Today, for the first time in history of men, it has become evident that sustainable development is more than a yearning, it is a necessity. This has been vastly acknowledged by the international community. Currently within the United Nations, indicators of sustainable development are proposed, promoting the responsible use of natural resources like water, soil, energy, and biodiversity. In this regard, Fundación Chile proposes better practices and new solutions aiming to turn Chile in to a sustainability regional leader.
The challenges for sustainability at a global level, like climate change, droughts, loss of ecosystem, the need for clean energy and city growth, among others, are also present on a national level. For example, Chile has had seven years of drought, which looks to be a trend that we must adapt to as a society. In this scenario, Fundación Chile is working from different angles to contribute to a strategic and sustainable management of water resources, addressing issues like integrated watershed management, technology and social innovation, through small sea water desalination plants that use solar energy to support isolated communities in the north of the country and Easter Island.
In this scenario, Fundación Chile is working from different angles to contribute to a strategic and sustainable management of water resources, addressing issues like integrated watershed management, technology, and social innovation.
In addition, Fundación Chile proposes the re usage of water, given that today submarine outfalls discharges millions of cubic meters of water per year into the ocean. Hence, the incorporation of different models arise, that bring together technology, law, economics, and a different distribution system for areas with an important drought risk like Petorca and La Ligua.
Juan Ramón Candia, Fundación Chile’s Sustainability Manager, explains that “currently an increasing citizen opposition for the installation of new big industries or industries with a big environmental footprint exists, because they perceive that they have to bear unacceptable social and environmental costs. However, society requires the development of this kind of industry. Therefore, the complex equation consists in how to reconcile both interests in achieving a harmonious industrial development with a better quality of life for people”. In addition, he adds “We are addressing the challenge in Fundación Chile, making it possible to join the interests of multiple actors on a particular resource, like water, energy, land use, and biodiversity”.
In terms of innovation, Mr. Candia emphasizes in incorporating NCREs (Non Conventional Renewable Energies) in the mining industry. For example, technologies as thermal blankets in copper pools. They manage to capture solar energy and incorporates it in the productive system, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and improving production conditions in the leaching of copper.
Also, the institution stands for an integrate view of the territory for social and environmental recuperation of areas that have been highly industrialized, such as Puchuncaví, Coronel, Quintero, and Huasco. In addition, to support the private sector on the road to sustainability, Fundación Chile highlights the water footprint measurement and management. In this regard, they are working with leading companies in different fields in Chile, hoping of replicate that experience in other companies, that also hope to reduce the use of water and promote good practices.