The social isolation due to the coronavirus brings up several discussions about the need to seek a sustainable future, based on creative solutions. The quarantine period has caused several changes in the planet, including positive environmental results that could be achieved without the need for massive social isolation or lockdown due to a viral pandemic.
We have observed recently in nature scenarios that we have not seen for decades: healthier ecosystems, less polluted cities and cleaner atmospheres. In sustainable terms, it has shown us that the world we aspire to depends on a change in the way we conduct processes, consumption behaviors and industrial activity.
Sustainability is essential, especially in the post-coronavirus scenario. To learn more, continue reading!
The environment during quarantine
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several countries, creating challenges not only for the health area, but also for the economy. Nevertheless, there are positive points that have emerged during this period, which can even be used as a guide for the construction of a more sustainable world.
In a way, the environment has been “grateful” for the social isolation: several cities and countries have noticed significant drops in pollution rates. For example, in China, air quality has improved 21.5%, with a 25% drop in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which is equivalent to a 6% reduction in global emissions.
In New York, USA, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and methane fell from about 5% to 10%. In Venice, Italy, the canals waters became clearer because of the reduction in boat traffic.
These changes are the result of the decrease in traffic of different types of vehicles, as well as the interruption or reduction in the functioning of companies and industries that use fossil fuels and emit polluting gases.
What companies can do for a sustainable future
A sustainable future can be achieved by other means, with the efforts and collaboration of companies around the world. However, the reality so far is that the conventional operating pace and practices of many organizations have contributed to the current scenario of pollution, climate change and “unsustainability”.
However, this can be changed if organizations adopt more sustainable and eco-friendly measures in different areas, investing in the preservation of ecosystems, process improvement and energy transition, which involves the replacement of highly polluting models of energy production, based on fossil fuels, by sources with lower environmental impact. In the following, see more about this need for change.
From now on, in order to achieve a sustainable future, it is important that companies adopt a more active role in society, employing effective and conscious practices. It’ s a change of attitude and culture in organizations. See some of them:
- reduce or neutralize the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. There are certifications such as “Carbon Neutral” which attests that an organization neutralizes the CO2 emitted in its operations. This type of certification is granted based on the ISO 14064 standard, which involves the management of emissions and capture of greenhouse gases (GHGs);
- reducing the production and consumption of plastic;
- implementing adequate waste management practices;
- implement environmental preservation strategies in lands that are home to a wild environment, especially in agriculture, tourism, mining, etc. In fact, degraded wild ecosystems can foster and diversify diseases, since pathogens are easily dispersed to herds and people;
- seek to raise awareness, teach and mobilize clients for a conscious and responsible consumption;
- adopt new technologies that are sustainable, clean and renewable, as in the energy area;
- building partnerships with other organizations for common environmental causes that contribute to a sustainable future;
- building partnerships in the corporate, government and the so-called third sector (NGOs).
It is also vital that companies think about changing the energy sources used in manufacturing processes, prioritizing renewable and non-polluting ones. In order to provide an insight, 20 oil and gas companies together account for 35% of greenhouse gas emissions. These companies supply most of the energy sources used in vehicles and industrial operations, directly or indirectly.
The numbers make clear the importance and need to think about the energy transition on behalf of the environment. Moreover, there are benefits for companies that think about a sustainable future. Below, we list some of them.
The benefits of investing in a sustainable future
The role of companies in the construction of a sustainable future involves a series of practices considered beneficial to the environment. Among the points addressed, it is worth reinforcing the importance of employing renewable energy in business operations and business facilities.
Investing in clean energy provides several environmental and marketing benefits, such as:
- reduction in the emission of polluting gases;
- use of state-of-the-art technologies, which can draw attention to the brand;
- non-utilization of finite resources (such as fossil fuels);
- The recognition of sustainability practices by the public contributes to boosting sales and making the business a model of environmental care in its area. This improves the reputation of your brand, which can be considered environmentally conscious;
- The company is part of a worldwide growing trend, which may stand out from its competitors.
Organic photovoltaic films are an interesting alternative: in addition to producing electricity, they have a much wider range of application possibilities than traditional technologies. This type of technology has an innovative design and does not require much space for installation, being able to be easily installed on facades, roofs, skylights etc.
A sustainable future, which guarantees a better planet for future generations, depends on the joint action of people, government entities and companies. Therefore, it is essential that businesses organize themselves to prosper in a sustainable way and adopt clean and renewable practices, products and initiatives, integrating new solutions to daily business activities.
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