Newsletter #2

Welcome back to the GL4B newsletter! This is the first official issue of our new adventure, after the introductory one in December. As anticipated in the last email, we would like this to be a useful platform for all of you to receive an update on the latest environmental news and on the activities of the association itself. You will also find links to some of the most interesting articles about sustainability that we have been reading. Hopefully, these resources might be of help in navigating the overwhelming ocean of news that is so characteristic of the digital era.
Food, politics and plastic pollution have been particularly hot topics throughout the month of January. Here is what happened…

What’s going on

New year, new resolutions. Veganuary, a campaign started in 2014 in the UK to encourage people to try a vegan diet during the month of January, has gained widespread popularity this year, leading the organizers to describe it as “the year of the vegan”. Growing concern and awareness over the environmental impact of food production and consumption has been an instrumental factor in the increasing number of people deciding to reduce their intake of animal products, especially red meat and dairies. This month has also seen the publication of the long-awaited report “Food in the Anthropocene”, realized by the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health. The report is the first ever to outline scientifically-based targets for a healthy and sustainable diet.

World Economic Forum

In January the world once again came together in the little village of Davos for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. This year in the absence of Donald Trump and Theresa May, both caught up in domestic policy struggles, the focus shifted from trade wars and tax policy to broader issues of Geopolitics, the challenges and opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution and environmental issues.
Sixteen-year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg, drew a lot of attention by traveling from Sweden to Switzerland by train and adressed the international community with decisive words: "I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is", she said and it seems like her plea has been heard.
During the summit, Peru committed to less deforestation and Vietnam to less plastic pollution. Simultaneously at the summit, a $15 million project was set up to create an electronic waste recycling industry in Nigeria.

Plastic waste as a resource

Talking recycling, a special focus of this year’s summit was on plastic pollution. Often seen as one of the biggest problems of our time, there is now an increasing number of companies that see the abundant “resource” of plastic waste as an opportunity to build there business on.
At the summit, the Canadian company Loop Industries announced their collaboration with Evian to produce all their water bottles from recycled plastic by 2025, while the US-based company TerraCycle hopes to get rid of plastic pollution altogether with its concept of a “circular shopping platform” with reusable packaging solutions to make the dream of a zero-waste online shop come true. The reusable packaging itself is made of recycled plastic and major brands like P&G, Unilever, Nestle and Coca Cola are on board.
Likewise, sportswear giant Adidas is undergoing a similar transition in their choice of raw materials. Back in 2015, the company rather quietly announced to work with the nonprofit-organization Parley on a way to integrate ocean plastic into their products. The progress is stunning: In 2018, Adidas already produced 5 million sneakers made of parley plastic and just announced its plans to double that number in the current year. The company also introduced the material to apparel like T-shirts, shorts and swimwear – believe it or not but even the new jerseys of Real Madrid are made of ocean plastic.

What else we are reading

Inside GL4B

The new semester hasn't even started yet but the event area is already diligently working on several events for the upcoming months. We'll start of the semester with an event about startups on the 7th of February, where we, in collaboration with the Bocconi Students Marketing Society and Tech@B, will explore the different areas in which startups and young companies can evolve, with a particular focus on the fields of communication, sustainability and technology. Following that there will be events on circular economy and sustainable development (with focus on the Europen Union), make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date and don't forget to check out our blog with new articles coming soon!

Marta Pinzan & Martin Geyer