Food Waste solutions for a circular economy

Food waste is causing serious environmental problems. When we waste food, we are also wasting all the important resources used to grow it (water, fertilisers and the land we use for crops) and all the carbon pollution emitted through transportation and food-processing. Furthermore, rotten food in landfills is a significant source of methane  – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. It really is something to focus on and needs an immediate solution.

The agriculture and food production has become more intensive. In Europe alone, around 90 million tonnes of food waste and 700 million tonnes of agricultural waste are generated every year. For this reason, finding solutions is crucial.

By 2050, the world population could grow by one-third so agricultural and food production will need to be even more efficient to meet the high demand.

Exergy and initiatives for a circular economy

Many companies are participating in innovative projects and solutions to make the transition from a linear economy to a circular one. Agrimax is one of them. As part of this project, Exergy is designing the Spanish and Italian pilot plants which are processing multiple feedstocks to produce high-valued bio-products such as food additives & ingredients, materials for agriculture, bio-fertilisers, bio-packaging, bio-chemicals for additives (including fibres) and biogas. Agrimax aims to maximise the EU’s sustainability.

Agrocycle is another circular economy project we are participating in. This initiative is addressing waste in the agri-food sector, with the objective to reduce waste by 50% by 2030. It is evaluating new and existing technologies to add value to agricultural waste and convert it into bio-products using Life Cycle Assessments and Life Cycle Costing.

The National FoodWaste Conference

Exergy will attend The National FoodWaste Conference that will be held on 27 March at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. The event is sponsored by Biogen, Company Shop, CPL Industries, Hillend Engineering and Seven Trent – all leaders in the food waste and recycling sector.

During the conference, the speakers will discuss current opportunities and challenges in the food waste sector. Events like this are necessary to change the attitude towards food waste, spark conversation between citizens, the food and drink industry and local authorities, and encourage actions that tackle the problem effectively.

Contributing to a sustainable future starts by knowing how to reduce the carbon footprint and the environmental impacts derived from food waste. It is vital to make better decisions and consume responsibly. We owe it to the Earth.

Intereting videos related

Source: AgroCycle

Source: Agrimax

Happy International Women’s Day

This year, the International Women’s Day Campaign theme is #Balanceforbetter.

Based on the recent NES Global Talent’s survey on February 2019, the Renewables sector is attracting young women. The study shows that the 63% of surveyed are less than five years in their careers and the 31% are engineers. Only the 28% are new entrants in the Oil and Gas sector. The environmental conscience of many companies are attracting young people and they are also connecting with gender equality.

At Exergy, we strongly believe in building a gender-balanced world and we have to thank and recognise the women we work with, our inspiring colleagues that make this possible. Engineers, architects, accountants, designers, marketers. Women with PhDs and master’s degrees. Brave women who go beyond everyone can expect. These women from different cultures and backgrounds nurture the company with their passion and love for what they do. We appreciate the work you do and with out you, we couldn’t be.

Big thanks to Ana Gómez, Erika Parn, Daniela Cadena, Federica Fuligni, Gozde Unkaya, Elham Esfehani, Yaying Chen, Maria Cruz, Monica Osorio, Nina Turull, Ruby Mughal and Ruta Jarmoskaite.

Thank you always for being part of this family.

Cyber security threats of digital built environment

Smart Cities: what is the current security landscape?

The cyber-physical connectivity in Smart Buildings makes our cities more sustainable and prosperous for its citizens but it comes with its share of risks.

Improving the speed and efficiency of construction processes through the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) presents both great opportunities and threats for the construction industry.

Our BIM Specialist, Erika Pärn will be presenting “Cyber threats and vulnerabilities of Construction 4.0” on the 12th of March 2019 at the NYU of Abu Dhabi. She will talk about BIM and Cybersecurity.

UK GOVERNMENT’S DIGITAL AGENDA
The Architecture, engineering, construction and operations (AECO) sector  creates economic wealth and jobs hence, the UK government’s BIM Level 2 mandate has sought to immerse the sector within a digital economy. By driving the digital agenda, the government hopes to transform the sector into being a leader for technology adoption and at the vanguard of delivering smart city development, economic reform and environmental sustainability. For operational stages the facilities management (FM) sector, this means adopting new ways of working and creates a need for better informed designers and contractors, if technology adoption of BIM is to cascade into BIM-enabled FM. As BIM proliferates into the operational stages of the built environment new threats of cyber crime are opened up to the constructed built assets.

DIGITAL BUILT ASSETS
The gradual shift into 3D model-based reliance by built environment personnel means that vulnerable asset-related information is now stored via networked systems throughout the life-cycle of a building. In particular, this has been evidenced by the growing number of projects that have solely relied upon cloud-based tools to validate and federate the BIM in order to handover the as-built BIM. The as-built BIMs typically handed over to clients have represented a ‘digital twin’ of  built facilities to an impeccable level of detail and accuracy, usually followed by laser scanned validation. Physically accessible barcodes, connecting each room or built asset to the digital as-built BIM hosted on a cloud-based service provider, are of particular danger. A plethora of cyber-threats are confronting digital BIM-enabled FM and its built assets, these are likely to occur because they are reliant upon a CDE where increased access to such sensitive asset data is prevalent in the later stages of the life-cycle of the building.

ENSURE THE INTEGRITY OF DATA SECURITY
Whilst cyber physical attacks are widely discussed in other more prominent and advanced sectors such as information technology and transport/infrastructure, it has yet to receive similar attention or debate in the AECO sector. BIM offers a conduit for malicious cyber physical attacks, through the continued use of as-built BIM where sensitive asset data is presented in easily understandable geometric and semantic format. Therefore more careful consideration of how geometric and semantic detail is to be shared in BIM via a CDE needs to be adopted in the built environment to better plan and prepare for the eventuality of cyber crime and cyber physical attacks of our contemporary smart cities. To reconcile such challenges, researchers and practitioners within the AECO sector should adopt cyber-deterrence approaches applied within in more technologically advanced industries as those in the aerospace and automotive sectors. 

Erika coordinates Exergy’s ongoing research projects with EU commission on BIM. These projects are centered in the renovation market and BIM for existing buildings:

SeismandPrecast: a novel construction system for tall buildings that is low-cost, industrialised and, most importantly, Seism-Resistant. (http://seismprecast.eu/),

GreenInstruct: prefabricated modular wall panel made from Construction and Demolition Waste. (https://www.greeninstruct.eu/

BIMERR: the project will design and develop a Renovation 4.0 toolkit which will comprise tools to support renovation stakeholders throughout the renovation process of existing buildings, from project conception to delivery.
(https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/218485/factsheet/en)

Erika’s Bio and an the presentation abstract