Every Year is organised the “European Sustainable Development Week” (ESDW). From 18th of September to the 8th of October 2020, more than 1000 events are planned over 15 EU countries. This year’s edition will highlight the United Nation “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) and the role of European initiatives. The following article is describing how SSUCHY is proudly contributing to sustainable development by the means of the SDGs agenda.
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 to achieve 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”.
Within the 17 SDGs, the SSUCHY Project notably contributes to three of them:
SSUCHY adresses directly to the targets 9.4 (resource-use efficiency, environmental sound technologies and industrial processes) and 9.5 (enhance scientific research) by contributing to the set-up and demonstration of a complete hemp value chain (from field to the end products in different application sectors). In addition to valorise natural and renewable resources, the objective is to develop processes with reduced energy consumption and environmental impact. To do so, the project includes academic and SME/industry partners over the whole value chain.
SSUCHY also contributes to the 12.2 and 12.7 targets by proposing a sustainable management and efficient use of natural ressources such as hemp and wood and their by-products.
Hemp is indeed a good candidate to expand purpose-grown biomass. Its main assets are:
- A sustainable high yielding crop, very adaptable, growing worldwide (for northern latitudes to tropical climates), well adapted to most European conditions,
- A multipurpose crop (seed/oil, shives, metabolites and fibres),
- A rapidly growing plant that tolerates high planting density (substantial consumer of CO2, approximately 1.4 kg of CO2 is stored per kg of hemp fibres).
One of the best crop in terms of biomass yield (similar to giant miscanthus, poplar, willow…) and cellulose content level in bast fibres:
- A vigorous growth, shading capacity and disease resistance, that allow a growth without the use of herbicide, pesticide or fungicide.
Suitable for organic agriculture:
- A low energy cost for its production (low fertilizer inputs, limited interventions and manpower requirements for farming).
The use of bio-based materials such as the ones developed within SSUCHY in the transportation sectors instead of petroleum-based ones allows reducing CO2 and polluting emissions and energy consumption when manufacturing the materials and exploiting the vehicles (thanks to mass saving).