Industry has been at the forefront of innovation for thousands of years. Human beings are always on the lookout for the newest product, the most advanced process and the widest profit margin on their products, whether it be electricity or fiberglass enclosures. While the past few decades have been focused primarily on short term profits, today industry leaders have set their sights on achieving long term success through sustainable practices. Let's look at some of the strides being made, which as known colloquially as "going green."
A lot of focus has been placed on global warming and the role of carbon dioxide emissions in climate change. While some of these emissions come from vehicles, far more comes from factory emissions and power plants. In an effort to reduce their emissions, many factories have embraced Energy Star compliance, which reduces the amount of electricity used by appliances and some have even begun to investigate alternative fuel sources.
The amount of garbage thrown out by the average household is alarming, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of surplus material discarded from industrial endeavors. Whether the task is building retirement homes or making paper cups, plans are being more carefully designed to make maximum use of materials. This is especially important when processes result in harmful or polluting waste materials such as chemicals.
Leftover materials, some of which can be harmful, that were once simply discarded from factories are now donated or sold to other sources as raw material to be made into something else. Sometimes this entails the dis-assembly and reuse of digital camera batteries used by a photographer. Other times it involves shredding old tires, melting them down, and turning them into new ones. At the employee level, municipal recycling programs for bottles, cans, and paper are also being complied with.
Replacing and Preserving Natural Elements
Companies that use natural resources such as trees in their process are now moving away from destructive processes like clear cutting and on to more sustainable initiatives. In many cases, trees that are cut for paper are replaced with saplings on a one to one ratio. Companies have also committed to leaving natural resources like lakes and parkland unpolluted and undeveloped, and have enlisted firms, such as The Ghent Group to do landscaping in office courtyards so that their facades and rooftops contribute oxygen.