We all have a duty to make the environment a better place now and for the future. That’s why many industries are looking for ways to go green, even though the initial costs can be high. Measures need to be put in place now so that future generations can live sustainably. Take a look at these five industries that are changing their business practices to reduce energy consumption and take other measures to save the environment.
General Business Industries
Skyscrapers fill the skylines of big cities like Chicago, Seattle, and New York City where millions of people work in office jobs. You might not think it, but offices use a lot of energy and have a lot of paper waste. That’s why many office buildings are looking for ways to go green. According to the New York Times, 81 percent of chief executives around the world plan to integrate sustainability into their businesses. One way that businesses are going green is by transitioning into a paperless environment. Most employees work from computers and can open files, so there is no need to print them. Bills and other statements are also being sent to customers to reduce paper waste.
A growing trend for businesses, are more and more of them are enabling more of their workers the ability and flexibility to work from home. According to research done by TIAX LLC, about 4 million Americans work from home at least once a week, cumulatively leading to more than 840 million gallons of gas not being used annually, or equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road a year. A single day of telecommuting is equal to saving 12 hours of electricity use of an average American house. Not to mention according to the Bureau of Transportation, the average telecommuter uses 339 fewer gallons of gas over a year, which at around $3.50 a gallon would save a telecommuter $1186 dollars a year in gasoline savings as well as reducing CO2 emissions by 6500+ pounds. As more employers become increasingly comfortable with the idea of telecommuting, daily gasoline usage by millions of people will be highly curtailed.
The Big Data and Technology Industry
There’s no doubt that computers have improved the lives of people around the world, but they don’t have a small carbon footprint. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, data centers account for 1.2 percent of American electricity consumption. That’s more than double what it was in 2000. To combat the problem, the industry is working to develop power-supply standards to cut energy consumption. For instance, more and more data centers are opting to use direct current instead of alternating current because the cooling costs are less.
Most power plants use sources of fuel that are not renewable to generate power. This means that they are taking things away from the environment that can never be replaced. However, the power industry is going green by looking for fuel sources that are renewable, such as solar and wind power. That’s why more and more solar power plants are popping up, as well as wind turbine centers. The industry is moving away from large transformers to cleaner and more environmentally friendly methods of producing power. Companies such as Solomon Corporation even offer services that recycle contaminated power-generation equipment.
The manufacturing industry is one of the largest consumers of energy. This is due to custom manufacturing equipment that uses multiple drivers and motors that account for 70 percent of their power consumption. The other 30 percent comes from heating and cooling costs. Manufactures are going green by developing new equipment that consumes less energy.
China is a major manufacturer of goods that it distributes around the world. All that manufacturing means it consumes a large amount of energy. Su Bo, vice-minister of Industry and Information Technology in China said, “Green and low-carbon growth will be the direction of the future development for the country’s high-end manufacturing sector.”
Shipping items from one place to another is expensive, thanks to rising fuel costs. This is true whether the shipping takes place by plane, truck, or boat. That’s why many shipping companies are replacing old vehicles with hybrid models and looking for other ways to reduce their fuel consumption. This is good from a financial perspective, but it is also better for the environment because energy-efficient vehicles produce less carbon emissions. For example, CNN reports that the Eugen Maersk container ship runs on low-sulfur fuel while in port, which reduces emission of toxic sulfur dioxide by 85 percent.
Almost all industries today are looking for ways to go green because it saves money in the long run and is better for the environment. This is done by lowering energy consumption, reducing fuel costs, recycling, and taking other measures to improve the environment. Of course, there is still a lot more that can be done. Do you think we are doing enough to save the environment and create more sustainable living? Leave a comment below.