Environment and economic growth go hand in hand in Denmark.

Essay by madahaUniversity, Ph.D.A-, November 2003

download word file, 2 pages 4.6

Growth which entails heavy costs to society inthe form of environmental degradation is notsustainable. The challenge for the future is tocreate systems which make environmental pro-tection a natural part of growth. Growth willneed to be based on careful use of materials andenergy at all stages, combined with a largercomponent of services and knowledge. Informa-tion technology will have an important part toplay.'Just as a policy to achieve growth musttake account of the environment, soenvironmental policy must pay due regardto growth,' says Stefan Nyström at theSwedish Environmental ProtectionAgency.'Environmental regulations andtaxes must be designed in such a way as toencourage growth, rather than hinder it.'The days when promoting sustainabledevelopment was a job for the environ-mental authorities alone are gone. We allshare a responsibility for the future: gov-ernment agencies, industry, organizationsand individuals. What is more, protectionof the environment is becoming more andmore important as a factor for growth andas a means of increasing market share, re-ducing costs and improving profits.

According to the OECD, the environ-ment sector is growing at a rate of 5% ayear in the organization's member states,second only to the IT industry, which canboast growth of 8% a year. On the one hand, there are companiesworking specifically with environmentaltechnologies - what could be called'pure' environmental technology compa-nies - and, on the other, firms for whichenvironmental issues are an importantdriving force in process and product de-velopment - 'environmentally driven'companies. Some businesses are forward-looking,and are asking themselves where they willbe, say, 20 years from now. Shell and BPfor example - keen to stay in the runningon the energy market of the future - areinvesting heavily in the development ofsolar energy technology. Another trend is an endeavour bycompanies to reduce their consumptionof raw materials, while increasing the ser-vice content of their products. Many arebeginning to sell systems and functions,rather than individual products. As...