This year there is a green logo on the home page of SMAU, the largest international IT event in Italy
The logo says 'IMPATTO ZERO' , zero impact. What is it all about?
We ask Simone Molteni, in charge of the project
What is Impatto Zero?
Impatto Zero is an initative by Lifegate.it, a new awareness and lifestyle portal and community in Italy, aimed at implementing some of the Kyoto resolutions.
It is an innovative project to evaluate and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, main cause of the greenhouse effect and of the consequent climate changes.
The raising of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is due to the increasing use of fossil fuels, like oil, coal and methane. The effects: warming up of the planet, floods, desertification. Fortunately, trees have a precious characteristic: they absorb carbon dioxide. Thus it’s essential to protect the last green areas of our planet as well as to create new ones.
A single person or a company may easily quantify the amount of CO2 released in the atmosphere and then compensate their emissions, thus being able to calculate how to contribute to requalify and safeguard woods and forests. This is Zero Impact.
It works like a certification, with the cooperation of some unviersities like the Politechnic in Turin, Politechnic fo Lausanne, University of Padova.
Each applicant who would like to receive the certification is assessed for environmental impact, and undertakes to reduce the 'environmental cost', ie the carbondioxide emissions necessary to their activity. Applicants then undertake to sponsor an adequate metrature of new forrests to compensate for the emissions that are not reduced by their actions.
So far, hundreds of companies in Italy have undertaken the challenge.
What kind of response did you get to the proposal?
Climate Change is today one of the big challenges for our planet. Scientists find every day new evidences showing the importance of climate change on the ecosystem and on our economy.
It is then extremely important to consider the problem and not just try to pretend that everything is OK. Politicians have been waiting too long and their actions seem inadequate.
The Kyoto Protocol is nowadays the only international plan against climate change and it is facing so many obstacles.
LifeGate believes that it is important to build up projects promoting an ecological consciousness and show to politicians and companies that people care about the environment.
When the majority of the society will be strongly convinced that our eco-system comes before anything else, all the rest will follow.
See what happened in Costa Rica: in the beginning we started to work with local ONGs and small institutions, now we are speaking directly with the government and trying to think oflarge scale projects.
Especially in poor countries it is extremely important to evaluate not only environmental aspects but also social and economic issues.
Not a problem but an opportunity.
LifeGate has already started a project to requalify and protect the tropical forests in Costa Rica and a project of creation and conservation of the green areas in the North of Italy, inside the “Parco del Ticino” and in Parco delle Cave.
And how is the IT industry participating?
One recent initiative that has been included in Impatto Zero is the high tech award, a recognition awarded to the technology sector for reducing their environmental impact
This year, for the first time, SMAU also participates in the initiative
Trade Fairs have a significant impact on the environment: they need electricity, heating, flyers, transportation etc. It is a good opportunity to communicate with both people and companies, and try to make them aware of environmental problems and of what they can do.
Hi-tech users and companies are in particular a very interesting target because they are generally highly educated and ready to think "out of the box".
Innovation is generally accepted much better in the new economy sector. Someway realizing that climate change concerns everybody drives to the need of changing the way you have been thinking and working for years.
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