Green Economy: the environment offers new opportunities to enterprises

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-United Nations Environment Programme) defines the Green Economy as an «increase in human well-being and social equity» that is obtained simultaneously with «a significant reduction in environmental risks and ecological scarcity». Inside, the program has also identified the sectors in which to invest to build and stimulate the Green Economy, among which we find:

  • building;
  • industry;
  • agriculture;
  • energy sources;
  • fishing;
  • forests;
  • tourism;
  • transport;
  • waste management;
  • water.

The Green Economy is a type of economy that is perfectly in tune with the principles of sustainable development, that is, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Enterprises that make investments leading to:

  • a reduction in CO2 emissions and pollution;
  • an increase in efficiency in the use of all resources;
  • protecting biodiversity.

They certainly go in this direction.

The enterprise can become "greener", consequently:

  • by developing green technologies;
  • designing and producing green products;
  • adopting a green management.

As regards the first two points, EU Member States have formalised their national initiatives for the implementation of environmental technologies strategies and action plans. (National Strategy.)

The technologies that emit less polluting and climate altering substances, that aim at energy efficiency and maybe use renewable energy are green technologies. A product that uses less raw materials, less packaging, that is recyclable, energy efficient and that does not alter the climate is considered a green product.

The attention towards the green product is therefore focused in different stages:

  • choice of raw materials: renewable, recycled and locally available raw materials;
  • design: eco-design criteria help to build the product in a way that pollutes as little as possible;
  • production process: an organization managed in an environmentally correct way, has a production process less impactful than the standard.

With regard to the third point, a green management of the enterprise is a management that adopts tools such as:

  • environmental management systems;
  • corporate social responsibility;
  • safety and health management systems often integrated with EMS.

If you want to orient yourself towards this type of management you must pay attention to the sustainability of choices, for example never using highly impactful treatments and evaluating the energy consumption of your company.

If you want, you can get an overview of the environmental profile of your processes or products using an online tool called "Eupeco-profiler". The current sensitivity of the public or private client, leads to give value to aspects of environmental sustainability but also social and ethical. In the selection of raw materials, an undertaking should avoid the procurement of material obtained by working under conditions of exploitation or illegally.

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