The Nudge Explores Circular Cities Tour 2015 is on a trip through Europe from May 11 to May 21, collecting great Circle Economy examples. Our 5 ambassadors report their findings. This is one of the companies they visited.
Written by Nudge Ambassador Marloes van Kats
20 May 2015
During our trip to Milan, we made use of the opportunity to visit the World Expo in Milan and to check out their level of circularity! Our visit started with Pavilion Zero, which was about the global food challenges we are facing. After beautiful visualization of food this planet provides (like grains, veggies and fruits), the change in the food system driven by industrialization was displayed. It showed how the introduction of machinery and mass production changed the complete food value chain. Despite the increased availability of food, around 800 million people are still hungry. Not because we don’t have enough food, but because one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. Incredible figures if you stop and think about it….
After this insightful introduction we hoped to find inspiring solutions to these challenges in the country pavilions. Unfortunately we found just a very limited number. Many countries tend to use the Expo to showcase their country, their food habits and cultural and historical heritage. Circularity in the food chain was not mentioned often in the exhibitions. Belgium, however, showed some innovative solutions from the perspective ‘ nature is a huge food store.’ Please read the separate blog we wrote about it (yet to come).
At the Future Food District we visited the supermarket of the future where transparency is key. As soon as you pick a product from the shelf, the screen above the shelf displayed the footprint, origin and nutritional information. This enables the consumer to do a fair product comparison and to buy the product which fits his/her values best.
The Slow Food Pavilion focussed on creating awareness about the impact of our consumption on the environment. Some of the topics they brought under attention were plastic bottles and prepacked salads, the ecological footprint of meat consumption, and food waste.
Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food movement, and the architect of the Slow Food Pavilion presented their vision on World Expo.
It became clear to us that the food theme is very broad. Many countries chose to mainly entertain their guests instead of diving deep into the challenges we face. As ambassadors of Circular Economy we agree with Petrini that this is a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, some pavilions focussed on raising awareness, which is an important first step to reduce our ecological footprint.
Of course we also looked into the circularity of the event itself and we interviewed the enthusiastic sustainability manager of the World Expo. Check out the interview below!