Sustainable, green, environmentally friendly – such should be the transport of the next few years. But what does this mean in practice, and what can we do to make intelligent mobility and resource management work for the environment?
The importance of sustainable transport and its impact on the environment
The idea of sustainable development is to allow us to meet current market needs while preserving resources for future generations. Awareness of climate change has been growing for some time now. It could be said that we are beginning to reckon with the debt we have already incurred from our planet. We have to pay now, but the problem will affect our descendants even more – especially if we do not address ecological issues of as early as possible. It is essential to change those industries that are harmful to the environment in their very nature. One example is transport – we simply cannot abandon it, but we must bear in mind that it is not particularly environmentally friendly in its current form. We need to examine this sector in detail and ensure that it can meet ecological standards.
Several types of actions can be taken to strive for truly green transport. Demand reduction is one of them, but of course it can certainly never be reduced to zero. It is therefore necessary to promote both efficient and environmentally friendly measures. These include the electrification of car traffic, as well as the optimisation of production processes and resource consumption.
Why is it so difficult to meet green transport requirements?
Sustainable transport poses challenges not only to the environment but also to consumer needs. In particular, we must bear in mind that demand for transport-related goods and services is increasing. More and more people worldwide are choosing to drive their own cars and online shopping, for example, is becoming increasingly popular. In general, we are consuming more and every good has to be delivered to the final customer. Growing demand is one of the main challenges for sustainable transport. This, in turn, creates a demand for more energy resources and greener materials – in some situations requiring certain sacrifices on the part of manufacturers and service providers in this field.
Despite the efforts of many major companies, there is still no clear trend towards reducing emissions. Sustainable development activities do not always go hand in hand with a real reduction in the carbon footprint – this is due to many factors, including the difficulty of adapting green solutions. They are more expensive and complicated, and sometimes do not pay off, especially among price-conscious consumers.
Sustainable public transport – is it possible?
Popularising EVs and improving the efficiency of existing power units is not the end of the story. There are many other steps we can take to make transport more environmentally friendly. One of them is the promotion of sustainable urban mass transport. Urban agglomerations can implement smart innovations to reduce car traffic by enabling efficient travel by public transport. For the time being, technologies in the spirit of the smart city are only in development, but in a few years they could have a really significant impact on efficient and sustainable transport in urban regions.
The foundations of sustainable transport – this also needs to be addressed!
Looking further ahead, sustainable transport does not only involve measures to reduce emissions at the level of car use or delivery. It is also important to implement appropriate solutions at the source, especially when considering the role of the automotive industry in the generation of greenhouse gases. Applying environmental standards at every stage of a product is playing an increasingly important role. It is essential to assess the impact on the planet right from the start of the development of an automotive solution. In most situations, it is possible to use greener materials and develop methods for more economical, zero-waste production.
The most important role in this perspective is played by people in key positions who have the power to choose more sustainable ways of achieving goals – for example, producing a large volume of a specific component. Proper management of the supply chain, as well as of the product parameters themselves, makes it possible to cut costs in the production process while supporting the health of our environment. The current climate situation places considerable demands on us – and to successfully meet these challenges, you need the support of a trusted partner.
The closed-loop economy within Knauf Industries
For Knauf Automotive, ecology is a fundamental value. Our production processes are carried out in the spirit of lean manufacturing. Minimising waste in the production and logistics phases and generating the appropriate number of goods are fundamental to supporting the state of our planet. It is also important to us that the components we supply are made from environmentally friendly raw materials that can be recycled. The technologies we use definitely contribute to a closed-loop economy. As a result, we use recycled materials (i.e. expanded polystyrene (EPS)), developing the most environmentally friendly designs for their use, and the solutions we create can also be reused. Sustainability starts on the production line – and this is worth bearing in mind as the demands on industry continue to grow.