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Blue Waves: business enterprises and their resilience to climate change, interview with Vania Statzu

Blue Waves, the MEDSEA event dedicated to the circular economy for the sea and the environment in Sardinia, this year dedicated to climate change and measures and business adaptation technologies, which took place last September 30th in Cagliari. We took the chance to take stock of the situation with Vania Statzu, environmental economist and vice president of the MEDSEA Foundation in this short interview.  

Hi Vania, what is the general awareness of companies on the issue of climate change and its direct or indirect consequences? 
Today, companies, in particular those of the bioeconomy, show a high awareness of the effects of climate change because these directly impact on their productivity, their costs and their turnover. On the side of mitigation, therefore that of reducing climate-altering emissions, some production sectors show resistance (but much less in the bioeconomy sectors), on the adaptation side there are many efforts. Adapting to climate change means becoming more resilient from an economic point of view. 

How are businesses adapting in this sense? 
The adaptation measures are innumerable and closely linked to the economic sector in which they operate. Technological innovation aimed at an efficient use of resources, intended both as an efficient use of raw materials or company inputs, and as a minimization of waste with a maximization of their reuse, and the elimination of waste. This is true, first of all, with energy and water consumption. Then there is the investment in research and development linked both to the previous point and to the development of new materials or product varieties that better allow us to be efficient. Last, but not least, the adoption of an overall corporate strategy that sees an efficiency of all company departments and which often involves a new design of the product and the ways in which the company operates, involving both management and employees that the workers; and finally, promoting the change in the mentality of the customer, to date, in many sectors, still too unwilling to change and innovate. 

Why these measures are central to a territorial adaptation strategy? 
Sustainability is based on three pillars: environment, social aspects and economy. The economy is essential for a territory to remain alive and have resources and attention for environmental protection. One of the most tragic and underestimated consequences of the depopulation of our territories (a phenomenon that is not only Sardinian and not even only Italian) is the lack of constant maintenance of the territories. The same EU Strategy for Biodiversity to 2030 indicates the compatibility between bioeconomy activities and the environment as one of the key objectives. Shaping a new alliance between the economic and productive system, local authorities and civil society organizations is essential to promote conscious and effective adaptation. 

Vania at Blue Waves moderated the panel dedicated to companies with the Sardinian leading companies Nieddittas, Azienda Falchi, Riso iFerrari, Smart Geo Survey, Fondazione Italia, Herbeeside and La cooperative di produttori di Arborea, some of which are MEDSEA partners in the Blue Community, a network of enterprises engaged with the Foundation in common projects and goals, including that of water footprint saving with the use of drones in agriculture. 

Watch the full conference: 

 

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