L.I.VE: Life in Venice by Ludovica Battaglia
Another beautiful piece from a Ca Foscari, University of Venice student Ludovica Battaglia on how sustainability is a personal and daily journey.
Talking about beautiful businesses, here in Italy, lots of ideas come to my mind! But, why should I think so ahead when sustainability is already a part of my daily life? Who hasn’t heard of Venice, or who hasn’t visited it at least once in their lives? Well, this time I don’t want to speak about its breathtaking beauty, but about its sustainable beauty.
What I can tell you, is how my university, Ca’ Foscari, the oldest ‘green’ building in the world ( see Leed certification, http://www.unive.it/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=154340 ), has helped to make Venice environmentally friendly.
My own contribution to sustainability begins very early in the morning when I and all the other students who don’t live in Venice have to get there by train or bus, which has less impact on the environment. As it is well known people have to walk from place to place in Venice or if they’re really in a hurry take the water buses. It’s not surprising then that the Venetian lifestyle is considered “slow”!
However, Ca’ Foscari university has recently taken an active part in monitoring yearly its impact on the environment, also setting up some interesting projects that have touched students lives, involving us in the problem of sustainability and making it look attractive.
The first thing has been to build two small fountains, right in front of the entrance to my faculty, in San Giobbe, for drinking water, which is not only free but it is even very tasty, as it comes from the source in the Alps, behind Venice; the result has been an innovative investment that has given, what seems to many to be a simple gesture, a value between the traditional marble, taken from an ancient Venetian palace, which the fountains are built from, and the green vegetation that surrounds them.
Students fill the same plastic bottle time after time, so we are also saving an enormous amount of plastic; plastic that surely won’t increase the already huge Garbage Patch State which is to be found in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Our university also challenges us on this important project: let’s have a look at the installation in the middle of the court yard of the main entrance to the university. Doesn’t this coloured chain of plastic caps that snakes along the wall, look like a hand that is trying to reach out asking for help to save the planet?
Maria Cristina Finucci (http://www.unive.it/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=150389
It doesn’t finish here: last winter there was a romantic atmosphere in the university’s classrooms; the lights were switched off and 90 candles were lit, the lecturers held lessons for 15 minutes by candlelight, to underline how even small actions can help to save electricity in our daily lives.
It’s hard to sum up in just a few words, all the things we students and my university do: from saving papers from dissertations, transcripts, application and enrolment forms, payments and so on, to be made on line, to including a limited use of faxes, photocopiers, computers and printers; we save 300 kg of paper per year (around 4 trees) and Ca’ Foscari saves around 80.000 Euros yearly. Everyone saves something in some way, what a profitable result!
The truth is that there is a lot of work and research behind all of this; the fact is that sustainability is now very near to our everyday lives, it’s not just a dream anymore, or something that others have to do, it’s something that concerns everybody and its impossible nowadays to ignore it and turn our backs on it, waiting for someone else to do something for us.
Economy, society, environment: these are just 3 words connected with a thread that involves everybody; nowadays being sustainable means being competitive, this is true for businesses but also for my university, even though it’s first goal is still to teach. However it is doing more than that because, it has chosen to make us aware of this emerging problem of sustaining our planet because it is in our hands.
This shows how intelligent initiatives lead to a deep understanding of the problem, not only a moral obligation, and makes sustainability an attractive option. To be honest, I feel sustainable because, all this simple things, don’t have a negative influence on my life, but they are really fundamental in saving our planet.
Come and see for yourselves! Best wishes Ludovica Battaglia
Darren Hoad B.A (Hons.), M.A. M. Phil.
IEMA Certified Sustainability Practitioner CSR-P
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