Against a backdrop of growing global awareness of the importance of environmental protection, the Embassy of Italy in London has launched “Zero-Waste Embassy1”, aiming to reduce significantly the environmental impact of the mission’s energy supply, waste management and consumption. The initiative falls under the umbrella of Farnesina Verde (Green Foreign Ministry), a plan for the Italian diplomatic network worldwide, overseen by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The partners for the project in London are two Italian companies, Novamont and Green Network, both leaders in innovative business models based on the sustainable economy. With their assistance, the embassy has already achieved its objective for waste management, with a radical reduction in unsorted waste and with all waste returning to the productive system in a closed loop.
In his official presentation of the initiative, the ambassador, Raffaele Trombetta, said: “We have been working for several months on the Zero-Waste Embassy project, rationalising the management of our waste and our energy supply. We are already seeing results: since we introduced the new system, in April, our regular measurements have shown a reduction of approximately 20% in the quantity of waste produced. Unsorted waste now accounts for only about 20% of our total, while 50% of our waste is recyclable and 30% is compostable.”
Catia Bastioli, the CEO of Novamont, said: “The current environmental and social challenges can no longer be ignored, and we need a long-term strategy, while also achieving as much as we can in the short and medium term. The embassy’s laudable decision to minimise the use of disposable products, to use compostable products where necessary, and to ensure that organic waste is collected and transformed into high-quality compost, is a concrete step towards more careful approach to resources. If this approach is scaled up, it has the potential to prompt exponential growth of aspirations and opportunities. We are grateful to Ambassador Trombetta for demonstrating such awareness and for acting on this urgent issue.”
Thanks to the collaboration with Novamont, the embassy staff, who are active participants in the project, have radically reduced their use of single-use plastic products at work, replacing them with products made from recyclable bioplastic.
Sabrina Corbo, the co-founder and executive vice-president of Green Network, stated: “Green Network Energy is the largest independent Italian supplier in the UK, and I am proud and honoured to be the first supplier of 100% green energy to the Embassy of Italy in the UK. As an entrepreneur, I have always been very focused on respect for the environment, and being able to supply 100% green energy to my country in the UK is a source of great pride. Since setting up my company in 2003 – and choosing its name – I have consciously analysed the effects of my business on the environment, pushing for actions and investments that support sustainability as a keystone of our operations. I am very pleased to note the rapidly growing demand for 100% green energy among our customers, both in Italy and in the UK. This is testimony to our desire to have a more active and proactive role in protecting and respecting the environment.”
The embassy has switched to Green Network, which supplies energy exclusively from renewable sources, as it’s gas and electricity supplier, topping up the energy provided by the photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the embassy building in 2015.
The Embassy of Italy is the first diplomatic mission in the UK to have set itself such a comprehensive environmental objective.
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