“Humans, making air…that would be fun to watch”

written by Valentina Rutigliano

In this breezy and rainy autumnal day I would like to share with you this video that I just happened to come across while looking up information about Zero Impact on LifeGate.
But let’s go in order. Nature is speaking is a campaign launched by the American NGO Conservation International with the aim of highlighting a simple truth: Nature doesn’t need people, but rather the other way around. A few Hollywood actors have lent their voices (quite literally, in this case) to some of the most important forces of nature – Mother Nature itself, the Ocean, the Water, the Soil, the Redwood, the Rainforest. In the end I chose Kevin Spacey giving voice to the Rainforest, and one reason – I must admit -  is undoubtedly that he is one of my favourite actors. What hit me most is the derisive, mocking tone with which the Forest points out how we can’t really do without its survival: “Humans…they are so smart,  so smart! They know how to make things, amazing things. Now, why would they need an old forest like me anymore? Well, they do breath air: and I make air. Have they thought about that? Humans…so smart”. 
The second – but perhaps more important - reason is that by accident forests were exactly the object of the research I was carrying out before getting trapped in the Nature is speaking videos -  seriously, you can’t help watching them all. 

Let us now get back to Zero Impact. With its events and its presence on social networks, LifeGate supports the community in sharing ideas and enhances awareness about social and environmental issues. It is also a benchmark for the increasing number of companies that are trying to pursuit a sustainable development by offering consulting, communication projects, supply of renewable energy and projects to increase energetic efficiency. 
One of the most interesting and cutting-edge projects that LifeGate is carrying on is in fact Zero Impact. It is about calculating, reducing and compensating the CO2 emissions released by production processes or events. First, emissions are cut thanks to the use of more efficient technologies and ecological materials, which in most cases also reduces costs. Compensation consists in the purchase of carbon credits, or greenhouse emissions allowances, generated through activities of creation and safeguard of forests and natural reserves. The key point is to offset the emissions with the quantity of carbon dioxide that the planted trees are able to absorb. Furthermore, using GPS, it is also possible to trace the very position of the reforested areas. Zero Impact is not meant as a definitive solution to fight greenhouse effect, but Kyoto protocol and several pieces of research have confirmed the value of reforestation against climate change.
 Through the implementation of the model “People, Planet and Profit” LifeGate, that is a limited company, wants to prove that environmental issues are not necessarily for NGOs or volunteers, but on the contrary it is effectively possible and desirable to conciliate sustainability and profitable economic activity.