By María Croci, director of Deres, and Santiago Arturo, project manager of DERES
The Internal Project formally known as “Strengthening local value-added proposals that use recovered waste and materials with a circular economy perspective” implemented between the Ministry of the Environment and DERES -Network of companies for sustainable development- began to take shape at the beginning of 2021. The purpose of this pilot project was to demonstrate that sustainability is possible as long as the private sector, civil society and the government align themselves in common agreement, turning their respective strengths to the same purpose.
Under the auspices of the companies Bimbo, FUCAC, Fundación UPM and Compañía Salus, which were later joined by Fábricas Nacionales de Cervezas, Cementos Artigas, Farmashop, LSQA and Abito, among others, and the support of the departmental governments of Durazno, Lavalleja, Río Negro, Soriano and Tacuarembo formed a work team that developed the project’s guidelines, the call’s communication strategy, the evaluation and selection instruments for proposals, and the follow-up of the selected undertakings.
The essence of the program focused on catalyzing local proposals that generate added value with a circular economy approach.
Within this framework, the objectives focused on training those involved in the project in relation to the regulation of the Waste Law with the support of the Ministry of the Environment, in the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development through the DERES team and in the Eco Canva management model and circular economy through the hiring of an expert consultant, hired with resources allocated by the LEDS LAC platform – a global network that brings together organizations and experts from various sectors that promote low-emission and resilient development to climate change. Once the participating businesses were selected (Curtina Recicla in Tacuarembó, Centro Girsu in Durazno, Minas Recicla in Lavalleja and Merpet Reciclajes in Soriano), DERES sought to channel network capabilities to the businesses, either through hours of training, advice or financing. Through this initiative, for the first time in the organization’s history, nine companies from various sectors and characteristics join a joint commitment to the territory. To achieve this goal, more than a year of work with private sector companies, civil society organizations, government and departmental entities, and entrepreneurs was necessary, leaving us with a great deal of learning.
Inter-institutionality and territorial decentralization are fundamental elements for society in general to exercise its right to live in a healthy environment.
This synergy brings the different points of view and the difficulties and strengths are balanced. In turn, territorial decentralization makes it easier to scale and replicate initiatives for impact at the national level. Finding the right mechanisms to leave no one behind while taking care of our planet is, without a doubt, the challenge ahead for an ecosystem that is fighting for sustainability.
For more information go to www.deres.org.uy