fondazione-milan18 October 2021


The award is dedicated to the actions taken to protect the environment, a million pounds to Milan and the support of the Royal Foundation

On Sunday night, Prince William announced that the City of Milan, with the Food policy project of the neighborhood hubs against food waste, is the winner of the first edition of the prestigious international Earthshot Prize for the best solutions to protect the environment.

A month ago the announcement was made that he was among the 15 finalists in the section "a world without waste" and yesterday in connection on the BBC and the Discovery Channel, Prince William unveiled the winners, after the evaluation of an international expert committee that has chosen Milan among 750 candidate initiatives from all over the world. Together with Milan in the other four categories of the award they were winners: from the Republic of Costa Rica for the protection of forests, from India for the reduction of smoke emissions into the air, from Berlin for the development of hydrogen technologies for energy production and from the Bahamas for the defense of coral reefs.

In Milan, the BBC prepared a connection with London from a terrace overlooking the Duomo, in which the deputy mayor Anna Scavuzzo took part, with representatives of all the partners who bring this project to life. To celebrate the winners of the first edition of the award, London was dyed green throughout the week, illuminating Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and Piccadilly Circus with the representative color of the environment while the announcement came for the voice of Emma Thompson.

The £ 1 million prize will be used to increasingly strengthen these hubs, open new ones, guaranteeing their long-term sustainability and replicate this virtuous good practice in the network of cities that work with Milan on food policies, starting from the network of cities of C40 and the Milan Urban Food policy pact. Winning the Earthshot Prize is the recognition of a great teamwork that involved the whole city: thanks to the Municipality and to many realities of the Third sector, universities, large-scale distribution and philanthropy operating in the area, today Milan has 3 hubs district in Isola (2019), Lambrate (2020) and Gallaratese (2021).

The project was born from an alliance, in 2017, between the Municipality of Milan, the Milan Polytechnic, Assolombarda, the Cariplo Foundation and the QuBì Program. The construction of the first hub then involved the Food Bank of Lombardy and made it possible to save over 10 tons of food per month, ensuring in one year a flow of 260,000 equivalent meals, which reached 3,800 people, thanks to the contribution of 20 supermarkets, 4 company canteens and 24 Third sector entities.

Following this, the Lambrate hub was launched, immediately after the first lockdown in spring 2020, also managed by the Food Bank of Lombardy in a space made available by AVIS Milan and with the contribution of BCC Milano. The third hub, in the Gallaratese area, is managed by Terre des hommes with the contribution of the Fondazione Milan. The next, in the planning phase, will be the Corvetto neighborhood hub against food waste, with the management of the Food Bank of Lombardy and the contribution of the SNAM Foundation; while to open a fifth, the Municipality of Milan has recently started the co-planning table for the hub of the Center with the IBVA Association and with the contribution of BCC Milano.

The project involves major retailers including Lidl Italia, Esselunga, Carrefour, NaturaSì, Erbert, Coop Lombardia, Il Gigante, Bennet, Penny Market with the support of Number1 logistics group which supplied the vans for the hubs of Isola and Lambrate. With the Cariplo Foundation and SogeMi, the Municipality of Milan also launched the Foody zero waste initiative to replicate the hub model also at the Ortomercato and recover fresh food together with Banco Alimentare della Lombardia, Recup, Southern Milanese Red Cross, University of Studies of Milan and many other supporting partners.

Chairman Paolo Scaroni commented on this important achievement: "We are proud to have contributed to such an important project for our city, promoted by the Municipality of Milan and supported by Fondazione Milan. The recognition awarded to the Neighbourhood Hubs, as an international best practice, testifies to the value of collaboration between the public and private sectors, to the benefit of the community."

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