Green Technology & The Move To Green Businesses
Green technology has been gaining increasing attention in recent years as the world is becoming more aware of the impact of industrial activities on the environment.
According to the projections, the global green technology market is expected to grow by 9.7% annually from 2019 to 2023 and reach USD 1.86 trillion by 2023.
This growth will be primarily driven by the rising awareness of environmental issues, stringent government regulations, and the need to reduce energy costs in businesses.
There are several promising green technologies that are expected to change the way businesses operate in the future and help them become green businesses.
One of the most significant trends is the shift towards renewable or green energy sources like solar and wind power.
This transition is already taking place in various sectors, including transportation, manufacturing, and energy production.
So what does green technology actually mean?
Green technology, or environmental technology, refers to the innovative technologies that are designed to reduce the negative impact of human activities on the planet.
In comparison to conventional technology, green technology aims to minimise environmental harm through the use of renewable sources of energy, sustainable materials, and eco-friendly practices.
It’s no secret that climate change is a real and pressing issue facing our planet today.
As a result, there has been a growing focus on the development and implementation of green technology and sustainable alternatives to help organisations become green businesses.
Organisations and private companies that make green technology investments are going to be at a distinct advantage over those that do not.
Green technology – A Few Examples
Green technology has become increasingly popular over the years, as more and more businesses look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact.
Fortunately, there are many different green technologies available today which can help companies achieve these goals.
Renewable energy storage
As demand for renewable energy and green energy continues to increase, businesses are looking for ways to ensure the stable and continuous supply of electricity from these sources.
One important aspect of green technology in achieving this goal is renewable energy storage.
There are currently various technologies available for renewable energy storage.
These include batteries, compressed air energy storage, flywheels, pumped hydro energy storage, and thermal energy storage.
Each of these technologies has its own unique advantages and disadvantages for organisations that are looking to transform into green businesses.
Renewable energy storage plays a critical role in ensuring a stable energy supply from renewable sources like solar energy.
One of the key benefits of renewable energy storage is its ability to store excess energy generated during times of low demand, such as during the day when solar panels are producing more solar energy than is being used.
This excess energy can then be utilised during periods of high demand, such as in the evening when people come home from work and turn on their lights and appliances.
By reducing the amount of renewable energy that goes unused, renewable energy storage also helps to reduce the reliance on non-renewable sources of energy.
This has significant environmental and economic benefits, as the use of fossil fuels is a major contributor to carbon emissions and can lead to volatile energy prices.
Additionally, renewable energy storage can help to lower energy costs for businesses.
By storing excess energy, businesses can reduce their reliance on electricity from the grid, which can be expensive during periods of high demand.
It is also important that businesses look to improve energy efficiency across the entire business and ultimately reduce their consumption.
Hydrogen is increasingly being considered as a vital source of green energy for businesses.
Hydrogen gas is a lightweight, odourless, and colourless fuel that is highly efficient and produces zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Its potential as a renewable source of energy is vast, given its ability to power a wide range of applications, including vehicles, homes, and industries.
The most significant benefit of hydrogen fuel cells is their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.
When used as fuel, hydrogen produces only water and heat, making it an incredibly clean energy source.
Businesses and organizations that adopt hydrogen fuel cells will be able to make a significant impact in reducing their carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable.
One of the most promising applications of hydrogen fuel cells is to power vehicles.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are powered by electric motors that receive their energy from fuel cells that use hydrogen.
FCEVs have similar performance and range to conventional petrol-powered cars, while emitting only water vapour.
Hydrogen fuel cells can also be used to power buildings, providing an efficient and carbon-neutral energy source for heating, cooling, and electricity generation.
Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen. In a fuel cell, hydrogen is sent to the anode, while oxygen is sent to the cathode, where the two molecules are separated by a catalyst.
As they recombine, the reaction produces electricity, which can be used to power an electric motor.
Despite the many benefits associated with hydrogen fuel cells, there are still several challenges to their adoption.
One of the primary challenges is the high cost associated with producing and storing hydrogen.
The process of producing hydrogen can be energy-intensive and requires a significant investment, which can make it less accessible for many businesses.
Furthermore, there are still safety concerns associated with the storage and transportation of hydrogen.
As a highly flammable gas, hydrogen requires careful handling and storage to ensure safe use.
Low-carbon construction is a concept that has gained significant attention in recent years as a way to reduce the carbon footprint of building projects.
This approach involves the use of sustainable materials, renewable energy sources, and energy-efficient techniques to minimize the energy consumed during the construction and operation of buildings.
By adopting low-carbon practices, businesses can significantly decrease their operational costs, lower their energy consumption, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainable materials are integral to low-carbon construction, as they minimize the environmental impact during the sourcing and production of materials.
Examples of sustainable materials include bamboo, cork, and recycled materials such as glass and metal.
These materials are not only environmentally friendly but also durable, reducing the need for frequent replacements and minimising waste.
Renewable and green energy sources are also crucial in low-carbon construction.
One example is the use of solar panels, which generate electricity using renewable energy from the sun.
Installing solar panels on the roofs of buildings can reduce the amount of energy required from traditional power sources, which positively impacts the environment by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Other examples of renewable energy sources include wind turbines and geothermal heat.
Energy-efficient techniques are fundamental for low-carbon construction because they help to minimize overall energy consumption.
Examples of energy-efficient techniques include installing insulation, which helps to retain heat and reduce the energy required to heat buildings, and using LED lighting, which is another green technology that businesses are adopting.
It is energy-efficient and lasts longer than traditional lights, which can help businesses save money on maintenance and replacement costs.
Low-carbon construction provides numerous benefits for both businesses and the environment.
By reducing energy consumption, businesses can lower their operational costs, which improves their bottom line.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions also demonstrates social responsibility and helps to improve branding and public perception.
Additionally, low-carbon construction can improve the indoor air quality of buildings, creating healthier work environments.
How can your company benefit from green technology?
In today’s world, companies have a responsibility to minimise their impact on the environment.
Failing to do so can lead to negative consequences such as increased operational costs and damage to brand reputation.
One solution is to incorporate green technology into business practices to reduce carbon emissions and waste.
By doing so, companies can not only demonstrate social responsibility but also experience numerous benefits.
Build a better brand
Green technology is a powerful tool that businesses can use to build a better brand.
As consumers become increasingly aware of their impact on the environment and society, companies that demonstrate their commitment to sustainability have a competitive edge.
By incorporating green technologies into their operations, businesses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, energy consumption, and raw material usage, while also improving their social responsibility and supply chain practices.
Embracing sustainable initiatives can help businesses highlight their commitment to sustainability in their marketing efforts, build a reputation as an environmentally responsible company, and attract environmentally conscious customers.
A study published by Nielsen found that over 73% of Millennials are willing to pay more for products from environmentally friendly companies.
This indicates the growing importance of sustainability for consumers, and the great potential for businesses to expand their customer base through sustainable practices.
Utilising green technologies can also help businesses reduce operational costs over time.
For instance, investing in energy-efficient lighting, such as LED lighting, and building automation systems can help minimise energy expenditures and promote sustainable business practices.
By reducing expenses, businesses can redirect funds towards other areas of growth, such as research and development or marketing strategies.
Incorporating sustainable technologies can help businesses demonstrate social responsibility and environmental stewardship, thus promoting a culture of innovation, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.
This type of culture can also help attract top talent committed to sustainability and social responsibility.
Green technology has the potential to not only reduce the carbon footprint of businesses but also improve their productivity.
Incorporating sustainable practices and sustainable technologies into daily operations can lead to increased efficiency, output and revenue.
One way green technology can increase productivity is by minimising energy consumption.
Energy-efficient technologies such as LED lighting and building automation systems can help reduce expenses while promoting sustainable practices.
By saving on energy costs, businesses can invest more in other areas, such as research and development or marketing strategies.
Moreover, sustainable practices often lead to streamlined business processes and increased efficiency.
For example, companies can implement eco-friendly initiatives, like reducing plastic waste or using sustainable alternative materials in production, to decrease operational costs and create a more efficient supply chain.
There are several examples of companies that have successfully implemented green technologies to improve productivity.
Unilever, for instance, has made a commitment to sourcing 100% of its raw materials from sustainable sources.
The company has since experienced increased efficiency and received positive response from customers who appreciate the company’s commitment to sustainability.
Digital platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) can also be employed to enhance productivity in a sustainable way.
For example, digital platforms can help businesses monitor and reduce energy consumption in real-time, while artificial intelligence can be used to identify inefficiencies in the supply chain that can be optimised for maximum output.
Improve Disaster Recovery
Green and innovative technology can provide businesses with the tools they need to improve their disaster recovery efforts.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods can cause significant damage to businesses, and being prepared to handle such emergencies is crucial.
Fortunately, green technology can help businesses in multiple ways to be ready for such situations.
One way green and innovative technology can improve disaster recovery is by incorporating renewable and green energy sources such as solar and wind power.
These renewable energy sources can provide backup power to businesses during power outages, which are common during natural disasters.
Using sustainable and green energy sources can also reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, which is not only environmentally friendly but can also have significant long-term cost savings for businesses.
Another way in which green technology can improve disaster recovery is through sustainable building practices that utilise sustainable materials.
Buildings constructed with sustainable materials, such as reclaimed wood or recycled plastics, can be more resistant to damage caused by extreme weather events.
Durable, sustainable materials can decrease the likelihood of structural damage and reduce recovery time after a disaster.
Additionally, green buildings can utilise natural or passive cooling, which can prevent the need for power-hungry air conditioning systems that may not be available during power outages.
Moreover, eco-friendly technologies for waste disposal such as recycling, composting, and other sustainable methods can contribute to reducing the environmental impact of such disasters.
These technologies can help reduce major problems like plastic waste and minimise the negative effects that the disaster may have on the surrounding environment.
Additionally, cutting down on carbon emissions by reducing waste can help mitigate the long-term environmental impacts of such disasters.
By using green and innovative technology, businesses can improve their disaster recovery efforts and become more resilient to natural disasters.
Incorporating renewable and green energy sources, sustainable materials, eco-friendly technologies for waste disposal, and reducing carbon emissions can all contribute to a more sustainable business model that is better prepared to handle emergencies.
Other Examples of Green Alternatives
Low-emission vehicles are also becoming more prevalent in the business world to help reduce their environmental footprint.
These vehicles are designed to emit lower levels of pollutants, which can help companies reduce their carbon footprint and improve air quality.
Some examples of low-emission vehicles include electric cars, hybrid cars, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Smart building systems are also an option and are growing in popularity as well.
These systems use sensors and other technologies to optimise energy usage within a building, reducing energy waste and lowering energy costs.
They can also help businesses track and reduce their carbon emissions.
Many organisations and innovative companies look to offset the environmental effects that are more difficult to change by instigating in green tech investments such as carbon capture via the planting of new trees.
As you will notice all the green examples we have used are all linked in the areas where they can bring significant benefit to an organisation.
However, the implementation of green and innovative technology in businesses also poses some challenges.
One of the most notable obstacles is the high initial cost of adopting eco-friendly practices and technologies.
However, companies can profit from tax benefits and operational cost reductions in the long run.
Another challenge is the potential resistance from employees who may need to alter their work practices to incorporate sustainable practices.
Despite these challenges, the adoption of green technology in businesses presents significant opportunities.
Besides being environmentally responsible and socially conscious, implementing green technology also makes businesses more competitive in the market.
It also enables businesses to establish stronger relationships with consumers who value sustainability.