At the NanoValbruna festival, students from the editorial staff of Messaggero Veneto Scuola interviewed Daniela Arroyo-Olson, one of the participants in the “Virtual Duets”. Daniela Arroyo-Olson is a co-founder of Ecofy.
What does Ecofy do?
Ecofy helps companies to be environmentally friendly; starting from the basics we explain to companies some fundamental points for sustainable development. We tell them that there are some steps that need to be taken first and others that need to be done later. Our main job is to help companies in this process and also to make them understand how important it is to reduce air pollution.
Could you explain to us in a simple way what your work consists of?
Through Ecofye, my work consists of guiding SMEs across a sustainability journey; devising tailored solutions that are both financially and strategically feasible. In order to do so, I firstly assess the company’s current sustainability performance, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. Subsequently, I devise a set of solutions that are tailored around that initial assessment and allow the company to make a smooth and yet significant transition towards sustainability. Carbon neutrality is one of the main goals of this sustainability journey, which is why my company offers carbon foot-print calculation as part of its services. All of the above is complemented by an active effort to increase the company’s ‘climate literacy’, namely understanding the prominence of the climate crisis and its extensive socio-economic impacts; encouraging beneficial attitudes and behaviour that can help mitigate this crisis.
What solutions did you present at Nanovalbruna for sustainable development?
Rather than a solution per se, I have presented a ‘shift in attitudes’ that place sustainability at the centre of business strategies, framing sustainability as a value rather than a burden, which sadly is how the majority of businesses currently view it. Sustainability should mean increased value, both financial and social, and increased resilience towards future risks. I therefore urge businesses to take advantage of this global pandemic in order to do a Green Reset, through which businesses’ goals and operations can be merged with our planet’s needs, exploiting the great technological innovations of our time to achieve better health, better prosperity and a better future.
How do you intend to apply the proposed nanotechnologies in our reality and in our territory?
I propose to ‘exploit’ nanotechnologies for the creation of new sustainable business models where businesses can not only maximize clean energy production and minimize emissions, but also transform the way in which goods are produced and used; making circular economy the rule rather than the exception. At the center of my proposal however is to focus on the manufacturing process of nanotechnologies, to ensure that it becomes part of a circular economy scheme where the resources of the territory are protected, and local communities are respected and actively involved in the process.
What did the participation in the NanoValbruna festival represent for you?
Beside the immense honor that participating in this event represented for me, I believe that the NanoValbruna festival represented a forum in which young scientists’ and young innovators’ voices could be heard and their aspirations encouraged. Too often young people feel that significant policy actions are outside their control and that decisions are in the hands of powerful actors belonging to the previous generation. As a result, the opportunity to be heard and to be given such a powerful stance represented a shift in control and most importantly a reinvigorating hope.
What is one change you have taken in your life to make the difference?
The most significant change has been taking matters into my own hands, which meant ignoring my fears, don’t letting adverse circumstances stop me and opening my own company; taking direct steps for the rehabilitation of our planet while also taking actions on behalf of my (and future) generation(s) and serving as an inspiration for young thinkers.