Climate change is a huge worldwide issue that is often not discussed enough. Some are under the belief that climate change will only affect their grandchildren. This view in fact, is false—we are seeing the effects of climate change today. All one has to do is turn on the television and the weather report will mention something record breaking that happened during that day. Climate change is not just global warming, but it also includes greenhouse gases, which are emitted fossil fuels and absorbed into the atmosphere, and therefore attribute to climate change. There is much we can do to slow this process down however, and lots it can come from manufacturers and big companies.
The concept of cutting costs by going green is hardly a new idea. Manufacturers have been implementing green programs for the past couple of decades. Here is just one example of a case study on Caterpillar cutting their carbon emissions and costs. For all the other manufacturers considering what can be done to further cut their emissions, here are some ideas.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Here is a great place to start: the three “R’s” of sustainability, something now taught to most elementary school kids. The three R’s stand for Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This concept often overlooked as not a big idea or not an idea that would do any good, but that is false. Recycling is such a simple idea; you use materials more than once, or you mold them into something else, so you create less waste. The three R’s is such a simple idea that can be expanded into something big that all companies could try to follow. Reducing, reusing, and recycling can all help to reduce emissions.
Simply enough, manufacturers can invest in companies or ideas to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A specialist from Nationwide Boiler reports that emissions requirements for manufacturers can be met without productivity loss if the manufacturer uses the right technology to control emissions. Currently, companies are looking into new ways of manufacturing steel. Steel is one of the most carbon-rich processes around, so finding a new way to extract and use it would greater help reduce carbon emissions. Currently, to make steel, you need to blast it with coke, a carbon-rich material. Scientists are looking into a new process where instead of using coke, they would use hydrogen, and this would cause a release of steam in the atmosphere, which is must more favorable than the coke. This would help the steel industry tremendously, as well as our atmosphere.
Cogeneration is the simultaneous generation and use of heat and electricity. Instead of going into the atmosphere, the exhaust heat from high-energy manufacturing processes would be turned into watts of energy. This simple process could yield 100 gigawatts of energy and reduce carbon emissions by 400 million metric tons.
Reducing, reusing, recycling, innovation, and cogeneration can all help manufacturers reduce their emissions, and therefore help all of us. The environment depends on us, and if nothing is changed, our Earth will be in major trouble.