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Raising environmental awareness

The environment is on everybody’s mind as society grows increasingly sensitive to green issues. Shocked by what they saw on TV, the public desire to reduce the amount of plastic finding its way into our oceans is leading to all kinds of initiatives to take unnecessary plastic out of our lives.

Raising environmental awareness

09-07-2019

The environment is on everybody’s mind as society grows increasingly sensitive to green issues. Shocked by what they saw on TV, the public desire to reduce the amount of plastic finding its way into our oceans is leading to all kinds of initiatives to take unnecessary plastic out of our lives. Packaging-free food in super markets is among the obvious moves. In industries such as ours, eliminating unnecessary plastic – and the recycling of waste in general – will not have the same visible impact. But every little bit help and this includes a lifting sector company keeping plastic in check as part of corporate social responsibility.

The campaign on plastic was followed quickly by environmental protests hitting the headlines around the world, adding to the pressure mounting on governments to take action to mitigate climate change.

The UK government appears to be the first major economy to grab the issue by the horns through committing to achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. While it is hoped to encourage other governments around the globe to take similar action, the move sets a major challenge across the board of the UK economy to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

All areas of our day-to-day lives will be affected, though environmental and economic efficiency need not be a zero sum game: a company taking measures to improve its environmental footprint will largely result in savings on its bottom line.

The road to reduced emissions may include buildings being regulated to banish gas and to be sufficiently insulated. Transport, which is currently the largest carbon emitter and has shown the least reductions, will be a major target. A shift from internal combustion engine to electric powered vehicles seems already to be underway. Of course, this will inevitably increase demand on the power network.

Renewable power generation such as nuclear plants, solar farms and wind turbines are coming on stream to help. They are end user sectors where the lifting industry is heavily involved, in addition to traditional industries. Our industry can be proud of our work to support these essential sectors and one of the best places to show this off is in schools – where of course there is a passionate interest in the environment.

The Think Lifting programme launched by LEEA, in partnership with LHI magazine, can capture this passion and channel it into our sector. The Lifting industry gives young people wanting to help the environment a chance to become positively involved in what has become known as the ‘green sector’.

There are many jobs out there that do not receive much publicity but are nonetheless stimulating and essential work. All jobs need skills and Think Lifting, together with and the challenge set by finding solutions for a net zero carbon emission world, presents a great opportunity to inspire young people to pay attention to those jobs they might otherwise have overlooked.

Our industry’s near future will see technology playing a growing role in reducing emissions. For example, we are likely to see parts used for lifting equipment sent to via 3D printers, meaning fewer deliveries on the transport networks. The remote monitoring of lifting equipment through the ‘Internet of Things’ will also reduce the need for call outs.

There will be new materials and engineering solutions that will minimise the raw materials required to manufacture lifting gear and the power required in their operation.

Lifting gear will be required to help manage the growing acreage of solar and wind farms.

Wind power turbines themselves are getting bigger and, in Europe particularly, are increasingly being located offshore. The tallest turbines would overlook One Canada Square, the tallest building in London’s Canary Wharf.

There are clearly very exciting elements within our industry. They will be important to the incoming workforce, who will be very different from the workforce we have now and will make essential contributions not only for the sustainability of the lifting industry, but the sustainability of the planet.

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