Six Key Strategies For Industrial Pollution Prevention

The first key strategy of industrial pollution prevention is the implementation of good housekeeping measures. This means generally improving the way in which materials, particularly hazardous ones, are purchased, stored, conveyed, handled and used in the industrial facility. Good housekeeping means identifying and reducing leakage and spillage, carrying out regular maintenance of all materials processing equipment, and instituting better inventory controls. A particular prerequisite for good...

Some Further Examples

There are a number of other examples illustrating the way in which services can be provided with reduced material intensity. For instance, let us consider the case of washing machines. Obviously, as a consumer durable, the washing machine might be considered a prime candidate for operational leasing, as described earlier in this chapter. Essentially, service companies would provide, maintain and recondition the machines, and ultimately be responsible for recycling or disposal of the component...

Economic Scepticism And Optimal Pollution

These umbrella projects and hundreds of other individual experiences corroborate what appears to be a very general trend preventive environmental protection really does carry with it the potential for economic benefits. One of the reasons for scepticism amongst industrialists is that this conclusion runs almost completely counter both to the conventional viewpoint and to their own previous experience. The received wisdom has always been that environmental protection costs money. It would be...

WEALTH vs Welfare

This brings us back to the second of the two arguments for economic growth with which I started this chapter. According to this second argument, economic growth offers the prospect of continued improvements in human welfare. It is largely this equation of wealth with welfare which makes the pursuit of rising levels of GNP so attractive in political terms. Clearly, however, increased wealth is not the same thing as improved welfare. We saw in Chapter 2 that the industrial revolution delivered...

Needs And Satisfiers

One of the most important elements of this emerging body of work is the crucial distinction between needs and satisfiers. Each culture attempts to satisfy collective and individual needs in its own way. The underlying needs may be universal. But the satisfiers vary from culture to culture and from time to time. In our own culture we have chosen a very specific development path characterised by the system of production and consumption in the industrial economy. The fact that this same...

The Failure Of Dilute And Disperse

This example illustrates just how dangerous assumptions about safe levels of release into the environment can be. Our best knowledge of the behaviour of materials released into the environment is extremely sketchy. Perhaps the most extensive knowledge we have about global material behaviour concerns the major nutrient cycles such as the carbon cycle. This is the cycle which is so critical to the vexing question of global warming. But even in this area, the answers to crucial questions are...