"Envirotech" redirects here. For the Singapore-based company, see United Envirotech. For the California-based company, see Envirotech (company).
Environmental technology (envirotech), green technology (greentech) or clean technology (cleantech) is the application of one or more of environmental science, green chemistry, environmental monitoring and electronic devices to monitor, model and conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of human involvement. The term is also used to describe sustainable energy generation technologies such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, bioreactors, etc. Sustainable development is the core of environmental technologies. The term environmental technologies is also used to describe a class of electronic devices that can promote sustainable management of resources.
Main article: Recycling
Renewable energy is the energy that can be replenished easily. For years we have been using sources such as wood, sun, water, etc. for means for producing energy. Energy that can be produced by natural objects like wood, sun, wind, etc. is considered to be renewable.
Water purification: The whole idea/concept of having dirt/germ/pollution free water flowing throughout the environment. Many other phenomena lead from this concept of purification of water. Water pollution is the main enemy of this concept, and various campaigns and activists have been organized around the world to help purify water.
Air purification: Basic and common green plants can be grown indoors to keep air fresh because all plants remove CO2 and convert it into oxygen. The best examples are: Dypsis lutescens, Sansevieria trifasciata, and Epipremnum aureum. It should also be noted that besides using the plants themselves, some species of bacteria can also be added to the leaves of these plants to help remove toxic gases, such as toluene
Sewage treatment is conceptually similar to water purification. Sewage treatments are very important as they purify water per levels of its pollution. The most polluted water is not used for anything, and the least polluted water is supplied to places where water is used affluently. It may lead to various other concepts of environmental protection, sustainability etc.
Environmental remediation is the removal of pollutants or contaminants for the general protection of the environment. This is accomplished by various chemical, biological, and bulk methods.
Solid waste management
Solid waste management is the purification, consumption, reuse, disposal and treatment of solid waste that is undertaken by the government or the ruling bodies of a city/town.
Egain forecasting is a method using forecasting technology to predict the future weather's impact on a building. By adjusting the heat based on the weather forecast, the system eliminates redundant use of heat, thus reducing the energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases.
Energy conservation is the utilization of devices that require smaller amounts of energy in order to reduce the consumption of electricity. Reducing the use of electricity causes less fossil fuels to be burned to provide that electricity.
Alternative and clean power
Concerns over pollution and greenhouse gases have spurred the search for sustainable alternatives to our current fuel use. For example, biogas from anaerobic digestion of plant waste can be stored to produce heat or electricity. The global reduction of greenhouse gases requires the adoption of energy conservation as well as sustainable generation. That environmental harm reduction involves global changes such as:
- reducing air pollution and methane from biomass
- virtually eliminating fossil fuels for vehicles, heat and electricity, left in the ground.
- wide spread use of public transport, battery and fuel cell vehicles
- more wind/solar/water generated electricity
- reducing peak demands with carbon taxes and time of use pricing.
Since fuel used by industry and transportation account for the majority of world demand, by investing in conservation and efficiency (using less fuel), pollution and greenhouse gases from these two sectors can be reduced around the globe. Advanced energy efficient electric motor (and electric generator) technology that are cost effective to encourage their application, such as variable speed generators and efficient energy use, can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) that would otherwise be introduced to the atmosphere, if electricity were generated using fossil fuels. Greasestock is an event held yearly in Yorktown Heights, New York which is one of the largest showcases of environmental technology in the United States.
Courses aimed at developing graduates with specific skills in environmental systems or environmental technology are becoming more common and fall into three broads classes:
- Environmental Engineering or Environmental Systems courses oriented towards a civil engineering approach in which structures and the landscape are constructed to blend with or protect the environment;
- Environmental chemistry, sustainable chemistry or environmental chemical engineering courses oriented towards understanding the effects (good and bad) of chemicals in the environment. Such awards can focus on mining processes, pollutants and commonly also cover biochemical processes;
- Environmental technology courses oriented towards producing electronic, electrical or electrotechnology graduates capable of developing devices and artefacts able to monitor, measure, model and control environmental impact, including monitoring and managing energy generation from renewable sources, and developing novel energy generation technologies.
- ^Recycling”. Retrieved June 15th, 2009. http://earth911.com/recycling/. “Recycle.gif”. Retrieved June 15th, 2009. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-23. Retrieved 2009-06-24. “What is Water Purification”. Retrieved June 16th, 2009, http://www.bionewsonline.com/s/what_is_water_purification.htm[permanent dead link] “Sewage Treatment”. Retrieved June 17th, 2009 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-06-24. “Environmental Remedies and water Resource
- ^Kamal Meattle on how to grow fresh airTED (conference)
- ^EOS magazine, February 2017; Azalea's with extra bacteria can help to degrade toluene
- ^Diesel fuel degrading bacteria
- ^Bacteria on Hedera helix able to help degrade exhaust gases from Diesel engines running on Diesel
- ^“Sewage Treatment”. Retrieved June 17th, 2009 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-06-24. “Environmental remedies and water Resource
- ^Livescience. Retrieved June 27, 2009.10 top emerging environmental technologies. http://www.reference.md/files/D052/mD052918.html
- ^Retrieved June 16th, 2009. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2009-06-24. “Urban Waste Management”. Retrieved June 16th, 2009. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTURBANDEVELOPMENT/EXTUSWM[permanent dead link]
- ^Taesler, R. (1990/91) Climate and Building Energy Management. Energy and Buildings, Vol. 15-16, pp 599 - 608.
- ^United States Patent 6098893 Comfort control system incorporating weather forecast data and a method for operating such a system (Inventor Stefan Berglund)
- ^Norman, Jim. "Where There’s Never an Oil Shortage". New York Times. May 13, 2007.
- ^Tillman, Adriane. "Greasestock Festival returns, bigger and betterArchived 2008-05-18 at the Wayback Machine.". May 14, 2008.
- ^"Greasestock 2008". Greasestock. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- ^Max, Josh. "Gas-guzzlers become veggie delights at Greasestock in Yorktown Heights". Daily News. May 13, 2008.
- ^"Greasestock 2008: Alternative Fuel, Fun and French FriesArchived 2008-05-29 at the Wayback Machine.". Natural Awakenings. May 2008.
- OECD Studies on Environmental Innovation Invention and Transfer of Environmental Technologies. OECD. September 2011. ISBN 978-92-64-11561-3.
Environment can be wisely described through the words of Mr. Walt Disney –
“Landscapes of great wonder and beauty lie under our feet and all around us. They are discovered in tunnels in the ground, the heart of flowers, the hollows of trees, fresh-water ponds, seaweed jungles between tides, and even drops of water. Life in these hidden worlds is more startling in reality than anything we can imagine”.
And sustainability is simply everything that we need for our survival and well-being, either directly or indirectly from our environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.
Environmental sustainability involves making decisions and taking action that are in the interests of protecting the natural world, with particular emphasis on preserving the capability of the environment to support human life. It is an important topic in the present time, as people are realising the full impact that businesses and individuals can have on the environment. Environmental sustainability is about making responsible decisions that will reduce your business’ negative impact on the environment. It is not simply about reducing the amount of waste you produce or using less energy, but is concerned with developing processes that will lead to businesses becoming completely sustainable in the future.
Currently, environmental sustainability is a topical issue that receives plenty of attention from the media and from different governmental departments.
Businesses now are wary of quick fixes and short-term gains. They want to grow in a manner that’s mindful of all their stakeholders, including global and local communities, economies, and the environment. In other words, they want to practice business in a more sustainable fashion. Businesses are expected to lead in the area of environmental sustainability as they are considered to be the biggest contributors and are also in a position where they can make a significant difference.
Businesses can potentially cause damage to all areas of the environment. Some of the common environmental concerns include: damaging rainforests and woodlands through logging and agricultural clearing, polluting and over-fishing of oceans, rivers and lakes, polluting the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, damaging prime agricultural and cultivated land through the use of unsustainable farming practices etc.
For much of the past, most businesses have acted with little regard or concern for the negative impact they have on the environment. Environmental sustainability forces businesses to look beyond making short term gains and look at the long term impact they are having on the natural world. You need to consider not only the immediate impact your actions have on the environment, but the long term implications as well. For example, when manufacturing a product, you need to look at the environmental impact of the products entire lifecycle, from development to disposal before finalizing your designs.
Many large and small organizations are guilty of significantly polluting the environment and engaging in practices that are simply not sustainable. However, there are now an increasing number of businesses that are committed to reducing their damaging impact and even working towards having a positive influence on environmental sustainability.
As a business priority, environmental management is on the rise. Enterprise is already preparing for a future in which green regulations are mandatory, green consumers are the majority, and green IT is a requirement. Environmental management can help enable companies to make efficient use of energy and material resources, as well as help them implement strict controls on greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental contamination.
You might expect the recession would end that trend. But the recession has actually motivated many of our customers to implement more cost-effective, environmentally friendly improvements such as consolidating data centers, upgrading networks to fiber optics, and using hosted and managed services. Some are taking things a step further by investing in environmental and energy management software. It’s these companies that are looking to gain deeper insights into their environmental impact, as well as seeking to monitor reduction actions on an automated basis.
To create a more sustainable business, these efforts will need to continue. However, only when companies move beyond technological efficiency—and begin to critically examine their current business practices and required resources—will they approach authentic sustainability.
Environmentally sustainable businesses may also have a competitive edge when it comes to attracting customers and investors. Modern consumers are aware of social and environmental issues and keep themselves informed about which businesses are acting responsibly in the community. Investors are equally aware of these issues and there is a trend developing towards investing in environmentally sustainable companies. Many countries like Australia have been taking many initiatives to support the businesses caring for environmental sustainability. The Australian Business Award for Environmental Sustainability recognizes organizations that implement policies and/or execute initiatives that demonstrate leadership and commitment to the enhancement, preservation and protection of the environment.
Admittedly, the process of changing corporate mindsets and culture to embrace sustainability can be a challenge for some enterprises. But even so, the underlying concept shouldn’t be too unfamiliar. The contemporary idea of sustainable business is, at its heart, merely an extension of principals that underpin value and wealth. After all, maintaining an environment that enables continued prosperity is imperative for any organization’s survival and growth.
But to achieve authentic sustainability, companies may need to broaden their view of resources that are critical to business. Once that shift occurs, it will be natural for companies to anticipate how decisions may impact both current and future stakeholders—because they recognize that those decisions will ultimately impact both their current and future business.
Technology will be an important part of the solution. But only partly. The key will be to nurture a culture that has the discipline, patience, and courage to look beyond short-term solutions and opt for business practices that can offer the greatest positive impact and longevity. “The great challenge of the twenty-first century is to raise people everywhere to a decent standard of living while preserving as much of the rest of life as possible.”
Essay by Ms. Aastha Singhal
Do you have a flair for writing? Interested in environmental issues? Why don’t you submit an article for the GreenCleanGuide 2013 contest? For contest rules, please visit thislink