"The future of the national industry will pass through investment in decarbonization, energy efficiency, digital conversion and adoption of circularity mechanisms"
In exclusive to Fibrenamics, Célia Vilas Boas, Executive Director of BioRumo, puts into perspective the future of the national industry, reveals her opinion about the role of research centers/universities, and also reveals BioRumo's projects in the area of sustainability. This article corresponds to the 2nd part of this interview.
4. How do you envision national industry in 2050?
According to the Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality 2050, emissions from industry represent about one-fifth of national emissions, 62% are associated with the burning of fossil fuels, and 38% with emissions inherent to the process. These industries include, among others, the paper pulp, chemical, and mineral (cement, lime, glass, ceramics) industries. For this very reason, the decarbonization of the industrial sector becomes essential for Portugal to meet its commitment: to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), has as one of its major bets the decarbonization of the industrial and business sector combined with the promotion of a paradigm shift in the use of resources.
The funds from this Plan, as well as other community support, are an opportunity to invest in the climate transition of the Portuguese industrial sector, promoting low carbon structural changes in its production and technological process (for example, carbon capture and storage technologies), adopting energy efficiency measures with the incorporation of renewable gases in the industry (such as green hydrogen), use of recycled materials in their production processes, incorporation of energy from renewable sources and energy storage.
Therefore, the future of the national industry will involve investment in the decarbonization of the sector, energy efficiency, digital conversion to Industry 4.0, and the adoption of circularity mechanisms in the processes and resources used. In 2050, this scenario can already be foreseen, since Portugal has qualified human resources, relevant renewable sources at low cost, and a privileged position.
5. In your opinion, what role do universities play in this issue? Do you think they should be, together with companies, the ones responsible for the development and presentation of sustainable solutions for the Portuguese business environment?
The support for research and innovation, through EU funding, is crucial to leverage companies, encouraging the development of new projects and innovative solutions related to the theme of sustainability.
It is, therefore, extremely important to establish a collaboration between universities/research centers and companies, aligning the research and development capacity with the concrete innovation needs in the market.
Thereby, both entities will obtain mutual advantages, accessing the existing knowledge and critical thinking, sharing risks and costs, and also having access to highly qualified human resources, in favor of projects that originate sustainable products and services that can be placed on the market.
6. Within the circular economy theme, which BioRumo projects would you like to highlight?
Over the years we have developed several projects related to environmental issues, being the circular economy one of them.
We can highlight the most recent ones, namely: that of our partner company Resíduos Nordeste, "Educar Para Uma Economia Circular", which promotes awareness for good practices in the scope of reuse, composting, packaging reduction, and food waste reduction;
The packaging waste collection campaign with solidary purposes, "Tons of help", directed to students from the first cycle to high school, promoted by SULDOURO;
The "Reciclar Vale Mais" (Recycling is worth more) and "Comércio a Reciclar" (Commerce to Recycle) projects of the EGF Group raised awareness and informed citizens of the importance of correctly separating waste, contributing to a circular economy;
Also BioRumo, in partnership with Fibrenamics, developed the project "Rethinking Plastics" aimed at the business sector, which consisted of conducting various audits that resulted in proposals for improving production, contributing to a circular economy, with a focus on plastics.
Finally, with the waste management company, Lipor, we have been in several municipalities with a mobile eco-center, raising awareness among the population to correctly separate new waste, namely: cork stoppers, CDs/DVDs, non-packaging paper waste, portable batteries, and accumulators, waste from small electrical and electronic equipment, normal and tubular light bulbs, ink cartridges and toners, and contaminated packaging.
We actively contribute so that companies can give their contribution toward a more sustainable planet, and we are proud of that.
See the 1st part of this interview here.
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