A new UN study concludes that the future of companies around the globe will depend on their ability to cope with the coming consequences of climate change. Food, mining, transport, finance, and tourism industries especially will be impacted by extreme weather, the rising cost of natural resources, and a reduction in biodiversity. Companies that haven't put emphasis on reducing their environmental impact should do so now. Here are three important ways companies can get started.
Smart Houses, Smart Business
"Smart" homes are a new trend in technology and should be applied to more commercial enterprises. A smart building is equipped with interconnected, Wi-Fi-enabled devices that can work together to reduce energy demands. Sensors and pre-programmed devices can automatically perform important steps like turning off lights when there's no activity, turning off printers and computers at the end of the workday, or turning down AC at night or on weekends. These are small things that busy humans often forget, but automating them throughout a large facility can lead to substantial energy reduction - and cost savings - over time.
A "Green" Culture
A company can also reduce its environmental impact by implementing and encouraging environmentally friendly practices with its staff. This can include reducing paper use, using recycled products and materials, using permanent cups and utensils rather than disposable ones, and encouraging plants for better atmosphere and air quality. You can also find technology from companies like Stephenson Environmental Management Australia to monitor and control air contaminants. This makes for a healthier, more productive workforce while eliminating pollutants.
Renewable energy infrastructures
Businesses can save more money over the long term and reduce their environmental impact by integrating renewable energy sources wherever possible. Solar and wind farms can generate enough power to meet office needs. They could even be over-sized to create surplus power that can be sold back to the grid under Australia's feed-in tariffs, thus reducing the energy needs of the surrounding community. Excess solar energy could also be used to charge batteries at night that could power a data center for hours during the day.
Public response is almost invariably favorable toward environmentally conscious companies, thus adding to company brand and appeal. There are some initial costs to adopting green technologies and products, but it makes perfect business sense over the long term. And as the UN study suggests, companies that "go green" sooner will benefit more later.