The European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) is taking take place from 20 to 26 September and the ReSolute project has many contributions to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An initiative that started in 2014 to make visible activities and projects that promote sustainable development, the first ESDW was held in 2015, and calls on local stakeholders to actively engage in sustainable development. The event aim to raise awareness of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as “The Global Goals for Sustainable Development” are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The SDGs, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by the year 2030, are part of a UN Resolution called “The 2030 Agenda”.
Under ReSolute, which received €11.6 M in funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) under grant agreement No 887432, the project will contribute to the following 6 SDGs:
SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
ReSolute aims for a representative gender balance in the consortium, based on the equal opportunity policy in the recruitment phase. No activities that favor men or women will be implemented. The project management board will be responsible for verifying the gender ratios in the respective teams of the consortium participants.
SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
ReSolute, as a producer of valuable chemicals from food biomass, will create a diversified source of growth for paper mills that are often located in rural areas, decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation. In addition, the project will create local jobs with more than 40 direct and 120 indirect jobs, increasing health protection for workers typically exposed to traditional reprotoxic solvents.
SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation
ReSolute will build a first-of-its-kind industrial plant, fostering the creation of new bio-based value chains and establishing new connections between different sectors. The project will implement an innovative and sustainable industrialization process – Furacell™ – that valorizes wood biomass into the platform molecule levoglucosenone (LGO) and its derivative Cyrene™, a safe and high-performance biosolvent that meets market requirements for different applications.
SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
ReSolute will operate the plant as an integrated biorefinery that will convert cellulosic biomass waste into a variety of products without generating waste. Biochar, a residue from the production of Cyrene™, will be converted into activated carbons. Moreover, the process has a low water demand, a high percentage of which can be recirculated, increasing efficiency in the use of natural resources through sustainable management.
SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
ReSolute will accelerate the decarbonization of solvent production from non-renewable resources, as woody and non-food biomass resources, such as sawdust or crop residues, will be valorized. Thus, the carbon footprint of solvents will be reduced compared to their petroleum-based equivalent. Furthermore, Cyrene™ contains no N heteroatoms (unlike NMP, DMF and DMAc) and no S heteroatoms (unlike DMSO), which means that pollutant emissions of NOx and/or SOx are avoided during its use or at the end of its useful life, if burned.
SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources
To reduce marine pollution of all kinds from land-based activities, Resolute will produce a biosolvent-Cyrene™-which has been shown to be readily biodegradable and to have no effect on fish, aquatic invertebrates, cyanobacteria and microorganisms.
SDG 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss
ReSolute biosolvent, which can be recycled without problems by reduced pressure distillation, will increase the protection of nature. Finally, in recognition of its positive impact on the environment, Cyrene won Top Product 2019 in the Environmental Leader (EL) and Energy Manager Today (EMT) awards in May 2019 and was awarded Business Intelligence’s Sustainability Product of the Year in August 2019.
Registration for the event here: https://esdw.eu/register/