Impatto Zero®

16 Feb 2007

Today, February 16, Impatto Zero® celebrates the Kyoto Protocol’s second birthday by explaining to our friends at Slow Food what they can do to make a concrete contribution towards improving our planet’s quality of life and health.

The future of our planet greatly depends on our actions. The climate changes we have all witnessed – lack of snow, increasing temperatures, melting of glaciers – are proof of this and are the consequences of our lifestyle: the over-consumption of fossil fuels and excessive carbon dioxide emissions which are the main cause of the greenhouse effect.

The Impatto Zero® project is the first voluntary Italian project to put into practice the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol, quantifying and compensating for the impact of human activity on the environment. Even the simplest actions like shopping, daily use of cars, heating houses, travel, all have an effect on the environment because human activities require the use of a certain amount of energy.

Today most energy is produced through the use of fossil fuels (oil, coal, methane gas). The by-products of combustion, unburned volatile substances (CFCs) and petrol additives accumulate in the atmosphere causing a high level of damage to the environment.

This project is an opportunity to assess the impact of our actions in terms of energy and to compensate by creating and protecting growing woodlands in Italy and Costa Rica. Because as we all know, trees have the invaluable capacity of absorbing carbon dioxide, the gas which causes the greenhouse effect when extremely concentrated.

Let’s see how it works: click on the calculator to find out how much carbon dioxide we produce. With utility bills to hand (electricity, gas, rubbish) type in your data, add the number of kilometers you travel (by car, motorbike, scooter, public transport, train, aeroplane) and in just a few seconds you’ll see how many kilograms of carbon dioxide you have produced, and how many square metres of forest need to be planted to compensate for the carbon dioxide and the expenses incurred.

Impatto Zero® is a scientific method devised in collaboration with Italian and foreign universities specializing in Life Cycle Assessment, a discipline which makes it possible to analyse the life cycle of products by quantifying their environmental impact.

A company may decide to reduce itself to Impatto Zero®, equal to the impact of a person or a family. In this case the carbon dioxide compensated for concerns all activities inside and outside the company (production processes, office lighting, computer power supply, air-conditioning, heating, employee travel, etc.). Joining the project means defining the main sources of our carbon dioxide emissions and eliminating them as well as raising awareness among the public and co-workers about sustainable environmental policies.

The objective is not only the quantification and compensation of CO2 emissions but also the promotion of an ecological conscience to reduce the impact on the environment and demonstrate ways to limit emissions by consuming less and better. Many companies have already understood the importance of more ecologically-aware production and have benefited from the advice of our specialized personnel to follow a more sustainable route. Salani Editore with the publication of the last two Harry Potter novels, Italian rockstar Vasco Rossi’s “Buono o Cattivo” tour and the Dalai Lama’s last visit to Italy are just some of the 100 million products and events that have chosen Impatto Zero®.

Impatto Zero® appeals directly to people and companies that make safeguarding the planet a priority in their lives and want to be sure that their efforts have a positive effect. All the forest areas created and protected are supervised on the spot by Park, Reserve and Association forestry experts specialized in the preservation of biodiversity (Parco del Ticino, Guardie Ecologiche Volontarie, Asepaleco and Fonafifo in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment and Energy of Costa Rica). The whole process is guaranteed by BIOS, the SINCERT-accredited certification body recognized by the EU.

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Translation by Ailsa Woods

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