Resourcefulness: Environmentally Benign Industry

Industrial ecology is the study of material and energy flow through industrial systems. The global industrial economy can be modelled as a network of industrial processes that extract resources from the Earth and transform those resources into commodities which can be bought and sold to meet the needs of humanity.

What is Environmentally Benign Industry?

The interventions on this issue will be based on "The Environmentally Benign Industry" (EBM) research group, located in the Laboratory for Industry and Productivity and the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The EBM group is focused on examining the environmental impact associated with the industry of products. Research areas include the thermodynamic, economic, and life cycle assessment of industry processes and systems, products and recycling systems. Additional work looks at the environmental effects from the consumption side of the issue.


Carbon Neutrality

The best practice for organisations and individuals seeking carbon neutral status entails reducing and/or avoiding carbon emissions so that only unavoidable emissions are offset. Carbon neutral status is commonly achieved in two ways:

  • Reduce your carbon footprint by balancing the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels, with renewable energy.
  • Carbon offsetting by paying others to remove or sequester 100% of the carbon dioxide emitted from the atmosphere – for example by planting trees or by funding 'carbon projects' that should lead to the prevention of future greenhouse gas emissions, or by buying carbon credits to remove (or 'retire') them through carbon trading.

Additive Industry

Processes such as rapid prototyping, in which material is joined or solidified under computer control to create a three-dimensional object reduce material use, waste and energy costs.

Why Environmentally Benign Industry?

Material Demand Reduction

One-third of the world's energy is used in industry to make products. Most of this energy is needed in the early stages of production to convert raw materials and natural resources. These materials are sold cheaply, but use a lot of energy. Therefore, the critical materials with which we create modern lifestyles - steel, cement, plastic, paper and aluminium in particular - are the main 'carriers' of mechanical energy, and if we want to make a significant reduction in industrial energy use, we need to reduce our demand for these materials. HV Promotions’ consultants has the expertise to aid industry in energy conservation.

Material Recovery/Recycling

It is crucial to investigate material recovery from solid waste management and materially-complex products to optimise the material recovery chain from system engineering and environmental perspectives.