Background and Aim
The overall aim was to make a substantial contribution to environmental sustainability and to stimulate economic profit of the North Sea Region by:
- applying the 'cradle to cradle' concept to develop energy responsible and sustainable solutions for island environments
- using islands as labs and testing grounds where research institutes and businessess can experiment with new technologies, so that innovation will be accelerated
- developing networks of governmental organisations, knowledge institutions, companies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure long term transferability and dissemination of ideas and concepts.
The islands in the North Sea Region are facing many common problems: geographical isolation, a lack of local resources (energy, materials, water supply), high tourism pressure on resources and the environment by tourists, and declining populations. The new and revolutionary ‘cradle to cradle' (C2C) concept was applied to achieve energy efficient sustainable development as regards to the supply of energy, and the energy implications of water and materials on islands.
The C2C vision is a new way of thinking. We should stop making ‘less bad' products, and start designing intelligent products and materials, that can be used over and over again in biological or technical cycles.
The project considered the lack of resources on islands and strived to find sustainable strategies and solutions to meet these resource difficulties. New innovative techniques were required to sustain communities, many of which were suffering depopulation as a result of the well recognised spiral of decline, while others were failing to produce sustainable and resource efficient solutions to improving tourism activities.
By applying the C2C concept, islands associated with the worldwide trend for more sustainability, and they will profit from the economical chances this concept offers. At the same time, islands are excellent labs for experimenting with new technologies, thus being a catalyst for innovation. The outcomes can directly be applied on the islands themselves, but can also be transferred to the North Sea Region area as a whole and even far beyond.