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Siena carbon neutral from 2011

Sustainability - Did you know that the province of Siena has been carbon neutral for 10 years?

We talked in previous articles about why you should come on holiday in Chianti, focusing on the cultural artistic and food & wine traditions. What we haven't told you yet, however, is that we are in an area with one of the healthiest environments of the world, where the air is very fresh and practically free of pollution. You will think this is due to the fact that we are in the countryside. Yes, this is true, undoubtedly. However did you know that the entire province of Siena has been carbon neutral since 2011, that means for 10 years? 14 years earlier than the UN Sustainable Development Plan, before more sustainable and green cities, such as Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney?

We at Borgo Scopeto Relais are very proud to be within one of the few provinces of Italy to have achieved this goal, well ahead of expectations. But what exactly does this mean and how did we achieve it?

Let us explain it.
What it means to be carbon neutral
First of all, carbon neutral means having a climate impact equal to zero, that is, all the greenhouse gas emissions generated by products, services, industries, etc. are totally offset by the ability of local ecosystems to reabsorb CO2 emissions. In other words, we are able to reabsorb all the emissions we produce. Not to be confused with the term carbon free which instead means "total absence of emissions", i.e. , absolutely no emissions at all.

How did the province of Siena manage to achieve carbon neutrality?
In a world where it seems almost impossible to save the planet from its destruction, how did we manage to achieve such an important result? How did the province of Siena manage to achieve the carbon neutrality goal? The answer is simple; monitoring the environment and adopting rapid environmental intervention policies.

The University of Siena, in fact, thanks to the help of investments and collaboration with the local administration, has managed to implement a process, developed in 3 phases, that allows us to keep the environmental situation under control:

1. Quantification
• analyzing and monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and absorption using sustainability indicators
• controlling and certifying processes through ISO 14064-1 certification, the first in Europe to be applied to a territory.

2. Reduction
• activating environmental policies for a constant reduction of emissions with the Provincial Energy Plan, through 57 actions to improve energy efficiency, promoting energy saving and developing renewable energy sources.

3. Compensation
• enhancing the characteristics of the territory (45% is made of woods), implementing an economy that respects natural ecosystems, focusing on alternative sources of electricity such as geothermal energy (the province of Siena is rich in geothermal areas) • safeguarding the territory, controlling and containing fires.

A system that in its simplicity requires constant work and the commitment of everyone involved, not only organizations and businesses, but also citizens, who in their own little way contribute to this success.

So here is how the province of Siena managed to be one of the healthiest in Italy, if not in the world.
What do you say, it's worth coming to see for yourself, right?

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