Is the move to “go green” too costly of an option?

Although the environmental movement advocates using resources in a sustainable manner, doing so come with a price tag, begging the question of whether our economy will ever reach a point where going green is fully implemented. We turned to our panel of Zintro experts and asked them to share their opinions. Here’s what they had to say:

Liam Salter, with 15 years of experience with climate change and sustainability issues, says that companies can go green without incurring major costs. Businesses should evaluate the idea of going green as a commercial value proposition. Weighing the benefits – stronger brand name, reduced energy bills, more motivated staff – against the costs can help companies decide what the next step should be. Salter rationalizes that although the “benefit equation varies by sector and by company, today in many markets doing something delivers greater net value to a company than doing nothing.” Salter recommends that companies concerned about costs should focus on making changes that will save them money, like with energy bills. Salter believes that going green will eventually become more cost effective because government regulations are being restructured “to make NOT going green more expensive.”

Curtis Martin, with 13 years of experience with alternative fuels and infrastructure development, explains that economies of scale will always dictate the cost of an item, whether it is an automobile or solar energy panel. Because the green movement is gaining investments and government subsidies, “green-tech is going to be required until the scale, manufacturing technology and public acceptance reaches a point where it becomes self sustaining.” Martin says that a barrier to the widespread adoption of green technology is the high cost. Unfortunately, it is society’s current addiction to cheap oil that will determine whether the green market can flourish. With prices of oil predicted to skyrocket in the near future, it is vital to accept that the era of cheap oil has come to an end, and drive forward with green technologies and innovation. As Martin points out, “if this nation does not break away from oil as a primary energy source within the next couple of decades, our coveted way of life may find itself on the endangered list.”

Rhyno Stinchfield, with 30 years of experience in the renewable/sustainable energy fields spanning across countries including the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean, believes that it will take many years for everything to be ‘green,’ stating that society is in the “earlier stages of this transition to a more sustainable culture and Quantum Leaps like this are measured in decades.” However, a switch to more renewable forms of energy is likely imminent, especially when factoring in the long-term cost of reducing carbon emissions. Simply put, individuals can either pay the price now and use clean energy or wait 50 years – at which point it will be incredibly more expensive to make the transition. Stinchfield gives the example of wind development as one such project that is helping to supply clean electricity instead of relying on coal and natural gas. Although some critics claim that government assistance for renewable forms of energy is unfair, Stinchfield says that it is important to remember that, “ALL of the fuel sources are receiving some type of government support.”

Do you have a question (about the environmental movement or any other topic) you would like to ask Zintro’s experts? Click here. Would you be interested in signing to be a Zintro expert and generate free leads for your business? Click here.