Green Laws


Green Laws Essay, Research Paper

Green Laws Boost Clean-up Iindustry

Engelskaflevering d. 01.09.95


Have companies around the globe really become “house-proud”, or is

planet earth just in for a spring cleaning? It is hard to say – but one thing is

for sure; the environmental sector is en-joying a boom. The market for pollution

control technology is on a steep exponential growth curve, which seems to be

interminable. Especially the European companies put down their names for an

immense part of the expansion. But what is the precise nature of this sudden

environmental con-cern? After all the deteriorating state of the environment is

hardly a novel phenomenon, to say the least.

Just how vigorous this potential goldmine is going to be for the clean-

up industry ac-tually depends on law and order, so to speak. That is to say that

one of the main reasons for the turn up is new legislation. Recent EU-directives

as to pollution may cause heavy demands on the purse of one company and

consequently pour that money down the pockets of the clean technology indu-stry.

Moreover the deadlines for plants to meet EU-directives are getting close, and

everything se-ems to show that the laws will be enforced.

Yet far from all companies have to meet with the

raised finger of the law to start investing in their environmental

responsibilities. Investments on a volunta-ry basis are often due to the fact

that it makes good ecnomic sense or because it gives the corporate image a face-


Seen from a geoprahical point of view Germany and primarily eastern

Europe form tremendously good breeding ground for the sale of clean-up equipment.

As a result of opencast mi-ning of lignite coal in Poland, for example, a huge

clean-up is left, which will amount to billions of dollars. However accidents

also occur at sea, where a spate of oil tanker disasters are likely to fill out

the order book at oil cleaning industries.

Nevertheless a stroke of bad luck is far from necessary in order to make

firms under-stand their green obligations. The power of the consumers has been

on the increase over the last few years, and the public environmental image

means more to a firm than ever before. The average con-sumer going down to the

grocer’s for a few necessaries is starting to attach importance to something

else than just the product itself. How is the detergent wrapped – is the paper

bleached? Is this bottle reusable? Are these outdoor tomatoes? – and so on.

Personally I don’t think that you notice it, as

you’re walking alongside the shelves in the local supermarket – but you do pay

more attention to ecological messages on the products than you did just 5-10

years ago. After all this is a topic very much in the public mind, so I guess

it’s quite natural to get involved one way or the other.

I know from my own experiences that we have started to

put down se-veral ecological products on the shopping list at home, when going

to the grocer’s. Products like: carrots, rye bread, milk, and cheese appear

regularly on our shopping list and always in ecological form. But just recently

another common purchase was substituted; red wine, French red wine to be exact,

had to give way to a Spanish bottle instead. The day by day “revolution” on the

dinner table was my mother’s contribution to the prevention of the French

nuclear tests. French products in gene-ral was banned on our shopping list – and

still are. How far her exertions have got appreciable effect with monsieur

Chirac is dubious – but many a little makes a mickle, as they say!

On a more global scale this environmental consciousness of the consumers

was to be witnessed just a couple of months ago. The sinking of the drilling rig

“Brent Spar” at open sea cau-sed an outcry all over Europe, and customers

“rippled their muscles”. Shell, the mastermind behind the sinking, was boycott

by a vast number of both bulk buying companies and ordinary consumers which

resulted in a more environmentally friendly solution at last.

To my mind this way of carrying one’s point is

absolutely excellent. Henceforward I feel that the consumers should utilize “the

power of their shopping list” far more frequently. As to “Brent Spar”, we kept

that one afloat and got it sent to the breakers pre-venting the environment from

further molestation. Let’s only hope that this will go for the French nuclear

weapons as well – before it’s too late! “Consumers, unite!”


COWIconsult Parallelvej 15 2800 Lyngby Denmark

The European Att.: Michael Bond Orbit House 5 New Fetter lane London EC4A 1AP

U.K. 12 June 1994

Dear Sir

Thanks for your letter of 6 June. I regret that I unfortunately can not answer

your question, since we are a consulting firm which is not directly involved in

any environmental acitvities.

The environmental sector has truely enjoyed a boom during the past few years.

Industry is begin-ning to take its green responsibility seriously, consequently

we help the companies in finding out whether they can make profits from a green

image or not. For instance we do calculations for com-panies so that they can

see the financial consequences of any environmental investments.

That is why we can not be of any assistance to you regarding information on

special projects. However we do enclose our latest annual report, where you will

find the names of some Danish firms, which have been involved in either the

cleaning of polluted soil in eastern Europe or the sale of equipment for

monitoring oil spill from ship tanks in the North Sea. Perhaps you can obtain

fur-ther details at the mentioned companies.

Moreover we refer to our office in London, 35 Bassinghall Street, London EC2V


We wish you the best of luck on your articles.

Yours sincerely


Marlene Eriksen

Marlene Eriksen Information Manager


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