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?