WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On June 27, 2019, the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC hosted the conference “Nurturing the World of Tomorrow. Sustainable Development to Harmonize Life and Nature,” organized by Officine Maccaferri, an Italian company operating in the sector of civil, geotechnical and environmental engineering. On its 140th anniversary year, Officine Maccaferri is conducting a global series of thought-provoking conferences designed to find solutions to the negative effects of global growth on world ecosystems.
“The increase of natural hazards and the impact of climate change constitute a growing threat to our lives, our welfare and our economy,” said Ambassador Armando Varricchio while opening the conference. “Today, we bring together insight, experience and research findings from different disciplines to discuss the challenge of balancing economic growth and environmental protection.”
The panel included Kathleen Rogers from Earth Day Network, explorer Alex Bellini, Professor Upmanu Lall from Columbia University and Ian Campbell, Head of North America at Officine Maccaferri. Anne Bowser from the Wilson Center moderated the discussion.
Thanks to this panel of speakers with diverse specialties and unique points-of-view, the discussion resulted in the below key takeaways regarding prevention of challenges created by climate change and global growth.
- We must innovate to survive. This statement was Professor Lall’s opener, which he supported with data points outlining the environmental impact of the growth of humanity. For example: How decreased water storage to buffer droughts increases our vulnerability to droughts. Bringing an innovative solution to life, he then outlined a decentralized hybrid renewable solar energy/water system with point of use treatment and reuse—essentially a rainwater collection and filtration system suitable for single-family homes. Campbell, during his remarks, discussed how landscapes can be healed and restored using soil-bio-engineering, and that—due to increased urbanization—cities will need to also innovate.
- Creating a more personal, and reconnected, relationship with nature/natural resources will inspire singular actions. “Living in nature, and experiencing it, allows me to truly understand it,” said Bellini during the panel discussion. Bellini will be rowing across the Great Pacific Garbage patch this month, which is the next leg of his journey to follow the path of plastic waste from India to the sea though the Gange river. And for his part, while explaining the above solar energy/water system, Professor Lall noted that “when you become manager of your own water source, you think more deeply about what you need.”
- Long term protection of natural environments and ecosystems also brings economic benefits. Campbell emphasized that we must foster this new mindset, and that many solutions on local levels are being driven by corporations that support their community. All the panelists agreed that private-sector companies, like Maccaferri, should be driving change to address these types of environmental challenges. For their part, Officine Maccaferri is focused on providing environmental, social impact, and economic solutions for all their current and future projects. Rogers said: “Companies are going to drive innovation. They will execute the plans. So having companies involved in finding new solutions is a key factor to resolve any environmental crisis. Everything that Maccaferri does is consistent with what I do.”
“Reaching 140 years in business is an important milestone for our company. As the years have passed, we have done more and more in the area of environmental sustainability, and we are focusing on this for the future,” noted company President Alessandro Maccaferri. “Increased awareness in environmental matters allows us to propose projects which aim to provide ever-greater harmony between civilization and nature.”
Founded in 1879 in Bologna (Italy), Officine Maccaferri celebrates its 140th birthday this year. Over the years the company has become a leading international provider of advanced solutions for the environmental engineering applications.
Nowadays the company is present with offices in over 70 countries and 30 production plants.
Officine Maccaferri vision is to become a “trusted global partner, nurturing the world of tomorrow, harmonizing life and nature through innovative solutions”.
Its mission is to pursue excellence through continuous improvement while delivering to customers engineered solutions that are innovative, advanced and environmentally friendly with a strong commitment to outstanding safety, quality and sustainability, to create value for stakeholders and communities.
Maccaferri in the USA
Originally incorporated in 1957, “River & Sea Gabions (New York) Inc.” served as the United States based distributor of Maccaferri products until 1960 when Officine Maccaferri took over the trading company. The company renamed “Maccaferri Gabions of America Inc.” opened operations on the 5th Avenue in Manhattan. In 1972 Officine Maccaferri opened a manufacturing facility in Williamsport PA, where a separate company was established: “Maccaferri Gabions Manufacturing Co. Inc.” The trading company remained in Manhattan and served as the headquarters of both businesses. By the end of the 80’s, the Manhattan operations were relocated to Williamsport PA where the manufacturing and trading company were merged into one. Maccaferri Inc. still manufactures its double-twist wire mesh products in Williamsport. In early 2017, the sales, marketing and technical staff has been relocated to Rockville, MD. The new office affords the opportunity to better serve the clients and their markets.
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