The United Nations have formulated 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which contribute to a better and more sustainable future for everyone. The goals address global challenges, related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. These 17 goals are all interconnected and in order to be certain that nobody gets left behind it is of vital importance that we achieve all of these goals by the year 2030.
We believe that we can make an impact on the following Sustainable Development Goals.
- No poverty
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Sustainable cities and communities
- Responsible consumption and production
- Climate action
- Partnerships for the goals
Although the number of people that live in extreme poverty has declined from 36% in 1990 to 10% in 2015, it seems that the COVID-19 crisis can slow this progress down, or even reverse several decades of progress. The 734 million people that represent 10% of the world population now live off of less than $1,90 per day. The forecast that this group of people will grow is a step in the wrong direction, which can lead to financial and social disruption.
The PVB waste that we use as a raw material for our products is ubiquitous. If people own cars that are demolished after their life cycles, then there will be no suitable use for the PVB waste, yet. In that case, the PVB waste is burned or dumped, although it is the perfect raw material for our sustainable and circular construction materials. We strive to produce close to the PVB waste. When we accomplish this, we are creating jobs for people all over the world. We then also burn fewer fossil fuels, since the products that are produced locally can also be sold locally.
In the past centuries, millions of people have experienced tremendous economic growth. The global unemployment rate was 6.4% in 2000 and 5.6% in 2017. However, the growth in wealth is still unfairly distributed. The United Nations state that men earn on average 12.5% more than women in 40 out of the 45 countries with data. If we want to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, we need to create decent work for all.
However, the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted millions of lives. The IMF expects a global recession that is equal to or even worse than the one we experienced in 2009. We need to ensure that people’s jobs are protected and that essential health services are available.
In order to generate employment and income, inclusive and sustainable industrialization together with its accompanying infrastructure, can unleash dynamic and competitive economic forces. However, the COVID-19 crisis is hitting manufacturing industries hard. Even before the COVID-19 crisis global manufacturing growth has been declining.
As stated above, we aim to produce close to the PVB waste around the globe. By doing this, we create jobs worldwide. We aspire to work closely together with NGOs and the public sector, so that sustainable growth is promoted and accomplished in developing countries.
More and more people are moving to cities. Half of the global population, 3.5 billion, live in a city today, and it is projected that by 2030 5 billion people will do so, even though cities account for just 3% of the Earth’s land. Cities contribute 60% to global GDP, but at the same time they account for 70% of global carbon emissions and 60% of resource use. This puts a huge strain on our systems, which leads to worsening air pollution, overburdened infrastructure and more slum dwellers, to name a few.
We produce the world’s most sustainable roofing material worldwide*, which is up to 80% more sustainable than the previous most sustainable roofing material. Each m2 of Leadax PVB Roofing also takes as much CO2 and NOx out of the air as 2 m2 of trees. In other words: every flat roof with Leadax PVB Roofing will become a forest. With our innovation, we hope to be able to replace many of the unsustainable roofing materials that are currently being used. Thereby we create more sustainable and habitable living conditions for billions of people worldwide.
We have made tremendous economic and social progress over the last centuries. Unfortunately, this has been accompanied by environmental degradation. This is endangering the systems on which our future, or possibly even our very survival, depends. The way we now make use of our primary resources have had devastating impact on our planet, and if we do not make a change, will continue to do so. If we continue the social and economic progress globally on the scale that we have done in the past, we would need the equivalent of 3 planets to sustain a projected population of 9.6 billion people in the year 2050.
Many of the products that are designed today are not necessarily meant to recycle. 300 trillion tons of plastic is produced each year, half of which is for single-use items. 91% of the plastic produced is not being recycled. On a year to year basis, we are thus producing ever more plastic for which fossil fuels are being used and burned in the process, while the plastics that were created before end up in our oceans. This is causing serious harm to birds, marine animals and fish, and, eventually, to ourselves as well.
When we started designing Leadax’ products we set out an ambitious mission: using today’s waste to prevent global waste forever. The raw material for our products is polyvinyl butyral (PVB), the safety foil that is used in car windows. Of this plastic waste there is 1.5 billion kg’s available in Europe alone, each year. After our products' lifecycle they can be recycled and reused again in new Leadax products. We alone cannot solve the plastic waste problem, but next to our own efforts we hope to inspire other entrepreneurs to do their part as well.
Climate change is affecting everybody on our planet. The effects of climate change are already visible, with storms and forest fires becoming more common in the past few years. In order to make sure we limit the temperature rise to below 1.5 °C we need to act now. The world took a major step forwards by adopting the Paris Agreement, in which every country worldwide took action to combat climate change. However, on a smaller scale, we need to realize that our limited resources are not limitless. Collectively we can make a change by choosing for renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.
At Leadax, we are committed to drastically limit our carbon footprint. In 2020 we invested in more than 1.500 solar panels on top of our production facility, which make our sustainable products even more sustainable. Next to this, we limit our usage of fossil fuels, and we cut back on the plastic waste problem by using recycled PVB as a raw material for our products.
We are all in this together. The COVID-19 crisis has had a tremendous impact on our daily lives, including the partnerships between developed and developing countries. If we are to solve the world’s problems, we need to ensure that strong and sustainable partnerships exist and are maintained.
At Leadax, we are committed to a future where we can produce close to the PVB waste. We believe a sustainable future is one in which every single citizen is part of our global movement. We therefore encourage other entrepreneurs and companies to also look for opportunities to ensure that local circumstances (both socially and economically) can be improved.
*Based on preliminary LCA research by NIBE
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