Last Wednesday Theresa May announced a statutory instrument to amend the UK Climate Change Act of 2008. The law currently prescribes an emissions cut of 80% by 2050, from a 1990 baseline. The new law will aim for net zero emissions by 2050, making the U.K. the first G7 nation to pass such legislation.
In the same day, against a backdrop of growing global awareness of the importance of environmental protection, the Embassy of Italy in London launched “Zero-Waste Embassy”, 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 andwith all waste returning to the productive system in a closed loop.
“The current environmental and social challenges – Catia Bastioli, the CEO of Novamont, stated – 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 usecompostable 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 themwith products made from recyclable bioplastic.
The embassy has switched to Green Network, which supplies energy exclusively from renewable sources, as its 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.