The sustainable development success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly roundup of five of the week’s top sustainable business success stories from around the world.

Published weekly, this series shows how companies and sustainability professionals are striving to achieve their “Mission Possible” through the campaign’s five key pillars: energy, resources, infrastructure, mobility and business management.

Now that the dust has settled on COP26, companies are keen to show they can turn their environmental ambitions into action – potentially going further and faster than national governments. Here we round up five positive sustainability stories from this week.

ENERGY: EIB €66 million investment in wind power in Poland

Poland is one of Europe’s most coal-dependent countries, with hard coal and lignite accounting for more than 65% of the nation’s installed power generation capacity and a coal phase-out date of 2049.

It is therefore good news that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €66 million loan with EDP Renewables, a developer that operates over 476 MW of renewable energy generation capacity in Poland. The loan will finance six onshore wind farms, with a combined capacity of 150 MW.

The six wind farms have already been awarded 15-year contracts under the Polish government’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) programme.

EIB Vice-President Professor Teresa Czerwinska said: “Energy transformation is one of the major tasks of the future. The EIB, as the EU’s climate bank, is delighted to co-finance EDPR’s wind farm project. We firmly believe that by investing in the diversification of the energy sector in Poland, we support climate action and improve the quality of life in society.

RESOURCES: Multi-million dollar investment for an ocean plastic prevention program in Indonesia

Plastics are back in the headlines this week, with companies and NGOs lobbying the UN to implement a global pact that includes cuts in plastic production as well as increased recycling during the next U Assembly conference on the environment in February.

In a similar vein, impact investing firm Circulate Capital announced a multi-million dollar investment that will fund the establishment of 12 plastic collection centers and three new plastic aggregation centers in Indonesia, with the aim of preventing plastic in the oceans. According to the UN, about 8% of the plastics that enter the world’s oceans each year come from Indonesia, making it one of the main contributing countries.

Circulate Capital’s investment will fund a partnership between recycled plastics makers Bantam Materials and Polindo Utama. The focus will be on improving collection and recycling in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. The collaboration will last at least 10 years.

“The reality of trying to collect plastic waste from 17,000 islands has made Indonesia’s plastic pollution crisis worse – there are just too many logistical gaps and complexities in the recycling value chain,” Rob said. Kaplan, founder and managing director of Circulate Capital.

“This project has the potential to be a model for world-class recycling and circular economy infrastructure in the region.”

MOBILITY: Launch of electric shuttles at Here East, London

Earlier this week, London’s City Hall published its plans to achieve net-zero operations by 2030. There are new proposals to expand the ultra-low emissions zone and to accelerate targets to increase the proportion of journeys made by book, bicycle and public transport. .

It is therefore fitting that the Here East technology and innovation campus is launching a new fleet of four fully electric shuttles. Buses built by BYD will run between Stratford station and campus and will be operated by Go-Ahead London. The wider Go-Ahead group has notably set a net zero target of 2045 and will phase out all petrol and diesel buses by 2035. Hackney Council, which is the constituency of Here East, has a net zero target of 2040.

“Our shuttle service has always performed a vital function for our campus, creating a quick and easy way for tenants and visitors to get to campus and we are now proud that our service is now also zero emissions,” said said the leader of Here East. executive Gavin Poole.

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Wates calls for green innovations

In 2020, major construction and property development group Wates pledged to achieve net zero carbon operations and zero waste operations by 2025.

Building on that ambition, the company launched a new campaign this week to help reduce the embodied carbon of its properties and reduce waste across the value chain. The campaign is also asking for processes and products that can help it generate a net gain in biodiversity and make homes more energy and water efficient.

Companies and innovators looking to pitch their solutions will need to register their interest online. Successful applicants will have their innovations piloted on Wates projects and listed in the company’s online supplier hub, attracting other companies.

“This campaign is a continuation of our search for new suppliers, with a particular focus on the design and construction of low to high-rise residential developments,” said Wates Group Sustainable Technology Director Dr Zainab Dangana. “There must be many companies that would like to work with Wates, and we want to find them as well.”

CORPORATE MANAGEMENT: MasterCard Partners with Spanish Government to Announce New Tourism Innovation Center

On Thursday January 20, MasterCard announced a new partnership with the Spanish government for the development of a new Tourism Innovation Center, which will be based in Spain. The facility is expected to open in the second quarter of 2022 and will host academics, businesses and NGOs working to develop solutions for a green and just recovery for the sector. Solutions will include policy recommendations, digital data platforms and new products and services.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization recorded that travel and tourism accounted for 10.4% of global GDP in 2019, but only 5.5% in 2020. It is recognized that this issue needs to be addressed to improve the means livelihood of those who depend on this industry, but in a way that promotes environmental and social sustainability. MasterCard said there will be a strong link between the new Hub and the Existing Sustainability Innovation Lab in Stockholm.

“The Tourism Innovation Hub will encourage programs and build partnerships that will help the industry recover and drive more inclusive and sustainable tourism growth,” said Mastercard Europe President Mark Barnett. “Being located in Spain will allow us to take advantage of the expertise of a country intrinsically linked to tourism and the second most visited destination in the world.”

Sarah Georges

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