Over the years, I have covered a number of green topics based on industry research, news, and data collection. The one major thing that surfaces each time I search is just about every company that generates a press release claims it is going green. Green manufacturing. Green products. Green this. Green that. So, what do all these initiatives mean? Does it mean groups are complying with government regulations? Are companies feeling pressure from eco-friendly organizations? Or, are they simply jumping on a popular bandwagon?
Actually, going green is not “trendy,” but rather, the smart and conscientious approach towards energy efficiency, and increasingly more companies are realizing that when they adopt green practices they and their customers will reap rewards.
In fact, AT&T recently announced new design specifications with green intentions for its own-brand phone accessories and packaging requirements for cellphone makers. Both are geared toward minimizing the surplus of paper and plastic that comes with the purchase of each device and both will require the use of recycled and recyclable materials. As a result, AT&T expects to save 200 tons of excess materials by the end of this year.
Hewlett Packard (HP) is cutting its own energy consumption 20% by end of 2010, and the company audits its suppliers to ensure eco-friendliness. In addition, all HP machines are 100% recyclable and the company maintains several e-waste recycling plants, from which numerous components can be reused.
Continental Airlines has spent billions adding fuel-efficient planes to its fleet, installing fuel-saving parts to several models, and even made its Houston hub 75% more earth-friendly. The company keeps a close eye on its emissions, and even employs a group of in-house specialists to streamline the airline’s operations.
An estimated 20% of energy costs at major companies can be attributed to Information Technology and Sun Microsystems looks to cut its own emissions 20% by 2012, and has even reported that 55% of its employees gave up their offices to reduce emissions on commutes and office energy, calculating that over 30,000 tons of carbon is saved per year.
Efforts like these come with a cost, however. Analysts estimate that the green economy is worth an estimated $1.04 trillion both for regulatory groups and environmental agencies, but also for the costs associated with transitioning from traditional manufacturing methods and materials to green standards.
The Clean Tech Revolution authors Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder say, “When industry giants such as GE, Toyota, and Sharp and investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are making multi-billion investments in clean technology, the message is clear. Developing clean (or green) technologies is no longer a social issue championed by environmentalists; it’s a moneymaking enterprise moving solidly into the business mainstream. In fact, as the economy faces unprecedented challenges from high energy prices, resource shortages, and global environmental and security threats, clean technologies designed to provide superior performance at a lower cost while creating significantly less waste than conventional offerings promises to be the next engine of economic growth.”
What is your company’s understanding of going green, and what is it doing to meet green objectives?
Filed Under: Energy management + harvesting, Green engineering