In recent years, the impact of our behaviour on the environment has been brought into focus. From the plastic bag charge to Sir David Attenborough’s reporting of pollution in the world’s oceans, we’re beginning to take the necessary steps towards being more sustainable and aware of our actions on the planet.
If you’re a manager or owner of a company, you may already be making headway with reducing your carbon footprint and thinking more about waste management. Should you be looking for further ideas to help keep your company green, here are some eco-friendly measures that you could introduce in your day to day operations.
Why go green?
Before we can look at ways to make your business more sustainable, it’s important to know why you’re focusing on this. First, you’ll be helping the climate. Offices tend to consume a lot of energy and the larger the office space, the more energy it consumes. By adopting energy saving and eco-friendly measures, it can be possible to reduce the carbon output of these office spaces and this can impact positively on the environment.
Google, for instance, has been carbon neutral for over a decade. In 2019, the company announced that, for the second year, it matched 100% of its energy consumption with renewable energy, offsetting its output.
Second, as a business you can save money. On average, the UK spends £29.1 billion on energy annually. By picking up some simple ideas, you could save on your energy bills and channel this money into other aspects of your business.
So, what can you do to make a difference?
1. Use sea or rail shipments
If you use international couriers to do business, now is the ideal time to rethink how you do this. Whether you’re an e-commerce business that depends on imports and exports or your clients are based around the world and regularly ship products to you, opting to have them get to you via rail or sea can cut down on air traffic pollution.
By introducing smart technology that can keep track of the energy your office or workspace consumes, you can see exactly how much energy is being wasted. This can then give you the numbers to aim for and help you to trial ideas to reduce your output.
Energy monitoring systems are one type of tech that can prove to be a real investment. These can show you in real time how much is being consumed.
Create a green ethos
By making an eco-friendly ethos part of your everyday operations, your employees will follow suit. Getting everyone into the habit of turning lights off when not in use, popping paper into the recycling bin, and ensuring that you are a paperless office are some easy and quick updates that can go a long way.
Switch up your lighting
Making the switch from traditional to LED lighting is another energy efficient update. An LED bulb will use just 9 Watts, compared to a standard bulb’s 60 Watts, plus an LED bulb lasts for 23,000 hours longer than a typical bulb. When your current light bulbs run out, it’s worth making a note and adding LED ones in their place.
Which of these methods have you already introduced in your office?
Wastes originate from all stages of leather making process, such as fine leather particles, residues from various chemical discharges and reagents from different waste liquors comprising of large pieces of leather cuttings, trimmings and gross shavings, fleshing residues, solid hair debris and remnants of paper bags.
Tanning refers to the process by which collagen fibers in a hide react with a chemical agent (tannin, alum or other chemicals). However, the term leather tanning also commonly refers to the entire leather-making process. Hides and skins have the ability to absorb tannic acid and other chemical substances that prevent them from decaying, make them resistant to wetting, and keep them supple and durable. The flesh side of the hide or skin is much thicker and softer. The three types of hides and skins most often used in leather manufacture are from cattle, sheep, and pigs.
Out of 1000 kg of raw hide, nearly 850 kg is generated as solid wastes in leather processing. Only 150 Kg of the raw material is converted in to leather. A typical tannery generate huge amount of waste:
Chrome shaving, chrome splits and buffing dust: 35-40%
Skin trimming: 5-7%
Over 80 per cent of the organic pollution load in BOD terms emanates from the beamhouse (pre-tanning); much of this comes from degraded hide/skin and hair matter. During the tanning process at least 300 kg of chemicals (lime, salt etc.) are added per ton of hides. Excess of non-used salts will appear in the wastewater.
Because of the changing pH, these compounds can precipitate and contribute to the amount of solid waste or suspended solids. Every tanning process step, with the exception of finishing operations, produces wastewater. An average of 35 m3 is produced per ton of raw hide. The wastewater is made up of high concentration of salts, chromium, ammonia, dye and solvent chemicals etc.
A large amount of waste generated by tanneries is discharged in natural water bodies directly or indirectly through two open drains without any treatment. The water in the low lying areas in developing countries, like India and Bangladesh, is polluted in such a degree that it has become unsuitable for public uses. In summer when the rate of decomposition of the waste is higher, serious air pollution is caused in residential areas by producing intolerable obnoxious odours.
Tannery wastewater and solid wastes often find their way into surface water, where toxins are carried downstream and contaminate water used for bathing, cooking, swimming, and irrigation. Chromium waste can also seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater systems that provide drinking water for nearby communities. In addition, contamination in water can build up in aquatic animals, which are a common source of food.
The USA is way behind Europe when it comes to electric vehicles, with sales in Europe exceeding 1 million in 2018, while US figures stood at just 750,000. This is despite the giants of Silicon Valley, including Google, Amazon and Tesla, all making strides to offer electric vehicles to the mass market. The area where the contrast is most clear is in regards to vans. While Europe has many on offer, electric vans are almost non-existent on American roads. Where does this leave commercial enterprises looking to cut their carbon emissions?
Europe Leading the Way
Although hardly the norm, it isn’t uncommon to see fully electric commercial vehicles on European streets. German based DHL are selling over 5000 StreetScooters a year, allowing companies to offer battery powered deliveries. Meanwhile, the UK’s best selling plug in van is the Nissan e-NV200. This attractive commercial vehicle is on sale throughout Europe, selling more than 4000 a year. Unfortunately, it is not available in the US.
Don’t worry – it isn’t all bad news for the USA. With companies like Tesla offering their own electric pickup and semi vehicles, there could be a shift in sale trends soon. However, neither of these vehicles are yet to hit the mass market. Other electric truck or van options are few and far between. The likes of Google are focusing their efforts on creating self-drive vehicles rather than venturing into commercial electric automobiles that are wheelchair accessible as well..
Other Ways to Cut Carbon Emissions
Keep searching for the perfect electric van for your company. If Europe has them, then you can find one in America. In the meantime, however, consider other ways to cut your carbon footprint. For the running of any electronics, invest in solar power. This has really taken off in the USA and is one of the cheapest options available. You should also try to source products locally and remove plastic packaging from your goods.
EVs really can’t arrive soon enough, but commercial vans and trucks are yet to become mainstream. The USA needs to take a leaf out of Europe’s book and invest in electric vans. In the meantime, consider switching to solar power and taking other steps to reduce your company’s carbon emissions.
The plastic problem is always a big one and will continue afflicting many parts of the world. Plastics fill our rivers, lands, and even oceans. It is having a great impact on our lives and even affecting marine life.
The single-use of plastic is bad, we should always strive to recycle or avoid them altogether. Unfortunately, when you go camping, you will have very few options. It may not be easy to avoid plastics. Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce plastics consumption.
The best camping site will be an off-grid location situated in a remote area. Obviously, you will not have a designated place where to dispose of the plastic bags. Here are 10 ways to reduce plastic waste while camping
1. Pre-Plan Your Trip
If you do not plan in advance, it is easy to get trapped. You will end up picking plastic and paper plates. The results will be creating unnecessary plastic waste. Pre-planning helps you to get organized.
If you are tech-savvy, you may use an app to help you plan. If the campsite has Wi-Fi, it will make things better for you. It will allow you to utilize your phone. Also, plan to shop for groceries in bulk. This way, you will avoid the small plastic container.
Instead, you will have the foods packed in big containers that can be recycled and reused. It reduces the number of plastics you carry to the camping site.
If you will prepare some of the meals at home, pack them in reusable containers. It allows you to easily dispose of some of the plastics you carried from the grocery.
2. Store Food Wisely
You don’t need to pack the food in sandwich bags. Instead, use bowls, food coolers and mess kits. These items can be used to pack food and could be reused multiple times. Using them ensures that you have enough food throughout your camping trip.
Also, it guarantees to keep the camping environment free from plastics. Packing glass and silver cutleries may look cumbersome when going on a camping trip. But, it is the only way to ensure that your camping environment is plastic-free.
So, ensure you shop for enough sporks, and mess kits beforehand. It will help you reduce the plastics you carry to your camping site. Mess kits could be the best option when you go camping. You can use them to store the food and put them to multiple other uses.
However, if you are going to a bear trail, all your items should be bear proof. A traditional storage won’t work. You must use a bear canister to store foods.
However, to keep the foods in good shape in warm weather, you must have the best bear proof coolers from IBC7 Outdoors. Bears are very sensitive to smell. Hence, you must plan wisely.
3. Pick Simple Foods
You will get involved in so many activities while in the camp. So, it requires that you carefully select the dishes to prepare. Thus, picking on simple foods could help to save your time. It greatly reduces the plastics you will need to deal with.
Some of the foods you may consider are:
The foods are easy to pack and require little cooking. Besides, they are nutritious, and you will not need to worry about flavor. If you have challenges in cooking food, they are among the options you may need to consider.
Nuts, Trail Mix and Bars
They make an enjoyable camping snack. They are easy to make and can be packed in renewable containers. Packing these foods in mess kits reduces the need to carry unnecessary camping bags.
Dried Fruits and Beef Jerky
They contain protein and are the best option if you are looking forward to something to reduce hunger pangs quickly. They are easy to pack in containers and may not require the use of plastic bag.
4. Use Safe Plastic Bags
Buying reusable oversized BPA free plastic containers will reduce the plastic bags and containers to carry. Besides, the BPA free bags can easily be packed transported and reused. They are easy to clean and reused.
5. Rubbish Disposal Point
By organizing a rubbish disposal point, you reduce sending wastes to a landfill. You can do this by setting aside a few specialized vessels to collect plastics and other waste products. If you are camping in a remote location, be proactive if the bin service is not available.
You may sort this out by selecting an ideal place where all the wastes and plastics can be stored. It allows you to organize to dispose of the plastics in a designated area. But as you do this, ensure that it doesn’t lead to an unpleasant odor.
Also, don’t let them overstay to attract flies, rodents, and other unwanted animals. Later, the litter must be collected packed and taken to the nearest collection point. If no such a point exists, take it home.
6. Store Dehydrated Food in Mess Kit
If you buy dehydrated food packed in a paper bag, portion them in the mess kit. This should be done at home to avoid carrying unnecessary plastics to the camping site.
To preserve the food, you will need to boil some water and pour it into the mess kit. The content should then be shut with a lid. It will rehydrate the food and will be ready to be prepared for lunch or dinner.
7. Prepare Trail Snacks
Energy snacks can make great snacks when you are on the trail. But they are always packed in plastic bags which create an eyesore if disposed carelessly.
So, instead of buying snacks that are already packaged in plastic bags, make some at home. They are better compared to the ready-made snacks that come packaged in the sandwich bag.
8. The Bamboo Mess Kit
Having a bamboo mess kit should be encouraged. It reduces the number of plastic bags you are likely to carry to the camp. It is heavier than the mess kit, but it saves you from taking plastics to the camping site.
9. Bring Your Mess Kits
When going to the grocery or your local farmer, make it a habit to carry your own mess kits. Let the vendor pack whatever you buy in the kits.
It helps you to avoid carrying home plastic bags that would be difficult to dispose of. It also reduces plastic waste that you will carry to your camping site.
10. Carry Reusable Items
Having a reusable water bottle is essential. Choose only environmentally friendly bottles. It will save you from the need to buy water bottles that are always laced with microplastics.
Many manufacturers are replacing plastic drinking straws with titanium.
Consider reusable containers made from stainless steel. They are sustainable and will allow you to enjoy your outdoor adventures. Double-walled stainless-steel bottles are the best. They can keep your drinks either hot or cold.
That aside, carrying reusable conditioners and shampoo when on a camping trip is a great idea. The reusable conditioner bars and shampoos do not contain carcinogenic chemicals.
Also, the conditioner bars and shampoos last for long. It saves the environment from plastics associated with bottle shampoo.
It feels daunting and inconveniencing to limit the number of plastic bags you use during camping trips. But if you remain consistent, it can make a huge difference. It keeps the environment clean and reduces pollution.
The industrial sector, which includes the manufacturing industry, is the third largest global source of greenhouse gas emissions. Shockingly, the sector emits roughly 21% of all greenhouse gasses, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals. Fortunately, there are a number of ways manufacturing companies can lower their carbon footprints, adopt eco-friendly equipment and practices, and become more sustainable.
Audit energy use
Manufacturing plants typically use huge amounts of gas or electric energy. Adopting energy-efficient practices to optimize the plant’s energy use can slash costs considerably. Start by conducting an energy audit — ideally during the next scheduled plant downtime — to identify areas requiring improvement. HVAC systems, in particular, are huge energy and money drainers. Replace the filters and insulation so hot or cold air doesn’t escape. Repairs may also be needed. Temperature controls can be precisely automated with a programmable digital thermostat.
Additionally, common industrial lighting like incandescent bulbs should be switched out for LED lighting, which uses 75% less energy and lasts 25 times longer. Keep track of your eco-friendly changes and monitor energy use to make sure you’re operating at maximum efficiency.
Reducing manufacturing waste is an effective way of making your plant more sustainable. For example, limit the quantity of excess raw materials your plant has in stock; order just enough material for the job it’s needed for each time. Work on recovering waste from both onsite and offsite locations with the help of techniques like centrifugation, electrolysis, reverse osmosis, or filtration.
Alternatively, recycling materials is a simple way to recover useful materials (recycling hazardous materials, however, usually isn’t eco-friendly). High-power, industrial shredders, in particular, can help you deal with a number of waste materials (such as, wood, plastic, rubber, and asphalt) by considerably reducing their size. Investing in durable equipment also reduces waste. For example, Bobcat T190 tracks are designed to minimize wear and tear to the tire. The thick, high-quality rubber lasts longer, so the tires need replacing less often.
Switch to renewable energy
Switching to renewable energy can help your plant generate its own clean electricity and heating. In fact, by 2035, renewable energy is set to be the main global power source, according to the 2019 Clean Jobs America report. Green power sources like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal heat, and rain are also cheaper than traditional fossil fuel energy sources.
Depending on your state, you may also be able to benefit from tax incentives and earn money back. You can also support renewable energy by selecting a renewable electricity tariff with your supplier. This means either some or all of the power your plant uses will be matched by your supplier purchasing green energy.
Making your manufacturing plant more eco-friendly certainly isn’t an overnight job. However, it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to make positive and permanent changes. Switching to sustainable practices and equipment will help the environment, save energy, and improve your bottom line.
Waste is an inevitable aspect of being human in today’s world — or so most people believe. But what if we told you that reducing and even eliminating waste is possible? All we have to do to get to that point is convince a few key industry sectors to start doing things a bit differently. Basically, we need to transition to a circular economy model.
If you’ve never heard of the term, we can’t blame you. Most people don’t go around researching the economic system they live in — let alone alternative methods of production. Still, learning about circular economy is a great way to introduce other concepts — like Zero Waste manufacturing.
Of course, before we can do all that, we have to be aware of the system we currently have. With that in mind, let’s start by talking about the cause of the waste accumulation we are dealing with today.
Is Linear Economy Outdated?
Most people know that the amount of waste production and accumulation we are fighting against was ultimately caused by our economic system. The principles of linear economy are fairly simple. We take what we need from nature, and we transform these raw materials into products, which we dispose of when they’re no longer of use. Proponents of this system assumed that the planet is capable of providing infinite resources and regenerating an infinite amount of waste.
As we now know, that is simply not the case. So the system’s goal of maximizing production and sales has become impossible to envision without also seeing the eventual consequences.
After all, to keep production cycles going, we also need to create demand. That’s why many commodities we buy nowadays fall apart so quickly. The sooner your shirt rips open at the seams, the sooner you’ll go looking for a new one. But before we start pointing fingers at the fast fashion industry, remember that the system affects all commercial enterprises.
Is There a Different Kind of Approach We Can Opt for?
The excessive production and turnover of commodities we see in the linear economy are all but guaranteed to produce an enormous amount of waste. But as any waste management expert will tell you — it’s never too late to veer toward another approach.
In recent years, many people have been considering the benefits of transitioning to a Zero Waste lifestyle. Basically, rather than throwing their used up and damaged items, the goal of Zero Waste is to find a way to use them again. Whether it’s composting, making bags out of ripped jeans, or turning broken pans into planters — people are having to be creative with items they would have otherwise tossed in the trash.
But while most people are familiar with the philosophy in general, not many are aware of who started Zero Waste. Believe it or not, the phrase was coined in the ‘80s. However, Daniel Knapp, one of the first people who formulated the idea of total recycling, didn’t just talk the talk. Instead, he and his wife founded a salvaging market, Urban Ore, to focus on diverting waste from their local landfill and reusing it within the community.
Over the years, their ideas inspired many others to look for ways to reduce their waste production. Eventually, those principles reached the waste management industry and society at large. All through the ‘90s and early ‘00s, “no waste” slogans were everywhere. But where did all that activism lead?
The Birth of Circular Economy
The idea of a cyclical system of production is certainly older than the modern Zero Waste philosophy. However, the concept of a circular economy wasn’t mentioned until 1988. Even then, shifting perspectives around the subject of waste production and management certainly helped popularize the idea.
Ultimately, the philosophies behind these two concepts are closely aligned. Both aim to reduce and eventually eliminate the production of waste. Unlike the linear approach we discussed earlier, circular economy is all about letting the Earth recover and minimizing the amount of raw resources we take from it. But in addition to benefiting the planet, the principles of sustainable production also need to benefit businesses.
After all, rather than paying for raw materials that are directly taken from nature, circular economy advocates for reusing and recycling already-processed materials. That should reduce the cost of production — in theory. Unfortunately, recycling technology is still too expensive for some businesses to invest in. So how can we, as consumers, nudge them in the right direction?
How Do We Start Transitioning to Circular Economy?
On an individual level, one thing we can all do is check our consumption habits. Don’t just throw out old items if you don’t have to. Instead, learn how to mend and transform objects into items you can keep using and loving.
Additionally, you can transition to shopping from sustainable local businesses. Ultimately, the cost of shipping is much greater than you might think. If nothing else, shopping locally tends to have a lower carbon footprint.
These individual decisions should eventually influence businesses to reduce the number of commodities they produce in the first place. But there’s one more thing we can do to prompt the industry to change its ways. Namely, we can influence policies with our vote.
Getting people to participate in this as a political movement is the best way to put pressure on companies. If there are laws and sanctions in place to regulate the production of commodities and waste, businesses will have to adjust their habits.
Can We Achieve Zero Waste Manufacturing?
As we have previously stated, all we need to transition to Zero Waste manufacturing is a few key industry sectors. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, these sectors should be steel, plastic, and aluminum manufacturing, as well as cement and food industries. By getting these five sectors to reuse materials during the production process, we could cut carbon emissions by 3.7 billion tons by 2050.
Best of all, the emerging models of circular economy will not only stimulate business growth but also create many new job opportunities. So the sooner we take that leap, the sooner our planet can start recovering.
This results in clogged pipes that need you to call a plumber regularly. Beyond the home and the restaurant kitchen, poor disposal of cooking oil leads to clogging up sewage systems.
To avoid this, cooking oil should be recycled. Here are the main reasons why you should recycle cooking oil.
1. Reduce Impact On The Environment
Proper disposal and recycling of cooking oil help to improve the environment. Pouring used cooking oil down the drain is detrimental to the environment.
Clogged pipes and drainage systems have a great impact on the cleanliness of the environment. Clogged pipes leak. This causes puddles of waste to spill to the ground and polluting the environment.
When homes and restaurants opt for used oil recycling, the impact of the poorly disposed cooking oil on the environment reduces significantly. There are fewer clogged and leaky pipes that cause sewage to leak to the ground.
In addition, homes, restaurants, and city governments in charge of public drainage systems will save lots of money. Clogged and leaky pipes cost lots of money to fix. Homes and restaurants don’t have to keep on calling plumbers to unblock their drainage pipes.
2. Create Unique Products
Used oil recycling results in the creation of unique products. There is a range of products that can be made from recycled cooking oil.
At home, you can make lubricants, soap, and many other products.
Recycling used oil commercially converts the cooking oil to biofuels. These biofuels are then sold to transport and manufacturing companies as environmentally friendly fuel.
Biofuels are increasingly being used to power vehicles around the world
When this fuel is used, there is little pollution to the environment. It also burns more efficiently than fossil fuel. This ensures that there is little waste in the process they are used in. Also, if the fuel spills, it causes no harm to the environment.
Recycled used oil can also be converted to animal feeds for pigs, fish, and other commercial animals and pets.
3. A Source Of Income
Another reason why you should recycle cooking oil is that it is a source of income. Homes, hotels, and commercial kitchens can use cooking oil recycling as a source of extra income.
Oil recycling companies buy waste cooking oil from homes and hotels. Recyclers provide participating homes and hotels waste containers. They can pour their waste cooking oil into these containers.
Recyclers will then have select days on which they collect the waste cooking oil from homes and hotels. The more waste cooking oil you have, the more you earn.
The recycling companies also contract transporters to collect the oil from the different homes and hotels supplying to them. This helps to create employment and become a source of income for a large number of operators.
4. It Is Easy And Cost Effective
Recycling used cooking oil is easy and effective. You can recycle used cooking oil at home or commercially.
At home, the reagents for oil recycling are easily available. With the right skills, you can convert your waste cooking oil into soap and pet feeds easily.
Commercially, processing waste cooking oil is a simple five-step process. It is easy to complete with a little training and convert the waste cooking oil into biofuel.
Everyone should recycle their used cooking oil. It is easy to do and you can make a myriad of products from the waste cooking oil. It also helps to create a cleaner environment and reduce the impact of pollution.
Used cooking oil is one of the major sources of biofuel. As the push for alternative sources of energy is enhanced, biofuel production has also gone into high gear. As such, it has moved from the unsustainable food sources to more sustainable sources such as used cooking oil.
With the adoption of used cooking oil as a source of biofuel, producers have gained numerous benefits. Here are a few.
Cheap to procure
One of the major benefits of used cooking oil as a source of biofuels is that it is cheap to procure. Sources of used cooking oil abound, and they are happy to have it offloaded off their homes and their premises.
Most times, you will find that those that have the used cooking oil will pay to have it taken away from them. As such, hotels and restaurants and even households pay biofuel companies to collect it from their premises.
This makes the process of collecting used cooking oil efficient and affordable. This is a huge first step in the recycling of used cooking oil into biofuel.
Easy to process
Once the used cooking oil arrives at the processing center, it passes through a chemical process that converts the used cooking oil to biofuel.
The process is easy and uses easily available reagents. This process eliminates all the impurities within the used cooking oil. It is a five-stage chemical process that culminates in the conversion of used cooking oil into a useful biofuel.
Another benefit derived from used cooking oil as a biofuel, is the fact that it is environmentally friendly. Biofuels produced from used cooking oil can replace fossil fuel diesel in a world ravaged by global warming. It burns efficiently and thus has almost zero emissions that can be harmful to the environment.
Biofuel from used cooking oil can easily replace diesel in vehicles and plant machinery. After processing, the resulting biofuel can easily replace diesel in numerous existing machines and vehicles. Many of these machines will not need any re calibration for them to use this fuel.
The use of used cooking oil biofuel will thus save money for the users and also help them reduce their impact on the environment. Company trucks and plant machinery that use diesel can easily switch to biofuels and companies will see a significant savings in their fuel expense as well.
Can be used to manufacture diverse products
Used cooking oil when recycled is not limited only to the production of biofuels. Rather, it can be used to produce a range of other products and materials that could be a significant business unit.
Used cooking oil can be processed into raw materials for animal and pet feeds. Used cooking oil contains high amounts of protein that will beneficial in animal feed.
Further, used cooking oil can be used to make soap, lubricants and many other useful products.
With these other products, companies that process used cooking oil have a range of products to get to the market to ensure that they remain afloat profitably.
Alternative source of energy for small businesses
Many small businesses have adopted the use of biofuel that is produced from recycled used cooking oil. This helps them save on high energy costs by using it to power some of the processes that use electricity and other expensive sources of energy.
There are many biofuel producing companies that use used cooking oil as part of their raw materials. I have outlined why it is beneficial not only to biofuel producers, but also to the end users of the biofuel that comes from it.
In addition to a robust economy, Singapore’s sustainable environment is another leading factor that has attracted numerous investors. Most cities in the world have failed to address environmental issues brought about by urbanization. Towns or urban areas cover over 2% of the Earth’s surface; they are responsible for about 80% of the greenhouse gases emitted while using up almost 75% of nature’s resources.
However, a host of countries in Southeast Asia are leading the way to change this contrary notion about cities and urban regions. Research conducted by several world-leading environmental bodies and institutions determined that Singapore is indeed one of the most environmentally sustainable nations.
Singapore’s first prime minister kickstarted the dream of making Singapore a green city. His main agenda was to make Singapore stand out from the rest of the Asian countries and also attract investors from all over the world. The first step undertaken to achieve this dream was the eradication of the houseboats and overcrowded slums along the banks of Singapore River.
Singapore is offering entrepreneurs moving to the country a platform to incorporate their businesses in Singapore. This allows them to run their firms within the stipulated terms while also receive the government’s backing.
On the world’s Environmental Performance Ranking, Yale University and the U.N place Singapore at seventeenth globally and first position in Asia. Contrary to popular belief, Singapore’s efforts and strict green technology guidelines, which were set and backed up by the government, helped in making it an eco-friendly city.
So how exactly does Singapore afford to provide suitable surroundings perfect for its citizens and also attract investors and entrepreneurs from overseas?
As discussed before, adoption of green technology is one of the leading things that has made Singapore an eco-friendly city. Singapore has been able to morph into a modernized city-state without having a negative impact on nature.
The Singapore government’s Cleantech division, which is a subsidiary of the board tasked with economic growth, has offered continued support to companies in the clean technology business. This has led to the business sector growing tremendously in areas such as renewable energy, water conservation, green buildings, green cleaning products etc.
Growing ICT Center
Companies such as Hewlett Packard (HP) and International Business Machines Corporation have partnered with the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. The main idea behind these partnerships is to ensure that Singapore’s ICT industry thrives. HP, for example, has been tasked with designing and manufacturing energy efficient systems that will cut power costs while still providing a working platform for businesses.
There is no shortage of green spaces in Singapore
Low Energy Costs and Environmental Remedies
Accommodating over 7000 companies from different nations across the globe is no mean feat. As such, Singapore’s government and other agencies know that a green environment is not the only requirement to attract more investors.
Through an alliance known as the Singapore Sustainability Alliance, an umbrella consisting of government groups, non-governmental organizations, and teaching institutions, Singapore has been able to come up with policies that create a sustainable environment. Other than this, the alliance has overseen the adoption of systems that include proper water use, renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, etc. which have significantly improved business growth.
Banks play an important role in facilitating investment flows and financing economic activity. However, most banks do not think about the effect they have on the environment or society when making strategic decisions. Revenue is the main priority in the banking industry. However, many consumers are now asking for change. They want the banking industry to become more eco-friendly.
Banks who choose to favour more eco-friendly solutions can do their part in reducing the strain on the planet’s resources and better align with their customer’s expectations at the same time. One way banks in which can become more eco-friendly is by introducing more eco-friendly payment solutions. By introducing these solutions, banks will not only improve their bottom line, but they will also be embracing the environmental aspirations of their customers. Here are some of the ways that banks can make their payment solutions more eco-friendly:
1. Encourage Circular Thinking
For a long time now, businesses have followed the take, make, dispose-of paradigm, the ‘linear economy’, in which resources are seen as endless. In fact, evidence suggests that only 9% of 89 billion tons of materials are re-used or recycled.
Today, single-use plastic accounts for over 40% of the world’s plastic production. Thanks to this, plastic pollution is now one of the most serious environmental issues in the world. However, plastic still remains one of the main materials of the modern world and despite more and more people understanding the issues we face, plastic production is still on the increase.
With this in mind, we need to think of ways to overcome these issues, such as changing behaviours, business models and consumption models. Changes to plastic recycling and plastics will have a huge impact on taking care of the world around us by reducing oil consumption, saving landfill space, reducing emissions, and saving energy. Banks need to challenge the take, make, dispose linear model, and instead replace it with a reduce, reuse, recycle way of thinking.
2. Introduce Greener Payment Solutions
If banks want to continue to thrive in this eco-conscious world, they need to consider offering their customers more eco-friendly payment solutions. A recent survey suggested that nearly 90% of consumers expected their banks to offer more eco-friendly cards. In fact, many of these consumers also stated that they would change banks if their bank wasn’t eco-conscious.
3. Have an All-Inclusive Eco-Friendly Approach
Customers have begun to demand that banks offer eco-friendly solutions in the payment value chain. Evidence suggests that 65% of customers expect banks to offer digital statements as an alternative to paper documents, and over 70% of consumers believe that banks should offer a recycling service for old, unused cards.
As a result of this, banks should consider making their payment cards out of more eco-friendly materials. However, this is not the only thing they need to do. They should also consider reducing their carbon footprint, recycling expired cards, replacing paper statements with digital alternatives, and introducing more eco-friendly packaging.
Green banking is no longer something to simply consider; it is something that needs to be done now. Banks that move from a linear to a circular economy are not only aligning with their customers’ expectations who decide whether a brand flourishes or withers, but they are also taking responsibility from an ethical perspective.
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