Critically Evaluate How Companies Have Responded To Environmental Issues Over He Last 10 Years In At Least Two Of The Following / Areas Of Commercial Activity:

2072 words - 8 pages

energy supply, waste control, electrical and electronic equipment manufacture, automobiles, insurance and finance.Over the last 20 years in particular exploitation of fossil fuels has created large economic benefits, but at what costs?!The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, June 1992, was a sign that people were realising the negative effects mankind was having on the environment, and the importance of moving towards sustainable development.In 1996 a group of the most prestigious scientists in the world ruled that"balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on the world climate" With global temperatures expected to rise by 1-3.5 °C by 2100. (Mclaren)Fossil fuels are the main source of human generated greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide)-combustion of fossil fuels accounting for 85% of global carbon dioxide emissions!According to the department of environment, (McLaren), by 2050, this will cause in the UK alone precipitation to rise by 8% temperature will rise by 1.6 °C, sea levels will rise 37cm, and extreme floods which at the moment are only likely every 100 years could happen every year in places like Southampton.Estimates stating that breathing urban air will on average reduce life expectancy by a whole year.With the demand for global energy ever increasing, and fossil fuels running out (Each year the consumption of oil, would take nature a million years to replace) and becoming increasingly relatively expensive, efforts must be made to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used. This may happen in various ways, mainly becoming more efficient, and finding alternatives.One way which companies have been becoming more environmentally friendly is through energy efficiency. In the energy supply industry great improvements in efficiency have been made. Exxon for example have improved energy efficiency by 37% between 1973 and 1998, and working towards increasing this by another 15% over the next few years. This may seem a lot but is nothing too impressive, with the UK's industry as a whole improving by 62% from 1970 to 1998 (ENDS report, July 2002)However, Instead of trying to combat the problem themselves, Exxon believed it would be more constructive to promote efficiency for the end users, who account for 87% of total carbon dioxide emissions, and therefore invested $12 million (2% of total research expenditure) into research into carbon dioxide reduction, and collaborated with Toyota and general motors into developing a "on board reformer which converts petrol into hydrogen to power fuel sell vehicles" (ENDS report, July 2002)Pacific gas and electricity, in California 1991, said it would stop building large central power stations, and would obtain all future expansions in energy through consumer efficiency (which they would promote via financing and information) and through alternatives like wind and solar energy!Give away information on energy efficiency for domestic...

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