FERCAM Echo Park: upcycling, biodiversity and inclusion

On World Refugee Day, we present the first result of FERCAM Echo Labs, the Group's non-profit company dedicated to sustainable development. The Echo Park was created thanks to a training project that involved 7 asylum seekers.
FERCAM Echo Park: upcycling, biodiversity and inclusion
FERCAM Echo Labs, non-profit social enterprise founded in December 2021, has developed from a simple need of the FERCAM Rome branch: to create a break area in an eco-sustainable way available to employees and collaborators, where they can spend a relaxing break. It all started with two obsolete swap bodies, which were recovered and repainted to create an innovative and welcoming space: the first FERCAM Echo Park. The external platform, the planters that house a variety of plants and flowers that are friendly to pollinating insects - by the partner Linaria, as well as all the furniture in the area were built from the wood of pallets that could no longer be reused within the logistics chain.

The woodworking activities were an opportunity for involvement and learning for a group of 7 political refugees of African origins. Thanks to the collaboration with the Social Cooperative Medihospes, managing body of the SAI (reception and integration system) project for the Roma Capitale local authority, the beneficiaries requesting international protection were involved in the design and construction phases of the Echo Park, thus inaugurating a path of social inclusion and professional training. With 216 hours of eco-carpentry course, led by Laboratorio Linfa, the participants in the project were awarded a certificate, useful for reintegrating into the local workforce.

At the end of the works, the area was inaugurated during a day dedicated to sharing, in which the employees' children and a group of students from the Amaldi High School were also involved, as protagonists of workshops dedicated to creative recycling and urban biodiversity.
The Mission of FERCAM Echo Labs
At the heart of Echo Labs initiatives are the Corporate Social Responsibility programs of partner companies, moving towards the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. At the base, there are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, transnational guidelines drawn up by the UN for building a future of global peace and prosperity and for safeguarding environmental balances. The Mission of FERCAM Echo Labs is to create networks and synergies, so that, thanks to the active participation in the laboratory, it is possible to carry out projects that individual realities could not have undertaken independently.

«Our primary intention», explains Dino Menichetti, who together with Bettina Baumgartner is MD of FERCAM Echo Labs, «is to develop social and environmental compensation projects together with our partners, to neutralize the impacts resulting from the exercise of company activities. We will adopt participatory and inclusive methods, integrating training, practice and research. We plan to start from what we know and from our territory, we are already working on projects for schools, libraries and public parks. And we are confident that we will be able to progressively broaden our field of action».
Founding partners and supporters
FERCAM Echo Labs was inspired and accompanied in the definition of objectives, projects and operating methods by the precious contribution of founding partners. The first stone was laid by the non-profits Linaria and Laboratorio Linfa, experts in urban biodiversity and design objects built with recycled materials, together with Medihospes, which works to undertake paths of social integration and positive growth. There were Prologis, Mediaservice Recycling and WorldMatic, who make sustainability one of the pillars of their business development and offered their concrete contribution and support so that FERCAM Echo Labs could take its first steps.

Michela Pasquali, President and founder of the Linaria association, says: «Echo Labs is a permanent laboratory, conceived as an experimental and innovative intervention practice and as a tool for reflection on the theme of developing a virtuous and circular economy. We work through the search for functional solutions, always sustainable and ecological, matured in a dimension rich in nuances, different outlooks and profitable mixes of heterogeneous cultures and approaches».

«FERCAM Echo Labs' network is made up of different realities, united by the same objectives, which share the desire to be able to influence the future of our planet, leaving it better than we found it. We hope that in the near future the number of active partnerships will continue to grow, so that each project can find application in new territories and the scope of intervention can become gradually wider», concludes Menichetti.

For contacts and more information: www.echolabs.fercam.com