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Circular Economy for the sea and the environment in Sardinia: MEDSEA introduced the Blue Community at Blue Waves

"MEDSEA has gathered local companies to create a community with a very specific mission: to safeguard the sea and the environment that are so important to our territory. 10 Sardinian entrepreneurial realities have already joined with enthusiasm and in a very short time. The goal is to positively contaminate the rest of the Mediterranean with good practices and sustainability models that can also be applied outside Sardinia ".

Alessio Satta, President of MEDSEA

 

Sardinian companies are getting more and more at the forefront in protecting the sea and the environment and they joined together in the MEDSEA “Blue Community”. Projects, numbers and a common vision were shared at Blue Waves, the first event for Sardinian companies committed in the circular economy for the sea and the environment, which took place in Cagliari on 2 July 2021 and was broadcasted from MEDSEA social media channels.

Francesca Santoro, Unesco oceanographer and coordinator of the Italian initiatives of the Decade of marine sciences for sustainable development, opened up the event remembering the mission and goals of the United Nations Decade of the Sea, just launched earlier this year. Marta Maggetti, the athlete from Cagliari representing Italy at the next Tokyo Olympics in the windsurf category RS: X., and Sofia Bonicalza, sportswoman and marine biologist, took part at the event by sharing their voice in defense of the marine ecosystem.

 

HISTORIC COMPANIES GOING GREEN

For some Sardinian companies, the green turning point is not recent. "Climate change in the 1990s seemed a distant phenomenon" Elisabetta Falchi, sixth generation owner of the Falchi farm, admits. It came then the drought and "we witnessed the drying up of our land, the stalemate in production; - Falchi recalls - it was an opportunity to reflect and to put things in perspective: today we work with respect for the earth, water, the animal and plant species that populate them ".

Sustainable innovation first of all requires a "corporate cultural transition",
 Carlo Ferrari, remembers, CEO of the iFerrari rice farm. "It is necessary to train employees and collaborators if you want them to embrace a long-term project - the manager explains - to convince them, and ourselves, that the goal is no longer to increase the tons produced per hectare, but to make the company sustainable from environmental, but also from an economic and social point of view ".

For other companies, recycling waste has become an opportunity to give new life to design objects, and this is the example of Nieddittas, one of the leading mussel farming Italian company which, through the reuse of plastic retinas, aims to create eco-design objects for street furniture as part of the MEDSEA Blue Lab project.


THE SUSTAINABLE SOUL OF START-UPS AND NEW GENERATION ENTERPRISES
 

Some companies have developed their business model based on the growing market demand for greener products. This is the example of Edizero Architecture for peace di Guspini, located in Guspini, specialized in the production of biomaterials with high technological functionality that transforms the waste of raw materials such as wool, cork or hemp into green building materials.

In Cagliari, Sailover, based on the “Uber” model, is expanding its fleet of rental sailboats, with very low consumption (less than a liter per trip) to connect skippers and tourists who want to take a boat trip even for a few hours. “In this way, we set in motion a fleet of boats in Italy that is still and underutilized”, Riccardo Cao, architect and CEO of Sailover, says. In Alghero, Alterego surfboards, which produces zero-impact sports technologies (eg. surfboards in 100% compostable material), won the international recognition ISPO Brandnew 2021 and is experimenting in 3D with the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Cagliari. In the Sardinian ecotourism, two hospitality concepts, the Nascar Hotel in Santa Maria Navarrese and the Dimora diffusa Aquae Sinis in Cabras are committed to energy and water efficiency, short supply chain and the recovery of traditional architecture and building .

The island of Sardinia also inspires professionals returning home, as in the case of Luisa Camoglio, a Sardinian doctor in the Netherlands, who returned home to set up an organic winery in Sant’Antioco "la Casa di Sophia".


THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN ITALY AND SARDINIA


According to the Report on the Circular Economy in Italy 2021, by the Circular Economy Network, Italy is virtuous and ranks first for circular practices, among the five main European countries. In Sardinia "a greater sensitivity towards environment and a different modus operandi is certainly improving production models as well as the way people consume", Vania Statzu, vice president of MEDSEA, explains. "Some indicators, such as the data on separate waste collection says that Sardinia is the second Country in Italy after Veneto (73% of separate collection of total urban waste), according to the latest Ispra data of 2019. Those numbers suggest that the direction taken is the right one but it is still difficult to carry out an overall monitoring at the regional level”.

"Sardinia offers many possibilities to experiment circular and sustainable economic models that take full advantage of the great natural heritage we have inherited to give it back to future generations even more beautiful and preserved - Alessio Satta, president of the MEDSEA Foundation, says - and this approach is becoming a new way of being, communicating and doing business today: some national realities have already taken up the challenge, beautiful innovative Sardinian enterprises were already born with these assumptions or are now rethinking themselves. For us at MEDSEA Blue Waves is a special event inspired by the manifesto for Sardinia by Stefano Asili, one of the best contemporary art designers and graphic designers of recent decades, who recently passed away. It is a call to arms for everyone, Sardinians and non-Sardinians, to defend the beauty of our land, its environment and its landscape”.

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