Green SUIte – the sustainability project involving more than 60 teams from 5 organisations – comes to an end

Agos, Enercom Group, Sparkasse, Tea Group and the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, supported by the Startup Intelligence Observatory, have promoted virtuous sustainable behaviours inside and outside of the business world.

 

Green SUIte, the environmental conservation initiative with which employees from Agos, Enercom Group, Sparkasse, Tea Group and the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano have activated virtuous sustainable behaviours with support from Up2You, the innovative B Corp certified start-up that develops customised solutions to help businesses become carbon neutral, has come to a successful conclusion.

The project, born from an idea conceived by Agos and Up2You during one of the round table sessions at the eighth edition of the Startup Intelligence Observatory organised by the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, has attracted more than 600 users who, in recent months, have committed to performing daily tasks aimed at raising awareness and effectively protecting the environment. Out of a total of more than 19 thousand missions, 96% were completed successfully, with participants performing an average of 32 actions each. The favourite topics were the reduction of food waste and plastic and energy consumption. Thanks to the wide uptake, around 40,000 kg of carbon dioxide have been saved, 100 new trees have been planted and 50,000 kg of carbon dioxide have been neutralised.

On 3 May, in the presence of representatives from the companies involved in the contest, the award ceremony was held at the Politecnico di Milano, with participation from around 60 employees in person at the event and another 100 connected remotely. In line with the initiative’s green vocation, all of the awards given to the winners were rewarding sustainability; from individual recognitions such as the Carbon Neutral year, capable of neutralising travel emissions and food consumption with certified projects aimed at preserving ecosystems, to team recognitions such as the zero-emissions videocalls with colleagues and customers and promocodes to incentivise forestation in Italy and throughout the world.

Green SUIte has thus further enhanced the already strong partnership between large Italian companies and start-ups, to the advantage of the entire Italian innovative ecosystem, and has fostered Open Innovation within the national economic fabric, demonstrating that collaboration brings concrete and widespread benefits.

 

P.E.A.S: the app for measuring the environmental impact of fashion

An intelligent system that integrates social and environmental traceability of garments with gamification: P.E.A.S – Product Environmental Accountability System is an innovative project created thanks to the support of Regione Lombardia, theSchool of Management of Politecnico di Milano, the companies MOOD, 1TrueID and WWG, in collaboration with WRÅD

 

A new frontier in the field of communication for sustainability in the fashion and clothing sector, P.E.A.S. technology not only makes it easy for everyone to view information on the origin and impact of our clothes but, thanks to an algorithm, it is also able to tell us how much the initial environmental cost of what we wear is amortised over time thanks to our love and use – thus incentivising, with a game, its long-term use.

Every second, the equivalent of a lorry load of clothes is either burnt or dumped. The social and environmental problems caused by the fashion industry stem from the fact that we have all been induced to emotionally disconnect ourselves from the clothes we buy” states Matteo Ward, CEO of WRÅD and initial creator of P.E.A.S. “For years we have all been reminded of the importance of loving our clothes and living in them for a long time in order to have a positive impact on the environment, but little, if anything, has changed – quite the contrary! This resulted in the need to create P.E.A.S., a smart game to counteract the overproduction and overconsumption of clothes in an innovative way”.

P.E.A.S. technology offers customers the chance to connect with their clothes through their smartphone, to interact with them and to monitor in real time how much of a concrete positive impact the way we wear them can have on their environmental footprint. To do this, P.E.A.S. develops and processes scientific data obtained, for this first pilot project, thanks to a Life Cycle Assessment, carried out by the Process Factory company, which calculated the environmental impact of all the production steps necessary to transform a tuft of cotton into a sweatshirt. An analysis of the production chain, tracked in a blockchain with reduced energy consumption, which therefore produced a snapshot of the environmental cost of the product with respect to 13 different areas of impact, from climate change to water consumption. P.E.A.S. uses and processes these to help us understand the real value of the sweatshirt and to inspire us to use it for a long time.

At each interaction with its users, P.E.A.S. recognises how long the sweatshirt has been used for, provides updates on the relative dilution of its environmental cost, rewards virtuous behaviour linked to its use and rewards, the most important of these being the radically revolutionary choice not to have abandoned it. On average, in the world, an item of clothing is thrown away once it has been used only 7 times. This consumption is excessive, and incompatible with any kind of contemporary sustainable development strategy. It must be countered.

This is the common goal that motivated this unique partnership between the Politecnico di Milano School of Management, the companies Mood, 1TrueID and WWG and WRÅD, united in their diversity of skills and functions by the desire to take the relationship between people and clothes to a new level of connection, for the good of society and the planet.

The results of our scientific research on the causes of non-sustainability in the fashion and luxury system show that it is impossible to achieve long-term sustainability goals without the active contribution of all stakeholders. To think that the responsibility for change lies with one specific link in the fashion supply chain is wrong and is also potentially counterproductive. With P.E.A.S., for the first time we have made an attempt to bring together all the parties in the sector, from fashion brands to suppliers upstream in the chain, to the end customer. Only with a responsible and collaborative attitude will it be possible to change the pace and achieve ambitious results in a short time” (Alessandro Brun, Full Professor of Quality Management and Supply Management, Politecnico di Milano School of Management).

P.E.A.S. is a technology that aims to cater for both companies, with customisable designs and applications, and, in the future, the general public. “It can only be called innovation when it is sustainable and has a positive impact on people, communities and our environment” (Mohamed Deramchi, CEO and founder of WWG).

The project was supported by Regione Lombardia through the Fashiontech call for applications, a measure that supports research and development projects aimed at achieving innovation in the “Textiles, fashion and accessories” sector, according to the principle of sustainability, from an environmental, economic and social point of view.

Presenting Green SUIte: a sustainability challenge involving 60 corporate teams

Agos, Gruppo Enercom, Sparkasse, Gruppo Tea and the Politecnico di Milano School of Management, backed by the Startup Intelligence Observatory, are promoting and rewarding virtuous behaviour inside and outside the company, in collaboration with the Up2You startup. 

 

Green SUIte is an environmental challenge – organised in collaboration with Up2You, an innovative start-up and B Corp certified company that promotes sustainable development – involving the employees of Agos, Gruppo Enercom, Sparkasse, Gruppo Tea and the Politecnico di Milano School of Management with a view to raising awareness, educating participants, and triggering a virtuous, sustainable conduct.

The project springs from an idea developed by Agos and Up2You at one of the round tables of the seventh Startup Intelligence Observatory, one of the 46 Observatories of the Politecnico di Milano School of Management aimed at driving open innovation and contamination with start-ups.  Green SUIte is designed as a fun means of highlighting issues related to sustainability, in line with the goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the ESG rating, through the active involvement of the employees of the participating companies. The event has been received positively, with about 600 of the companies’ 5,000 employees setting up 60 highly competitive teams.

For 12 weeks, the Green SUIte teams will take part in quizzes and missions aimed at developing a sustainability culture and an awareness of environmental issues, promoting the idea that being sustainable needn’t be tiring or boring. By engaging participants in small daily actions, such as creative cooking to reduce food waste, researching and bulk purchasing local, seasonal products, participating in shared mobility programmes, and making more virtuous use of technologies, greater awareness is raised on the environmental impact of each individual action, encouraging participants to be more environmentally friendly both inside and outside the company and to rethink their day-to-day lives from a new perspective. A case in point is the “Cross over to the dark side!” mission, in which participants will be encouraged to use their PCs and phones in dark mode. “Black is chic! But in addition to being cool (and making you feel cooler), the dark mode reduces energy consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions.” Difficult not to follow the Green SUite advice!

Green SUite is an innovative multi-company digital platform backed by a strong team spirit and concerned with involving business teams in sustainable actions. At the heart of the platform lies Play, a product by Up2You, the only company in Europe that, in addition to being authorised to manage Carbon Credits certified by VERRA and Gold Standard, does so using Blockchains.

This project has quickly become a virtuous example of Open Innovation, an approach that – partly aided by the pandemic – is increasingly proving to businesses the importance safeguarding our ecosystem while pursuing innovation and that collaboration is often key for developing solutions that can really change and have a lasting impact on a company and society as a whole.

The Startup Intelligence Observatory’s 2021 research data speaks volumes: more than one third of all major Italian companies already collaborate with start-ups, recording a positive trend compared to previous years. A truly comforting piece of information for Italy’s entire innovation ecosystem; one that reveals a paradigm shift, underscored by a growing number of success stories,” says Alessandra Luksch, Director of the Startup Intelligence Observatory. The Green SUite project has been made possible by the activities developed by the Startup Intelligence Observatory to promote open innovation in enterprises and by its lively community of partner companies. This initiative just goes to show that no one can innovate alone, and that collaboration can quickly generate concrete results and widespread benefits.”

A dyed-in-the-wool approach to sustainability

Today, we meet MIP alumni Donatella Carbone and Roberto Toro, founders of Luxalpaca (lux-alpaca.com), a sustainable fashion company marrying luxurious Peruvian alpaca wool with Italian design.

Donatella is an IT professional with more than 10 years of experience working for leading consultancy companies (KPMG and Accenture). Born in the south of Italy, she first studied engineering in Rome and then moved to Milan in 2017, where she attended the International Part-Time MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano.

Roberto is an industrial engineer specialised in Supply Chain with 8 years of work experience in several different industries. He moved from Peru to Milan in 2017 to attend the International Full-Time MBA at MIP.

A couple who could be called one of MIP’s “matchmaking” successes, in addition to setting up their own company, Donatella and Roberto are also parents of a young child.

Their company went live on October 2nd this year with a collection of men’s and women’s scarves made of 100% alpaca wool. In the next few months Luxalpaca will be launching some new products, also targeting the baby segment.

 

What were you doing before you came to MIP Politecnico di Milano and why did you choose those particular courses?

A project leader at an IT consultancy in Rome, at the time Donatella was looking to differentiate her background and gain a wider business perspective, so she decided to apply for an MBA. The part-time formula of the course at MIP was perfect, as it allowed her to continue working while studying. Other drivers were the international composition of the class, that was unlike those at other schools, plus the network of schools that enabled students to enjoy short experiences abroad, something from which Donatella benefited by attending a bootcamp in India.

Roberto already had some years of experience in Peru in supply chain management and he wanted to take on new challenges in an international and more dynamic environment. MIP had a perfect curricular program that matched his profile. A program integrating engineering and management was important for understanding how to manage a company.

 

Tell us how your business idea developed – how early on did it come about?

Luxalpaca was born after the MBA, and we believe that the timing was right, because it gave us the chance to think over and review many of the subjects we had learned and apply our different work expertise to our idea.

It all started in September 2019, when we visited Roberto’s family in Peru. We had a quick visit to Machu Picchu (Cusco), where it was pretty cold, so we bought a scarf made of alpaca wool. This led to Donatella’s first insight: why was this beautiful fabric not available in Italy? We learned that the Peruvian culture is not very well known here, and even less so are the unique qualities of alpaca wool.

 

How do you feel your MIP experience has set you up for what you are doing now?

We believe the MIP experience gave us the opportunity to understand and to deal with global dynamics. Markets evolve rapidly because of many factors, and we feel that the bootcamps were important for giving us interesting tools and strategies from business cases.

Luxalpaca is also part of this global dynamic, from its Peruvian origins to our Italian customers.

The pandemic has changed shopping behaviour and people are now placing more importance on the online channel: this is a  trend which is here to stay. That’s our challenge, to introduce the amazing benefits of an almost unknown alpaca wool and the millennial culture of the Inca Empire, combine these with Italian design, and reach customers through our e-commerce channel.

 

Sustainability is one of MIP’s core values and, we believe, this is also the case in your business. How do you see Luxalpaca’s role in this area?

One of the main reasons we were first attracted by the idea of Luxalpaca was that we recognised an opportunity to develop a sustainable supply chain in the fashion industry.

Our unique selling proposition is to offer a high-quality product while also creating value and impacting positively on all our stakeholders, right from the first moment.

Alpaca wool is one of the highly sustainable fabrics; the alpaca, too, is one of the most eco-friendly partners we could have! It lives extensively in the Andean area, eating what nature provides. The wool is shorn once a year in a specific period, after taking into account the animal’s survival needs, given the extreme weather conditions. Alpacas have been bred since ancient times and are now one of the main sources of business in the region. For us, that business means working in harmony with nature and respecting the local population.

Part of our first collection derives from a partnership with a community from Cusco called the Urpi, composed of women who come from different villages in the area. Scarves are handmade in different colours obtained from Andean flowers and plants.

Thanks to all of this, we have become partners in a phygital sustainability platform, one of the first platforms for sustainable fashion brands.

 

Living together with a young child, how easy do you find it to switch off from work, given that you are at the start-up stage of the business? Do you manage to get a balance between work and home life?

To be honest, we haven’t found much difficulty in switching off. We really love our slow-fashion proposal, and we care passionately about this lovely commitment. In the very early stages and due to the pandemic, on one hand, we were partially stopped in terms of production but on the other hand, being restricted to our home gave us the opportunity to better plan the future steps when Donatella was pregnant, and we were able to draw up the business plan.

Nowadays, we try to set up weekly objectives in both work and personal life, balancing our time and also being supported by a kindergarten.

 

Based on your experience so far, what would be the one piece of advice you would give to a student embarking on an MBA today?

Motivation is a must. It’s important to be conscious that motivation changes before, during and after the MBA. This will get you through to achieving your personal and professional objectives. The MBA is life-changing, and it will constantly challenge you, so you need to make the most of it.

Studying for an MBA means that you have chosen to get out of your comfort zone, and we believe that this fact will develop your inner strengths and will lead you to the path of success.

Donatella and Roberto’s story is a demonstration of how it is possible not only to build on previous experience but also, with the contribution made by MIP’s International MBAs and after imbibing the business school’s ethos, how minds can be opened, and our alumni can take a completely different direction, maybe one not previously envisaged.

All of us at MIP wish them the very best with their new venture and  ̶  who knows  ̶  maybe one day in the future they will be sending another young entrepreneur our way!

Neighbourhood Hubs against food waste win the Earthshot Prize

Dedicated to environmental protection actions, Milan’s anti-food waste project won £1 million and support from the Royal Foundation for the next few years.

 

Milan, 18 October 2021 – On the night of Sunday, 17 October 2021, Prince William announced that the City of Milan, with its Neighbourhood Hubs Food Policy project against food waste, is the winner of the first prestigious international Earthshot Prize for the best solutions to protect the environment.

A month ago it was announced that Milan was one of the 15 finalists in the “a world without waste” section, and yesterday, live on the BBC and Discovery Channel, Prince William unveiled the winners after an international panel of experts selected Milan from 750 candidate initiatives from around the world.

Along with Milan in the other four categories of the award were winners from the Republic of Costa Rica for the protection of forests, India for the reduction of smoke emissions into the air, Berlin for the development of hydrogen technologies for energy production, and the Bahamas for the protection of coral reefs.

In Milan, the BBC arranged a link to London from a terrace overlooking the Duomo, which was attended by Deputy Mayor Anna Scavuzzo, with representatives of all the partners who bring this project to life.

The £1 million prize will be used to further develop these hubs and open new ones, ensuring their long-term sustainability and replicating this excellent practice in the network of cities working with Milan on food policy, starting with the network of C40 cities and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact.

Winning the Earthshot prize is the recognition of a great team effort that has involved the entire city: thanks to the City Council and many organisations from the third sector, universities, large-scale retail trade and philanthropy operating in the area, Milan now has 3 neighbourhood hubs at Isola (2019), Lambrate (2020) and Gallaratese (2021).

The project was born in 2017 as a result of an alliance between the City of Milan, Politecnico di Milano (with the research group of the Food Sustainability Lab, Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering) Assolombarda, Fondazione Cariplo and the QuBì Programme.
The creation of the first Hub then brought in Banco Alimentare della Lombardia and saved over 10 tonnes of food per month, ensuring a stream of 260,000 equivalent meals in one year, reaching 3,800 people, thanks to the contribution of 20 supermarkets, 4 business canteens and 24 Third Sector organisations.

In particular, the Food Sustainability Observatory conducted a network feasibility study and monitored the hubs’ operation and the impact generated by the project, thus making it possible to build an extensible logistic model replicable in other areas of the city.

Indeed, this was followed by the launch of the Hub in Lambrate, immediately after the first lockdown in spring 2020, also managed by Banco Alimentare della Lombardia in a space made available by AVIS Milano and with the support of BCC Milano. The third Hub, at Gallaratese, is managed by Terre des Hommes with the support of the Fondazione Milan.

Another one, currently in the planning stage, will be the neighbourhood Hub in Corvetto, managed by the Banco Alimentare della Lombardia and with the support of the Fondazione SNAM; while the City of Milan has recently started the co-design process for the Hub in the city centre with Associazione IBVA and the support of BCC Milano.

 

The team of the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering:
Alessandro Perego, Marco Melacini, Giulia Bartezzaghi, Annalaura Silvestro and Andrea Rizzuni from the Food Sustainability research group.

Partners involved:
The project involves major retailers including Lidl Italia, Esselunga, Carrefour, NaturaSi, Erbert, Coop Lombardia, Il Gigante, Bennet, Penny Market with the support of Number1 Logistics Group who provided the vans for the Isola and Lambrate hubs. Also involved were the canteens of Pirelli, Siemens, Deutsche Bank and Maire Tecnimont, coordinated by Gruppo Pellegrini for the Isola Hub.
With Fondazione Cariplo and SogeMi, the City of Milan has also launched the Foody zero waste initiative to replicate the hub model at Ortomercato and recover fresh food together with Banco Alimentare della Lombardia, Recup, Croce rossa sud milanese, Università degli studi di Milano and many other supporting partners.

Food Waste Hubs among the Earthshot Prize finalists

The Milanese project against food waste is one of the 3 finalists of the prize promoting environmental protection measures, in the category “Build a Waste Free World”

 

On 17 September, Prince William announced that the City of Milan Food Waste Hubs have made it into the shortlist of 15 finalists of the inaugural year of the Earthshot Prize, the prestigious international award for the best environmental protection solutions.

In particular, Milan will be vying for the prize in the category “Build a Waste Free World” alongside another two projects: one for the conversion of waste into safe agricultural inputs (Kenya) and one involving a water treatment system that turns 98% of water waste into clean fresh water (Japan). Food Waste Hubs was selected from among 750 projects submitted worldwide.

Making it into the shortlist of Earthshot Prize finalists confirms the great teamwork demonstrated by the city of Milan. Through the work of the City Council and many local, private and third-sector companies, today Milan has 3 hubs in the districts of Isola (2019), Lambrate (2020) and Gallaratese (2021).

The project stems from a partnership, established in 2016, between the Milan City Council, the Politecnico di Milano, Assolombarda, Fondazione Cariplo and the QuBì Programme.

In particular, the Politecnico di Milano School of Management conducted a network feasibility study and monitored the hubs’ operation and the impact generated by the project, thus making it possible to build an extensible logistic model replicable in other areas of the city.

The project also involves major mass retailers, including Lidl Italia, Esselunga, Carrefour, NaturaSi, Erbert, Coop Lombardia, Il Gigante, Bennet and Penny Market. Moreover, in collaboration with Fondazione Cariplo and SogeMi, the Milan City Council has also launched the “Foody Zero Waste” initiative to replicate the hub model at Ortomercato, Milan’s wholesale fruit and vegetable market, and recover fresh food alongside Banco Alimenare della Lombardia, Recup, the Southern Milanese Red Cross, the University of Milan and many other supporting partners.

The winners will be announced in late October.

For more information:
Food Policy Press Release
Finalists announcement

Linear to circular: when waste becomes a resource

What is the circular economy and how can it become part of our daily lives? We asked Simone Franzò, Director of the International Master in Environmental Sustainability & Circular Economy at MIP.

When we talk about a circular economy, what are we referring to?

A circular economy is an “emerging” economic model that contrasts with the traditional “linear” model (summarised with the terms take – make – dispose) and aims to maximise the efficient use of resources. Reuse and maintenance of products, extension of their life cycle, recovery and recycling of materials are just a few of the practices on which a circular economy is based. It is a model that brings benefits not only to the environment, but that also generates new business opportunities. This is why we study the managerial implications that this model can have in companies that intend to apply it.

McKinsey actually predicts that, in Europe alone, the move to a circular economy could generate €1.8 trillion in profits by 2030. Are companies ready to seize these opportunities?

First of all, I would like to make a premise: the topic of the circular economy is part of a broader context, which is that of sustainability. This is subdivided into three different perspectives, namely environmental, economic and social, which must be considered jointly to enable so-called sustainable development.
That said, from my point of view, companies are increasingly sensitive and aware of the impact that their activities have, not only for themselves, but also for the “context” within which companies operate. However, translating this growing awareness into concrete initiatives aimed at pursuing the goals of sustainability and the circular economy is a very important challenge in many respects, primarily at a cultural level. In fact, it is a question of moving from a “purely economic” orientation, aimed at maximising the value that the company creates for shareholders, to a broader perspective, which provides for the creation of value for all stakeholders as well as, of course, for the shareholders.

A qualitative leap from the cultural point of view, however, is not enough; a change is also needed on the managerial side. Adopting the principles of the circular economy, in fact, requires the company to make significant changes in terms of strategy – that is, to shift from traditional business models, linked to a linear economy, to new, circular models. This obviously has important repercussions from an operational point of view as well. It is no longer enough to think in terms of the company, but we need to move to a broader perspective, that of the supply chain, involving for example suppliers and customers. This is a significant challenge from a managerial point of view.

This is an interesting perspective, but how does it translate into career opportunities – both present and future? Why should a young person entering the job market choose this sector?

There are many careers that can be undertaken in this area. The potential consequences associated with the spread of the circular economy – as shown by the numbers cited above – are enormous. However, it is appropriate to reflect on the new skills required of companies, primarily from a managerial point of view, in order to enable the transition to the circular economy, which opens up important windows of opportunity for young people (and others) looking for a job. Consider, for example, the need for a company to redesign its range of products and services, as well as the business model through which they are offered. In fact, designing new products, services, or business models based on the principles of the circular economy requires specific skills, which are different from those traditionally relied upon to design linear-economy services and business models.

In addition to the impact on innovation processes, all the other business functions must be imbued with the principles of the circular economy: think, for example, of logistics – which in some cases play a crucial role in the implementation of circular business models – and purchasing to marketing, to make customers aware of the characteristics of the “circularity” of the products and services offered by a company.

MIP offers five different Masters dedicated to the topic of sustainability and one is dedicated to the circular economy. Why is this?

As I said, the issue of sustainability is quite broad and encompasses three perspectives: environmental, economic and social. The theme of the circular economy definitely plays a central role in the broad focus of sustainability, to the extent that implementing circular economy business models can enable the achievement of sustainability goals.
May I say that, in this context, our Business School is an ideal place to study and analyse these phenomena. In the first place, because of the coherence between this topic and the purpose of our School, which aspires to make a positive impact on society by inspiring and collaborating with the innovators of today and tomorrow. What we can also offer our students is a particular focus on the study and analysis of strategic issues related to the management of a business. This is an important element for those who want to guide companies towards circular business models, given that change must also be addressed from a strategic-managerial point of view. Moreover, we take a “data-driven” approach to problem solving, in line with the engineering imprint that characterises our Business school and, more generally, the Politecnico di Milano.
A final element that distinguishes our range of courses is our strong collaboration with companies. For the International Master in Environmental Sustainability & Circular Economy we have already involved about 15 companies as sponsors. This provides a number of opportunities for our students, from company testimonials during the training course – which give the theoretical sessions an experiential configuration – to the possibilities of internships or carrying out the project work at the end of the Master at companies, in order to be able to apply what you have learned during the Master in the field.

SER Social Energy Renovations

The H2020 project to finance sustainable construction in the service sector has begun

 

Financing sustainable building renovations in the service sector with an innovative tool that will accelerate the ecological transition and counteract energy poverty: This is the objective of the European project SER-Social Energy Renovations, which sees the participation of the Italian CGM Finance, the School of Management of the Politecnico di MilanoENEA, and Fratello Sole, a consortium of non-profit entities dedicated to fighting energy poverty. Other partners include the Spanish company GNE Finance, the project leader, Secours Catholique-Caritas France, and the Bulgarian branch of Econoler.

Financed under the Horizon 2020 programme, the project will last three years, in which a de-risking mechanism will be designed and developed to reduce the risk associated with financing and allow access to credit, even for subjects with limited economic capacity. The mechanism will include analysis and technical standardization when defining interventions to make buildings more energy efficient.

The projects will be consolidated and subject to social impact assessment and then financed, allowing investors to access safe, effective investments in line with ESG criteria. It will also allow social companies to carry out green renovations at accessible prices with the necessary technical assistance.

ENEA and Fratello Sole will involve service entities and select buildings used for non-profit activities, intervening with energy-efficient and sustainable restorations. Energy renovation will be carried out by Fratello Sole Energie Solidali – ESCo, a joint venture between Fratello Sole Scarl and Iren Energia.

Within the project, the School of Management will identify indicators to assess and analyse the social impact of the financed projects.

“The question of evaluating social impact is as current as it is complex, growing from a topic of interest to few people into an integral part of business strategy and an essential issue in finance”, explains Mario Calderini, Professor of Social Innovation in the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering.
He adds: “This project aims to improve not only the environmental impact generated by building efficiency interventions, but also the social impact generated by service-sector organizations, which will be able to offer better services due to the benefits of such interventions.” 

Finally, Secours Catholique-Caritas France, together with the Bulgarian branch of the energy efficiency consultation company Econoler, will explore the possibility of replicating of this tool in other European countries.

 

Reducing the environmental impact of logistics: the GILA Project

The international project GILA, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is designed to contribute to global efforts in reducing absolute GHG emissions from logistics and enhancing resource efficiency to thus meet the Paris Agreement’s objectives

 

Like all other business sectors, logistics can adopt more sustainable practices to reduce emissions and enhance resource efficiency.

The GILA project – run by a German, Italian & Latin American Consortium joined by the School of Management  – is designed to reduce the environmental impact (especially carbon impact) of logistics, focusing on sites that play a connecting role within transport chains, such as warehouses, consolidation/fulfilment centres, distribution centres, cross-docking sites or micro depots/city hubs, as well terminals at maritime or inland ports, freight and intermodal terminals or cargo terminals at airports.

In order to achieve the overall objective, two main research areas will be addressed:

  • best practices and future requirements, services and concepts for sustainable logistics sites within an energy and resource efficient transport chain
  • establishment of a methodological framework for assessing the environmental performance of logistics sites

The targeted methodological framework for assessing the environmental performance of logistics sites helps gain enhanced transparency and a robust basis for decision management and for the targeted identification and definition of measures to reduce CO2 emissions.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics is responsible for leading the project and its scientific implementation.

The industry partners are: Arcadis Germany GmbH, developer of logistics sites, P3 Logistic Parks, skilled in sustainable industrial properties and market development. GreenRouter is mainly responsible for the calculation of GHG emissions of logistics sites, while Fercam, Flexilog, Conad and Prysmian group contribute through their expertise and experience of their own logistics sites.

The School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, as academic partner, contributes with its know-how on green logistics concepts, while the Universidad de los Andes brings a Latin American perspective and experience on the environmental performance of terminals.

Sharing best practices will help participating companies to be prepared for future trends and demands within logistics networks and to pave effective pathways towards zero emissions logistics by 2050 and the sustainable transformation of the sector.

The project will enable industry to use the outcomes in future planning and the implementation projects of new investments in logistics sites infrastructure, e.g. city hub distribution, new greyfield warehouse projects or sustainable transformation of existing warehouses, transhipment sites and terminals.

 

Air transport sustainability: a PhD in collaboration between easyJet and the School of Management

Diego Babuder, easyJet pilot, will undertake the four-year Executive Research Path of the PhD Programme in Management Engineering

 

This year the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, in collaboration with easyJet, is launching an Executive PhD in Management Engineering focusing on sustainability in the airline industry. The course focuses on the challenges and opportunities that digital innovation can have in this area, with a particular focus on how airlines can contribute to the de-carbonisation of the sector and reduce the effects of climate change.

Environmental sustainability is a cornerstone of easyJet’s development strategy and in 2019 it decided to offset emissions from the fuel used on all its flights to meet the global challenges of climate change. “Investing now in the research and development of revolutionary technologies such as hybrid, electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft is the best way to effectively address the global challenges posed by climate change for this sector. This is a historic moment for commercial aviation and we intend to play a leading role in the transition towards solutions capable of significantly reducing the impact of aviation on the environment” – explains Lorenzo Lagorio, easyJet Italy country manager.

“The transition to more sustainable and circular industrial systems is an unstoppable process and for commercial aviation it represents both a challenge and a great opportunity. This is not just about technological innovation, but an overall transformation of business models with systemic impacts at sector level that will lead to the emergence of new supply chains – comments Paolo Trucco, Professor of Industrial Systems at the School of Management and head of the research project with easyJet It is a source of pride and great stimulus for us to be able to study and address these phenomena through a research and training partnership with a leading company in the sector such as easyJet. It is also significant that this collaboration is centred around the doctoral studies of one of their pilots; a demonstration of how the development of human capital underpins the ability of organisations to transform themselves and take advantage of all the technological and operational opportunities to make their business more sustainable”.

Diego Babuder, easyJet pilot for over 7 years, now a new PhD student at the Politecnico, has a degree in air transport management from the UK and has collaborated with the Politecnico di Milano on the lessons of the first level master’s degree in “Fundamentals of the air transport system”. “I am convinced that air transport can play a leading role in combating climate change and set an example for many other industries. There is a lot of enthusiasm for the various research areas that are currently underway, starting with the development of hybrid and electric aircraft and the production of sustainable fuels.”