The green economy continues to grow, as can be seen with the recent opening of the new Carbonlite recycling facility in Riverside, California. The facility is now the largest plastic bottle recycling plant in the US. And it is quite a facility at that. Anyone who tours the facility will marvel at the extensive array of conveyors and heavy machinery.
Most of us probably don’t think too much about recycling bottles, since it is easy enough to just toss our empty bottles into the recycle bin and forget about it. But the recycling process is highly involved and requires a wide range of heavy machinery to perform numerous tasks in order to properly sort, clean, melt down, reshape, and repurpose plastic, as can be seen on the Carbonlite site.
And Carbonlite’s efforts make a substantial difference when it comes down to reducing landfill material and contributing to sustainable environmental practices. Recycling plastic cuts down on emissions and energy required for gathering resources, and it keeps huge amounts of plastic out of landfills, helping to minimize our carbon footprint in the process.
In order to build a barrier to keep curious visitors safely away from the heavy machinery (but still able to view the process), Carbonlite enlisted the services of Allied Modular Building Systems. The idea was to build an 8 foot tall wall around the facility, separating the open facility floor from the heavy machinery that spanned the facility. These walls would have windows so that visitors could watch the recycling process for themselves, without getting too close to the machinery.
So Allied Modular permitted and installed over 1000 ft of free standing 8’ tall modular wall with windows and seven sliding doors throughout the wall. This wall is supported every 12 feet by a support column. The walls themselves are reusable in any application, due to their universal, modular design. And they are manufactured out of recyclable materials.
So the facility itself, being an operation dedicated to reducing waste is partially composed of building materials that are highly reusable and recyclable. Modular construction is inherently green, and represents an excellent method of construction and a promising new component of the growing green economy. Since modular walls are reconfigurable and can be easily transported, they are often re-used for multiple applications, keeping still more materials out of the land fills.
Between a state-of-the-art recycling facility like Carbonlite’s and the modular technology of Allied Modular Building Systems, tons of plastic and building materials are being kept out of the landfill every year, reducing the carbon footprint and increasing energy efficiency. These are two companies that are pursuing a business model that makes up part of the emerging green economy and they make an excellent example to follow.
The green movement has been quickly gaining ground in the past couple of years, especially after the vulnerable recovery period following the recession. We found that we needed to start looking at more efficient and sustainable ways to use energy and resources for economic, social, and ecological reasons. Many began to take the green movement more seriously, and many companies adopted green standards in energy and sustainable practices, which led to more business activity and growth in services such as clean energy, thanks to the mobilizing effects of the green movement itself.
Well, the green movement is going to become even more pronounced in the next few years, maybe even to the extent of it ceasing to be a movement and becoming the norm. This is due to the actual institutionalization of the movement, thanks to the General Services Administration.
If you read their “Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan,” you’ll find that the GSA is actively adopting a green/sustainability policy, and will advocate the spread of such practices throughout our government. This means that any business that would like to build government buildings or acquire other similar contracts will most likely be required to adhere to a certain green/sustainable standard in energy and resource use.
Soon it will become absolutely crucial for all construction methods to employ green, sustainable practices. Modular construction is often touted as being green through and through, which is correct. Modular buildings not only save resources by recycling materials and using available resources more efficiently, but they also save landfills from demolition waste, due to their reusability. Modular buildings also boast better insulation and containment ratings, which saves on energy.
This is definitely an encouraging trend. We will see higher efficiency in our building processes and better management of our limited resources and energy sources. We here at Allied Modular are happy to rise to the challenge.
Hopping aboard the green movement
One of the main functions of modern business is to recognize social movements and leverage that forward momentum, funneling buyers to relevant products and services.
Today’s growing green movement is one of those movements…and not just because it has “movement” in its name! We are at a critical point in history when the ideas of environmental conservation and sustainable living have become the agenda of the masses. Environmentalism is no longer seen as weak, fanciful, and superfluous, but absolutely necessary and a noble cause. This is all due to our growing realization (thanks to advances in science and technology) that our ecosystem really is delicate and that up to this point we have been destroying it. Now humanity as a whole is concerned with the well-being of the environment and the necessity of preserving it.
Smart, growing businesses are taking advantage of this social movement, which is only adding to the beneficial practices of preserving the environment.
In a time when the economy is hurting and job growth is stunted, the green industries are flourishing and green tech jobs are growing. This astounding fact is testament to the power of a social movement.
In this uncertain, constantly changing economy, it is good to know there is one driving idea that won’t change for a while: the idea that we need to develop green technologies and conduct business in an environmentally friendly manner.
So to reiterate, successful business that are surviving and growing in today’s economy are either entering into the green technology market or embracing green technology and investing in environmentally friendly processes as they manufacture their products or offer their services. Today’s consumers prefer green companies. The environment is on everyone’s mind, so everyone is going to prefer green products. They are also going to prefer doing business with the companies that can claim to be green friendly.
In the next post, I will talk about the usefulness of branding when it comes to surviving in today’s economy.