Economics and the environment

The terms “environmentally responsible” and “financially rewarding” have not typically been associated. However, in today’s economic climate, operating your business in an environmentally responsible way is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. At the time this article was written, oil prices had blown through $107 per barrel, the cascading effect of which ...


The terms “environmentally responsible” and “financially rewarding” have not typically been associated. However, in today’s economic climate, operating your business in an environmentally responsible way is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.

At the time this article was written, oil prices had blown through $107 per barrel, the cascading effect of which will drive-up transportation, raw-material and energy costs for manufacturer and consumer alike. Furthermore, retail sales are down sharply, it seems we haven’t yet seen the bottom of the housing market decline, and the dollar has taken a beating. This all adds-up to a perfect storm of sorts. With profit margins already running at razor-thin levels and many organizations running as lean as possible, manufacturers have no choice but to seek ways to reduce consumption and operate more efficiency.

Another compelling reason for “going green” rests squarely on the shoulders of the demographic most directly responsible for the success or failure of your business: your customers. Whether your end user base is comprised of consumers, other businesses or a combination of the two, the ability to associate your brand with positive environmental practices can offer a much needed competitive advantage.

Many companies are already combining advanced automation technologies, strategic planning and good old-fashioned common sense to operate in a way that is cleaner and more profitable than ever before. Jeanine Katzel explores the nuances of the greening of global manufacturing, with a particular focus on the financial aspects, in an outstanding feature beginning on page 48. Be sure to check it out.

And now for something completely different…

It wasn’t so long ago that I first introduced myself and characterized my role with Control Engineering as a “dream job.” That sentiment hasn’t changed, but life has a funny way of throwing curveballs. Due to some unforeseen events (including a truly ugly real estate market), I will not be able to relocate from the Boston area and this is my final issue as part of the team. However, you’ll see a familiar face on this page next month as David Greenfield will once again assume the editorial director role. He’s a great friend and wonderful journalist, and I’ll look forward to reading his work and keeping up with the latest tech trends as a loyal subscriber. Thank you for your support, kind e-mails and active participation. It has been a pleasure.

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