Category: Sustainability

Climate Change: Some Facts and Solutions

Climate Change - There is no Planet B
Photo by Bob Blob on Unsplash

Climate change is a major environmental issue. The world is facing climate change level where there is no point of return. This article highlights few facts about climate change and few solutions.

Facts:

Few facts about climate change are as follows:

  • Two hundred & eighty six billion (286,000,000,000) tons of ice is being lost every year in the areas of Greenland and Antarctica
  • There have been a reduction in the snow cover in the northern hemisphere in last five decades
  • There has been an increase  of eight inches (8 in) in the global sea level
  • The frequency of extreme weather events i.e. flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes have been on increase.
  • There has been an increase of ocean acidity by thirty percent (30%)
  • The temperature of upper twenty three hundred (2300) feet of ocean have been raised by 0.4 degree Fahrenheit (°F)
  • There has been an increase of 1.6 degree increase in temperature of earth atmosphere due to the continuously increasing level of greenhouse gases.
  • Since 2010, there have been five (5) warmest years on record. 2019 as well have been the warmest year. Germany have faced historic high temperature.
  • The present-day warming trend on the earth is ten times greater than the past warming trends recorded at the end of an ice age.
  • In the Himalayan a glacial retreat mountains have been observed by the scientist
  • The intensity and frequency of wildfires have been on increase globally. Amazon rain forest have been burning since 3 weeks up-till now.
  • The Indonesian capital city is being moved because it was sinking due to the ever increasing sea levels.
  • In last forty year, sixty percent (60%) drop in wild life have been observed.
  • The carbon emissions have been increasing on our planet since 2011.
  • Tropical forest are facing destruction continuously due to anthropogenic activities
  • It is has been estimated by scientists that there are ninety-five percent (95%) chances that climate change is due to anthropogenic activities.

Read: Climate Change and Sustainable Development

Solutions:

According to scientist climate change can be slowed down to it natural level. Level where everyone gets a chance to adopt to the changing environments. Few of the solutions that you as an individual can adopt to help control climate change are as follows:

  • Use public transport instead of using your own cars all the time
  • Switch your vehicle to environment friendly fuels e.g.  electric or hybrid vehicles
  • Invest in the renewable energy e.g wind , solar, biogas, geothermal etc.
  • Encourage legislation which discourages the use of fossil fuels.
  • Use energy efficient lights, fans, AC invertors and decrease energy losses in the house
  • Garments can be washed in cold water instead of hot water to save energy.
  • Basic food/vegetables can be grown in your own house (roof gardening)
  • Plant trees and also encourage other to plant more and more trees
  • Buy local items
  • Buy garments, which are more sustainable.

We as individuals needs to do more and change our pattern of life so that we can protect the planet for ourselves and our future generations.

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Benefits of Becoming a Sustainable Business

Sustainability is not simply a trend, and therefore the international community has touched on the far side of the “going green” motto. Sustainability could be a universal, long-run approach to only solely manage environmental risks, however social and financial risks as well. A sustainable business consists of three sphere knows as triple bottom line (3Ps) i.e. People, plant and profits.

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If you take sustainability approach, it means that your business has no significant negative impacts on the society and environment while your organization is flourishing financially. Sustainability approach encourages organizations to concentrate on long term objective, targets & strategies, and it can offer a wide range of benefits in return.

For organizations to accept the sustainability model and take it  as a serious business strategy, we must be able to define and quantify the business benefits that can be achieved from this strategy. Then it can become criteria to measure the success of the organization, because as with any other model, return on investment is ultimate measurement of success.

Improved brand image and competitive advantage

In one study conducted by Natural Marketing Institute from more than 53000  US consumers, it was revealed that 58% consumer consider the impact of an organization on environment before choosing to purchase any goods or services from  it and are more intended to purchase from organization with sustainability approaches incorporated in their system. This leads to approximately 68 million on American clients who favor those companies that have good track record in social and environmental values.

It was also found that these consumers were willing to spend even 20% more on products that are environment friendly. Brand awareness and image building is becoming increasingly important. Creating awareness campaigns like water or energy conservation or paper conservation not only conserve resources but also improves awareness about brand.

Productivity increase and cost reduction:

The people critical of sustainability approaches claim that these practices can reduce the corporate profits. But in reality if we develop sustainable business practices, it leads towards operational efficiency improvement due to streamlines efforts, resource conservation, which enhances employ productivity and reduces costs. Cost reduction can also achieved through energy conservation by few simple practices likes switching off un-neccessory lights and appliances and using energy efficient equipment. Sustainable practices might have huge initial investment but long terms results will justify the investment.

Compliance with regulations:

As with the increase of awareness about climate change, global warming, reduced energy resources and other environmental impacts, governments are increasingly trying to develop and enact different regulations to protect and conserve environment. If an organization integrates sustainability into its business, the organization will be in a position to meet the always changing regulations.

You can read here ” What is Compliance and its Requirements

Attract employees and investors.

People, especially the young generation is attracted towards organizations who work on environmental conservation as they have been raised in an environment where there is continues message of environmental protection/activism and does not want to work with organization who have environmental disasters and social scandals. Presenting your organization as respectful to environment and employees/society will not only attract component people but will also attract investors.

Waste Reduction:

Waste reduction is the most common and simple way to encourage organization to be engage in sustainable practices. Utilization of 4Rs technique to reduce the solid wastes, replacement of energy efficient equipment’s to reduce energy waste.

Minimize Carbon Risk and Improve Energy Efficiency

It is expected from all companies to cut down 25% of their Carbon emission till 2020 and further cut down 50 to 80% till 2050, which will become mandatory by Law. This will also effect the cost and availability of electricity.

Read Here: ” What you can do to help save Environment

What Can You do as an Individual to Save Environment

Daily reports on pollution and climate change are worrisome and it also highlights the ways through which humans are themselves destroying their only habitat. If we look at the situation one may think that we can do anything right now or what can someone do as an individual. There is also a controversy on “climate change is not real”.

While that’s where we are totally wrong. To bring huge changes, yes governments needs to be involved but as an individual person, everyone can do a lot to save the environment. There are a lot of environment friendly moves someone can take to preserve the environment. Being eco friendly / living a life centered on saving the environment is also good for wallet.

There are variety of area where you can take steps to reduce your environmental impact. Below is the areas where you can do a lot to help environment. Don’t forget to comment at the end of the article to help us understand “how you are contributing to help save the planet?”

“An Eco friendly life style is a Healthy life style”

  • Try to maximize usage of day light
  • Turn off all unnecessary lighting in your home, office, shop
  • Go on foot
  • Use bicycle instead of bike ( insignificant environmental  impact )
  • Use local transport instead of personal vehicle (low environmental impact)
  • Travel together
  • Use online platforms for meeting
  • Use energy efficient lighting and other equipment’s
  • Keep your AC at 26 oC
  • Shop virtually  (don’t have to travel to store using fuels based vehicle – saving environment)
  • Buy garments, shoes or accessories made in Eco friendly manufacturing system
  • If it’s cotton garment, then look for organic cotton tag
  • Look for garments made from recycled raw material
  • Order what as much as you eat
  • Take as much as you can eat (specially on public events, seminar, weddings)
  • Try to avoid wasting food items
  • Donate the extra food
  • Save water
  • Understand the expiry date of food stuff and manage it accordingly
  •  Take the extra food home
  • Try to create compost piles (can be used in kitchen gardening, roof gardening)
  • Avoid food packing’s
  • Try to buy items with less packing
  • Buy items with recycled packaging material
  • Carry around your own cup, don’t use plastic cups
  • If you are taking food away home, ask the restaurant, not to pack plastic utensils with it.
  • Reuse items
  • Eat local items (avoids traveling – saves environment)
  • Buy locally
  • Grow your own garden
  • Whenever you buy anything keep environment in your mind
  • Bring your own bag for shopping
  • Use non-toxic cleaning agent (eco friendly)
  • Say good bye to bottles (don’t buy new bottle, you can use a BPA Free plastic bottle or a glass bottle)
  • Take care of tree / plant more trees

Read more here on UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion

“Tags contain a lot of information regarding manufacturing of products, so pay attention to labels and buy environment friendly products.

Environment Friendly products would mean that the manufacturer has taken care of all environmental issues during the manufacturing process of their products (e.g. less waste, less chemicals, less pollution etc.)”

Read more here on How Plastic is killing the Marine Life

So act, do, use and buy Environment Friendly

What is Lean Manufacturing System its relation with EHS

Lean Manufacturing System is a systematic method to minimize waste without compromising productivity in a manufacturing environment (Production).

Waste

According to Lean, any non-value added action or step is waste.

Type of Wastes:

There are 8 types of wastes on which Lean manufacturing system is focusing.

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  1. Defects –
  2. Over Production
  3. Waiting
  4. Non Utilized Talent
  5. Transportation
  6. Inventory
  7. Motion
  8. Extra Processing

Lean and EHS Relationship

Initially it was believed that lean manufacturing system is only to improve quality, productivity and to minimize the waste. But according to research it was found that lean manufacturing/management system can help to comply with Social compliance requirements.

Nike also started using Lean Manufacturing system (Toyota Manufacturing system) for efficiency. Nike also conducts audits to labour and HSE practices in its supply chain. After implementation of lean system, scoring of suppliers was improved in their Labour and health, safety and environment performance by approximately 15%. There were impacts on over time, workplace safety, emission, solid waste.

Whole Lean Manufacturing/ management system can help improve health, safety and environmental compliance at workplace especially 6S and Kaizen system that drive continuous improvement.

Below mentioned book Could really help to understand more on Lean Manufacturing system and it impacts.

Read more here on EHS Compliance Requirements

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Sustainable Development Goals

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Media Welcome Reception at the Annual Meeting 2017 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 16, 2017. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Ciaran McCrickard

Sustainable Development is about protecting the environment, ending poverty and social justice. Sustainable development goals came into effect on January 2016, and are applicable till 2030. There are 17 Goals of UN sustainable development. United Nations Development Program is taking the lead role here through its financing program.
The 17 SDGs are as follows

  1. Ending Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and well being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Afforestation and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace, justice and Strong Communities
  17. Partnerships for the Goal

These goals are based on three pillars of Sustainability:

  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Society
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All these goals are integrated with each other. If one is effects, there will be some impact on other goals as well.

Initially these goals were SDGs 2020 (target of achieving was 2020) but later changed to SDGs 2030 (revised target as 2030) due to slow progress towards them. Still progress towards 2030 goals is slow. According to UN report almost all of the targets are responding either slow or not even on track, due to on going worldwide war on terrorism and conflicts.