- 1 Green Environment
- 2 Environment and the Economy
- 3 Go Green
- 4 Green Trends and Predictions
- 5 Energy and Air Emissions
- 6 Telecommute
- 7 Green web hosting
- 8 Water and Wastewater
- 9 LED Lighting
- 10 Eco-friendly automobiles
- 11 Reduction in waste
- 12 Improvements in the food industry
- 13 Higher use of post-consumer recycled fiber
- 14 Higher use of recycled rubber materials
- 15 Higher incidence of recycled batteries and computers
- 16 Clothing material trends
- 17 Green marketing for business
To begin with, the trend toward green technology is not fading. Every economic region has seen significant growth in the eco-friendly industry. Companies are aware of the growing trend toward green-technologies and take notice.
It is apparent that the green power movement shows no sign of decline. Indeed, the green movement continues to grow. Green technology is one segment of the world-economy which has shown steady growth.
Environment and the Economy
What can executives, entrepreneurs and webmasters set in place? Because most want to benefit from the projected economical growth. As economists begin to try and answer this question, we must first look at the possible trends and business motives that grasp the world economy.
Additionally, a common theme within the economy that has shown increased popularity is green technologies, products and services. There is a direct correlation between renewable resources and the environment.
Why should a business “go green”? Because by going green, we are protecting the environment. But an added benefit is that by going green, businesses are seeing long-term business growth and opportunity.
Green Trends and Predictions
This can serve as a guide for businesses as a place to prepare for green trends that will continue throughout the coming year. As is the case with many trends, there are, of course, obstacles and barriers .
Energy and Air Emissions
To begin with, many industries around the world are faced with two primary energy challenges. One challenge is how to efficiently provide clean, secure and affordable energy. Another challenge is how to minimize the impact on the environment.
Two major power-hungry segments of the economy include:
- Airline industry
- Data center industry
Traditionally, these energy hogs utilized the most energy of any other industry in the United States and generated the largest carbon footprint. Business owners are looking for options within these industries that are more eco-friendly. The goal is a reduction in carbon emissions.
What to do?
Many companies that utilize a great deal of travel are looking for ways to not only minimize their carbon footprint, but also reduce their expenses.
Companies are deploying various means of eco-friendly business models so as to reduce the amount of air-travel they utilize. This is often referred to as green travel. And, in order to reduce the demand for power-hungry data centers, businesses are moving their web sites to green hosting. This provides more efficiency and uses less energy than traditional web hosting.
Telecommuting is becoming more popular among businesses with the use of VOIP services. With Hosted phone systems, companies are able to offer their employees the option of telecommuting — an attractive option because of high gas prices, nightly traffic jams and long commutes.
Phone systems offer methods to ensure employees working at home or from a remote office location are making productive use of their time.
Green web hosting
Green web hosting among businesses is becoming more popular because it presents a clear solution for a reduction in the utilization of traditional, power-hungry data centers. Many webmasters are moving their web sites to companies that utilize renewable energy.
Water and Wastewater
As part of a progressive replacement program, companies will continue to develop and install innovative water-saving technology and procedures. The challenge is to implement conservation measures to reduce water consumption. This is often referred to as the “water footprint” a company generates. Many strong industries within the economy are moving toward improving their wastewater treatment facilities. The investment is high, but the payoff is improved water quality.
What to do?
Companies can explore the option of updating their wastewater facilities. And those companies that do not have the resources for a large infusion of cash to update these facilities might consider outsourcing. Many treatment facilities already have this technology in place. Next, some companies are implementing reverse osmosis systems which operate by pumping water under very high pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. Today’s systems provide the same amount of water for only about 35 percent of the electricity consumption.
Commercial, Residential, Marine, and Solar — each of these industries is seeing strong movement towards “advanced lighting”. By upgrading lighting, these industries are recognizing substantial savings through alternative energy and efficient lighting. A leader in this industry is NeuTex Lighting and through their comprehensive catalog of advanced lighting products, companies and individuals are able to capitalize on significant savings in energy expenses by “going green”.
What to do?
Before building, consider speaking to your local city government about green building practices.
- Neutex Lighting is a good source of information and their web site describes the ever increasing group of ways that companies and individuals can be less wasteful.
Trends in the automobile industry show strong growth in hybrid and fuel-efficient diesel engines. New product development with these types of engines is accelerating.
Fuel-hogs such as large SUV’s and vans are harder to re-sell and more expensive to maintain at the fuel pumps.
What to do?
Before purchasing your next automobile, consider hybrid cars or diesel powered engines. The up-front cost is higher, but long-term savings in terms of fuel and overall maintenance is significant.
Reduction in waste
Consumers have taken notice and appreciate companies that produce products packaged in eco-friendly materials.
What to do?
Reduce, reuse, and recycle. The first step in managing waste is to reduce the amount of material used. To further cut back waste generation, companies can work with suppliers on container return programs.
By recycling trash, companies are diligently working to decrease the amount of waste generated. Companies world-wide are showing signs of more often utilizing alternatives to packaging their products in materials that are harmful to the environment — specifically plastics. Consumers notice and show their appreciation with their wallets.
These companies are examples of cutting-edge corporations that are “going green” to reduce, reuse, and recycle:
- Chantal Cookware, a major cookware manufacturer, encourages recycling in the day-to-day business operations at their facility and with their suppliers. For example, when shipping products Chantal only uses recycled paper and air pillows rather than cheaper Styrofoam pellets.
- Thirsties, a company that manufactures modern cloth baby diapers, boasts the use of only the best made-in-America components in order to reduce their carbon footprint, to help support domestic textile mills, and to ensure diapers will last wash after wash. This company provides an excellent product that reduces the buildup of disposable diapers in our landfills.
Improvements in the food industry
Soy growth among farms across the world is showing rapid growth in this economy. Soy foods are a source of high-quality protein and it has the potential to be a key source of income for farmers.
What to do?
Many farmers and food producers are developing management plans for sustainable growth. Farmers are promoting standards and verification mechanisms which help to grow crops that are more efficiently utilized.
The soy industry is showing significant growth because of the high nutritional components of soy. Many food manufacturers who are not yet involved in production of soy food materials are now exploring the options and benefits of including soy in their product line.
Higher use of post-consumer recycled fiber
Consumers appreciate the use of post-consumer recycled fiber in packaging and its use among responsible corporate entities is growing.
What to do?
Many companies are utilizing 10% post-consumer recycled paper. Examples include coffee cups at your favorite coffee shop. Consumers notice and companies will continue to explore the benefits of higher use of this renewable resource.
Higher use of recycled rubber materials
Used automobile tires liter landfills and are among the largest and most problematic source of waste at landfills due to their large volumes. Tires can be recycled for use on basketball courts, new shoe products, hot melt asphalt, and recycled asphalt pavement. Industries that recycle these materials and re-use them in construction are showing strong growth.
What to do?
Where there is growth, there is strong interest. Companies might consider researching possible use of these types of materials in the construction of their products and market them as “recycled” automobile tires. This benefits the environment and benefits the companies that recycle them in terms of possible economic gain.
Higher incidence of recycled batteries and computers
Companies are more and more often recycling old computers when they are replaced with better and faster machines. Apple recycling program, HP recycling program and Dell recycling program are among a few of the top programs that offer this service.
What to do?
Companies can utilize these services and consider advertising to their consumer base. If a company participates in programs to recycle used computers in an effort to reduce landfill waste, consumers take notice.
Clothing material trends
The fashion industry is seeing strong trends toward renewable resources such as eco-friendly bamboo. Not only is bamboo considered one of the most renewable resources in the world; it is also one of the softest materials, even more so than cotton.
What to do?
Companies that are involved in the fashion industry should take note of this growing trend. These companies explore the possibilities of including these items in their product line.
- healing clothing with nettle fibers
- bamboo clothing
Green marketing for business
In closing, with the rise of green consumers, we see the rise of eco-labeling, which is “green advertising”. That creates the opportunity for just about anything to be marketed as green. It is important that the marketing strategies that companies use are “true”. Companies that market their products and services as eco-friendly are indeed “green”. This article can help entrepreneurs and business owners find “true green” companies and services for the growing eco-friendly economy.