10/25/2007

Cultivating a Greener Bottom Line

Radical change is coming to the business world. In the 21st century, many
corporations are not just thinking about their bottom line, they also are
thinking about their influences on the Earth. Public relations and marketing
campaigns often focus on how companies are at the forefront of social
responsibility.

Businesses are starting to deal proactively with environmental issues
It may be that many corporations are becoming better environmental citizens and
that change will affect not only how business is done in the future, but also
the world's future ecosystems.

Many corporations increasingly claim that they are more environmentally
responsible. Companies are entering a time of environmental marketbased
solutions, energy-efficient solutions, and superior products that move the
industry forward. Corporations are releasing products such as hybrid vehicles,
energy-efficient appliances, and less hazardous electronics. Companies also are
proactively managing their effects on climate change by reducing their
greenhouse gas emissions. The company of the 21st century is changing and
business leaders are ready to rethink their environmental impacts.

Internationally, the U.N. Climate Change Conference, held in November, opened
with a warning that climate change will be one of the greatest challenges
facing the human population. The United Nations also led a call for action to
limit global warming and to assist developing countries that will have to adapt
to a new climate.

Shortly before the conference, Achim Steiner, U.N. under-secretary general and
executive director of the U.N. Environment Programme, said, "Climate change is
under way and the international community must respond by offering
well-targeted assistance to those countries in the front-line which are facing
increasing impacts such as extreme droughts and floods and threats to
infrastructure from phenomena like rising sea levels."

Climate change isn't a new challenge for businesses. Smart corporations like
DuPont and Alcoa have aggressively reduced their own greenhouse gas emissions.
DuPont, as the largest supplier of fluorocarbons, played a critical role in
resolving global environmental concerns posed by chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.
In 1988, Dupont learned that CFCs like Freon refrigerants were depleting the
earth's stratospheric ozone layer. In order to stop the damage, Dupont decided
to end its production of Freon as well as other CFCbased products. By 1990,
Dupont had filed 20 patents for non-CFC refrigerants.

DuPont rose as an industry leader by developing alternative products to those
with CFCs. Dupont also went beyond compliance by lowering its carbon dioxide
emissions 60 percent from 1990 levels voluntarily. DuPont recently announced
that it is working to create cleaner manufacturing products from renewable
resources.

Along with Dupont, Alcoa also is a leader in minimizing climate change impact.
Alcoa has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent since 1990. The
goal was reached seven years ahead of Alcoa's 2010 target date by aggressive
reductions of perfluorocarbon (PFC) emissions.

Through strong reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions, DuPont and Alcoa
demonstrated that corporations can change their business practices and affect
the environment. These two market leaders are going beyond their own interest
by pushing for nationwide regulation of greenhouse gases with the U.S. Climate
Action Partnerships (USCAP).

Further info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Environmental Protection