One of the most important Worldwide Opinion Leaders in Environmental Sustainability and specialized in the LAS industry.
Going green isn’t just about saving the planet. We need to re consider all the production process, starting from the design phase of the products. Dear Vito, do you see an increase in attention on this topic by public opinion?
The state of the Earth is of over- exploitation of resources (fossils, minerals, sea and forests) and the global impacts due to production and consumption, which is even worsening the situation. Actually we are facing many problems with countries like USA not respecting the Kyoto-Montreal protocol and so increasing the amount of CO2 emissions.
We need not only to understand the “full” meaning of sustainable development but also to act to improve the environmental situation. We need to accelerate the process of improving the Earth’s environmental scenario and certainly an important role will be played by the pressure of public opinion and consumers but also by technical and industrial associations. The European Parliament has also an important role in guiding several initiatives, including directives and regulations, in favor of the environment.
For example the energy consumed globally by humans is less than 1/1000 of the global energy arriving from the sun so we have the possibility of consuming only renewable energy and reach zero emission; the target is for the year 2050 but I really hope we will reach it earlier.
Is it common to see a company designing sustainable products in the LAS arena?
Tools for sustainability, like the ecodesign approach, are applied by many organizations. The commitment to sustainability is not taken into account within the LAS area with the exception of only one company; from a survey of the LAS area it is possible to understand that only Tecniplast obtained: the quality management system Certification, according to ISO 9001, the Environmental management system certification according ISO 14001 for the scope “Design and engineering of cages and other plastic products. Service of LAS“. In addition more than 10 years ago Tecniplast, acting as a pioneer, made an LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) of disposable and reusable cages assessing the CFP (Carbon Footprint of Products) to inform the users of the cages among the LAS. Recently Tecniplast ended another comparative LCA to assess the benchmark between the IVC GM 500 cage and the Emerald cage, the last one obtained via the ecodesign application. But after Tecniplast actions there are no other sustainability-oriented companies in the LAS area. Some green washing communications were attempted overseas without significant results.
Companies designing products and product designers themselves can protect our planet - and people’s health - through sustainable design choices. Can you show a real example in the LAS industry?
Mindful companies and organizations started using voluntary tools, in addition to legislative requirements, to limit and reduce the pollution and the consumption of resources and energy and designing products with the new eco-logic from “Cradle to cradle”, that is to say by providing that at the end of product life they can recover the components of the product to be reused or providing the possibility of separating and reusing the materials through the separation and recycling of materials or even energy recovery. The previous example of Emerald cage production vs the IVC GM 500 allowed us to understand that the Emerald cage requires 27% of material less and the advantage is also in about -27% in terms of CO2 emissions. Designing products with this vision is a completely new paradigm! If all companies were oriented in the same way, we could repetitively reuse natural resources and use only the amount of renewable resources to the extent given by the earth's bio-capacity, leaving the Earth to the next generation in the same way it was left to us.
The Emerald has a reduction of 23% in water acidification and an additional benefits of -29% in terms of consumption of fossil fuels. Using a special section of commercial LCA software it is possible to assess the environmental impacts in advance choosing the material, the packaging, the means of transport or the energy mix (only renewable energy or country energy mix) and assessing the benefits this could have in reducing the health impact in the same way as other environmental impact categories.
Can you list how you perceive the Tecniplast innovation in terms of sustainable design in the new Emerald project?
Designing products with the support of the Ecodesign tool is the greatest innovation activity of Tecniplast!
Ecodesign is the most innovative way to design products fulfilling the mandatory requirements and adding new voluntary requirements to improve the environment.
The (3 + 2) Rs logic is fully implemented:
- Reduce (material/energy consumption, emissions);
- Reuse (design with disassembly concepts to separate and reuse components);
- Recycle (after the disassembly and material identification, separating any remaining components for collecting and recycling);
- Recovery (energy recovery) of the remaining components so as to obtain the feedstock energy content;
- Repair where needed applying adequate maintenance procedures.
LEOPOLDO ZAUNER – MARKETING DIRECTOR