Welcome Awwal

Welcome Awwal

We are so pleased to welcome our new Environmental Expert, Awwal Idris, to the Water Revolution team!

With a Master’s degree in Forest & Nature Conservation, Awwal’s expertise lies in a complex understanding of ecosystems, environmental impact assessment, sustainable resource management, and solving relevant challenges by translating data into actionable insights. As a skillful sustainability analyst and researcher, he will play a crucial role as the link with specialised research institutes conducting Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and a powerful force in fostering innovation for the foundation, the yachting industry, and the world at large. 

Raised among the lush landscapes of Ghana, his childhood instilled an unwavering passion for nature and a profound appreciation for its delicate balance. Grounded in a pragmatic, science-driven approach, Awwal is motivated to make a tangible impact promoting sustainability, resilience, and a healthier planet for all.

Welcome to the Revolution, Awwal!

Measuring direct emissions into the atmosphere

Measuring direct emissions into the atmosphere

Welcome to part three of our series on guiding you through Environmental Indicators relevant to a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology (find Part One of our Series here: Climate Change indicators and Part Two here: impact on human health).

Emissions with direct effect on human and planet health can be released in the atmosphere via acid deposition (Nitrogen Oxides), combustion of fuels containing sulfur (Sulfur Oxides), or release of coarse particles into the air (PM10). All three indicators have an impact locally (on human health) and regionally (resulting in modification of the environment). We know too well the impacts of bad air quality on human health, and these indicators are therefore critical in our measurement of solutions on air pollution.

Let’s take a closer look:

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

NOX are a group of highly reactive gases produced by various natural and anthropogenic (human-caused) sources. They strongly affect the air quality in our immediate surroundings, leading to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter (resulting in POP – see Part 2 here), and contributing to acid rain or deposition, ozone depletion, and eutrophication of soil and water (for more on eutrophication of oceans, read our Part 2 here).

We know that the subsequent impacts of acid deposition and eutrophication onour soil and water can be significant, having adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems in rivers and lakes, damage to forests, crops and other vegetation. Furthermore, by contributing to the formation of atmospheric aerosols and particulate matter, NOx emissions can lead to the formation of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming and affects human respiratory systems. When the environment is affected by NOx, it results in Summer smog, Winter smog, and Acidification in the environment impacted by its release.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2)

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a colourless gas with a pungent odour, released into the atmosphere from both natural sources, such as volcanic eruptions, and anthropogenic (human-caused) sources emitted by the combustion of fuels containing sulphur. 

Sulphur dioxide is a pollutant that contributes to acid deposition, which, in turn, can lead to potential changes in soil and water quality (eutrophication due to excessive nutrient input, as discussed above). Its effects can be counterbalanced by implementing flue gas desulfurization systems in power plants, and regulations on emissions from transportation sources. Winter smog and acidification are among the results of its presence in our atmosphere.

Particulates (PM10)

Dust from roads, farms, dry riverbeds, construction sites, and mines are types of PM10: particulate matter with a diameter of 10 micrometres or less. These are coarse (bigger) particles, which can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. While fine (smaller) particles (PM2.5) are more dangerous and penetrate into the deep parts of your lungs — or even into your blood, it is important to measure the level of PM10 into the surrounding air.

Scientists have defined that a level of PM10 below 12 μg/m3 is considered healthy with little to no risk from exposure. If the level goes to or above 35 μg/m3 during a 24-hour period, the air becomes unhealthy, causing a risk exposure for people with existing breathing issues such as asthma or lung diseases.

With deposits accumulating onto surfaces, including vegetation, soil, and water bodies, PM10 also impacts soil erosion, water quality, aquatic life cycles, and can carry contaminants into ecosystems. It can lead to winter smog.

Learn more

Get in touch with us at info@waterrevolutionfoundation.org to find out more about the scientific methodology used within our programmes and how you can get involved. Stay tuned to hear about the remaining indicators!

COP28 Event: Regenerative Blue Economy

COP28 Event: Regenerative Blue Economy

We are honoured to be involved with this year’s COP28 UAE for the session – A Regenerative Blue Economy as Means to Harmonizing Climate Action: Post-2030 framework beyond sustainability.

The concept of a “regenerative blue economy” has emerged, prioritizing both sustainability and economic prosperity while actively seeking to protect and rejuvenate our marine and coastal ecosystems. This approach extends beyond maintaining the status quo, aiming to breathe new life into our natural oceanic resources, empower local communities, bringing together public and private sector, and recognize the interconnectedness of the sea and climate.

Together with the University of Genoa, we will be hosting an event at the United Nations SDG Pavilion where insights on this “regenerative blue economy” and its aim to address ocean challenges will be uncovered by influential ocean advocates. The session will be moderated by Youth Ocean Champion Bodhi Patil and feature an inspiring discussion between Vienna Eleuteri of Water Revolution Foundation, Adriana del Borghi from University of Genoa, Michela Gallo of the Centre for the Development of Products Sustainability (CESISP), & Paul Holthus from World Ocean Council.

Date & Time: 9 December 2023, 16:45 – 17:45 UTC+4
Location: SDG Pavilion, Blue Zone, Expo City Dubai UAE & Online

We encourage all Revolutionaries to join for what promises to be an inspiring discussion on the vision beyond 2030 and the necessary steps to establish a cohesive framework, guiding principles, and appropriate tools for a new paradigm of development.

More details and access to the livestream can be found here.

Evaluating impact with Environment & Human Health Indicators

Evaluating impact with Environment & Human Health Indicators

We continue our series on guiding you through Environmental Indicators relevant to a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, this time diving into factors with a direct effect on the environment & human health (find part one of our series here: Climate Change indicators).

These indicators help assess the impact from three different aspects: the reaction of sunlight with emissions from fossil fuel combustion, the retreat of oxygen in freshwater systems and the consequential suffocation of its fauna and flora, and the reduction in the pH of the ocean. Let’s take a closer look:

Photochemical Oxidation Potential (POP)

On Earth, pollution mixed with heat and sunlight creates a concentration of Ozone (O3 gaz) in the atmosphere (stratosphere + troposphere). This gaseous element, when released in the stratosphere, acts like sunscreen for all living organisms, shielding the Earth’s surface from most of the sun’s UV light (unless it creates depletion in the atmospheric layer, see here for Ozone Depletion Potential). 

However, when this concentration remains at ground level in the troposphere, it affects the air that we breathe as humans and therefore starts becoming a health hazard. When inhaled, ozone reacts chemically with many biological molecules in the respiratory tract, leading to a number of adverse health effects.

We call this secondary air pollution Photochemical oxidation, also known as Summer Smog. Chemically speaking, photo-oxidant formation is a photochemical creation of reactive substances: it is formed in the atmosphere by nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight, often the consequence of emissions from fossil fuel combustion. POP calculates the destructive effects of ozone in the troposphere over a time horizon of 100 years.

Eutrophication Potential (EP)

Eutrophication calculates the destructive effects of ammonia, nitrates, nitrogen oxides and phosphorus (emitted in air and waters) on freshwater systems. In inland waters, it is one of the major factors that determine the ecological quality of an aquatic environment.

This process of pollution occurs when a lake or stream becomes over-rich in plant nutrient – as a consequence, phytoplankton increases, and the water becomes overgrown in algae and other aquatic plants. The plants die and decompose, robbing the water of oxygen so that ultimately the lake, river, or stream becomes lifeless.

While eutrophication occurs naturally in freshwater systems, man-made eutrophication occurs over millions of years and is caused by organic pollutants from man’s activities, like effluents from industries and homes.

Acidification Potential (AP)

Acidification is an environmental problem caused by acidified rivers/streams and soil due to anthropogenic air pollutants such as ammonia, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. When acids are emitted, the pH factor falls and acidity increases, which for example can involve the widespread decline of coniferous forests and dead fishes in lakes in Scandinavia.

In the ocean, we define acidification as a reduction of the pH over an extended period of time, and it is caused primarily by an uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere: the ocean absorbs the extra amount of CO2 emitted in our atmosphere. We are already observing this change in the deep ocean, especially at high latitudes.

It affects marine organisms, with a consequence on the ecosystems they belong to in and above water: disrupting the food chain (increase of the mobilisation and the leaching behaviour of heavy metals in soil), altered prey availability (for example, krill for whales), impact on habitats (lower pH destroys coral reefs), but also the amplification of noise pollution by a modification of the underwater acoustics.

As an indicator, Acidification Potential calculates the impact of the potential change in acidity in the soil due to the atmospheric deposition of sulfates, nitrates, phosphates, and other compounds.

Learn more

Get in touch with us at info@waterrevolutionfoundation.org to find out more about the scientific methodology used within our programmes and how you can get involved. Stay tuned to hear about the remaining indicators!

Meet us at The Superyacht Forum & METSTRADE 2023

Meet us at The Superyacht Forum & METSTRADE 2023

The Superyacht Forum & METSTRADE 2023 are right around the corner, and we are so excited to unveil our compelling programme for these events as strategic partners for another year.

Water Revolution is set to play a pivotal role during The Superyacht Forum’s ‘Ocean’ Day on Wednesday, 15 November. From 11:30 – 13:00, we will be leading the workshop YETI – Lifecycle Impact & Refit to explore how refit activities and modifications can affect a yacht’s score for the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI). This engaging session will feature insights from our Sustainable Design Specialist, Hanna Dąbrowska, along with contributions from Kristina Hebert of Ward’s Marine Electric, Derek Munro from Divergent Yachting, and Stefan Coronel of Royal Huisman Shipyard.

Following this, our Executive Director Robert van Tol will be participating in the Keynote Debate – Ocean Focused Sustainability from 16:30 – 18:30, presenting our initiatives and ambitions related to ocean advocacy, impact improvement, and delivering ESG frameworks. He will be joined on stage by Nigel Marrison of Blue ESG, Kelvin Murray of EYOS Expeditions, and Natalie Quevert of Sea Index to highlight our collective pursuit of a sustainable yachting industry.

Take a walk down the Superyacht Sustainability Route

Exhibitors who have passed a third-party Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) with a verified entry in our Database of Solutions will be featured and given exposure to purchasers attending METSTRADE on the second edition of the Superyacht Sustainability Route. This year’s route will feature Explore E8 & E9 by OceanLED, Hempaguard X7 by Hempel, Hull Vane by Hull Vane B.V., RecondOil by SKF, and Magellan 630 Extra & Giraglia 633 Extra by Boero.  

You can find a member of our team at our service desk in the Elicium building from 10:00 – 12:00 & 15:00 – 17:00 each day throughout the METSTRADE show (15-17 November)!

Celebrating 5 years of the Revolution

Our valued partners will gather on Thursday, 16 November in celebration of Water Revolution’s 5th anniversary to commemorate the remarkable milestones achieved thus far and establish new relationships among committed partners. To join such events and engage in our exciting programmes, we invite you to consider becoming a partner. 

Discussing how to provide & request proof of environmental solutions

Discover the inner-workings of our comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the rewards it can bring to your company by joining our Programme Director, Alexey Shifman, for a presentation at the METSTRADE Theatre on Friday, 17 November from 13:30 – 14:00.

We are eager to meet you next month at The Superyacht Forum and/or METSTRADE! Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any questions or comments.