The main approach towards the green marketing is cleaner technology which involves recycling, renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels), green transportation, electric motors, green chemistry, lighting, Grey water, information technology and many other appliances that are now more eco-friendly & energy efficient. It, as a whole, is a new approach to create electricity, fuels and related products with a much smaller environmental footprint and minimal pollution. It has certainly introduced quite healthy means to manufacture products while maintaining environmental sustainability. A firm named Cleaner Tech which is known to give the term 'cleantech' has described the term 'cleaner technology' as a tool which is capable of defining a diverse range of products, services and processes intended to provide superior performance at lower costs, while reducing or eliminating negative ecological impacts and improving the productive and responsible use of natural resources. A research firm, Clean Edge which is involved in cleaner technology development and research has pointed out that this technology might not be superior to its traditional counterparts but is sure competitive with them, offering additional benefits both to people and the environment esp. in developing countries. Cleaner technologies, thus, might prove to be a major mile stone in green marketing.
Cleaner technology came into the spotlight in the year 2000 and the investments have been increased ever since. The main investments and funding has been carried out by cleantech. In the starting years including 2001, the investment only reached 506.8 $ million. In 2003, it crossed 1K $ million and then the investments grew at a rapid increasing rate and reached 8,414.3 $ million in 2008. According to UN Environment program, companies involved viz. biofuels, wind and solar ones received the record funding of $148 billion. The major reasons contributing to this dramatic change in investment rates were the increased oil rates and climate change policies which encouraged people and companies towards investment in renewable energy. The cleantech firm has though funded in several countries, China is believed to be a major growth market for cleaner technologies.
Bioremediation specifically refers to the application of micro-organisms in removing pollution. It was brought into practice to eliminate the pollution caused by industrial waste. It can be thus utilised in order to minimise the harmful effects caused on environment bring about by various industrial practices. It generally involves four methods i.e. removal, separation, destruction/degradation and immobilization. The first three processes reduce the concentration of the pollutant while the last process of all, is applied to isolate the contaminant from the environment by making it insoluble. Bioremediation processes generally involves utilization of normal or recombinant micro-organisms like yeast, fungi, bacteria etc. This technique plays a major role in going green for the companies affiliated to chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, vitamins etc. In addition, bio augmentation and bio refining (use of MOs in mineral refining processes) are few other processes that favour green marketing.
Though all the organisms have the potential to serve their environment, several plants and microbes seem to attract researchers' attraction towards their environmental remediation characteristics. Some of these microbes and plants have the ability to degrade the most toxic chemicals present in the environment. This concept of using microbes and plant for the removal of pollutants is based on the idea that all organisms could remove or take up chemicals/ contaminants from the environment for their own growth and metabolic activities [Hamer 1997, Saval 1999, Wagner et al 2002, Doble et al 2004, Gavrilescu 2004, Gavrilescu 2004]. Environmental Biotechnology involves the application of biotechnology in studies related to natural environment. So far, it has introduced several green manufacturing technologies and sustainable development strategies and a huge number of companies seem to have adopted them too.
The role of environmental biotechnology can be understood by taking an example of a site where pollution of a certain type is maximum. This pollution certainly creates some specific effluents which are taken up by only a few micro-organisms. A sample of such few micro-organisms is taken into consideration and the level of any mutations, if occurred, is determined. This is done as these micro-organisms would have adapted to the nature of effluent in order to degrade it better than the rest of the micro-organisms of the same genus. The identified altered genes are then cloned and incorporated into other industrial significant micro-organisms. Hence, they are used for more economically significant processes in industries etc., thus providing a new and better way to manufacture products using eco-friendly techniques. This was a very good example of an application of environmental biotechnology at its core in context with green marketing.
Although there would still be a debate on whether these genetically modified organisms would create an imbalance in the environment. Therefore, practically, while designing such organisms one thing should be certainly kept in mind, that is the introduction of such organisms should not create any harmful effects in the ecosystem and should not alter the equilibrium that exists between the already existing organisms and their surroundings. In order to achieve this, several trials are performed and then these genetically engineered products are introduced into the environment and brought into practices.
By introducing such eco-friendly techniques in marketing and manufacturing various products, companies shall be able to attract consumers towards their policies and products. As one may declare, with the continuous degradation of environment, people are keen on using products that in no way produce a negative impact on the environment and thus maintain environmental sustainability. Implementation of such techniques allows the companies to put a label of eco-friendly on their products and take their initial steps into green marketing. Hence, typical introduction of environmental biotechnology techniques has sure given a relief to large-scale companies and manufacturers. But the employed scientists should be very careful in designing such strategies in order to avoid further environmental degradation as its environment that we strive to protect, after all.
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