Sustainability's Big Picture, According to Experts

Four industry leaders in sustainability offer glimpses into a better future

When it comes to sustainable innovation on a grand scale, there are indeed key players and initiatives that are working toward a green future, and to understand their fight against climate change, it’s important to deep dive into their projects and ideas so that we can work together in a unified front toward a common goal. That’s why the IPBN teamed up with Enterprise IrelandHeritage HotelsKRA Renewables, and Konceptness to bring both members and visitors a view of the “Big Picture” at the IPBN’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Sustainability Conference on March 17 at the Center for Commerce and Industry (CCIP) in Lisbon. 

The first panel of the conference was moderated by the Chair of the IPBN Aoife Healy, who introduced key experts in their respective fields: Hugo Lucas, Business Development Manager of the Resilient GroupMark Kellett, Founder & CEO at Keltech IoT, IPBN Member Carolina Almeida Cruz, Co-Founder & CEO of C-More beyond the Obvious & Portuguese Tech Award Winner 2021 in the category Sustainability & Climate Change Activism, and Lee Hodder, Director of Strategy & Sustainability for GALP

Hugo Lucas began the panel presentations with a fascinating look at what it will take to Deliver the Green Hydrogen Promise, or rather, decarbonizing human society with a focus on global commitment, EU targets, Portugal, and Regions and cities at large.  With global warming accelerating at an alarming rate (.85C since 1880), 19cm rising sea levels from 1901 to 2010, a shrinking Arctic ice extant at 1.07 million km2, and a 50% increase of CO2 emissions, our work is cut out for us, and luckily the Resilient Group is there to keep us on task. The Paris Agreement alongside a review at COP26 gave us straightforward targets for 2030 while hydrogen production and distribution efforts are fighting to pick up the slack through myriad funding and partnerships throughout the EU. Throw in an effort to eliminate Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels from Russia by 2030, and it makes sense that biomethane and green and blue hydrogen will emerge as important elements that will be built into the framework of a new cross border infrastructure, especially considering that in many sectors, using electricity as an alternative to fossil fuels is not an option. In Portugal alone, we have a great potential for producing green hydrogen, according to Hugo. We have the sun, the sea, the wind, and biomass with the added privilege of having the largest photovoltaic potential in Iberia. According to Hugo, there is no downside when we consider making the shift to hydrogen, as it will create jobs, attract new businesses, boost tourism, and most importantly, it will have a positive impact on health and quality of life. 

Next to the podium was Mark Kellett who presented KelTech’s mission to Connect and Power a Sustainable World. He began by laying out the facts on the challenges of our generation when it applies to climate change and shifting energy and data connectivity demands and introducing a new renewable energy technological alternative that mixes IoT and 5G but does so on an existing grid. This convergence of power and data is achievable, Mark said, and it can be done in one system, thanks to KelTech, who was the winner of the Free Electronics 2021 award as the world’s best energy startup and finalist in the Small Cell 2021 awards. Their Dual Distributed Network (DDN) Solution combines the last KM communication and energy network deployments, delivering power and data up to 2km from a central distribution point via a single cable system. They also offer a 5G Neutral Host and street lighting solution with a hybrid cable, currently being used in Dublin. Mark went on to cover his work on the Amazon Wind Farm, commercial offices, and more. 

Carolina Almeida Cruz took the stage next to present Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Maturity powered by C-MORE, who has developed a contextual family of algorithms, combining Data Science and Intelligence on Environmental, Social and Governance metrics with different business models and sectors. This allows for ESG impact Score, Benchmarking, metrics and behavior analysis, and downgrade and non-compliance risk. As ESG Find Assets hit a $1.4 trillion last year, while assets in ESG funds grew to €1.2 trillion in 2020, a solution for educating companies and finding a tailored approach ESG integration is important to set businesses off on the right foot. The tech necessary to make this a possibility was conceived as a result of Carolina’s background in human rights, therefore data is being used to ensure companies are in compliance to actually make a difference. And the proof that C-More is on the right track stems from the clients they have guided, the structure they have implemented, and the lives they have already changed for the better on a global scale.

Lastly, Lee Hodder led a discussion on how Galp Energy has begun a transition in their Strategic Realignment Campaign. through a renewed sense of purpose, a refreshed strategy, and a reshaped organization in the fave of an upcoming decades-long deep industry transformation. Lee targeted upstream growth via unique high-quality cash generative projects, a downstream transformation to extract more value from their strong asset base, a focus on renewable growth, and attention to new energies. Lee shared Galp’s decarbonization roadmap and the company’s 2030 targets, with the ultimate goal to be net-zero by 2050.