Alternative projects and initiatives around sustainability in Colombia
Colombia's commitment to sustainability accumulates many years of concrete actions and policies around the subject and goes beyond high-impact projects around environmental topics such as renewable energies or greenhouse gas emissions. Various sectors of the country, made up of companies and actors relevant to the economy, are committed to sustainability and are carrying out actions and projects of several types to generate real impact in different areas, which means a capital contribution to the construction of a conscious country focused on comprehensive sustainability.
Four ways in which Colombia is committed to sustainability:
In Colombia, companies such as Esenttia promote the dynamics of the circular economy, having incorporated, by the end of 2021, close to 1,300,000 kilograms of recycled plastic in infrastructure projects. Esenttia sees its work with a sustainable approach reflected in the economic section, as it is one of the companies that export the most in Colombia, registering exports valued at US$370 million as of September of this year. Also, the country has a circular economy laboratory, which focuses on researching and designing prototypes with recycled materials, promoting innovation to reduce consumption, and encouraging the reuse of recycled products. Business initiatives such as the RECICLO network made up of companies such as Bavaria, Coca-Cola, and Nestlé, among others, or the project REBOBINA, focused on managing electronic waste from companies and individuals, are also being carried out.
Sustainable raw materials:
Renewing traditional raw materials is a global challenge for companies. In Colombia, manufacturers such as Henkel make packaging from sugar cane, plastic, and recycled aluminum. Companies in various sectors, such as Lycra (textiles) and Alpina (food), use corn fiber and recycled plastic to manufacture their products, respectively. The Crafts Development Subdivision promotes programs for developing handicrafts that do not negatively impact the environment through strategies such as the sustainable use of timber and non-timber resources.
The construction sector has been taking initiatives to shift towards a more sustainable approach in its processes, starting from the base of the materials, as companies such as Cemex Colombia are promoting the purchase and use of sustainable cement, with strategies designed for convincing companies to choose to use an environmentally friendly material that also saves money. Similarly, materials such as bamboo flooring are also part of the new offer with an environmental focus, as it is a renewable and cultivable wood. These elements have been used in works such as buildings, clinics, and schools, with a sustainable approach, having successful cases such as the Kubik building, which achieves energy savings between 35% and 45% with all the adaptations and environmental elements compared to a conventional building.
Digital initiatives for sustainability:
The development of digital native applications and web products focused on sustainability are also increasing their scope and generating a significant impact. Initiatives such as Kuiker, originally from the department of Guaviare, which is an application through which you can make purchases of goods and services paying with recyclable material, Covima 2.0, focused on the control and monitoring of illegal trafficking of specimens of biodiversity in Colombia, or GreenTIC, an application with which children and adolescents can learn programming skills with an environmental focus.
According to the National Planning Department (DNP) and given the United Nations Agenda 2030 for sustainability and its sustainable development goals, Colombia has met about 55% of the goals set by the international organization, showing significant progress in the conservation of oceans, seas, and marine life, as well as in the life and preservation of terrestrial ecosystems. However, the country faces a challenge to improve essential indicators such as the so-called climate actions, for which the contributions of the different actors of the economy and society are both relevant and vital.
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