Environmental engineering plus communication: how to accompany companies towards sustainability
Its great differential is the combination of environmental engineering with communication, design and education, applied to the creation of projects for both public and private organizations.
To do this, it is based on three work pillars: the circular economy, the resilience and regeneration of cities, and sustainable urban mobility, with a strong emphasis on decarbonisation, and on a work methodology in six steps: diagnosis, identity , training, action, indicators and evolution.
“We have worked with large companies such as Pernod Ricard, Globant, McDonald's, Nodus —which allow us to take our work to the region— and also with small companies and startups,” Mariale Ariceta, co-founder and Creative Director of ReAcción, told El Observador. "In this challenge of continuous improvement or business transformation, organizations have different stages and from ReAcción we accompany them in these processes",
Since its inception, they have noticed an increase in the interest of companies in entering the path towards sustainability. “More and more they have it as a strategic vision to align themselves with the Sustainable Development Goals, with sustainability policies, either to follow corporate lines when they are multinational, out of conviction, or for the development of their own teams, from which many times initiatives arise”, explains Ariceta.
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Under the motto "Know to understand, understand to commit, commit to change", the company appeals to people to understand what is happening and how they can act to generate changes, therefore, it involves the teams of the organizations with the ones that work.
Reaction in action
One of ReAcción's strengths is waste management, but it is not the only area in which it provides advice, as it works on projects related to water, energy, mobility and biodiversity. On the other hand, it is also presented as a generator of synergies between the business ecosystem, the entrepreneur and also the state. “We think in a circular way, in value chain code. We look at the entire value chain and there we create synergies with the different actors to put them in alliance”, says Ariceta.
An example of this is the Estación ReAcción project, the first itinerant clean point in Uruguay, which receives recyclable, compostable, electronic waste, lamps and clothing, to make it reach a good destination through a network of allied organizations, among which there are waste managers, recyclers, manufacturers of products from recovered materials, among others.
The project was in operation in June and July 2021 at Camino Carrasco 6264 and from the beginning of October it will be relaunched and a second station will be added in the Contemporary Art Space (former Miguelete prison).
at the service of the environment
Another of the projects that ReAcción is working on is the Smart Balance for Circularity (BIC), a device that allows monitoring the generation of waste according to each fraction, providing data in real time. The easy-to-read indicators can also be used in company sustainability reports, continuous improvement processes, redesign of work models and acquisition of supplies, among others.
One of the industries in which they are venturing with the BIC is construction, which generates 30% of the country's waste and has potential for improvement from an environmental and sustainability point of view, according to Mariana Robano, co-founder and Technical Director of ReAcción. “It is a sector that heavily exploits natural resources, uses non-renewable energy, generates waste, so there is an opportunity for improvement to minimize the exploitation of these resources, to convert to the use of renewable energy, to recycle materials . That's where we are and this smart scale solution comes to solve a very tangible issue that is the traceability of waste”.
She explains Robano that in Uruguay it is not clear how much waste the sector generates or where it goes, so weighing these materials, categorizing them and knowing their destinations will help to design a management plan. “The service we provide is information and solution projects, we do not sell scales. Our contribution is how to design solutions based on the information we generate”, explains Robano.
EmprendO 2021 will reward those who take risks for the environment
Prepared for Entrepreneurship
ReAcción will be part of the EmprendO 2021 edition as a technical advisor in the call for ventures and also as a jury for the award ceremony to be held in December 2021.
Making the paradigm shift and the new visions of the business model visible is one of ReAcción's interests, either through companies that start from scratch with this new vision of sustainability applied to their operations or through companies that are already consolidated but that are in the process of transformation.
Ariceta highlights: “It is a virtuous system, in which good practices and enthusiasm for innovating and developing these new skills are contagious. We believe that people and systems are two parts of the same thing in this change, that they have to develop a triple impact approach”.
Intrapreneurship plays a key role in the transformation of companies, and it does not always happen from the top down, at the hierarchical level, but rather it can happen the other way around. Robano explains that these changes are not from zero to one hundred, especially in companies that exist under paradigms that have to adapt to the new. “You start with small actions, which then snowball. Intrapreneurship or change in some part of the company then begins to spill throughout the organization.
As for the awards, they will focus on business models. Ariceta highlights: “Welcome companies that try to solve a social or environmental problem from the beginning, but also welcome those that are more established —of all sizes— that are in that genuine transformation of their operations with change projects to the internal one to be able to be more resilient”.
The companies and ventures that will be evaluated in the Entrepreneurship must be economically viable and currently in operation.
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