La Casa Uruguaya – sustainable home

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 15:14

Problem: Energy consumption depends directly on the conditions of ventilation, temperature and light in our homes. If the house is very warm, we will probably use air conditioning. And if it has few windows, we will rely more on artificial lighting. Currently, the buildings sector accounts for a significant 39 per cent of total energy-related CO2 emissions, according to The 2018 Global Status Report.

SolutionLa Casa Uruguaya (The Uruguayan House) is a sustainable and intelligent housing project inspired from bioclimatic architecture and equipped with technology that can increase energy efficiency and accelerate climate action.

Goals and Objectives: The solution aims to reduce energy consumption while offering a sustainable and accessible lifestyle.

Implementation: With this challenge in mind, a group of students, graduates and professors from the ORT University Uruguay created La Casa Uruguaya (The Uruguayan House), a sustainable and intelligent housing project inspired from bioclimatic architecture and equipped with technology that can reduce energy consumption while offering a sustainable and accessible lifestyle.

The living unit consists of a house inside a box, according to the ORT University Uruguay. The insulation prevents heat and cold from entering. It has two ceilings—one on top of the other—and, between the two, moving parts that can be remotely opened or closed in order to regulate indoor temperature. Windows are strategically located to improve lighting.

The house is self-supplied with solar energy, notifies inhabitants of energy misuses, has a water reuse system, and sensors that help to regulate temperature, humidity or lighting. The unit can be installed in only 15 days and costs between US$50,000 and US$90,000.

Achievements: La Casa Uruguaya won major prizes at the Solar Decathlon Latin America and the Caribbean in 2015, an international academic competition organized by the United States Department of Energy. In 2016, the project received a National Energy Efficiency Award in Uruguay. Currently, the team members market the project in their country and the region.

Contact information: 


Bologna s / n between Av. Italia and María Luisa Saldún

Montevideo, 11400


Phone: +598 2505 34 62

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: https://www.lacasauruguaya.com

Additional Info

  • Location(s) Uruguay
  • Type(s) Solution
  • Theme(s) Green Economy
  • SDG(s) 11. Sustainable cities and communities
  • Types of ComSec Solutions Solution
  • Type of WGEO Solution Solution
  • Themes of WGEO Solutions Green Economy
  • SDG(s) in WGEO Solutions 11. Sustainable cities and communities

Bioplastics from avocado seeds

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 08:14

Problem: The carbon footprint of plastics production is very high due to the manufacturing process. The footprint of carbon determines how much impacts to global warming a certain product. So other technologies seriously affect the natural ecosystem and the planet's carbon cycle, causing a deterioration and increase of the average temperature of the planet.

Solution: Biofase has developed a unique technology for the manufacture of biodegradable products derived from the avocado pit, which is disposable and not edible.

Goals and Objectives: Along with other plastics made from food waste, Biofase’s biopastics could help meet the growing demand for plastics without hampering progress in the fight against hunger.

Implementation: Scott Munguía, a young Mexican chemical engineer, discovered in 2011 that the avocado seed contains a biopolymer similar to the one present in corn, which is used to produce bioplastic. In 2014, he founded Biofase, a company based in Monterrey that commercializes bioplastic products, made of 60 per cent avocado biopolymer and 40 per cent synthetic organic compounds.

The straws and cutlery made from avocado seeds decompose in only 240 days, and there is no need for incineration. This makes them a sustainable alternative for cities or countries that lack incineration facilities in their waste plants.

Unlike other types of bioplastics, this alternative does not use crops suitable for human consumption—such as corn or cassava. The carbon footprint is much less than other plastics and bioplastics, including paper. This is largely due to a phenomenon called bonus of biogenic carbon, which explains that the Avocado tree, when growing, absorbs CO2 of the atmosphere to form its tissues. This phenomenon does not occur in the production of any plastic derived of the oil.

Achievements: Reduces consumption up to 60% plastic derived from oil without need to be treated in a way special or to separate for recycling.

Biofase’s products have a great manufacturing potential. According to Munguía, 300,000 tonnes of avocado seeds are discarded annually in Mexico, an estimated 20 per cent of the global demand for bioplastics.

Prior to the creation of Biofase, all biopolymer products had to be imported from other countries into Mexico. Biofase, through its patented technology, became the only biopolymers producer company in Mexico. Now Biofase lead the production of biopolymer in Latin America, exporting bioplastic products to more than 19 countries.

Contact information:
Scott Munguía, Biofase founder
Phone: +52 800 999 1183

Additional Info

  • Location(s) Mexico
  • Type(s) Solution
  • Theme(s) Innovation
  • SDG(s) 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Latitude 27.899019
  • Longitude -107.529546
  • Types of ComSec Solutions Solution

The proposed long-term solution for biodiversity conservation in Togo is to strengthen the management of the system of protected areas (PA) through effective approaches to rehabilitation and management of PA. The Project is funded by West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). UNDP will help Togo develop prerequisites to be able to join in the coming years the initiative for the conservation of biodiversity led by Burkina Faso, Benin and Niger in partnership EU, WAEMU and UNDP.

Goal: Protect the globally significant biodiversity in Togo’s Savanna Biomes and ensure PA connectivity at the eco-regional level.

Objective: Strengthen Togo’s protected area system management to improve its contribution to the conservation of biodiversity by applying effective approaches to PA rehabilitation and management.

More information:

PA estate covering approximately 578,000 hectares, covering a large region in Togo

Running for five years, from 2012- 2017

PA operationalization of the OKM complex in Togo, with implementation at the site level of rehabilitation measures, participatory management arrangements and rehabilitation of connectivity at Eco-regional level.

Use of key monitoring tools, typical of GEF Biodiversity projects, these include the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool, or METT (Annex 2), which also includes UNDP’s PA System Financial Sustainability Scorecard.


  • Strengthened biodiversity conservation and PA management effectiveness of a rationalized PA system
  • Direct threats to the OKM complex biodiversity mitigated
  • Other outcomes yet to be published as project was just completed this year

Budget: USD 2,222,200

An amount USD 70,000 was reserved in the budget (from WAEMU funds) for the inclusion of the OKM Complex into the assessments of IUCN’s MIKE programme with respect to ecological management. The frequency is every 5 years.

Contact details: 

UNDP Building,
109 Boulevard Félix Houphouët
Boigny P.O. Box 4596 Gamal Abdul Nasser Avenue,
Lomé, Republic of Togo.
Phone: +228 984 97933
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Operational Focal Point
Mr. Djiwonou Folly
Ministère de l`Environnement et des Ressources BP 355
Lomé, Togo
Tel: + 228 904 3608
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Location(s) Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo
  • Type(s) Solution
  • Theme(s) Climate Change, Disaster Risk Management
  • SDG(s) 13. Climate Action
  • Latitude 12.029933
  • Longitude 2.309617
  • Locations in Africa Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo
  • Types in Africa Solution
  • Themes in Africa Climate Change, Disaster Risk Management
  • SDGs in Africa 13. Climate Action