Running an environmentally friendly business helps you reduce your impact on the environment and preserves natural resources. Your business can help the environment in many ways. For example, you can:
- use products that reduce your reliance on natural resources (e.g. rainwater tanks, solar hot water systems)
- use products that are made from recycled material (e.g. office supplies made from recycled plastic, furniture made from recycled rubber)
- look at all your business activities to see if you can do anything differently (e.g. reducing air travel by holding conference calls instead of interstate meetings).
Making your business environmentally friendly not only benefits the environment but can also save you money.
Recycling reduces your costs
Avoiding, reducing, reusing and recycling can lower your costs. For example, a few simple changes to how you deal with paper can involve your staff in environmentally friendly processes while saving you money:
- avoid using materials unnecessarily
- reduce your paper needs by asking staff to print double-sided
- reuse by encouraging staff to use scrap paper for message-taking instead of purchasing message pads
- recycle by shredding excess paper - you could recycle this commercially or invite staff to take it home for their compost or mulch heaps.
Good practice can attract new customers
Promoting your environmentally friendly methods can set your business apart from your competitors and attract new customers who want to buy products and services from an environmentally friendly business. Before making any environmental claims about your products, you should read the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's green marketing and the Australian Consumer Law to help you comply with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (which replaced the Trade Practices Act 1974 on 1 January 2011).
Focusing more on your environmental impacts can also help to attract and retain staff.
Reducing the environmental impact of your business will improve the sustainability of your business. If you are less dependent on natural resources than your competitors and have ways to deal with rising costs due to climate change, your business will have a greater chance of long-term success.
- Last reviewed: 01 Sep 2014
- Last updated: 01 Sep 2014
"Envirotech" redirects here. For the Singapore-based company, see United Envirotech. For the California-based company, see Envirotech (company).
Environmental technology (envirotech), green technology (greentech) or clean technology (cleantech) is the application of one or more of environmental science, green chemistry, environmental monitoring and electronic devices to monitor, model and conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of human involvement. The term is also used to describe sustainable energy generation technologies such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, bioreactors, etc. Sustainable development is the core of environmental technologies. The term environmental technologies is also used to describe a class of electronic devices that can promote sustainable management of resources.
Main article: Recycling
Renewable energy is the energy that can be replenished easily. For years we have been using sources such as wood, sun, water, etc. for means for producing energy. Energy that can be produced by natural objects like wood, sun, wind, etc. is considered to be renewable.
Water purification: The whole idea/concept of having dirt/germ/pollution free water flowing throughout the environment. Many other phenomena lead from this concept of purification of water. Water pollution is the main enemy of this concept, and various campaigns and activists have been organized around the world to help purify water.
Air purification: Basic and common green plants can be grown indoors to keep air fresh because all plants remove CO2 and convert it into oxygen. The best examples are: Dypsis lutescens, Sansevieria trifasciata, and Epipremnum aureum. It should also be noted that besides using the plants themselves, some species of bacteria can also be added to the leaves of these plants to help remove toxic gases, such as toluene
Sewage treatment is conceptually similar to water purification. Sewage treatments are very important as they purify water per levels of its pollution. The most polluted water is not used for anything, and the least polluted water is supplied to places where water is used affluently. It may lead to various other concepts of environmental protection, sustainability etc.
Environmental remediation is the removal of pollutants or contaminants for the general protection of the environment. This is accomplished by various chemical, biological, and bulk methods.
Solid waste management
Solid waste management is the purification, consumption, reuse, disposal and treatment of solid waste that is undertaken by the government or the ruling bodies of a city/town.
Egain forecasting is a method using forecasting technology to predict the future weather's impact on a building. By adjusting the heat based on the weather forecast, the system eliminates redundant use of heat, thus reducing the energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases.
Energy conservation is the utilization of devices that require smaller amounts of energy in order to reduce the consumption of electricity. Reducing the use of electricity causes less fossil fuels to be burned to provide that electricity.
Alternative and clean power
Concerns over pollution and greenhouse gases have spurred the search for sustainable alternatives to our current fuel use. For example, biogas from anaerobic digestion of plant waste can be stored to produce heat or electricity. The global reduction of greenhouse gases requires the adoption of energy conservation as well as sustainable generation. That environmental harm reduction involves global changes such as:
- reducing air pollution and methane from biomass
- virtually eliminating fossil fuels for vehicles, heat and electricity, left in the ground.
- wide spread use of public transport, battery and fuel cell vehicles
- more wind/solar/water generated electricity
- reducing peak demands with carbon taxes and time of use pricing.
Since fuel used by industry and transportation account for the majority of world demand, by investing in conservation and efficiency (using less fuel), pollution and greenhouse gases from these two sectors can be reduced around the globe. Advanced energy efficient electric motor (and electric generator) technology that are cost effective to encourage their application, such as variable speed generators and efficient energy use, can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) that would otherwise be introduced to the atmosphere, if electricity were generated using fossil fuels. Greasestock is an event held yearly in Yorktown Heights, New York which is one of the largest showcases of environmental technology in the United States.
Courses aimed at developing graduates with specific skills in environmental systems or environmental technology are becoming more common and fall into three broads classes:
- Environmental Engineering or Environmental Systems courses oriented towards a civil engineering approach in which structures and the landscape are constructed to blend with or protect the environment;
- Environmental chemistry, sustainable chemistry or environmental chemical engineering courses oriented towards understanding the effects (good and bad) of chemicals in the environment. Such awards can focus on mining processes, pollutants and commonly also cover biochemical processes;
- Environmental technology courses oriented towards producing electronic, electrical or electrotechnology graduates capable of developing devices and artefacts able to monitor, measure, model and control environmental impact, including monitoring and managing energy generation from renewable sources, and developing novel energy generation technologies.
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- ^Bacteria on Hedera helix able to help degrade exhaust gases from Diesel engines running on Diesel
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- ^United States Patent 6098893 Comfort control system incorporating weather forecast data and a method for operating such a system (Inventor Stefan Berglund)
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- OECD Studies on Environmental Innovation Invention and Transfer of Environmental Technologies. OECD. September 2011. ISBN 978-92-64-11561-3.