% by the end of 2020.

However, the current crisis also provides an unprecedented opportunity to restructure our economic system towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns in the framework of the environmental, financial and social agendas. At macro level, governments are able to decide whether incentives considered in their economic recovery policies will be directed to traditional, less competitive and more polluting industries or towards sectors that will create economic gains and social welfare in the long term.

For instance, investment in renewable energy would bring gains of $100 trillion dollars by 2050, or returns of $3 to $8 dollars per unit invested. Such investment could also create 42 million new jobs and reduce green house gas emissions in the energy sector by 70%. In contrast, fossil fuels are responsible for 70% of global CO2 emissions, receive subsidies up to $5 trillion dollars a year and, in the case of oil, have experienced negative returns in the last days. Today, Mexico’s Pemex costs 24 billion dollars in losses to taxpayers and the auctions to allocate clean energy certificates have been postponed

At the micro level, manufacturers will have to adapt to the new trends in the value chains of a less interconnected world and find input providers closer to their production centers. In the service sector, digitalization and virtualization has expanded like never before, fostering innovation and the development of new products and processes. Only these companies and sectors able to adapt with creativity and speed will survive in the post-Covid world. However, sustainable consumption and production patterns will only be attained if policies and incentives are crafted properly. In the framework of economic recovery plans, environmental standards should not be downgraded, and support tools must not be directed towards polluting industries over more sustainable ones, otherwise inefficiencies will prevail and opportunities to boost green and sustainable growth will be lost.

Towards a Sustainable Palm Oil Product


By Asier Aramburu Santa CruzClimate Change RENEN Manager


Thanks to the project for the capture of methane, the displacement of fossil fuels and the cogeneration of renewable energy that ALLCOT is currently developing in Colombia, the palm industry can be a great ally in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The good management of its plantations and the avoidance of deforestation is not the only action that this industry can take, some changes in the processing of the fruit itself to obtain the oil can be also implemented to ensure a more sustainable product. Thus, Colombia has managed to turn a problem, waste management, into an opportunity. Industrial wastewater from the production process has a high organic load and requires a previous treatment to be discharged into an aquatic environment. In Colombia, this treatment was carried out using anaerobic lagoons, which emitted large amounts of methane into the atmosphere, a gas with a global warming potential 25 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2).

However, a solution was found: the use of biodigesters. Thanks to these facilities, methane emissions are being reduced by capturing biogas, the methane-rich gaseous mixture produced in the wastewater treatment process.

Although few plants are using this biogas to generate energy, the second phase of the project contemplates the adoption of this form of electric power generation. Thus, instead of burning in a flare, the current destination of most of the biogas, the companies will be able to adopt the technology that allows them to use that methane as an energy source. That is how they can become self-sufficient and deliver their surplus energy to the electricity grid, increasing the project’s climate change mitigation potential.

ALLCOT faces now a critical moment, as there is a need to update the Project Design Document (PDD) initially delivered to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). But the biggest challenge comes with the first verification of the emission reductions to obtain the carbon credits, which will certify for the first time the reductions that have already been carried out. ALLCOT is also challenged to demonstrate the potential and benefits of the project, so that the rest of the companies take part in the project and this industry is transformed. Furthermore, the success of this project comes with the development of other initiatives within the production process, such as composting the sludge and waste from the production process, which also emits large amounts of greenhouse gases in their decomposition process.

ALLCOT commitment goes not only by doing the calculations of the reductions and the preparation of the documentation to get the carbon credits. ALLCOT is involving and motivating the companies visiting their production facilities.

The palm oil industry is currently the world leader in the supply of oils and fats. At the top the Asian countries play the main role, led by Indonesia and Malaysia, which have achieved fast growth in recent decades, reaching a combined production of 59,000,000 tons (82.5% of the total). However, this growth has received multiple criticisms, since it has led to the destruction of natural forests.

In the case of Colombia, in a field dominated by Asian producers, it has managed to position itself as the first palm oil producer in America and the fourth in the world (1,600,000 tons).

Therefore, following this project, the Colombian palm industry could show its commitment to sustainable development, take distance from other producers and align with the objectives set forth in the Paris Agreement.

Reduction of Co2 emissions from deforestation through community projects


By Andrés Melendro, Sustainability Consultant.


ALLCOT is currently developing a REDD + project (Reduction of Co2 emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) in the south of the Department of Meta, in Colombia. The project area is located in a transition zone between the Amazon and the Orinoco bassins. In the vicinity of the project, the area is the La Macarena Special Management Area, within which are included four Natural Parks. Unfortunately, during the first weeks of 2020 there have been numerous fires. La Macarena and Tinigua National Parks have been particularly affected. According to the Environmental Information System for the Colombian Amazon (SIAT-AC), during the first two months of the year there have been around 7000 heat points in the department of Meta, almost all in the municipality of La Macarena.

According to the inventory of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) established by the IDEAM (Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies) of Colombia, in 2015, the AFOLU (agriculture, forestry and other land use) accounted for 55% of Colombia’s total emissions. In other words, AFOLU is more determinant than transportation, industry and energy combined. These figures highlight the importance of the forestry sector in Colombia’s climate change mitigation strategy and the severity of current fires.

The drivers and perpetrators for this wave of deforestation are not entirely clear. There are several hypotheses, namely the economic interests of moving the agricultural frontier forward, for both licit and illicit crops; the benefits of converting forest into grassland for livestock; but also, a few studies hypotheses related to speculation and hoarding of “cleared” land.

In the eyes of the Government, the dissent of the extinct FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrilla are the main actors in this process and their objective is the planting of coca plants. However, according to serious journalistic investigations, large landowners are also promoting the arrival of settlers in the Natural Parks and financing deforestation. Degrading the environmental value of the land, located both inside and outside of protected areas, by cutting down the forest and later introducing livestock, is a perverse strategy to one day trigger the legalization and subsequent valuation of these lands. Settlers degrade, occupy the land and further sell it at low cost to illegal land hoarders. These two actors sign purchase agreements of unduly occupied vacant lots, and over time they manage to validate and finally authenticate these certificates in notaries.

This vicious circle explains the fires that today destroy the same forests that our REDD + project aims to protect. The current conjuncture of forest degradation both within and outside protected areas highlights the importance of promoting voluntary schemes such as REDD + since monitoring and control are not enough. The work that ALLCOT carries out through its emissions reduction projects complements enforcement carried by the environmental authorities and the operations of the Military Forces such as Operation “Artemisa”.

By offering financial incentives to avoid deforestation in the Southern Meta, ALLCOT’s REDD+ project supports local communities in their productive reorientation. ALLCOT works with them to define the most viable sustainable productive projects and uses the income derived from the sale of carbon credits serves to finance them. Whether through technical assistance, purchasing materials, building infrastructure or structuring business plans and marketing strategies, REDD+ represents the opportunity to reconcile local economic development and climate change mitigation.

Each hectare burned in the area of influence of our projects is one extra reason to continue protecting the forest through the REDD+ scheme.

Proyecto Redd+, Sur del Meta

ALLCOT at COP25

 

SIDE EVENT

“Quantification of SDGs to implement Article 6 of the Paris Agreement”

From December 2th to 13th, the UN’s Climate Change Conference will take place at IFEMA, Madrid’s convention center. This event will include the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), also known as COP25, the 15th meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol, and the second meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement

ALLCOT will be attending this high-level conference, which is an opportunity to give enhanced visibility to the work that is being carried out about climate change. 

Sergi Cuadrat, our Group Chief Technical Officer, will be presenting a side event called “Quantification of SDGs to implement Article 6 of the Paris Agreement”.

ALLCOT is developing an open-source SDG Quantification Methodology which aims to measure the co-benefits of emission reduction projects on the SDGs. This requires measuring SDG baselines at the local scale and tracking progress. This operational tool will be applied to development activities to ensure a fair carbon price.

Panel Discussion:

  • El Hadji Mbaye Diagne, Vice-Chair of the CDM Executive Board.
  • Margaret Kim, Chief Executive Officer of Gold Standard.
  • David Antonioli, Chief Executive Officer of Verra.

Venue: BusinessHub Side Event room. (IFEMA – Madrid)

Day: December 10th. 

Hour: 14:00 to 15:30.  

It will be a pleasure for us to participate in this great event and share it with all the attendants.  See you there!

ALLCOT participates in the Local Stakeholder Consultation process in Ziguinchor, Senegal


Written by Mercedes García, Climate Change and Sustainability Manager


The degradation of mangroves during the last years is alarmingly increasing. Uncontrolled deforestation is one of the main causes, but the increase of the temperature of the planet is altering the salinity of certain areas, which significantly impact on the stability of an ecosystem as fragile as mangroves are. 

Mangroves live in tropical and subtropical latitudes. To the south of Gambia, mangroves occupy Casamance estuary, where they form a long band over the northern margin of the 6 km wide river, between Ziguinchor and Tobor, in Senegal. Due to the anthropogenic pressure, linked to illegal harvest and agriculture, there are many mangroves areas in a state of maximum degradation on which we must act. 

ALLCOT, together with the Senegalese NGO OCEANIUM, is working on the developing of reforestation and conservation project for a part of this mangrove, starting in Senegal and expanding in the coming months to the Gambia and Guinea Bissau. The goal of the project, called SWAMP (Senegal and West Africa Mangrove Project) is to empower the local communities through reforestation and mangrove conservation. For this, the project will be registered in the international standard SDVista with the objective of obtain carbon credits that could be reinvested in these communities and different socio-economics activities. For that, the participation of Senegalese government and local authorities has been necessary, through various meetings held during last year.

On October 15, ALLCOT had the privilege of being one of the speakers in these meetings, held in Zinguinchor. During a complete working day, the ALLCOT team had the opportunity to share with the participants how the project is structured, the short and long term objectives, and especially the detail of the socio-economics activities to be implemented, all of them aligned with the Sustainable Developing Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda. 

There was also the opportunity to discuss and share a lunch with all the mayors who have already joined the initiative and many others who are still evaluating the possibility of adhering. Ideas about initiatives of developing and their alignments with the needs of the populations were exchanged. It was a very fruitful workday, which will be a turning point in the design of the SWAMP project. 

ALLCOT has extensive wide experience in the design and structuring of the project in the field of mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Our role in the project is to improve the quality of life of the populations that live in the mangroves through the incomes from the carbon credits. To obtain the maximum benefit the project is designed to cover two main areas. In the most degraded areas, propagule plantations of Rhizophora Mangle and Avicennia sp are scheduled. In the areas, best-conserved, protection and training activities will be carried. These activities include the creation of monitoring brigades, to awareness and training in the field. In parallel, the technical team is working in different activities linked to the food security and gender equity for the communities who live in the mangrove areas. 

Due to the significant social component of the project, the standard chosen has been SDVista. Standard developed by VERRA for all those projects which mitigate the greenhouse gas emission but have a profound impact on local populations. 

One of the objectives of the standard is not only to evaluate the contribution of the projects with the SDGs, but also their quantification, monitoring, and of course the verification by an accredited entity. It is, therefore, a robust standard that aims to demonstrate in an effective and verifiable way that the projects are contributing to meet the needs of certain populations. 

During last years, in ALLCOT we have worked in each one of our projects in the alignment of all the activities with the SDSs, all channeled through the fight against climate change. 

SWAMP project is undoubtedly a clear example of the strategy of the company for the future. Empower the local communities through the fight against the current climate crisis by developing initiatives in the scope of all the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda.

Carbon footprint and Expotural, Feria de la Naturaleza y el Turismo Sostenible


Written by Patricia Piñero, Sustainability Consultant.


Between September 27th and 29th, the EXPOTURAL Nature and Sustainable Tourism Fair opened in Madrid in Hall 1 of IFEMA.

EXPOTURAL has become the national reference for sustainable tourism, where nature and biodiversity protection has the greatest role. It is a space to propose and facilitate the promotion and development of destinations through sustainable rural tourism.

A 6000 m2 venue hosted this celebration, accommodating numerous activities available to attendees. Among them the award for the best initiatives in sustainable tourism, being the winning company Bahía de Santander, and secondly, Casa del Tesoro. Bahía Santander received the award thanks to its ecotourism and environmental education project focused on the recovery of the osprey, through the installation of innkeepers and nests in height. A meeting point was also set up for professionals of Active Tourism business tables so that both exhibitors and attendees could participate in these business rounds.

In addition to all these activities, the II International Forum of Nature Tourism and Sustainable Tourism was held, a series of presentations and round tables developed within the pavilion, and structured in different blocks, which dealt with topics such as Ecotourism, Local Development and Sustainability, rural and active tourism, etc. All under a Responsible Tourism approach, above all, for the climate change mitigation.

Coinciding with the general strike called worldwide to support the fight against climate change, EXPOTURAL actively participated in this cause by dedicating the first day of the II International Forum of Nature Tourism and Sustainable Tourism to Climate Change, the latter being one of the structural axes of the fair’s philosophy.

Another edition in which we had the pleasure of being invited to participate in the forum and of being able to be an active part of EXPOTURAL, not only in the presentation we offered to attendees on the management of the carbon footprint for companies, but also contributing to offsetting the fair’s carbon footprint itself. 

Alfonso Polvorinos, technical director of the Fair and the Forum, contacted us some time ago to explore how we could assess the impact of the fair on climate change and mitigate it in the best possible way.

For the 2018 edition, we calculated the fair’s emission identified them and drew up a reduction strategy as recommendations adapted for it. After this study and conclusions, we offered the possibility of compensating for the emissions resulting from the activity of the fair, to obtain a neutral carbon balance. This was done and we have continued working to make it possible again in this edition.

This emission offsetting consists, in broad terms, of the economic investment in carbon credits, an international decontamination mechanism introduced by the Kyoto Protocol for the reduction of the emissions causing climate change.

Therefore, the fair compensated these emissions generated through its collaboration with the RMDLT project, a forestry project located in the Brazilian Amazon that works to protect this fragile ecosystem from the rampant deforestation of the jungle, while allowing degraded forests to have the opportunity to regenerate.

The project contributes to reaching 12 out of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, among the most prominent we can mention: the improvement of the quality of life of the families that reside within the area and the land tenure of the people committed to the conservation.

For more information check our website www.allcot.com, or you can contact us directly at the following email ppr@allcot.com

The benefits of recycling in the fight against the climate crisis


Written by Encarnación Hernández, Climate Change Mitigation Consultant


We are currently facing a critical global situation in terms of consumption of plastics and their subsequent recycling. It is expected that by next year, plastic production will increase to 350 million tons. If this rhythm and the current “use and discard” consumption model are maintained, this level could increase to 619 million tons in 2030.

The process of decomposing plastic material produces the emission of two greenhouse gases with a high global warming potential (methane and ethylene) and a very harmful effect on human health. For this reason, in recent years various initiatives have been developed in the field of plastic waste reduction and recycling. Their main objective is to reduce dependence on existing conventional resources. However, there are other solutions in the market contributing to the manufacture of different products from recycled plastics. This is a great innovation in the recycling market.

ALLCOT Group, a company specialized in environmental solutions in the fight against climate change, is working on an innovative project based on the construction of sustainable housing from recycled plastic.

The main objective is the recycling of plastic waste to give it a second life, improving the performance of both recycling and waste recovery. The population is involved in the collection of plastic, mainly bottles, from which blocks and bricks are manufactured and used for the construction of houses or other types of buildings. These materials are flexible and flame retardant light and they display high insulation capacity. These characteristics make them ideal to face extreme weather events that often affect vulnerable countries to the effects of the current climate crisis, such as heatwaves or deterioration caused by water on such conventional buildings.

The ongoing project will be replicated in developing countries. It has focused on vulnerability groups, including women working in the informal waste recycling sector, and therefore contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals signed in the 2030 Agenda. In addition to reducing the amount of waste destined for its final disposition and increase its recovery, the project will yield another series of economic, social and environmental benefits. These include an increase in the country’s resilience to climate change, poverty alleviation, and improvement of the well-being and health of populations by offering a new sustainable livelihood. Finally, it also contributes to greater access to drinking water and improved biodiversity protection in the area.

This project contributes to the mitigation of GHG emissions and thus tackles the current climate crisis. With the use of different internationally accepted methodologies and previous studies, the actual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions can be calculated.  In fact, the secondary production of construction materials entails lower amounts of CO2 emissions compared to conventional production (from 40% to 80% depending on the type of material).

Given that fuel and electricity consumption the freest are the stages of the building process that release most CO2, the plastic brick recycling project is expected to have a high impact on greenhouse gas emissions reduction. 

Concentrating on five key areas (cement, plastics, steel, aluminum, and food), the project “Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change” illustrates how designing out waste, keeping materials in use, and regenerating farmland can reduce emissions by 9.3 billion tonnes. That is equivalent to eliminating current emissions from all forms of transport globally.

ALLCOT is currently developing a methodology to estimate CO2 emission reductions since there is none approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that directly applies to the project in question.

Once approved by the United Nations, project implementation can begin. 

We need additional efforts to decarbonize our economy while creating creative and innovative sustainable growth opportunities.