The attractiveness of a cleaner production

CLEANER PRODUCTION STRATEGIES

Cleaner production is the approach taken from businesses to reduce the environmental impacts caused by their products or processes.

An strategy used for making production cleaner  is through the use of cleaner technologies. Defined by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)  cleaner technologies are: “Technologies that extract and use natural resources as efficiently as possible in all stages of their lives; that generate products with reduced or no potentially harmful components; that minimise releases to air, water and soil during fabrication and use of the product; and that produce durable products which can be recovered or recycled as far as possible; output is achieved with as little energy input as is possible”.

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Myths about waste

Some myths about waste, its disposal and recycling

  1. Disposing batteries as domestic waste is not a problem, so it is not necessary to dispose them in a special place.

Used batteries are characterized by a high content of reusable materials. These will be recovered through a special recycling process. By disposing them in a special place, waste-petit is avoided to pollute the environment with heavy metals such as Cadmium or Lead. Used batteries should therefore be arranged in special places for it, or in any store that sells batteries.

  1. Incineration plants need newspapers and PET bottles to reach the temperature required for combustion.

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Compensate your flying habits

If you want to keep flying …

Air traffic is especially harmful to the environment. According to myclimate a flight from Zurich to Barcelona emits 408 kilograms of CO2; a flight from Zurich to Vancouver 3131 kg-CO2. What do we need to change daily to compensate the emissions of this flight?

To help with the calculation, it’s possible to visit the website eingutertag.org, in which its shown the number of “climate points” generated by different consumption habits, like eating, heating, electricity, mobility, etc. For example, the round trip Zurich-Vancouver measures 16,616 km, representing 81.858 “climate points”. Compensating its CO2 emissions requires among other things, reduce or quit meat consumption, use public transportation or bicycle, savings daily household energy consumption, etc.

green-habits

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Some cars pollute much more than trucks

Another trick from the automobile industry?

Despite having the same exhaust system, some diesel cars emit more than twice nitrogen oxide than a trailer of 18 tons. And besides, it is legal. This is the case of Mercedes “C 220 CDI” with a nitrogen oxide emission of 643 mg/km compared to 250 mg/km from the cargo truck “Actros 1848”.

The reason is that to get the truck’s permission of use, a test under real conditions is carried out. By contrast, for the automobile the permission is gotten only by fulfilling theoretical values obtained from the laboratory.

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vs Creating Shared Value (CSV)

What is the difference between CSR and CSV?

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) refers to the commitment the organizations acquireCSR to act with responsibility towards the society and the environment. It does not imply only to make an effort to mend or reduce the damage caused by their activity, but also to contribute with positive extra impacts, for example through philanthropy.

According to Porter and Kramer (2011) CSV (Creating Shared Value) “presumes compliance with the law and ethical standards, as well as mitigating any harm caused by the business, but goes far beyond that. Continue reading “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vs Creating Shared Value (CSV)”

Zero waste at home is possible

REDUCING WASTE AT MAXIMUM

It seems that it is possible to reduce our domestic waste at maximum. Bea Johnson, born in France and currently living in USA, shows how has she made possible to reduce the waste of her family to less than a kilo in a year.

Vaso zero waste

The important “5Rs” steps that Bea applies for achieving this objective are:

  1. Refuse what you do not need.
  2. Reduce what you need. Having at home just what you really use.
  3. Reuse. Using everything that is disposable on a second alternative and buying second hand.
  4. Recycle only what you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse. By disposing waste in different fractions in order to be recycled (paper, carton, glass, PET…).
  5. Rot. Composting the rest.

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Initiatives for CSR

Integrating Social Responsibility in Business

Some initiatives which support the integration of CSR are:

Global Compact

The UN Global Compact is a call to companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and taglobal_compactke actions that advance societal goals.

The UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles are derived from: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

ISO 26000

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