Green Is The New Grey

Buying used industrial equipment is becoming the new green ethos for more and more companies that want to cut on their carbon footprint and reduce costs at the same time.


Nowadays, the green ethos is no longer a fashionable minority talk: it is a reality advocated by hundreds of government spokesmen, customers, shareholders and international pressure groups. As a result, many industrial companies are eager to free themselves from the bête noire reputation they earned during the Industrial Revolution. Industrial pollution is still a very serious problem, and it is not limited to countries that are undergoing a rapid process of industrialization, such as India and China. For instance, according to the US Department of Energy’s Annual Energy Review, the industrial and transportation sectors account for 61% of carbon emissions in the United States.

Because of the nature of the global environment, pollutants can travel huge distances, degrading the quality of life and posing a serious threat to human health: we are talking about toxicity and climate change. Rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere are commonly seen as the main factor causing much of global warming. More specifically, manufacturing is one of the biggest culprits of heavy carbon footprints associated to industrial activity. In fact, it has been estimated that it takes approximately 100 tonnes of CO2 to produce a new Dump Truck: this is equivalent to the CO2 levels produced by 20 households for an entire year!

Paul Brody and Mondher Ben-Hamida, Supply Chain Experts for IBM Global Business Services, individuated 12 steps to a greener supply chain, available online on the website environmentalleader.com. The most prominent tips offered by these experts are: redesign the product to reduce its environmental impact, restructure the manufacturing process for reduced energy use, and shift to greener suppliers. However, it often happens that start-ups and SMEs do not have a substantial budget to invest in the purchase of new, environmentally-friendly industrial equipment. Green products can be more expensive than normal ones. Furthermore, new assets tend to depreciate heavily from the moment the wrapping is taken off.

Therefore, small agricultural, industrial and transportation companies must find cheaper solutions if they want to go green. A new breed of environmentally-conscious enterpreneurs is starting off ‘green business’ by choosing to invest in used industrial equipment rather than new. This option allows factory and farm owners to go green while saving money and, in some cases, drastically reducing initial costs. Companies like AssetTrader allow you to acquire different types of disused or liquidated assets from various specialized dealers, buying safely on the internet without wasting time. Used assets retain their value better as well as making a clear impact on your company’s carbon footprint.

Eric Usher from AssetTrader explains: “In the past, you needed to go to one broker if you wanted to buy a Forklift Truck, and see yet another one if you wanted to sell some under-used IT equipment. Since AssetTrader is a virtual shopfront where buyers and sellers of equipment connect, trading on the used market is no longer difficult and time-consuming. Companies can source all the machines they need in a one-stop shop, and go green the cheap way. Finally, one must also keep in mind that an environmentally-friendly protocol can provide golden opportunities for effective marketing strategies to promote your start-up or SME.”

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