Training all eyes on creating a sustainable future for industry

This week has seen diverse range of industry leaders gather for Bühler’s Networking Days that placed sustainability and protecting natural resources at the heart of its agenda.

For its own part, the company proved it was prepared to take a lead in increasing its targets for reducing waste and energy, as well as water use, by a total of 50%.

As Ian Roberts, the company’s chief technology officer, explained, the previous figure of 30% cuts “were just not enough,” especially in light of present research showing we have little over a decade to avoid irreversible climate change impact.

He also noted the vivid present environmental disaster of major fires in the Amazon Rainforest. These were described by French President Emmanuel Macron as a disastrous case of ‘the house is burning down,’ which Roberts asserted required major concerted action in terms of altering behavior across industry.

The issue was further brought into sharp focus by Sunny Verghese, CEO and co-founder of Olam International. He called for the introduction of carbon taxes in a bid to dramatically bring about environmental changes on a business and personal level.

His message was strikingly illustrated in asking the 800 industry delegates attending the networking event in Switzerland as to whether any of them knew their own personal carbon footprint. The response drew a positive response from less than 10 people across the hall.

As Verghese added, it’s only until systems are widely instituted that are able to actively track carbon impact fully on an individual basis to engage with the issue in a meaningful way that this most complex of issues can truly be fully tackled.

Clearly, industry does have its role to play, and it was particularly intriguing to see contributions from the global youth forum, One Young World, which has made addressing climate change and environmental impact as one of its key goals.

Also examined by the event was the fact that 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging still makes its way into our oceans each year. This has now sparked a response from industry, with moves towards sustainably sourced paper-based packaging designs being at the forefront of tackling one of the most challenging threats to our natural environment.

 

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