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Green Business & Clean Technologies
By Rahul Yadav

Business is a process in which an entrepreneur focuses on gaining profit by meeting the demand of consumers, whereas Green Business focuses on gaining profit with minimum or negligent impact on environment and community. It is often termed as sustainable business, which means meeting the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their need.

Fig 1: The 3 Pillars of Green business

Our Common Future or Bruntland report in 1987 emphasized that sustainability is a three-legged chair of people, planet, and profit. A green business tries to balance all the three factors by giving equal importance unlike traditional business which only focuses on profit or economy.

A business is considered as green if it matches the following criteria;

1. It incorporates principles of sustainability into each of its business decisions.
2. It supplies environmentally friendly products
3. It is greener in terms of manufacturing and processing than its traditional competitor.
4. It has made a commitment to environmental principles in its business operation.

Benefits of Green business

1) Economic benefits:
Green business not only reduces impact on the environment but also helps to earn financial benefit, by cutting costs; particularly in regards of energy consumption such as using energy efficient materials to reduce the utility costs. In addition to cutting utility costs, industries or companies engaged in green businesses are provided certain subsidies and relief from government as compared to traditional businesses.

2) Brand Recognition:
Green business helps to improve brand image as the products which are eco-friendly are given an “eco-mark” and the building or industry which are eco-friendly are given eco- friendly certificates. This certificate improves the image and acts as a pillar of marketing, consumers are more attracted towards this certified industry or products rather than traditional business products.

3) Reduces Waste:
Green business uses efficient material in manufacturing and processing of products thus reducing waste generation as compared to the traditional business process.

Green business can be achieved by incorporating clean technology as an effective environment management tool. Clean technology in an industry improves performance, productivity and efficiency while reducing costs, inputs, energy consumption, waste and environmental pollution.

Clean technologies include renewable energy generation, energy storage, energy efficiency, biofuels, cleaner fossil fuel processes, water purification and management, waste water treatment, recycling, pollution reduction and advanced materials (including nanotechnologies).

This sector and term came into focus in the year 2005 and 2006, when mainstream institutional investors began distributing investment into venture funds in the environmental, alternative and renewable energy sectors, and adopted cleantech as a term of choice for the description of that asset class, thus lending credibility to the sector.

Ways to combine clean technology in business

1) Replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy: Energy required for manufacturing of product should be replaced with renewable energy so as to minimize its impact on the environment.

2) Recycling of consumer products: The majority of consumer products nowadays have large number of parts or components which can be recycled. Once a product reaches its "post- consumer" stage, it should be sorted correctly to ensure it does not end up in landfills.

3) Transport: Use of clean vehicles such as electric vehicles (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery), fuel cells, in transport and processing of products.

4) Life cycle assessment of Products: Adopting LCA can help to optimize use of resources and increase use of products before it is disposed, as it involves “Cradle to grave approach “.

5) Adopting zero waste emission process: Zero Emissions represents a shift from the traditional industrial manufacturing model in which wastes are generated at huge extent. It advocates an industrial transformation whereby businesses match the sustainable cycles and adopts policy of zero waste release. The waste generated from the process are recycled or reused as raw material for manufacturing of other products.

Replacing traditional business policies with green business has various hurdles such as:
1) Stake holders are not given much support by the government.
2) Consumers do not readily approach green products as they are more economical than traditional products.

Adopting clean technology from product manufacturing to disposal process is the only tool by which the cost, which is required for running green business, can be lowered and green business can run successfully.


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