Do you know our generation might be the last generation who may have the chance to save this planet? Green technology (aka environmental or clean technology) is a movement aimed at conserving our planet’s precious resources, reducing our negative impacts pollution, and fostering sustainable development. In this article, I’ll give you a detailed overview of green technology, starting from answering the question, what is green technology? We’ll also look into some of the benefits of green technology, and in the end, I’ll tell you an exciting story. So what are we waiting for? Let’s begin.
What Is Green Technology?
Let’s start the article by answering the question, what is green technology? To put it simply, any technology that makes sure the environment remains protected. Its production process does not harm it, or its supply chain can be referred to as green technology.
If you look at the history of green technology, you’ll find that it’s not that old. But despite its young age, it has achieved a significant amount of investor interest, primarily because of the increasing awareness among the people about their detrimental effects on the environment, including global warming and the depletion of natural resources.
Understanding Green Technology
Ok, now that we have gotten started, let’s understand green technology in-depth. I’m sure by now you have gotten an idea of what green technology is? If not, let me describe it for you even more simply. It is an umbrella term that can be referred to as any technology used to create products and services that improve operational performance while also reducing costs, energy consumption, waste, or negative effects on the environment. In short, they are environmentally friendly.
As mentioned above, its aim is a very noble one, and that is to protect the environment, repair the damage that we humans have done to the environment in the past, conserve the natural resources to ensure that they will be available in the future without serious depletion and preserve our planet’s natural resources. Also mentioned above is that it has become a burgeoning industry attracting enormous amounts of investment capital and is surely much more than a passing trend.
An organization can have green technology as a stated goal. It is outlined in the environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG) statement of an organization. With time the number of socially responsible investors who want to limit their prospective investments to only include firms that specifically employ or produce green technologies is increasing.
Although its popularity has spiked only in recent times, elements of green technology business practices have been in use since the early nineteenth century. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, manufacturers have focused on reducing their negative environmental externalities by modifying their production processes to produce less soot or waste byproducts. It wasn’t until the 1990s when green technology first started to develop as a recognized business sector.
According to a UN report released in ’18, global investment in renewable energy and green technology processes surpassed $200B in ’17. China was the largest global investor with approximately $126B invested; $2.9T has been invested in solar and wind power sources since ’04.
Those firms that are part of this movement might engage in conserving natural resources or discovering alternative and new environmentally-friendly energy sources.
If you are an investor and wish to support green technology initiatives, you can do so by purchasing a company’s stock that employs green technology practices. This investing is also known as socially responsible investing (SRI). You (as an investor) may turn to investment funds that are also called green, SRI, or ESG funds. Only those publicly-traded companies that are leaders in employing green technologies are included in these funds.
Now, there are companies out there that generate all of their revenue from green technology activities. But, there is one thing that you should know, which is that “green” is a pretty encompassing term and can have a plethora of interpretations and applications, and these vary a lot from one industry to another. So, as an investor, you should first thoroughly research the validity of a given firm’s claims of green policies, standards, and accomplishments before investing in it.
Coming to the benefits of Green Technology, here’s a list of them!
Now that we’ve been through all that, let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of green technology:
Not only does the recycling process, but waste incineration (in case you don’t know, it’s a waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials) can also make use of green technology. Material obtained from the recycling process can then be used when manufacturing plastics, fertilizer, and so forth.
All around the globe, green technology is used to purify water resources. In those places where water resources are scarce, green technologies can be employed to purify polluted water or desalinate seawater (to remove salt from seawater) to increase clean drinking water availability.
Green technology is used in processes that purify the water resources and is also used in the ones that purify the air by reducing carbon emissions and gases that are released into the air from automobiles, factories, and so forth.
Green technology can be used to produce more energy-efficient products, such as energy-efficient automobiles. The world can’t rely on fossil fuels forever to power homes, automobiles, and factories. Green technology can create alternative fuel sources that are recyclable and safer for the environment.
Solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric dams are all green technology examples because they are more environmentally friendly. Unlike fossil fuel, they don’t produce waste as a byproduct of their production. Besides the environmental benefits of these alternative energy sources, they are also very recyclable.
Well, I guess that many benefits will be enough. Remember, these are only some of the benefits. There are a lot more, and I would say almost countless benefits of green technology. Before I finish the article, let me tell you that interesting story that I mentioned above (it’s also possible that you may not find the story interesting, in that case, please forgive me).
Back in ’04, a study was performed by the Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) to measure the organization’s greenhouse gas emissions. It was revealed in the study that seventy percent of the organization’s emissions came from the purchase of electricity used to power their stores. Since then, the organization has been working to source all of its power from renewable energy sources for all of its global store operations, including the global supply chain and corporate offices.
In ’18, Starbucks made investments in wind and solar energy. For instance, the organization bought a 140,000-acre solar farm in North Carolina. It supposedly delivers enough clean energy to power an equivalent of six hundred Starbucks retail stores. In ’19, the organization also invested in wind projects, which are intended to provide power for one-hundred-sixteen Seattle, Washarea stores, and stores in the state of Illinois. That’s it, that’s the story. Thank you for reading.