Last week, the Interreg MED Green Growth Community (GGC) took part in Ecomondo 2020, the leading event in Europe for green technological and industrial innovation. The GG Community Building partner CUEIM led the organisation of two sessions, showcasing the results, synergies and perspectives of the Mediterranean initiative in the area of green and circular economy.
During the first conference held on 4th November, seven modular projects from the GG community – FinMED, CreaInnovation, ESMARTCITY, MADRE, EMBRACE, PEFMEDandRE-LIVE WASTE – presented their results, best practices, and tools promoting the adoption of innovative, green and circular business and financial models in the Mediterranean with a focus on SMEs. The presentations covered the four focus areas that the Green Growth community addresses: food systems, eco-innovation, smart cities, and waste management.
As the spokespersons of the seven projects explained, this second phase of the project aims to capitalise on the results of the first phase, disseminating the best practices identified. “We have to allow those involved in innovative processes to make mistakes, observe them, and build in on this”, said Paolo Fedi from the CreaInnovation project, highlighting the added value of the Green Growth community for using the pilot projects as a testing lab for innovative solutions. These innovative outputs are now a common ground for others facing the same problems.
The second Ecomondo session organised by the Green Growth community focused on integrated policy initiatives targeting the EU Green Deal. Gaetano Zarlenga (Managing Director of CUEIM) and Martina Vallerotonda (Project Manager at CUEIM) led the discussion with the six participants representing the quadruple helix including government representatives, academia, civil society, and businesses. “It is very important to know how to translate high-level strategies – such as the EU Green Deal – into action, into projects and activities”, said Zarlenga, highlighting the importance of involving all four stakeholder groups of the quadruple helix to transform policies into tangible actions, and vice versa, to influence policies based on evidence.
As said by Luca Guarnieri from Nativa BCorp, we need businesses on board to transition to a greener and more circular economy. “It is fundamental to move from the maximisation of value for shareholders to the maximisation of value for all stakeholders”, said Guarnieri. However, Alessandro Miraglia from SwitchMed highlighted that we also need “a Euro-Mediterranean perspective for an inclusive external dimension of the EU Green Deal”. We must create synergies and cooperation across the north and the south of the Mediterranean to tackle common challenges and work towards a greener and more circular economy in the region.
Despite the COVID-19 situation, the organisers of Ecomondo put all their efforts in making the online event successful and accessible to everyone. Once again, it brought together all sectors of the circular economy on a single platform.
Learn more about the Green Growth Community:
Watch the two GGC online sessions at Ecomondo 2020: