Leading resource management company, Veolia, have today released a new report, Imagine 2050, highlighting the innovative business models needed in three sectors to meet resource and waste challenges between now and 2050.
The manufacturing, pharmaceutical & chemical and food & beverage sectors generate a waste mine of around 13 million tonnes, which if properly re-used, recycled or re-manufactured could generate £4 billion of value that is currently ‘hidden’. These three sectors are strategically important for the UK economy.
Veolia’s report highlights the wide range of challenges including population growth, pressure to reduce carbon emissions and utilising technology advances to shape resource use in these three sectors.
It reveals how business models and operations can be re-engineered and redesigned by 2050 so that products and manufacturing processes are completed by closing the loop. By generating energy from renewable sources and no longer treating water as a cheap commodity, but a valuable resource, businesses will become more self-sufficient.
Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President, Veolia UK and Ireland, explains:
“The £4 billion hidden value of unutilised resources in these industrial sectors is not something we can ignore. Realising this value has a double windfall – it helps businesses manage their resources more efficiently, and generates new revenue streams.
Long-term planning, minimising waste and more effectively using water, energy and raw materials will help us meet the changing needs of a growing population in a sustainable way.
“Adopting the innovative business models outlined in Imagine 2050 needs to happen now. Long-term planning, minimising waste and more effectively using water, energy and raw materials will help us meet the changing needs of a growing population in a sustainable way. This is at the heart of the circular economy and in Veolia’s DNA.”
To meet these interlinked challenges, the report highlights priority changes and innovations in each sector.
Food production cost pressures will bring about major changes across the food and beverage sector, with companies needing to reimagine the by-products currently thrown away with around £460 million of unutilised resources. New technology will enable better use of energy for the sector and help minimise costs. Although what we eat may not change, where it comes from will be radically different, with cultured meats and insects playing a greater role in our diets. Our emotional investment in food products will be deeper – purchases will be about relationships and trust.
“We’re already growing enough to feed the future world. We just don’t feed people with it. We don’t need to grow more stuff; we just need to stop throwing away the edible stuff that we do grow.” Dr Steve Evans, Director of Research, University of Cambridge
Manufacturing businesses can benefit from £2.8 billion of hidden value in unutilised waste streams by generating, using and recovering energy and water resources and being closer to raw materials to secure supply chains with. By 2050, waste materials will be turned into tradable commodities, potentially enabling 100% recovery rates. Nanotechnology and 3D printing will be embedded into supply chains, enabling more flexibility with production and more efficient use of resources.
“Meeting humanity’s rapidly growing consumption needs, with finite resources on a planet that is already under stress, requires more than greater resource efficiency. With three billion new middle class consumers anticipated by 2030, new business models must be explored if we are to continue to thrive.” Dr Nick Voulvoulis, Reader in Environmental Technology, Imperial College London
Businesses in the pharmaceutical and chemical sector have around £800 million of hidden value in unutilised resources. Designing efficiency into products at a concept stage and new dynamics, including new financial models, will enable medicines to be produced more efficiently. A move to individually treating patients rather than illnesses could also become possible, whilst 3D printing technology could enable the production of drugs on a mass scale at a local level.
“We’re likely to see greater collaboration between these specialist businesses and also with outside partners. Brands like Google are already moving into this space.” Dr Linda Hilton, Innovation Process and Business Consultant.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .