Question#1 What was your company’s distinctive strategy for incorporating technology to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal?

Our strategy is to turn an important environmental PROBLEM into an interesting BUSINESS; giving value and utility to what was not useful.

To achieve this, we have developed techniques, products and processes for transforming sludge and nonrecoverable wastes into new materials for the construction, agriculture, textile, plastics, rubber, asphalt and leather goods industries.

We have developed prototypes of: Plastics, Leather, Tires, Textiles, Synthetics, Coffee, Canvas, PVC, Eva, Vegetables, Vinyl, Tetra Pak, Papers, Adhesive Labels, Wood, Polyester and Polypropylene among others.

These wastes can be clean, dirty, in bad condition, mixed with each other, with adhesive or even with silicone coating and we convert them together or separately into inert, rigid, semi-rigid or flexible plates from 1 mm thickness that can be waterproofed and in rolls.

Question#2 What challenges did you face while working on your project/ initiative, and how did you overcome them?

Undertaking a venture in a little explored area has been complicated. In order to obtain results, many trials, time and resources are invested. Despite the loneliness and the defeats that in research are constant, cruel, repetitive and painful.

In spite of so many inconveniences, the constant effort, persistence, resistance, faith and hope motivate us to continue advancing and keep us on our feet.

One of the main challenges was to demonstrate how liquid waste (sewage sludge) from an industrial process can be transformed into a solid, inert, odorless material that can be used as a building material.

Question#3 How did you involve local communities and stakeholders in your work, and what was their response?

When a purpose is transcendental, it is motivation for people, companies and professionals who are interested to unite, contribute and accompany it to multiply research and generate legacies for new generations. Together we have multiplied the solutions to dispense with landfills and to avoid burning waste.

The work of incorporating local communities into our work began here in Pereira with an artisanal process of arts and crafts using glue. We won an award for the amount of employment we generated for mothers who are heads of households and work from their homes. It happened with the CED program (Center Entrepreneur Development).

It was managed by the CARANA Corporation through the Dosquebradas Chamber of Commerce with USAID resources under the Colombia Plan to support entrepreneurs in generating employment for vulnerable populations, displaced persons, reintegrated persons and victims of violence.

Question#4 Which organizational skills and assets can be harnessed to provide its goods/services without negative environmental and social impacts?

To provide goods/services without negative environmental and social impacts, organizations can leverage key skills and assets. Expertise in waste conversion allows for the development of processes that transform waste into valuable resources, minimizing environmental harm. Collaborating with partners fosters knowledge sharing and innovative solutions.

Additionally, organizations can focus on transforming environmental liabilities into assets, generating employment and contributing to environmental improvements. Engaging clients through awareness campaigns promotes responsible consumption and sustainable practices. Continuous improvement and innovation drive sustainability by evaluating processes, adopting new technologies, and staying informed.

Question#5 What is the role of businesses, governments, and civil society in achieving the SDGs, and how can they work together?

We believe in the necessity of a symbiotic relationship between the social, industrial, and commercial sectors in order to collectively make a positive impact on our planet. It is crucial for governments to establish regulations that facilitate the transition from conceptual ideas to tangible actions.

Additionally, companies should actively consider and promote environmental costs, while also supporting enterprises like ours in creating alternative and high-quality employment opportunities. We seek assistance from companies to help us scale our venture, as it is designed to be embraced by individuals, businesses, institutions, and communities as an exemplary model to emulate.

Question#6 What impact has your project had, and what are your future goals?

By transforming waste into new products towards the end of their lifecycle, we are able to extend their value, lifespan, and usefulness, providing them with a second, third, or even fourth life. This process effectively delays their disposal, enabling them to serve a greater purpose and have a longer-lasting impact before reaching their final destination. We have the prototypes already developed and our goals and objectives are:

  • To find collaborative and/or strategic allies to verify the functionality and viability of our solutions so that together we can develop, produce and commercialize them.
  • Scale what we have developed to strengthen and enhance the circular economy.
  • Eliminate sanitary landfills, and instead install bio factories to transform waste.
  • Install biodigesters to produce methane gas from organic waste.
  • Convert organic digestion residues into raw materials for new products such as fertilizers.

Question#7 What advice do you have for individuals/organizations seeking to create positive change and contribute to the SDGs?

To create positive change and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), individuals and organizations can take several steps. Firstly, adopting a mindset of conscious consumerism is crucial, focusing on environmentally friendly, sustainable, and ethically produced products and reducing consumption.

Additionally, engage in advocacy work to influence policymakers and push for legislation that promotes sustainable development. Creating positive change requires a collective effort and long-term commitment. By taking these steps, individuals and organizations can contribute to the SDGs and help build a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

Question#8 How would receiving this SDG Award help you improve your impact and scale your project?

Receiving an award, such as the one bestowed upon us by the EU Tech Chamber, is a significant milestone in our journey towards positive change. It serves as a testament to our dedication and the impact we have made in our pursuit of sustainable development. It will help us expand this project which is crucial to raise awareness and establish strategic partnerships. We are eager to connect with individuals who possess diverse perspectives, cultural backgrounds, and social dynamics. Our aim is to identify visionary allies who bring value to our project and share a common interest in collaboration and participation.

We seek to exchange ideas, mitigate risks, and share knowledge to foster synergies and business opportunities with waste generators. Our vision entails aligning people, processes, and technologies harmoniously, enabling us to cultivate creativity that yields profitability. And of course, this recognition not only validates our efforts but also inspires us to strive for excellence and continue working diligently towards our goals.