Celsia leads the industry process towards sustainable development

Currently, there is a tendency in society and in companies towards a greater commitment in favor of sustainable development. Celsia, an energy company within the Argos Group, with a presence in Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica, is aware that its activities can have an impact on resources, mainly water.

With the aim of setting a trend in the industry and leading the process to minimise its impacts, Celsia has made the decision to carry out the calculation of the water footprint in Colombia and Central America, and to establish a water sustainability strategy.

The water footprint analyses the volume of fresh, consumed, evaporated, or contaminated water associated with a product, process, or organisation, while the water sustainability strategy analyses the relationship of the company with water availability, quality, and access. Through these two actions, Celsia seeks to improve water management and capture the actions taken by the company for the responsible use of freshwater resources.

In addition, the company is also aware of the fight against climate change and, for this reason, wants to carry out the calculation of the carbon footprint in Colombia and Central America for the sixth consecutive year. In this way, Celsia wants to know the impact that its activity causes on climate change and identify potential points of improvement in its processes.

To help Celsia in this process, Lavola contributes its experience and knowledge in the calculation of the water and carbon footprints. If you would like more information, these pages show the climate change and water footprint services.


EnergyMetre: An App to optimise energy efficiency in buildings

Lavola has designed and developed the EnergyMetre App. The application is a prototype aiming to enhance energy efficiency in buildings through user’s behaviour to save energy. This app sits as an interface between the user and the building. Based on the characteristics of the building and the user’s energy demand, the App gathers data aiming at maximising energy efficiency, with a particular interest in the consumer’s energy patterns. This tool is able to identify potential energy savings - as well as investment options of greater impact- based mainly in modified consumer patterns in office, residential or refurbished buildings based on conventional or NZEB (Net Zero Energy Building) parameters. Therefore, EnergyMetre App is an interactive system encouraging the continuous relationship between the users and the building following a smart two-way communication able to optimize patterns of energy demand to save energy.

This initiative is innovative compared to how energy efficiency has been addressed traditionally at building level. As a result, it is not common to find smart systems that interact with, and guide users through a tailored and proactive approach.

This project is aligned with the Kyoto agreements, the European directive on energy efficiency in buildings as well as with some of the proposals of the Horizon 2020 Energy program, claiming that an adequate user’s behaviour can reduce energy consumption by 20%.


Urban Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency programme in he southern countries of the Mediterranean region

The objective of the project is to promote the development of a low carbon society through the implementation of energy efficiency projects and renewable energies in the southern Mediterranean countries, particularly: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Gaza / West Bank.

In this sense, the study analyzes the need and feasibility of implementing a technical and financial assistance mechanism, similar to the ELENA program of the European Union, to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in these countries. The main conclusion of this evaluation is that the investment potential and the needs identified justify the creation of ELENA-MED. This is an instrument designed to finance technical assistance and provide financing for eligible projects. The instrument should include the identification and active selection of projects. Technical assistance should cover all phases of the project, from design to final commissioning. The EIB or other participating IFIs can grant loans to bankable and technically sound projects.

Lavola ensured the selection of three pilot projects in the countries covered by the study in the transport, water, and housing sector; the realization of a cost-benefit analysis of the three projects and the preparation of a detailed technical proposal for its implementation. Also, Lavola designed a a financial mechanism for the implementation of mitigation projects in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energies in the southern Mediterranean countries.


“We share a common future” - Barcelona's Metropolitan Area Educating for Sustainability Programme

“We share a common future” is a Barcelona Metro Area initiative that aims to raise environmental awareness among citizens, with a particular interest in students and teachers. The Education for Sustainability Programme has been carried out by Lavola since 1994. Since then, Lavola has participated in the evolution and growth of the programme.

In the  2017-2018 edition,  Lavola is managing the following activities:

-Implementation of the educational programme for early childhood, primary, secondary and higher education.
-Facilitation of activities in classrooms, design of participatory workshops, activities or site visits around energy, water, environmental health, mobility, solid waste and biodiversity sectors.
-Management and coordination of the educational team
-Concept, and content designs, implementation of activities and production of learning materials.
-Dissemination activities consisiting of  monthly newsletters, participation in special events and awareness campaigns through social media.
-Ongoing monitoring  quality of the programme

Besides this initiative, Lavola also manages the environmental education programmes of various museums, foundations, and scientific & research centres in Spain.


Innovation prizes in financing for water distribution

Lavola supported the Dreampipe Challenge II by sending its water and environment expert, Aytor Naranjo, to carry out the endline performance verification at two water utilities participating in the competition, namely, Nkana Water & Sewerage Company in Kitwe (Zambia) and Lilongwe Water Board in Malawi.

The Dreampipe II Prize Challenge is one of the challenges included within Ideas to Impact Programme.

Ideas to Impact is a programme launched by UK Department for International Development (DFID) in April 2014 to stimulate innovative solutions for challenges in climate change adaptation, energy access, and water and sanitation for the world’s poorest people or low-income households. The programme is an action-research programme: it not only aims to launch innovation prizes but also to test their efficiency and applicability to development challenges. The programme, managed by a consortium led by IMC Worldwide, is overseeing the development of a series of “innovation inducement prizes”, i.e. prizes that induce change through competition and that reward good performance ex post.

The Dreampipe II Prize aims to stimulate innovations that will help water utilities in developing countries mobilise funds for non-revenue water reduction activities. Non-revenue water (NRW) is the difference between the quantity of water entering the utility’s system and the quantity billed to customers, it is the water lost through technical and commercial processes. NRW is a significant issue for many water utilities in the developing world, translating into lost revenue, intermittent water supply and the premature need to seek additional water sources.

The objective of Dreampipe II is to encourage the development of workable and replicable ideas for how to expand the financing available for non-revenue-water (NRW) reduction activities in developing countries – beyond the conventional sources (mainly the development banks and agencies and governments). The key will be to find ways to reduce perceived risk for the new sources, especially (but not only) for commercial lenders. One way to help convince financiers of the viability of larger efforts is by first carrying out successful smaller demonstration projects. The Challenge does not seek to incentivise the development of new technical (e.g. engineering) solutions for reducing NRW, as it is assumed that these technical solutions are already well developed. The Dreampipe Challenge is open to water utilities from around the world.

Photo credit: A'Melody Lee / World Bank 


Sustainable planning of 3 cities of Colombia

Lavola Colombia, in consortium with the Foundation for Climate Research (FIC), has carried out a greenhouse gases inventory, roadmap and mitigation assessment, as well as the vulnerability risk analysis and urban growth planning for the cities of Popayán and Sincelejo-Corozal, Colombia.

The project is part of the “Emerging Sustainable Cities” Programme funded  by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and managed by Findeter, (Colombian national development institution).

The “Emerging and Sustainable Cities” programme aims at identifying, organizing and prioritizing urban interventions to tackle the main roadblocks that prevent the sustainable growth of emerging cities in Latin America. It refers to a multidisciplinary approach based on three pillars: (i) environmental and climate change sustainability, (ii) urban sustainability, and (iii) fiscal sustainability and governance.

The study has clearly identified opportunities and challenges of these three cities whilst developing relevant mitigation actions that will contribute to their sustainability .


The Province of Buenos Aires strengthens its solid waste management

Lavola supported  the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan of the Municipalities of Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin (ACUMAR) in the Province of Buenos Aires.

This project has provided  ACUMAR’s River Basin Authorityan assessment of the current solid waste collection service in 14 municipalities as well as  the design of an improved new collection service. This will serve as the basis for the formulation of ACUMAR’s Solid Waste Collection Programme.

The scope of the plan includes solid waste generated by households and businesses as well as Universal Waste, such as batteries, and used tyres, among others.

Solid waste has been one of the main causes of the historical degradation suffered by the Matanza Riachuelo River basin. The plan is expected to provide sustainable solutions that will ensure an efficient and integrated solid waste management in the region.


Catalonia and Balearic Islands´ climate change vulnerability assessment

Lavola is leading the Catalonia and Balearic Islands’ climate change vulnerability assessment. The project is funded by Fundación Biodiversidad, a Spanish biodiversity foundation that is part of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

The project aims to replicate in the Balearic Islands a methodology developed in collaboration with the Catalan Office of Climate Change. A total of 43 indicators will be analysed.

Out of the existing indicators implemented in the first phase of the study, 17 are related to temperature increase and one is related to the impact of  drought. The remaining 25 new indicators are under development but will concentrate mainly on drought.

The study will analyse various risks related to the impacts of climate change across different sectors in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. It highlights the increase in tourist demand, greater risk of forest fires, water availability,  energy demand and the impact of climate change in agriculture, livestock, urban planning and housing among other sectors in the region.

This project is generating valuable vulnerability maps at local level in  Catalonia and the Balearic Islands ensuring the  replication  of the methodology.

Also, various participatory sessions are planned to ensure that the results of the vulnerability assessment are effectively disseminated.

With the support of:


A step foward from the Colombian coffee sector to fight against Climate Change

The Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) for the Coffee sector in Colombia has created an economic and financial model to access climate finance. This NAMA,  funded by the  United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Colombia,  is a joint effort between  the National Federation of Coffee Growers, UNDP,  the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and Lavola.

NAMAs are actions taken by developing countries to reduce GHG emissions in the context of sustainable development supported by developed countries with finance, technology and capacity-building, with the objective of achieving substantial deviation from business as usual emissions. The NAMA for the coffee sector in Colombia aims at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the implementation of specific mitigation actions. During the initial phase  of the Project, Lavola carried out the GHG inventory of the Colombian coffee sector and designed a GHG roadmap.

Lavola’s climate finance tool developed , with the collaboration of the National Federation of Coffee Growers, estimates the cost-effectiveness of the NAMA, and identifies the sources and financing mechanisms that will make possible the implementation of the actions.

With the culmination of this second phase, the Colombian coffee sector obtains a valuable mitigation tool, and the opportunity to move forward in Colombia´s commitments to fight against Climate Change.


Four new projects to promote the circular economy in Catalonia

The Waste Agency of Catalonia (ARC), in its commitment to promote the circular economy, has a call to finance projects that help companies and organizations to make the transition to this new economic model. Recently, the ARC has published the list of projects that will receive funding. Lavola participates as a partner in two of them and, in addition, supports two more.

The two projects where you act as a partner are related to the vineyards and the water industry. The first aims to close the cycle of the vineyards in situ, reincorporating the ashes of the biomass boilers where the pruning remains of the vine are burned and integrating them to the life cycle of the vineyards.

The objective of the water industry project is to promote the industrial symbiosis among the partners of the Catalan Water Partnership in order to maintain the value of the resources. As examples of possible synergies, it will be analyzed that the materials and the residual heat of some companies can be exploited by others, thus reducing both the extraction of resources and the generation of unused waste.

Regarding the projects where support is given, the first is coordinated by Xarxa Ambiental and proposes to verify the viability of the collection of domestic vegetable oils, so that they can have a new life. The other project is coordinated by TT Ambiental and will analyze the feasibility of taking advantage of the plastic waste generated at the end of the useful life of the plastic containers for the elaboration of new products. These new projects are added to those already promoted in the first call for aid from the ARC and are in the final phase.