For SAV, innovation is one of the key elements for future success, as it encourages the development and competitiveness of the organization to achieve more efficient services. For this reason we have a specific department to lead the processes of Research, Development and Innovation (R&D), dedicated to updating and optimizing business processes, as well as improving management systems and being consistently focused on achieving the highest satisfaction for all our customers’ and their needs.
In SAV, innovation aims to preserve the environment. In this way, the company is highly involved in circular economy.
The model of circular economy is opposed to the linear economy (take-make-dispose). This system aims to be regenerative thanks to some concepts such as long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, recycling,… the objective is to “close the loop” by reducing inputs, waste, pollution, emissions and energy leakage.
SAV and circular economy
The company started with farmers collecting urban waste to use as compost in their fields. They took care of the collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of the urban residuals, freely. So, we can say that SAV has been working for more than 100 years following the principles of circular economy (sorting, reusing, recycling).
The department of innovation is always seeking new challenges. This past year, SAV has presented five projects in collaboration with many partners from accross Europe. Each of these projects is summarized below.
We are currently working on a project called “PlastiCircle”, which aims to improve the plastic packaging waste chain from a circular economy approach.
The project has two main objectives:
- To improve the circular economy of plastics, e.g. by reintroducing plastic packaging to the value chain
- To develop and implement a holistic process to increase packaging waste recycling rates in Europe (objective 75% by 2030)
In order to reach those objectives, the project adopts an approach based on innovation in all stages of a plastic waste life cycle:
SAV is one of the project leaders, and work mostly in the parts of collection and transport.
The main objective of BioBusiness is to develop and implement new services and businesses associated to the treatment of the bio-waste fractions currently not correctly valorized in Europe (Closure of organic loop – Circular Economy of bio-waste).
With this in mind, several treatment processes will be developed for the reintroduction of the different urban and industrial bio-waste fraction again in the organic value chain (household, garden, HORECA, food processing and big distribution). Moreover, value-added products and applications will be boosted from these fractions (compost, fertilizer, biogas, adult & junior animal feed, microfibrillated cellulose, adhesives and technical products, seed booms).
The growing waste produced in Europe, represents a cost for society, a burden on the environment but, at the same time, a valuable stock of resources that must find its way back into the economy. Since 75% of the EU population lives in urban areas (EEA, 2017), cities are key players for the transition to a more circular economy. Taking cities as a key leverage point for change, the main goal of WAVES 2.0 is to develop a set of waste prevention and management strategies and tools, for a radical urban waste reduction through the development of circular, zero-waste inclusive cities.
WAVES 2.0 is one of a suite of three proposals that involve a total of 10 “Small giant” cities that are tackling circular economy topics through a collaborative approach. Our approach and commitment is to work together to deliver a “Circular city toolkit” that multiple small to medium sized cities can use to accelerate their approach to circularity. We intend to co-develop and test the tools on three different themes. Individually we see significant value in this proposal however, collectively, we believe we can achieve considerably more.
There are 5 strong reasons for our collaborative approach:
- Cities provide a natural focus for circular impacts.
- Cities can influence local society.
- The initiative focuses on smaller cities where the majority (>50%) of Europeans live.
- Our focus is on developing a common, easy-to-use “Circular city toolkit”.
- We are strongly aligned to the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC)
WAVES 2.0 aims at tackling different aspects of the classic linear economy:
- Preparation for reuse: reduce textile, WEEE, and bulky waste (usually sent to treatment) by 70% in the first 5 years.
- Composting – urban gardens:
- Manage organic matter in situ
- Obtain “A quality” compost in selected areas
- Create a sustainable interdisciplinary network.
- Control of the quantity and quality of collected resources (applying dissuasive environmental taxation).
- Development of an App to foster communication between public bodies, citizens, businesses and industry (to raise awareness and how to improve behaviours).
- Boost entrepreneurs who want to develop new technologies of proximity that transform waste into resources, as well as to develop innovative and more efficient ways to produce and consume.
València possesses one of the last six landscapes of peri-urban orchard in Europe known as “l’Horta de València”. An excellent smallholder farming area of 23.000 hectares able to offer three harvests a year that brings together 40 municipalities.
Peri-urban farms number are declining in EU with an average annual rate of decline stood at -3.7% due to the loss of competitiveness and ‘soil sealing’ policies that imply the covering of land for housing, roads or other construction work.
URBANIC FOOD proposes a sustainable ecosystem that will facilitate the transition to a circular agroecological system that safeguards the cultural heritage, generates employment of quality, fosters social innovation and reduces the waste of food and productive resources.
URBANIC FOOD will provide new products and services constructing a circular fresh food ecosystem using public procurement to fight against urban poverty. Social processes of concertation and participation are the core of the project to demonstrate at high scale how the assembly of traditional farming practices with social innovation in commercialisation, waste reduction and social welfare system can construct new socio-territorial interlinks among producers and consumers.
At the end of the project, València citizens will have direct access to a more inclusive, fair and sustainable supply chain that provides most of the basic fresh food articles for the daily shopping basket from the peri-urban small farms.
Horizon 2020 is an important funding programme supporting research and innovation in the European Union, with a budget of almost 80 billion for 7 years (2014-2020). It has been designed to ensure the competitiveness of Europe by producing world-class science, removing barriers to innovation and facilitating the collaboration between public and private sectors. Horizon 2020 is an investment in knowledge, science and innovation aiming to smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The 3 key pillars of the programme:
1. Excellent science
Science ensures the future of technologies, employment and wellbeing. To do so, Horizon 2020 supports scientists, provide career development and training opportunities. It permits the development of technologies and research infrastructures.
2. Industrial leadership
Horizon 2020 permits investment in key technologies leading to innovation. In this way, Europe can attract more private investment. It can help the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to innovate and participate in the growth too.
3. Societal challenges
Horizon 2020 permits to face societal challenges and aims to find a solution to societal issues thanks to innovation. For example:
- Clean, safe, reliable energy
- Smart, green, integrated transport
- Climate action, environment, resource efficiency, raw materials
- Inclusive, innovative, reflective societies
- Food security and sustainable growth
- Secure society
“To innovate is much less risky than doing nothing“.
(Peter Drucker, author of the classic book “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”)
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