December, 2013

Network Of Environmental Professionals For Businesses

Network Of Environmental Professionals For Businesses

We often hear about global issues such as global warming, carbon emissions, sea level rise, sudden climatic changes, and so on, being talked about today. These issues are as relevant today as they were a decade ago. But the businesses are taking global issues more seriously now than ever before and there is a good reason for that. The world population today is about 7.13 billion and according to the UNO, it is going to rise up to 8 billion by 2030. The good news is that about 3 billion people will come out of poverty and join the middle class by 2030, making the number of middle class to 5 billion. This would also mean that we will be facing new challenges to tackle the resource scarcity issues.

With industrialization and urbanization there are other issues such as carbon emission and energy shortages associated. More and more people will live their lives based on the cities, and there will be a large number of cities around the world having over a million or more people living in them. It is estimated that the global temperature will rise up to 3 degrees in the next decade, and all the problems that we are having today globally are only due to a one or one and half degree rise in the global temperature.

Considering the global situations and world trend today, sustainability has become a “must do” for all business, and it is no longer an option which was “nice to do” before, for some businesses. What businesses do today is going to have an impact on the sustainability of environment in the future, and it is now a concern for government as well as environmentalists around the world.

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Why Sustainable businesses

If you ask the common customers, they will all agree that they care about sustainability, and so, they are already doing their part by shifting towards environmentally safe products and eco-friendly products. The people around the world are more conscious about environmental issues today than ever before, and so, the shift towards sustainable products is not only an option, but has become necessary.

We know that all customers care about sustainability in their everyday activities. They also want sustainability to be easy, attractive, affordable, and beneficial for them. This is where businesses can help. Once the business adapt to sustainable strategies, the demand for sustainable goods and services will only increase.

Companies like IBM and Microsoft, already worked towards sustainability when they produced machines that could save paper. Emailing over the internet and saving data on central databases reduced the need for huge paper based files, and filing cabinets.

Corporate employeeIf you think about the early sustainable products, the most common products that come into your mind would be the eco-friendly detergents, the light bulbs or the recycled toilet papers, and none of them worked very well in their early stages. The recycled toilet paper used to be rough, the light bulb took five minutes to warm up and gave a sickly color, and the detergent made your whites greyer. Sustainable products have come a long way since then, and today, the eco-friendly products work just as great as the products made by conventional method. Businesses can now produce products that are sustainable, attractive, functional, and beautiful all at the same time.

Why Environmental Professionals Network for business?

Businesses today have already recognized the need for sustainability. The Environmental Professionals Network can help businesses have a positive impact on the environment. Some of the companies are already working through the sustainability strategies with the help of EPN.

What will the Environmental Professionals Network do for businesses?

environmental professionals networkThe Environmental Professionals Network are a group of environmentalists with a vast knowledge in the industry to address any environmental issues that any business is faced with today, whether it involves a business facility, that requires a Phase – 1 assessment, an industry that needs government approval to start business, or a farmer with low budget who is looking for ways to minimize cost and maximize profits. The EPN has set new standers for other environmentalists, and worked with ASTM to make these standards global recommendations for assessments and testing.

EPN can also identify and work on the areas where a company needs improvement to reduce global impact. There are many regulations by government agencies as well as legal issues associated with businesses that businesses need to know and comply with. The EPN professionals can help all business to stay in compliance with the legal issues as well as government agencies.

The environmental industry is rapidly evolving and changing the business the way they operate. It is wise for any business to consult the Environmental Professionals Network instead of hiring and training their own employees to tackle the task of the environmentalists on their own.

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Ways we can help our environment

When it comes to saving the environment, both the consumers and producers have an active role towards sustainability. It is not only how the product impacts the environment, but also the raw materials, the production of the products that needs to be taken under consideration.

1. Use energy efficient appliances

Using appliances and products that save energy can reduce the energy consumption, carbon emission, and reduce the energy costs. Shifting towards energy star products, energy saving light bulbs, and so on can significantly save the fossils and address the energy crisis of the world.

2. Use practices that save energy

Using energy saving practices in our daily lives, such as using the public transportation whenever possible, driving smaller cars, checking the emission of the automobiles regularly, turning off lights, heat and air-conditioning whenever we leave the house,  can all add up to sustainability.

3. Minimize energy wastage

Wasting energy is one of the worst crimes that we are guilty of. By minimizing waste, we can all save a lot of energy together in the long run. We can minimize waste by insulating our houses better, replacing our old windows and doors with energy star doors and windows that save energy, replacing appliances that use too much energy or that are faulty or that has leakage with new energy efficient appliances, changing your old thermostat with digital programmable thermostat can all add up and save you energy.

4. Recycle

Using recycled products and using recycled materials to produce new goods and services can also contribute to saving energy and resources. Not only the producers, but we, as the consumers need to look into using more products with recycled materials. The same goes for products of our everyday use, products such as glass, metal goods, plastic, paper, all can be recycled and can add up the savings. Instead of throwing away in the garbage, we can save and recycle them to minimize mining and cutting down trees.

There are many people who still need to be convinced about the benefits of sustainability. We see people using illegal practices, like negative forestry, or using environmentally hazardous practices to profit from their business. We would like to inform all of them that the practices that impact the globe negatively are the ones that tend to destroy our own existence and sustainability for the future, in a way; we are destroying ourselves, if we do not become aware now and act towards sustainability together by making a simple choice.

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The Importance Of Building And Maintaining Biodiversity Globally

The Importance Of Building And Maintaining Biodiversity Globally

How well our eco-system performs depends a great deal on the number of species that interact in the environment, and therefore, to maintain sustainability biodiversity is crucial. Therefore, to enhance the eco-system, preserving maximum number of species becomes a key factor in improving the performance of our eco-system.

It has also been found through a recent study at Duke University in Massachusetts that it is not just the member of species that affects the eco-system, but it is also the varieties of species present in the eco-system but also the presence of key-species in the environment, and therefore, it is important to preserve the right combination of species, if we want to benefit from any of the elements of the ecosystem.

What is understood by the term “biodiversity”

To understand what biodiversity is, we need to look at the two root words. The term biodiversity is derived by contracting the term biological diversity. The term biodiversity refers to variety. It is a concept of having a wide range of species of plants and animals among the biological world. Biodiversity literally means having a wide number of different biological living organisms with various attributes, variables and variety of life on earth. This includes the various species of animals, plants microorganisms.

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Why worry about biodiversity?

 If you ask whether biodiversity affects our economy and sustainability of environment? The answer would be yes. To grow a strong economy, all forms of economic, capital, financial, natural and social growth is needed, and through biodiversity, all aspects of economy can improve. Although, other sectors of science and practice of conservation of environment and sustainability may not worry about their impact on biodiversity, biodiversity itself impacts all other sectors of science and industry.

Biological resources supply a major portion of economy and needs of the people around the world, and so, biodiversity issues are becoming increasingly popular among environmental scientists and environmental professionals around the world today.

Benefits of biodiversity

 

·         Economic growth:

The main reason why scientists and environmentalists around the world are concerned about the biodiversity of the ecosystem is because it boosts the ecosystem, productivity and economy. Every specie, no matter how big or small they are, plays a role in the ecosystem. Biodiversity means more variety of plants and greater number of edible crops, variations in animal products, and therefore more variety in food.

·         Sustainability of life naturally

In an ecosystem, plants and animals depend on each other. Even though they compete for food and survival, there are a number of ways they also help each other survive and co-exist. In the food chain, animals and plants must find alternative resources for survival and also must adapt to new changes in environment. if one species of plant or animal is lost due to a climatic change, or natural disaster, they must shift their eating habits and choose the next best possible option. This is only possible with a diversity of life on earth. If the change is too rapid the species may become extinct. We humans are no exceptions.

·         Better endurance and recovery from natural disasters

Most plants protect soil erosions, dust and purify the air. Biodiversity also helps a farmland to recover from a natural disaster such as droughts, floods, and fire quickly. Scientists have found that to preserve a farm land for a long time it is important to preserve its biodiversity in order for it to keep it fertile and increase productivity.

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·         Biodiversity offers many free services

A biologically diverse ecosystem enjoys many of the natural services for free.  We get food, medication, preservation of water and minerals, reduced pollution, food storage, climate stability, protection from natural disasters and unpredictable events such as earthquakes, storms, floods, etc. The bacteria and plants are also in a symbiotic relationship. They convert nitrogen from air into ammonia for plants and also take part in carbon cycle, and take care of the dead. We also get wood for our houses and furniture, and everything else including education, recreation, and tourism and such. We could not possibly replace all these services we get form biodiversity for free.

·         Biodiversity boosts agriculture

Many insects such as bees help in pollination of the plants. There are about 130,000 plants which depend on bees for pollination.  Without bees, one third of our flowers and fruits could not reproduce. Some insects also work as insecticides by eating other harmful insects, and therefore, reduce the need for toxic insecticides. The droppings of animals and compost work as natural fertilizers. Therefore, biodiversity is essential for natural organic farming. 

 

Keeping ecological balance for a sustainable environment

Most plants and animals in the ecosystem maintain equilibrium in the ecosystem by controlling their own population according to the favorable natural conditions. If nature is left to take its course and evolve on its own for better sustainability of the environment, most of the time it balances itself out. It has been observed through various incidences in the nature that the eco-system is able to sustain on its own without the intervention of human beings, which it has learned through millions of years of evolution. Many environmental scientists have now been looking at the nature with amazement how various species co-exists and work together consuming, and producing resources, keeping a perfect balance in the eco-system.

It is not only the beauty of the nature, but the nature and eco-system can be compared to as a huge organism and all the species as separate organs, which work together in harmony. Without one species, all other systems suffer and the whole system may collapse. Therefore, ecological balance and biodiversity is crucial for all of the earth and sustainability of environment.

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Sustainable Business Facilities & Future Sustainability Of Environment

Sustainable Business Facilities & Future Sustainability Of Environment

The world today demands a balance, a balance between the resources and the businesses that use the resources. The preservation of nature and sustainability issues is now more relevant to the world than it was ever before. The things that all the environmentalists talked about, issues such as global warming, ice-cap melting, green house effect and so on just a decade ago are now becoming evident and an inevitable consequence to our actions that impacted the globe negatively.

Business, world economy and environmental sustainability are all correlated and we cannot prosper and have a bright future without addressing the global issues today. The market today has also become global and anything we do at one corner of the world impacts the entire globe.

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Sustainable business practices

Even a decade ago, sustainability issues were not related to any of the business issues. However, as the world economy and nature of businesses changed, all major corporations and businesses around the world are now becoming more and more environmentally aware and also becoming inclined towards environmentally sustainable business practices, more than ever. A sustainable business practice address all the current global issues, uses data-driven analytic methods to reduce carbon footprints, lifecycle analysis, product indexing, and valuation for the  ecosystem services  to achieve a much more educated business ideas, innovations and decision-making strategies.

The sustainable businesses today are determined to make a positive impact on the globe so that the future of the businesses will be able to reach out and expand among the growing population of the world. The business leaders around the world are already aware of the global issues that they are facing with, such as the shortages of food and water, carbon emission, need for reusable clean source of energy, global climatic changes, sustainable livestock farming, and so on, and they are already working towards addressing these issues.

However, in creating a positive impact on the environment, we still have a long way to go. In a recent survey taken among 1000 members of several large corporations in 103 countries, including CEOs of 27 industries, it sustainable business fascilitieswas found that only 32% of the people believe that the actions being taken today are adequate to address the future global issues of sustainability. Therefore, we the growing population, are in danger of being in a disastrous condition if we do not act appropriately now.

There are, without any doubt, benefits of operating through sustainable methods, and it is not difficult for any business to make minor adjustment in their business operations to adopt sustainable methods. Sustainable practice in business operations and in the decision making strategies that address global and environmental issues, can have long term global benefits, positive impacts on the globe, and eventually make the world economy better.

Trend towards zero carbon business

A significant number of businesses around the world are now practicing the zero-carbon. Many businesses, such as furniture manufacturing companies, are using more and more recycled raw materials for their products, which gives them low cost raw materials, as well as conserves nature by reducing mining, or cutting down trees for raw materials. Trend towards 100% recyclable goods is also noticeable among both, consumers and producers around the world. This also minimizes the cost of the products as well as conserves the natural resources.

Sustainable business facilities

sustainable businessMany of the schools, hotels, and factories are turning into business facilities. Many of the boutique hotels are practicing zero-carbon methods of operation in their business. A hotel in Germany has been generating power from its own resources, and recently bought a forest around it to keep a balance of its carbon foot-prints. Recently University of Illinois business has built a facility for its students this building has been called the fist green building in the 140 years history of the universities. The building cost over a $60 million to build, and is going to be one of the most eco-friendly buildings that were ever made.

Many of the modern businesses with sustainable facilities have lowered their energy consumptions, lowered water wastage, use recycled raw materials in order to lower production costs, conserve energy, reduce mining and comply with federal regulations to achieve its long term and short term goals. The recent surveys also reveal that we as consumers are using and wasting more resources than ever before.

Five common environmental management strategies by sustainable businesses:

  • Product Design – Searching for new eco-friendly product designs and innovations in technology and materials is a major key to ensure sustainability and eco-friendly product design for future product designs.
  • Managing Supply Chain – It is vital for the suppliers and distributors to manage their inventory in the most eco-friendly way so that minimum product is wasted. The efforts should be to comply with environmental requirements and improving actions to ensure sustainability continuously.
  • Operations – All business operations should aim for maximum environmental safety and sustainability.
  • Product care – Both producers and consumers should ensure that all products are made and maintained for the longest period of time, and maintained with eco-friendly materials. Using products longer and recycling old products will help reduce wastage and mining of new raw materials for production.
  • Communications – environmental professionals network – Sustainability depends a whole lot on professional supervision and communication with other environment professionals. A company might need to hire environmental professionals for its internal environmental team, or hire professionals as supervisors or consultants to ensure compliance with environmental issues, government regulations and legal aspects.

To meet the challenges of today’s environmental issues, it is vital to adapt to sustainable methods in every action of any business. Without sustainable environment, no business could benefit in the long run in the current market trends, which are going global, minimize wastage, minimize carbon footprints, and conserve nature.

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