24 July 2017 11:24

Sustainability breaking news

“Happy Hand in Tour” is back and all of IGD’s shopping centers will, once again, be involved in the 2017-2018 edition

The new edition of “Happy Hand in Tour”, an initiative during which individuals with and without disabilities participate together in different artistic experiences and sports held inside shopping centers, has started.

The traveling show, now in its second edition, began again on 10 June at centro Puntadiferro in Forlì. After making stops in 24 IGD shopping centers in 11 Italian regions, the tour will come to a close in the first quarter of 2018.

The great success of the 2015-2016 edition, which 500 volunteers and 200 sporting, cultural and musical groups contributed to, led IGD, the event’s promoter, to repeat the event in its shopping centers, an ideal place to bring the various population groups closer to a reality that you can understand only through experience: Happy Hand in Tour demonstrates, in fact, that sports and art can be a great source of enjoyment for both the participants, with different degrees of ability, and the audience.

The number and importance of the initiative’s partners is growing: in addition to FISH (Federazione Italiana per il Superamento dell’Handicap – the Italian Federation for Overcoming Physical Challenges), which is also promoting the event this time with the support of IGD and WTKG (Willy The King Group), 2017 event partners will also include UISP (Unione Italiana Sport per tutti – Italian Union Sports for All) and CSI (Centro Sportivo Italiano). The event, which was presented during a press conference held in Rome on 10 May, is sponsored by CIP (Comitato Italiano Paralimpico – the Italian Special Olympics Committee).

Waste-2-Value: IGD’s role in an innovative circular economy project

While the concept of circular economics is gaining ground in Europe thanks to different initiatives focusing on environmental sustainability, IGD has decided to apply the concept to its own business and is launching an innovative project for shopping centers: provide a new way of using the waste produced in centers by putting it back into circulation as part of productive and regenerated life cycles.

IGD has always promoted the disposal and recycling of waste in its shopping centers by way of well organized and differentiated waste collection management. Once it became apparent, however, that the waste produced by food consumption is steadily increasing, the Company started to look for ways to minimize the impact of this waste by giving new life to food scraps like (for example) coffee grounds and orange peels.

The project, which calls for the participation and involvement of the various stakeholders to different degrees, referred to as “Waste-2-Value” was kicked off in June and will end in the first quarter of 2018. Impronta Etica is the coordinator, while IGD, along with Coop Alleanza 3.0 and CAMST – La Ristorazione Italiana are acting as the initiative’s promotors. The operational management was entrusted to Future Food Institute, a non-profit organization focused on food and innovation which will manage the two hackathons called for in the program, training of the staff and the digital communication through the creation of a dedicated website which is almost ready to go live. A Hackathon is a marathon of creativity and innovation during which experts from various sectors challenge other groups in a contest. It’s a method of working which makes it possible to gather and develop innovative ideas by working from the bottom up and to network.

The project will be launched first in a pilot center, Centronova in Bologna, easily monitored because of its location and where all three partners (IGD, Coop and CAMST) are present.

Waste-2-Value possesses, therefore, several clear strong points: an innovative premise, the involvement of three partners who carry weight in the world of retail and restaurants and, lastly, the ability to conceive new projects through participation. The choice to promote the initiative through two hackathons, instead of turning to a start-up, is key to the scope of the project itself.

The winner of the first hackathon, which took place in June and involved undergraduate and graduate students, was the project “RePOD, let’s protect your plants” focused on reusing coffee grounds and orange peels taken from inside the shopping centers to make 100% biodegradable, mini-capsules to be used as fertilizer for the plants found in the bars and restaurants where the waste was gathered. The second hackathon, which took place in July, ended only recently.

The first results that emerge from the experience at Centronova will help to shape specific events slotted to take place in the last quarter of 2017 which the 3 partners will open to staff members, as well as shareholders. In October a public event designed to raise awareness will also be held in the mall of Centronova, along with a web based initiative.

The program is structured so that an overall winner of the project will be selected by year-end and a project prototype will be developed in the first quarter of 2018.

The project was presented during SMAU-R2B which was held in Bologna on 8-9 June 2017 as an innovative agro-food sector initiative. “Waste 2 Value” received the SMAU R2B prize for innovation which SMAU uses to reward innovative excellence in Italy.