‘Going green’ can be good for business

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States will require far-reaching efforts spanning all sectors of the economy, but significant savings generated by “going green” can outweigh the costs over time. So says a newly-released McKinsey & Company report. Annual GHG emissions within the United States will increase from 7.
By Staff January 1, 2008

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States will require far-reaching efforts spanning all sectors of the economy, but significant savings generated by “going green” can outweigh the costs over time. So says a newly-released McKinsey & Company report.

Annual GHG emissions within the United States will increase from 7.3 gigatons of carbon-dioxide equivalents (CO2e) to 9.7 gigatons by 2030. (As a frame of reference, all of the light-duty vehicles used in the United States today collectively produce only 1 gigaton.) Congress is currently reviewing legislative options aimed at keeping these levels in-check during that time period, but there is a significant amount of debate surrounding the costs required to do so… particularly for industrial organizations.

The study revealed that the industrial sector alone can reduce emissions by 620– 770 megatons, and that the associated energy savings can outweigh the cost of making the changes necessary to meet these reduction goals. However, the report does acknowledge that it will require a substantial investment in equipment upgrades and process changes, which inevitably compete with other capital cost needs within the plant.

Honeywell, one of the main underwriters of the report, is taking an active role in helping industrial organizations to make those investments more palatable. For more, search “green” at www.controleng.com , and see this month’s article “Energy as a process variable” (page 42).