What is it for you?
Share your opinion with us and answer a simple question: What does our planet mean for you? How do you imagine its future? Send your opinion to us at:
We will publish the most interesting comments.
TFP's environmental projects match pro-eco intentions of the European Union perfectly. TFP supports all the initiatives in the framework of EU Eco-Innovation: paper recycling, processes not consuming water, water treatment, intelligent distribution system for water, chemicals, energy and materials efficiency. Since 2008, TFP has been using a closed water circulating system in its production processes. The core of this system is our own waste water treatment plant which treats 100% of the water we use. In addition, with introduction of this new image, we care about raising awareness of the pro-environmental lifestyle.
Are we going to remain the blue planet?
The rate of civilisation development on the Earth requires more care of the environment and optimised waste management even today. How do you imagine life on our planet, for example after 2050? Is the Earth capable of adjusting to human growth, as it did with other species? Are we going to be able to reverse the process of CO2 emission to the atmosphere so that its volume starts decreasing instead of increasing? What about unpunished cutting down of the Brazilian primary forest? Is it truly possible to reduce electricity consumption? Oil is now and will remain a basic carrier of primary energy in the nearest future. Considering the production volume, the scale of oil processing and consumption of oil products, the oil sector is potentially among the greatest burdens for the environment. Both production and consumption of energy are the main causes of air, water and soil pollution. The global economy needs an energy alternative. Environmental impact of transport is particularly noticeable in large human populations. Emissions of CO, SO2, NOx and lead compounds have particularly adverse health effects. Therefore, under pressure from the global community, more and more stringent standards are being implemented regarding TEL contents in petrol, sulphur contents in fuels and fuel oils.
Only a trend, or a necessity now?
The environmental trend is noticeable practically in any field of life. It's no different in the investment field. Many products based on ecology and new technologies are being developed worldwide, as well as those associated with so-called socially responsible projects. New companies are being established, focusing on production of renewable energy, manufacture of environmentally friendly products, and caring about the environment. Environmental protection, apart from its traditional functions of protection and restoration of ecosystems, has become a significant component of the global economic policy. Therefore, demand for eco sound technologies and goods should be expected to increase. Organizations working for the environment or using eco technologies in their production processes and services gain an extra advantage, allowing them to improve their competitive edge. The noticeable increasing demand for "eco goods" also stems from education among the younger generation, a trend for ecology and promotion of sustainable models of consumption by the mass media. As we know, natural resources - such as oil, for example - are not inexhaustible. A year ago, the price per barrel was a bit more than US$50, today it ranges around US$100. The current trend is influenced by increasing demand with simultaneously decreasing volume of newly discovered oil fields. The most rapidly growing sector of consumers comprises mainly non-OECD countries. Because we can now forget about problem-free oil production, many global corporations lean towards secondary field exploitation methods, or Enhanced Oil Recovery. Various types of expensive projects can be implemented, such as production of oil from oil-bearing sands in Canada. For these reasons, growing interest in investment products focused on new technologies is no surprise. The source of these products' potential growth is, among others, the EU legislation. Article 3 of Directive 2001/77/EC of 27 September 2001 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market of 2010. The intention of the Directive was to increase consumption of electricity from renewable sources to 22.1% of green energy proportion in total electricity consumption across the European Union. The United States are also taking large steps towards an ecological approach. Spending on alternative energy sources has grown from US$17bn in 2001 to US$85bn today. The US Government is planning to introduce new fuel taxes, and CO2 emission reduction options are mentioned more and more frequently.
A natural mechanism.
The first package was created by Nature. Nature assured original and durable protection of many food products. Oranges, bananas, nuts, or vegetables can grow undisturbed, protected by their own package - fruit skin. Nature encourages us to consume its products through bright, warm colours and sophisticated shapes that have often inspired contemporary designers of packages.
Let's be aware of computers.
According to a report by WWF, a single PC takes up 136.9 kWh of energy each year. Standby mode of hi-fis, computers and printers generates consumption of around 2.35 TWh of energy in Poland each year. If we unplug just half of this equipment, we could save 293 million zlotys and reduce 369 thousand tonnes of CO2. Therefore, it's reasonable to check our machines. The savings can be significant. Eco-gadgets can already be found on the computer market for saving energy, such as eco-buttons. The device connects to the PC via USB cable. When used, it switches the PC and other hardware into deep hibernation mode, with practically no energy consumption.
Energy from algae.
Almost all of us have heard about houses powered with solar energy, or wind power - but energy produced by algae is something completely new. Architects from Splitterwerk group have designed a zero-energy BIQ building, to be the first project of its kind using algae as its energy source. The architects, in coordination with Colt International, Arup and SSC, designed a living facade, consisting of bio-reactive glass blinds filled with algae. Such blinds protect the algae from outside conditions and create a microclimate that fosters their growth. Use of this type of structure has only advantages. Bioreactors capture the heat produced by micro-algae in the photosynthesis process and convert it to energy to power the building. Bioreactors further produce biomass that can be used for enegy as well. In addition, a moving dark green facade can give the inhabitants a moment of quiet on a hot and sunny day.
Fuel from seawater.
US Marines are experimenting with making jet fuel from seawater to prevent global warming and potential aviation fuel shortages, "New Scientist" reported. Navy chemists have processed seawater into unsaturated short-chain hydrocarbons that with further refining could be made into kerosene-based jet fuel. It uses a variant of a chemical reaction called the Fischer-Tropsch process, which is used commercially to produce a gasoline-like hydrocarbon fuel from syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. It's more difficult to use carbon dioxide than carbon monoxide, as it is more chemically stable. But CO2's abundance, combined with concerns about global warming, make it an attractive potential feedstock. Ocean water contains about 140 times higher concentration of carbon dioxide than air, because CO2 dissolves very well in salty water. The reaction is facilitated by iron as the catalyst. However, a green source of energy is necessary to achieve carbon-neutral balance for the process. In case of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, production of fuel from inexhaustible water resources would ensure independence from supplies of jet fuel without CO2 emissions.
The largest solar bridge worldwide.
The biggest self-sustained solar-powered footbridge was opened in Brisbane, Australia; it uses solar power for its independent LED lighting scheme. This 0.5 km long bridge, through the use of renewable power sources, will reduce CO emission by 38 tonnes a year. Kurilpa Bridge, connecting the two banks of the Brisbane River, features an advanced, energy-efficient lighting system. It can be programmed to produce an array of different lighting effects, which will become a feature of Brisbane’s annual Riverfire celebrations. The viaduct is powered by 84 solar panels that collectively generate a daily output of about 100KWh. They are the source of all the energy needed to illuminate the bridge. Surplus electricity generated by the solar array will be returned to the main grid. Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten said the bridge's grid connect solar power system will see savings of around 37.8 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. More than 1000 people were employed on the project, and the cost of building the bridge amounted to $63 million. It is anticipated that around 36 thousand people will use the bridge each week.
A smart power adapter
Green Plug has developed a technology for building versatile power adapters. They are capable of supplying DC voltage and power to any terminal devices, such as mobile phones, palmtops, MP3 players, notebooks, portable hard drives, digital photo cameras, GPS receivers, etc. The idea offers convenience for users of electronic devices but also contributes to protecting the environment, which is being deminished by billions of small power supply units. About 450 million of these are dumped each year in the United States, and only 13% of them are recycled. The core element of the solution developed by Green Plug is the GreenTalk communication protocol, defining the format of data generated by powered devices and the power supply parameters required. Such data are received by an intelligent power adapter which matches the voltage and power output accordingly. Another advantage of this technology is the implementation of controls for shutting off the power adapter when idle. This corresponds to energy efficiency.
860 km2 of primary forest daily.
Tropical rain forests are a part of the global climate system. Man, destroying it, alters the water cycles, causing droughts, flooding or soil erosion in areas where these phenomena did not use to occur previously. Cutting down the forests also increases the albedo, i.e. the ratio of reflected radiation from the Earth surface, affecting the distribution of winds and sea currents and changing the distribution of precipitation. When we destroy forests on such a large scale, we change our planet completely. One fully grown-up pine tree produces about 1350 - 1800 litres of oxygen during the day, which is the daily demand for three people. A hectare of deciduous forest is capable of producing about seven hundred kilograms of oxygen, which is the daily requirement for about two and a half thousand people. In total, forests produce about 26.6 billion litres of oxygen, which is over half of the Earth's yearly reserve.
At the moment, unwanted messages represent over 80% of global e-mail traffic. It turns out that e-mails known as spam, apart from the obvious nuisance hindering Internet use, are extremely harmful for the environment as well. A report published by McAfee indicates that transmission and reading of unwanted mail consumes as much as 33 million kWh a year. As an illustration, this is the equivalent of electricity needed to power 2.1 million American houses. Symantec, McAfee's competitor, recorded 192% growth of online spam, from 119.6 million messages in 2007 to 349.6 million in 2008. 90% of these messages are generated by unaware users' computers infected with malware. The document presented by McAfee specialists, entitled "Carbon Footprint of Spam", states that 62 billion unwanted messages were sent worldwide during the last year. Their transmission, displaying and deleting generates energy requirement with greenhouse gas emission equal to emissions from 3.1 million cars.