The topic of clean energy and sustainable development is at the heart of ISQ’s concerns, both for the market, through the provision of services to industry with innovative solutions developed by the R&D teams, and in the participation in major national and international projects. “We have just invested more than half a million Euros in a renewable energy project based on photovoltaic, with the installation of more than 2000 panels at the ISQ campus in Taguspark, in Portugal, and other facilities throughout the country, which represents an annual saving of 535 tons of CO2/year, corresponding to the plantation of 3800 trees and an estimated saving in the energy bill of more than 150 thousand Euros/year”, announces Pedro Matias, President of ISQ.
This initiative comes in the wake of a sustainable and “green” growth strategy already started before, both in terms of internal know-how and the provision of services in the field of sustainability, promotion and adoption of Renewable Energies.
Sustainable environmental practices dominate the world, due to climate transition (global warming), energy transition (renewable and clean energies) and digital transition (optimization of resources), and this paradigm is unavoidable at various levels: from electricity production, buildings, transport, cities, industrial processes, waste and agricultural practices. The topic is on the public agenda – with the roadmap to carbon neutrality 2050 (RNC) and the national energy and climate plan 2030 (PNEC). “ISQ operates in this theme on two fronts: in terms of energy efficiency, with solutions for buildings and industry, helping to reduce the carbon footprint in various industry sectors; and in terms of resource efficiency, helping companies reduce waste. This is the case of circular economy and industrial symbiosis,” adds Pedro Matias.
In terms of projects in which we participate, we highlight the European Project ECOTERMIP which aims to promote eco-efficiency measures applied to thermal processes in Portuguese industry. It focuses on 4 industrial sectors: metal-mechanics, ceramics, agro-food dairy products, and meat products manufacturing. Another example is the reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions in buildings in Europe, with the European SUREFIT project, coordinated by ISQ. Here the goal is to enable European industries to be pioneers in the development of new advanced technologies for building rehabilitation, with innovative and more economical environmental solutions, thus significantly reducing energy consumption and CO2 emission in buildings.
Other initiatives in which ISQ is present include creating mechanisms to intensify the application of industrial symbiosis practices in Europe by developing action plans and solutions adapted to industries, industrial and business associations, as well as regional and national authorities (SCALER project) or the TRUST project which aims to boost excellence in research and development in the area of industrial sustainability by increasing scientific and technical knowledge. The aim is to involve European industries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is also worth highlighting the largest scientific investment in which ISQ is currently participating: ITER. This is the first experimental nuclear fusion reactor capable of generating a positive energy return, demonstrating the scientific and technical feasibility of nuclear fusion as a clean energy source. ISQ collaborates with F4E – Fusion for Energy – being the reference partner in the area of quality assurance and manufacturing control.
Decarbonization of the economy is more than on the agenda and the next step will be decarbonization with Hydrogen. Global trends towards a sustainable society will increasingly require renewable energy and optimization of fossil fuel use. To this end, Hydrogen will be determinant. The question is how to optimize the use of both renewable energies and fossil fuels to achieve a sustainable, low-carbon society.
“In terms of the Hydrogen sector, ISQ’s competences include know-how in the areas of sustainability, materials and reliability, sensing and algorithms, risk assessment and safety, training and qualifications, and quality assurance and control,” concludes Pedro Matias.