O CARE Knowledge é uma comunidade virtual de conhecimento e experiências sobre consumo responsável, onde o material informativo é alojado em acesso aberto; através deste resultado do projeto é produzida investigação teórico-prática sobre consumo responsável (de forma segmentada pelos países parceiros), e são analisadas as políticas internas de cada país na promoção e eficácia de um consumo responsável, com o objetivo de contribuir para uma formulação global de medidas públicas de sucesso.
O CARE Knowledge oferece também um espaço para a troca e divulgação de experiências de consumo responsável proporcionadas por parceiros, cidadãos e atores académicos, económicos e sociais, capazes de contribuírem para a compilação de boas práticas e histórias de sucesso.
The interview with Marta Ortega, heiress to the Inditex textile empire, offers an interesting insight into her approach to sustainability and innovation within the fashion industry. Ortega talks about the importance of addressing environmental and social challenges in the textile industry and how sustainability has become a key priority for Inditex.
Ortega also talks about how the pandemic has affected the fashion industry and how Inditex has responded to changing consumer preferences. The interview also touches on topics such as the digitisation of fashion and how Inditex is using technology to improve efficiency in its supply chain and offer a more personalised shopping experience.
This interview offers an interesting insight into the future of the fashion industry and how Inditex is tackling environmental and social challenges through innovation and sustainability. In addition, the interview is an interesting read for those interested in fashion and business, especially those who are interested in how companies can address current and future challenges effectively.
Full textt available at: https://forbes.es/ultima-hora/249950/marta-ortega-inditex-no-queremos-ser-rapidos-sino-agiles-y-flexibles-ni-grandes-sino-relevantes/
Picture: MarkSpera BeGood, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Innovation to undertake responsible and sustainable business models is currently at the top of the European Union's list of priorities, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in its international Agenda for 2030. The creation and development of projects and companies aware of their impact on the planet in the short, medium and long term generate much more value when this leadership comes from a female entrepreneurial vocation, by optimising the value of diversity in the management of resources, traditionally led by the male ecosystem. This research applies a methodological triangulation with in-depth interviews with international key informants, analysis of digital content in the regions of Andalusia (Spain) and Aveiro (Portugal) and the review of previous scientific literature. Among the results, it can be seen that the new Spanish-Portuguese startups are still mostly led by men, while the share of female entrepreneurial leadership is around 26.5% of the total sample. Consequently, it is argued that, although there is a wide range of improvement in presence and communication, women are increasing their entrepreneurial and innovative activity. In any case, co-responsibility with the community and care for the environmental legacy are still latent values of professional differentiation.
In conclusion, the research highlights current international objective data on corporate digital communication, which allows us to offer a complete vision of the reality of women who are betting on business models whose mission, vision and values are centred on sustainability.
Full paper available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/370215465_Torres-Mancera_R_Martinez-Rodrigo_E_Amaral_Santos_C_2023_Female_sustainability_and_startups_analysis_of_the_leadership_in_communication_by_women_entr
Torres-Mancera, R., Martínez-Rodrigo,  E., & Amaral  Santos, C. (2023).Female sustainability and startups: analysis of  the leadership in communication by women entrepreneurs in Spain and Portugal. Revista Latina   de Comunicación Social, 81, 474-491. https://www.doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-2023-1978
Everyday millions of people around the world are renewing their electrical devices such as computers, battery cars or cell phones.
Are we aware about the materials, energy and water needed to produce them?
Are we aware of the environmental problems associated with the treatment of waste from used appliances?
Do we believe that mining is required to obtain some of the semiconductor metals needed to produce these elements?
Impacts & Benefits
The use of electronic/semiconductor-based components is becoming more popular, such as computers, cell phones, car batteries, and other electrical devices. In addition, these devices are renewed from time to time, making it necessary to produce new goods and treat the old ones as waste.
Rare metals are the next &lsquoblack gold&rsquo. Without them, all sorts of green technology from wind turbines to electric cars and solar panels would not work. Rare metals are a family of thirty or so raw materials with often exotic names, like tungsten, cobalt, tantalum, indium, and gallium (Pitron, 2018). These products have two main issues (impacts) regarding environmental concerns and sustainability.
First, they require the use of metals (semiconductors) that must be acquired through mining, which is quite a polluting activity. Mining requires the movement / alteration of large amounts of earth, the use of a lot of energy and water to extract the necessary metals from ores, and produces a large amount of contaminated water and soil. In addition, this activity is usually carried out in regions such as South America and Africa where, in many cases, environmental and safety regulations at work are not followed correctly.
The extraction and refinement of rare metals cause immense environmental damage. The use of these metals in green and digital technologies requires the extraction of huge volumes of rock and the use of huge amounts of acids. To purify one ton of rare earths, 200 cubic meters of water are needed. In the process, this water is contaminated with heavy metals ending up, untreated, in rivers, soils and aquifers (Pitron, 2018).
Secondly, the fact that they are renewed frequently makes the number of used items more and more. These devices contain highly polluting heavy metals that cannot be treated in conventional landfills. On the other hand, the processes to recover the metals from them are very energetically and economically demanding, not being commercially feasible in most cases.
The best practice is to re-use and repair electronic components if it is possible and limited the number of new devices as much as possible. For example, if the problem with your cell phone is that the battery is not performing properly, you can consider just changing the battery and avoiding acquiring a new cell phone. By this way you will save money and help environment.
In case you really need to change your apparatus, please, do not thought it to the conventional domestic waste and use the &ldquoclean points&rdquo that are available in almost of big cities/communities.
Some companies such as Vodaphone or Apple have initiatives to their clients to collect the used devices. By this way, they can reduce the amount of waste and reuse some of the pieces from the used units.
Current and future challenges
After its dependence first on coal and later on oil, European society, in its transition to renewable energies, will be limited in the future by the availability of rare metals. The central role of rare metals in green and digital technology has important consequences not only for the environmental transition, but also for geopolitics and industrial policy in Europe and worldwide.
More local small companies focused on circular economy and centered on the reuse of electrical companies are required. According to some projections (references), more than 50 million tons of e-waste are discarded each year. Of this waste, only about 20% is recycled. These numbers show that this is also an economic opportunity.
Also, more &ldquoclean points&rdquo for the reuse of electrical devices would be desirable. If you do not have one of them in your city or village, you can ask to your local administration about it.
Greenwashing is a concept that describes a marketing campaign that focus on an environmental positive impact of the organization or the product in order to increase sales, but, in reality, that impact does not exist, and, in some cases, the new proposed &ldquogreen&rdquo option is even more pollutant that the conventional one. By this way, greenwashing increases consume of goods, being detrimental for the environment.
Some marketing campaigns also greenwash some initiatives with vague claims, without providing real data or scientific validation to those arguments. For example, they use terms like &ldquobio&rdquo, &ldquoeco-friendly&rdquo, &ldquosustainability&rdquo, or just claiming to be &ldquogood for the planet&rdquo or &ldquobetter for the environment&rdquo. The use of these terms may help the companies to appear greener and they have been extensively used without supporting evidence or facts.
One example of greenwashing is when McDonals began in 2019 to replace the plastic straws with those made of paper, with a marketing campaign that described the company as &ldquoeco-friendly&rdquo due to that. But it turned out that the paper straws were not recyclable and were not necessarily better that the plastic alternative due to several technical aspects (costs and residues of production and transportation).
Greenwashing can have a negative impact in the environment. First, the consumer realizes that the option they thought it was sustainable or more environmental benign. But when the consumer realizes that it was just greenwashing, a sense of distrust may occur and it provokes that the consumer will no longer trust the brand or product in question and, in general, in environmental arguments.
For companies that abuse of greenwashing, it can have a negative effect since the consumers may have the idea that they are not ethical, since this can degrade customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Abusing of Greenwashing produce frustration and, at the end, it may provoke that general public will do not take real green initiatives seriously, and this will have a potential negative environmental impact.
Thus, improving the formation of consumers in order to reduce the greenwashing effect, will have a positive effect in order to reduce environmental impact and also to increase consumer satisfaction and companies brand loyalty.
The companies that afford some steps in order to prevent greenwashing, in addition to, of course, having good intentions and do not try to deliberately mislead anyone about its environmental commitments.
First good practice is to use data to support any claim, to numerically detail the effects of the proposed actions/products.
The second good practice is to be truthful. Consider that, at the end, false statements, data and arguments will be discovered by the consumers.
Third practice would be to be specific and avoid the use of generic terms without a specific meaning. For example, using the terms &ldquoeco-friendly&rdquo without explaining how the product or service is environmental benign. Another way of being specific if to avoid misleading images. For example, avoid abusing of pictures from nature in order to evoke environmental friendliness that is not really related with the service or product.
Current and future challenges
In order to build a real trust in environmental issues, some areas must be addressed by the companies that use the concept of sustainability for their marketing campaigns.
The main challenge is that the marketing campaigns, and it is necessary that all the materials and documents used to promote a service or products be transparent and use real data and scientific arguments to support the information respect sustainability and other environmental issues.
It is also necessary to develop agreed tools that may help to eliminate confusion on what is considered sustainable and what is not.
Education for Sustainability, Peace and Global Citizenship: An Integrative Approach. Yanniris, C., Educ. Sci. 2021, 11, 430.
Why Eco-labels can be Effective Marketing Tools: Evidence from a Study of Italian Consumers. Testa, F., Iraldo, F., Caccari, A., Ferrari, E. Bus. Strategy Environ. 2015, 24, 252-265.
Social Accountability and Corporate Greenwashing. J. Bus. Ethics, 2003, 43, 253-261.
Is the &ldquoGreen Washing&rdquo Effect Stronger than Real Scientific Knowledge? Are we able to transmit formal knowledge in the face of marketing campaigns? Alonso-Calero, J.M., Cano, J., Guerrero-Pérez, M.O., Sustainability 2022, 14 (1) 285 (https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010285)
Looking through the &ldquogreenwashing glass cage&rdquo of the green league table towards the sustainability challenge for UK universities. Jones, D.R. J. Organizational Change Management 2012, ISSN 0953-4814
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