Time to accelerate

The energy crisis Europe, in particular, has been facing since Q4 2021, as a result of a 21% of primary energy supply shortage led to price surge, which is characteristic of markets in competition. Consumers haven’t been unscathed. Their bill, independently of being industrials, commercials or residents, has therefore increased substantially as suppliers pass through the new wholesale price. For those who have postponed the transformation of their buildings into more efficient ones, the observance of high energy prices may shed some light on understanding the importance of having energy efficient assets. The more efficient they are the less energy they consume.

Several ways may increase assets’ efficiency, from the materials to the volume used. As we celebrate the 2022 International Forest Day, under the topic “Choose sustainable wood for People and the Planet”, we celebrate not only what Nature has given to its People, wellbeing through its forests and sustainable materials through its plants, namely wood but also its sustainable management, as circular economy paves the way to byproducts.

Wood is a natural carbon dioxide store. As trees grow it is absorbed from the atmosphere being increasingly accumulated. Wood is a good insulator, too. As such, controlling room temperature demands less energy than other insulator materials such as silica and Styrofoam widely used across the building sector. A nature-based solution, nanowood, has been developed. It is understood to perform better than the latter in terms of insulation, while also reducing the wood volume needed for that purpose.

Likewise, responsible consumption and production should lead to a better management of forests preventing its destruction as wildfires or deforestation occur. This is the case of Australia, the country with the fastest tree cover loss change in the last two years. According to the WRI, it has experienced 50% and 47% respectively on its forest loss area, trebling its annual average tree cover loss in only two years, from 0.5 million hectares until 2019 to above 1.5 ever since.

Forests with the right type of trees, can also contribute to keep soils moisture and sustain groundwater levels, which are natural sinks of freshwater essential for agriculture, industry and consumers’ pure water supply. Currently 30% of world freshwater is groundwater and the rest surface water being stored in lakes, rivers, wetlands, glaciers and ice sheets, as per the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. Considering the high level of plastic leakage and other pollution our oceans currently face along, the global warming along with the population expansion, it is key to keep a responsible consumption of the natural resources and preserve biodiversity so the ecosystem is balanced.

On March 22nd we celebrate the International Water Day. Potable water is a luxury in many countries and a given in others. Drinking potable water cleans human’s body, impurified triggers infections, as typhoid fever or cholera, to name the two most common waterborne diseases. It is also understood to improve creativity as the brain improves with the toxins that are released after its consumption. Health systems can be less stressed if potable water is supplied, drunken and negatives externalities paid by its polluters. Hence, pure freshwater is paramount for society, governments and businesses. Investing in sustainable infrastructures, which reduce its contamination and allow better supply, can reduce system costs. Why aren’t government and society efforts better focused?

UN Water, World Water Day 2022

To the women and the men,

To the women and the men,

Back in 2019 I was fortunate to attend an International Women’s Day event held at a men’s club, which opened its doors to a women’s event for the first time. I was pleased to witness this change, as a woman who spent over 4 years in a team of 9 men and myself! The venue premises were indeed remarkable and so was the guest speakers’ panel. In the quest for inspiration and networking to make my way back to the Londoner professional circle, I listened to their stories, navigating with them through their journey as they spoke. I thought there could be a space for me once again, in spite of the recent geopolitics change. At the end of the day, we were a bunch of professional women who had been facing the hardship of being a woman breaking boundaries, independently of their socio-economic and professional background. With this bit of fresh air, I felt inspired to carry on my journey. Moved with this positive feeling and having landed in a new place new to us all, I tried to create a space where women with apparent similar interests could also find inspiration to their journey. Yet, geopolitics were thrown in my face.

It also came to my mind the sculpture I came across in the autumn of 2013 in Ottawa, Canada. It represents the inclusion of women as people in Canada’s constitution in 1929, paving the way to a more inclusive workforce and a more equal society. About a century later, progress has been slow along the equality journey. Indeed, some women make other women move forward yet, others make them retreat, especially those who firmly stand for their right of being equally treated in a sexist and classist world disguised as progressive. Multiple researches on this topic show that women typically work harder than men, not because women are less capable but due to the peers’ bias working women need to overcome. On top of that, women earn less. We need to break the bias!

The more women in all professional fields more just and developed will a society be. Let's break the bias and allow more women to work at higher levels of the decision-making.
Ottawa, Autumn 2013

As we celebrate this International Women’s Day, we celebrate the announcement made in January by the European Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen, that a minimum of 40% representation of both genders at a corporation’s Board becomes law in the EU. A very welcome step from a strong leader!

To the women and the men, who really practice equality and make the world progress and diminishing the gap. Those with high and low visibility, who take action, speak up and reduce discrimination starting in their direct circle of influence, sometimes risking of losing the “support” they had.

We cannot forget the recently expanded war in Ukraine, continues. The autocratic leadership that has triggered so at a country’s level, have been also seen in corporations for quite some time, paving the way to the populism of the far right and far left, as the subordinates either agree with the leader or are made let go, unjustifiably. Corporate weak leaders, who have dictators as role models and see no boundaries to the means used to get their end, the absolute control and disrespect over others. Hopefully this horrible war can open the world’s eyes and triggers action to also stop the corporate totalitarians who have been making the world a more unequal and less human place. As Gary Hamel says, overcontrolled professionals get suffocated becoming unable to create greater value. Getting people contributing to their growth and then suffocate their work is very far from sustainable! Villarejos, tomatinas, bullfights, fandangos don’t allow progress. If scientists who have been working to find Covid-19 vaccines had been suffocated, today the world would have been in a far worse place.

Cheers to the women and men who grow sustainably, letting also others grow sustainably! A vehicle can only go as far as its infrastructures allow it to move.