New campaign to promote cutting-edge green business initiatives
One of the most encouraging aspects of the emerging low carbon economy is that nothing needs to be invented to virtually decarbonise our businesses and infrastructure. We still need to invent a greener form of aviation and more work needs to be done to cut emissions from a number of heavy industrial processes, but large swathes of the economy can be decarbonised without inventing anything new.
They might be at the pilot or early commercialisation stage, but we already have the renewable energy, electric vehicle, smart grid, and green building technologies we need to drastically cut global carbon emissions without jeopardising living standards or economic prosperity.
All these technologies need improving, but to a large extent the tools we need are already available, the issue is how we go about using them. The challenge is developing the policies and business models that allow for these technologies to be deployed as quickly and as cost effectively as possible. That is why the BusinessGreen tag line is 'Sustainable Thinking' – developing the low carbon economy is as much an intellectual challenge as it is an engineering one. We have the green technologies, we need new ways of thinking to ensure they are deployed.
For example, one of the greatest environmental travesties is the fact that so few companies and governments invest sufficiently in energy efficiency when reams of evidence suggests that such investments deliver rapid returns, reduce running costs, enhance profits, improve living standards, insulate companies and households against rising energy bills, enhance national energy security, and, of course, cut carbon emissions. How can business leaders break this paradox and overcome the barriers that are blocking beneficial investments in energy efficiency?
Similarly, ask yourself this: how come your council is almost certainly better at recycling than your employer? Your council has to collect five or six different types of waste from thousands of homes, your employer probably has to collect fewer types of waste from a handful of sites or floors. And yet I bet that while your council has improved its recycling rates beyond recognition in recent years, your employer probably has little more than a couple of poorly policed recycling bins. The answer is because no one is thinking about the policies and strategies that could encourage or force businesses to pay more attention to recycling schemes, which, if implemented properly, could deliver real business benefits.
BusinessGreen is calling on its readers to help tackle the apparently intractable barriers blocking the deployment of green technologies.
We know many businesses are pioneering potential solutions, working on green projects and initiatives that overcome these barriers and ensure green technologies and business models are rolled out. But while they are willing to share their experiences, they often lack the forum to do so.
The Sustainable Thinking campaign will provide that forum. Using the BusinessGreen comment section, the Twitter hashtag #sustainablethinking, or our Facebook and Linked-In pages we are inviting readers to highlight the incidences of genuine sustainable thinking they have seen at their business or those of their peers.
Each month we will then select one of the most promising suggestions and provide an in-depth profile detailing how the company in question has overcome the challenges that afflict many green projects and how the lessons they learnt can be used by others to implement similar initiatives.
We are not interested in marketing puff pieces, we want suggestions that show how businesses have displayed genuine thought leadership in order to advance the cause of environmental sustainability and deploy green initiatives that others can learn from.
There is a huge amount of innovative thinking currently under way within many businesses as sustainability executives seek to accelerate the development of the low carbon economy. Now is the time to celebrate and disseminate this sustainable thinking and help provide the kick start businesses need to deploy the effective green technologies that are already out there.
So if you have already embraced Sustainable Thinking let us know.
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