Environmental issues are commanding considerable attention internationally. Climate change, use of energy, use and availability of water, pollution and waste generation and disposal are among the leading challenges in this regard. As a major user of raw materials and energy, and a major source of pollutants and waste, the industry is an important player.
More efficient production processes, preventive strategies, cleaner technologies and procedures throughout the product lifecycle, for example, can be important mechanisms for reducing impacts on resource use and the environment. In practical terms, this means, in the first instance, identifying and promoting sustainable practices.
Energy consumption and conservation have been considered as one of the key sustainability issues across all industry sectors not only because of its immediate impact on production costs but also because of its considerable impact on environmental sustainability. Energy efficiency is associated with economic efficiency and includes technological, organisational and behavioural changes.
One of the key actions that firms have taken to improve the way in which they identify and respond to environmental challenges is the development and implementation of environmental as well as energy management systems.
Environmental stewardship being an important part of sustainable development is a key business driver for any firm.
Reducing the amount of energy and materials used per unit in the production of goods and services can contribute both to the easing of environmental stress and to greater economic and industrial productivity and competitiveness.