Get Ready For An Environmentally-challenging Year

Increasing CO2 levels are posing a serious threat to our planet’s equilibrium. More and more companies are embracing the eco-friendly policy. Research, development, used market: these are the keywords for a greener 2009.

If anyone still has doubts that climate change is posing a serious threat to our planet’s equilibrium, they should read the latest research produced by NASA. The space angency’s satellites have collected data showing that 2,000 millions of tonnes of ice have melted in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska since 2003. According to geophysician Scott Luthcke, Greenland is the most affected area, with more than a half of the ice that disappeared during the last 5 years located on its territory. Another scientist, Jay Zwally, claims that sea level is due to increase by 0,1 mm every year.

December 2009 will see another UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Yvo de Boer, head of the summit, is hoping that world leaders will finally bury the hatchet and reach an agreement among themselves. The situation is quite complicated: some countries are so worried about the financial crisis, that they seem not to be paying enough attention to environmental issues. The U.S., Canada and Japan demand that the big developing economies show some initiative before doing anything themselves. Barack Obama has claimed that climate change is high on his agenda; however, he might decide to subordinate environmental plans to his financial rescue package. The EU has set itself the goal of cutting carbon emissions by 20% compared with 1990 figures by 2020, but Eastern European countries are also fighting against a worrying unemployment rate – will Europe be up for the challenge? Finally, India and China see carbon cuts as a possible obstacle to a fast and successful process of industrial development.

The final objective is to rise the planet’s defences against rising carbon levels, temperatures and sea levels. First of all, it is vital that companies and private individuals play their part, regardless of what the government does. In fact, many businesses already seem to have understood that environmental concerns cannot be underestimated. For example, a team of British engineers from London-based company Novacem has recently designed an ‘eco-friendly’ cement, which is capable of absorbing some of the carbon dyoxide in the atmosphere. Even the troubled automotive industry is taking steps to improve its production methods. Japanese giant Toyota is in the process of designing an electric car that will be activated by solar panels mounted on the vehicle’s roof.

Environmental policies can be introduced even by those companies that don’t have access to substantial budgets to invest in research and new developments. In fact, data collected by online marketplace AssetTrader demonstrates that start-ups and SMEs are increasingly turning to the used market as a way of going green. Besides, the online purchase of used equipment – such as crawler dozers, dump trucks and telescopic handlers – can save company owners a considerable amount of money in storage and depreciation costs. End-of-the-year figures show an increase in the trade of used equimpent on the internet: on a monthly average, AssetTrader’s database of over 60,000 industrial machines and vehicles was visited by 25,000 potential buyers from all over the world.

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