Climate change, poverty, access to food and water – these are just three examples out of the numerous issues that our world experiences. Admittedly, these are all very complex problems, hence why many don’t know where to start. Indeed, the first step is always the hardest. Therefore, a guide or blueprint would be very helpful. For this reason, the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, were established.
What are the SDGs?
The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of objectives that aim to solve the most critical social and environmental issues that humanity is facing. These were developed by the United Nations (UN) in 2015. Generally, they comprise 17 urgent calls for action to resolve pressing problems in the areas of water, energy, climate, oceans, urbanization, transport, science, and technology. The members of the UN realized that for humankind to live in peace and harmony while also end poverty and world hunger, we must also tackle economic, environmental, and social issues.
Thus, Epiclay addresses the following 4 SDGs:
13. Climate Action
First and foremost, as toxic air pollutants such as CO2 are one of the main drivers of climate change, Epiclay green walls were developed to reduce these. Obviously, the consequences of air pollution are severe since around 7 million people die from it every year. To solve this issue effectively, we need an accessible solution that can be implemented on a larger scale. Because of this, Epiclay green walls are modular, lightweight, and require little maintenance. With our carefully selected plant mixture, we ensure that facades are not only optically enhanced but also achieve the highest positive environmental impact. At the same time, our solution contributes to the reduction of urban heat islands in cities. Due to our innovative material mix, the buildings that are enveloped with our green wall modules absorb heat during the summer – even without plants. As a result, urban areas become cooler and thus more pleasant during that season.
3. Good Health and Well-Being
Second, many studies have proven that people’s health and mental well-being improve when being surrounded by nature. In fact, just looking at plants can already lead to stress reduction. Simultaneously, they increase people’s productivity and creativity. However, constructing green spots, parks, or planting trees in urban areas is challenging because there is not much space available. Thus, space-efficient greening solutions are necessary. For this reason, Epiclay green walls are ideal for cities because they can be installed on both existing and new facades. Furthermore, as our selected plants don’t require soil to grow and thrive, Epiclay green walls can be set up in more delicate areas such as hospitals.
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
Did you know that the building and construction industry is responsible for almost 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions? Therefore, it is crucial to increase the energy efficiency of buildings to create truly sustainable cities. However, the issue here is that most existing ones are not built to be energy efficient. This is why the Epiclay green wall modules are made of an innovative clay mixture. In fact, clay is considered a sustainable building material because of its thermal insulation properties. By enveloping existing buildings with Epiclay green walls, the buildings become energy efficient. As a result, the heating and cooling costs of buildings are reduced. Because of that, this effect also works even without plants on the modules. Undoubtedly, there are a plethora of facades in cities. Indeed, there are 120 million square meters of greenable facades in Vienna alone. Imagine how much potential there is in even bigger cities.
15. Life On Land
Finally, Epiclay green walls improve life on land for humans and other living beings by increasing the biodiversity in urban areas. Because of urbanization, which is the process to grow cities as more people move there, this has drastically diminished. However, biodiversity is necessary to provide good living conditions, and ultimately, a healthy planet. Therefore, it is our mission to bring nature back to cities, and this can be achieved with Epiclay green walls in two ways. On one hand, we use a diversity of local plants that are suitable for the area and the climate. On the other hand, our solution is easily implementable and scalable compared to existing green walls.
In conclusion, the Sustainable Development Goals are the first steps towards a better planet. Hence, we focus specifically on these four SDGs. With our vision and mission in mind, the Epiclay green walls contribute to a healthier planet by reducing air pollution and urban heat islands in cities. On top of that, our solution enhances physical and mental health but also increases the biodiversity of urban areas.