17 APRIL, 2013

The four areas of sustainability

Biodiversity (Meaning the preservation of the diversity of the ecosystem’s animal and plant life)

In simple terms, «biodiversity», means diversity of life. Learning to manage well our natural resources is a guarantee for the survival of mankind. There are a number of different types of biodiversity. Some ecosystems are more abundant in species than others. Some species are more adaptable to environmental changes than others. And there is a big difference between natural extinction to one that is caused by man, such as the one we are living through today.

Conservation of biodiversity ensures the development of sustainable communities and ecosystems. Even though it is sometimes difficult for man to understand the necessity of its conservation, it is certain that his survival critically depends on the immediate and broader environment of the biosphere.

Horio Sustainable by Minerva makes sure that today, as well as in the future, the production of olive oil will respect and protect the flora and fauna developing in the biodiversity of Greek nature. The Integrated Management System of olive groves plays a critical role when it comes to both the diversity and quality of the plants and animals that live there.

Water footprint (saving the water need by olive cultivation)

A Water Footprint reflects the quantity of water consumed, directly or indirectly, for the production of products and services. The Water Footprint measurement is a basic requirement for the Integrated Management of water, ultimately aiming to reduce consumption.

The irrational use of our water resources has as a result the degradation of our aquatic ecosystems, the reduction of our water preserves and a water shortage for many uses (human consumption, farming, industrial use etc.) The increasing cost, as well as, the degradation of water quality is an important problem we are faced with as consumers, as local authorities and as businesses. The analysis of the Water Footprint of a product/service/business is a necessary first step in identifying the most water-intense processes, both within an enterprise and throughout the supply chain. This would allow for the efficient use of water, which also aims and combines the improvement of the environment, cost reduction and the improvement of a company’s image, on an international, but especially on a domestic level.

Horio Sustainable by Minerva is produced in ways that ensure the efficient use of water and thus leaves a smaller water footprint. Meaning, that it systematically records and control the climate conditions, as well as, the irrigation needs of the olive groves, thus accomplishing the best water management and less waste. In this way, Horio contributes to the improvement of the environment, cost reduction and in the end, sustainability and viability.

Energy Balance (saving natural resources)

Natural resources are the sources from which people get material or energy in order to meet their needs.  That is, the total of the primary – meaning, without human intervention – basic commodities found in Nature, which can be used to meet basic human needs today and in the future. Included in the category of natural resources are renewable sources, such as, the soil, forests, water, wind, the sun and non-renewable sources, such as, fossil fuels (oil, natural gas), radioactive minerals (uranium, plutonium) and minerals. Twentieth century technological and industrial advancements make sustainable management of our natural resources ever the most necessary today.

Horio Sustainable by Minerva makes significant efforts to properly utilize and exploit natural resources without burdening, and instead, tries to simultaneously take care of and protect the environment. Development in many countries, including Greece, does not only depend on the existence of natural resources, but in their proper management.

Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere

Despite the ramifications of the global financial crisis, which led to the deceleration of global economies, carbon dioxide emissions due to human activity continue to increase. Amongst other things, carbon dioxide is the most aggravating pollutant associated with the greenhouse effect and global warming. The atmosphere is naturally enriched with CO2, a) during the degradation of dead plants and animals by microorganisms, b) when plants and animals exhale, c) from fossils (because of the effects of various atmospheric factors, such as acid rain) and, d) from natural volcanic emissions.

Every year, 215 billion tons of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide is absorbed. Half of this quantity (110 billion tons) is used during photosynthesis. The majority of the rest of the CO2 ends up in our oceans.

Human activities produce CO2 as such a fast pace that natural processes (such as, photosynthesis) do not have adequate time to absorb it. The total quantity of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere from human activity is about 6-7 billion tons of annually, of which, 3 million tons remain in the atmosphere, which enhances the greenhouse effect with significant impact the environment and people.

The decisions and actions of people and business on an individual, collective, local and global level are crucial. Horio Sustainable by Minerva by decreasing as much as possible the carbon footprint during production (by decreasing the factors that cause high CO2 emissions such as chemical fertilizers, waste burning etc.) contributes towards sustainability and commits to an even greater effort in order to protect humanity, the environment and civilization.

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