Do you want to know what is concretely sustainable science? Then you are at the right address. We are going to explore the current development of sustainable science in various discipline and industries in Europe.
Sustainable science is focused on the interactions between human, environmental, and engineered systems. It aims at understanding and contributing to solutions for the challenges for future of humanity. More concretly, it aims at finding solution to maintain the integrity of the life support systems at a global scale.
Such sustainable development addresses a wide range of subjects such as climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, as well as land and water degradation for example.Indeed, sustainability requires direct action to conserve, protect and enhance natural resources.
There are many R&D fields in which sustainability is a challenge of the future. Here are some chosen examples of companies and labs in universities that took on this challenges in Europe.
Green and blue technologies use microorganisms and molecules to address sustainability challenges
The development of green and blue technologies is a rapidly growing area.
Maybe you are interested in the ways of exploiting natural resources in a smart way. What follows are companies that engaged in developing new biotechnological solutions for tomorrow’s European society.
Glowwe is a French start-up that develops a biological source of light.
They use marine micro-organisms, more precisely bioluminescent bacteria, to make light for everyday needs.
They engineered and grown bacteria. Then, bacteria are encapsulated into transparent shells with the nutrition medium they need to live and make light.
They aim at changing the way we produce and consume light, by offering a living and self-sufficient lighting raw material.
At Enza Biotech, they focus on green molecules with both functional and toxicological advantages for the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries.
They identify a need for molecular performance. Then, based on structure-performance studies, they design molecules responding to the need.
They perform every step of the process: from molecule synthesis to property testing. To fulfil their customers’ requirements, they adapt the process to industrially relevant conditions and brings the technology to market.
Biotechnology is a large field of science, it relates to many other disciplines such as energy and food engineering. And those fields are also in line to take on the challenge of sustainability.
Let’s now see what is done in food and agriculture industries to conserve and protect resources.
The agriculture researchers work on both sustainable production and sustainable methods
According to the Food and agriculture organization (FAO) a common vision for sustainable food and agriculture must equally address social, economic and environmental dimensions to ensure sustainability.
The idea is that food should be nutritious and accessible for everyone. It also includes that natural resources should be managed in a way that maintain ecosystem functions to support current and future needs.
PlantResponse focuses on food industry. They aim at developing a sustainable agriculture that feeds the planet while respecting our health and our environment.
The company has been awarded most innovative European biotech SME in the agricultural category at the 2016 EuropaBio Awards.
Now, they aspire to become the leader in novel natural products for global agricultural challenges.
Indeed, improving efficiency in the use of resources is crucial to sustainable agriculture.
From Spain • Learn more on its page on Labs Explorer
More focused on methods, Gaia provides certifications to people that work to create sustainable food.
GAIA represents 260 companies and works for social research, development and transfer for developing countries, and more sustainably products and services.
The applicants are companies and labs whose mission is to research, create, implement and test methods and tools for a sustainable agriculture. Gaia evaluate and certify their impact of the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). If everything is compliant, a lab or company can be certified “Sustainable Food Adviser” by Gaia.
The Gaia’s method is based on the “Sustainable conformity model” and the software tool that they developed by themselves.
Environmentally friendly production is important to enhance sustainability of our food system. But what is also important is to be have a sustainable development of our waste treatment too. Let’s now see what is done in waste management to promote sustainability.
Sustainable engineering applied also to waste management to preserve the nature of our industrialized society
Sustainable engineering aims to implement energy systems that does not compromise natural equilibrium.
Waste management includes the collection, transportation, processing and monitoring of waste materials. Developing engineered methods to dispose of waste materials is the best way not to compromise nature.
Combustion Chamber Laboratory and Renewable Energies Department
From Romania • Affiliated to the Romanian Research and Development Institute for Gas Turbines • Learn more on its page on Labs Explorer
This lab is focused on developing sustainable transformation pathways for producing and testing alternative fuels.
Their expertise goes from industrial to household waste. Such as fuels used for aviation and industrial gas turbines, but also for internal combustion engines or boiler burners.
Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering
From Greece • Affiliated to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki • Learn more on its page on Labs Explorer.
The laboratory of heat transfer and environmental engineering (LHTEE) has expertise in waste management for many aspects. It includes recycling,pricing, and land reuse. Also, they study rational use of energy and renewable energy sources.
This laboratory has a long record of research and consulting activities. They work on air pollution, and they provide environmental impact assessment, measurement, simulation and dispersion of air pollutants.
Indeed, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy are key ways to fight climate change. Also, they improve our cost-efficiency and competitiveness.
Let’s now see what is done in forestry sciences regarding sustainability.
Sustainable forestry engages in a viable exploitation of wood resources
Sustainable forestry means the management of forests according to the principles of sustainable development.The challenge is to maintain the balance between ecological, economic and socio-cultural interests.
The benefits are multiple, such as safeguarding local livelihoods, reducing rural poverty, protecting the biodiversity and ecosystems in forests.
It is also important because forests help reduce the effects of climate change.
Here is a Finnish forest industry group. They use renewable raw material responsibly and efficiently. Their products are made from renewable raw materials and is fully traceable.
They cover the entire value chain for wood and focus on tissue and cooking papers, paperboard, pulp, wood products, and wood supply and forest services.
Their main and competitive expertise is related to wood and fibre. The Metsä Group likes to remind that aside from being an excellent raw material, forests provide lots of renewable energy. Therefore, the company is one of the leading producers and users of renewable energy in Finland.
Raw materials are precious. And a way to spare these resources can be recycling, or even synthesis for some of them.
Let’s now see what is done in recycling and synthesis with sustainable chemistry.
The sustainable chemistry aims to prevent pollution and minimize generation of hazardous substances
Sustainable chemistry focuses on topics such as mineral resources and recycling, organic molecules synthesis and catalysis and energy conversion.
The idea is to design products and processes that minimize the generation of hazardous substances. It is common sense, it is generally better to prevent waste than cleaning up pollution after it is formed. Also, green chemistry aims at preventing pollution and reducing consumption of nonrenewable resources.
The Centre for Sustainable Chemistry
From the UK • Affiliated to the University of Nottingham
The School of Chemistry of the University of Nottingham is committed to focusing its research on healthcare, energy and sustainability. As part of this commitment they established a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Chemistry.
This centre is housed in the carbon neutral laboratory. They specialise in innovative synthetic chemistry that is based on alternative renewable feedstocks and the use of environmentally benign solvents and reagents.
In response to the emerging global challenges, those European companies and academic labs offer to look for solutions to lessen nature compromission at a global scale.
In order to have a greater impact, many initiatives exist across European countries for the experts in each fields to partner, such as Suschem, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry, that brings together research, development and innovation actors from academia and industry across Europe.
Moreover, sustainable development has since long been important for the EU. They recognize its economic, social and environmental dimensions and agree that those challenges should be tackled together. To support this policy decisions, they fund collaborative projects in the above-cited topics. If you are looking to partners to tackle sustainability challenges come check Labs Explorer search engine.