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Explain how a company can operationally manage environmental issues - Essay Example

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Companies are now starting to realise the consequences their operations are having on the environment, and as such, a number of environmentally conscious…
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Download file to see previous pages tal engineering is therefore to deal with waste products after pollutants have been generated and then develop appropriate technology to mitigate their impact, e.g. synthetic landfill liners to contain polluted water seepage. However, Coulter (1995:4) criticises environmental engineering techniques for not addressing the primary cause, and simply transferring the problem elsewhere.
‘The concept of pollution prevention, as an alternative to treatment and disposal has been embraced by pioneering corporation and state level industry assistance programs’ (Coulter, 1995: 4). The key aim is to eliminate pollutants from existing products and process technologies, and to introduce new equipment, technology and processes to improve manufacturing techniques and move towards ‘zero carbon economies’. However, Coulter (1995:4) also notes that ‘the transition from pollution control to prevention has been hampered by limited information, technologies and capital, as well as by impediments in existing regulatory policies’.
‘Designing for the environment’ acknowledges that whilst there maybe negative environmental effects during a production life cycle, designers are conscious of this during the design stage. They can therefore incorporate operating constraints into the initial design phase of a product. Therefore negative environmental effects will be limited. For example, Aerial clothes tablets have now been designed to clean cloths at 30°C (as opposed to 40°c), which saves energy of the washing machine.
Coulter (1995:5) describes life cycle design as a ‘cradle to grave approach, which provides the most complete environmental profile of goods and services’. It provides a holistic view of product design, manufacturing, consumer use and disposal. High emphasise is placed on the environment, and companies work towards achieving sustainable development techniques in ‘green product design’.
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