Articles

Collection of the published technical articles

The Carbon Footprint of Products: a powerful tool to support existing market dynamics in favour of a low carbon economy

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A top-down approach is not enough Climate change seems to be a problem of eyesight defect. On the one side scientists may be considered “far-sighted”, as they concentrate on what it will probably happen far from now, in the next decades or, more likely, at the end of the century. That will happen when it is virtually certain that nobody among who is writing or reading this article will have the opportunity to experience the correctness of any climate model projection. On the other side, politicians are strongly affected by myopia, considering that they generally focus their attention on what it may happen during the few years of their mandate or, in the worst case, on the results of daily polls. Out of focus in between, there is the destiny of billions of…

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The role of forests in the international negotiation process of UNFCCC

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Forests are crucial for climate change. The deforestation process is one of the main greenhouse gases emission sources in developing countries and it is also greatly important at the global level. New mechanisms to fight this process are under development and implementation at the national and international level. At the same time, the UNFCCC negotiation process seems to go through one of the main crises ever seen before. The real risk is that the Kyoto Protocol and maybe the entire UNFCCC process may collapse. In this context, forests may find a new role to move from one of the main causes of climate change to one of the most important potential solutions. In the view of the Rainforest Coalition, REDD+…

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Italian primary school implements ISO 14001

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Although ISO 14001:2004 is a generic standard for implementing an environmental management system (EMS) in any type of organization, certain applications are nevertheless rare. This the case of schools, even though the indirect environmental aspects of education may have at least the same importance, if not more, than direct ones such as energy consumption and  waste production. Environmental education has the potential to change students’ actual behaviour and to form future citizens who will face environmental issues in a very different way. Over the last few years, some high schools in Italy decided to apply ISO 14001 and the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) but, up to now, there have been no cases of implementation in primary schools, where…

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Intensifying focus on carbon footprint of consumer goods

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Until now, greenhouse gas emissions from car exhausts and factory chimneys have been under greater scrutiny than from the production, use and disposal of consumer goods. This focus is changing rapidly with the introduction of carbon footprint calculation and labelling schemes, and the development of ISO 14067, Carbon footprint of products. Climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge facing governments, organizations and citizens over the next few decades. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by human activity, such as industrial processes and combustion of fossil fuels, are widely seen to be having a damaging effect on the global climate. The focus on GHG emissions is very much at a global, national and organizational level. However, less attention has been given to indirect emissions originating from the production, use and disposal of the consumer goods. Such less obvious emissions…

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Italian survey: Do organizations ensure environmental competence of suppliers?

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To what extent do ISO 14001:2004-certified organizations conform to Clause 4.4.2 in ensuring that suppliers performing tasks on their behalf are competent to do so? An Italian survey of large certified industrial companies in the Venice area sought answers. One major difference between ISO 14001:2004 and the original 1996 edition concerns the role of suppliers to organizations implementing the international environmental management system standard (EMS). One aim of the current second edition is to extend the involvement of people beyond the internal employee to those in other entities operating “on behalf of” the ISO 14001:2004-certified organization. This change in the standard responds to the trend towards externalization of processes and services in today’s markets. While this intention may have been…

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Italian railways on track with ISO 14001

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Italferr, the major Italian railway engineering company, is progressively requiring contractors to implement ISO 14001 on a selective basis – but not necessarily to seek certification. This experience shows how the implementation and maintenance of an effective environmental management system can take precedence over certification. The ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS) standard is known by many enterprises as a means to achieve third-party EMS certification. However, the primary reason for its development was to help organizations implement an effective framework for managing environmental problems and less so for those seeking certification only. As such, part of the scope of ISO 14001 states that the International Standard is applicable “ to any organization that wishes to establish, implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system … seeking confirmation of its conformance by parties having an interest in the organization, such as customers ….” It clearly…

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Los sistemas de gestiòn medioambiental: el còmo y el porqué

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Aquellas empresas que deseen afrontar el pròximo milenio de un modo dinàmico y competitivo non pueden ver el Medio Ambiente como una limitaciòn productiva, sino como un aspecto fundamental màs de sus actividades y de un mercado en constante evoluciòn. Los Sistemas de Gestiòn Medioambiental representan una muy ùtil herramienta para la adecuada introducciòn de este nuevo enfoque empresarial. Per leggere l’articolo completo, cliccate sul seguente link: Los Sistemas de Gestion Medioambiental
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