February 9, 2021

Environmental topics have entered the main stage of businesses

Everything was better before – or is this true in the energy sector? Mirroring past years to the present, the debate on environmental responsibility has changed dramatically. At the same time, the work of the Environmental Manager has expanded from meeting legal obligations to identifying business opportunities.

Years ago, companies dealt with environmental issues just by taking mandatory actions required by law, and usually only a few people were responsible for environmental matters. Sounds old-fashioned, and it was.

At that time, the focus was on environmental risk management, environmental protection and the protection of soil and water. These are still an integral part of the Environmental Manager’s work, but the perspective has increasingly shifted to business benefits and especially the environmental impact of products and services.

In the past environmental topics were discussed among a small group, nowadays everyone is involved in the discussion. It has been a pleasure to see that environmental action is no longer lead by the whip of the law, but instead we are on a common cause with our customers. Our goal of reducing CO2 emissions through our own and our customers’ operations is an excellent example of this.

Read more about Adven’s environmental improvement plan and how Adven reduces its own and its customers’ emissions to mitigate climate change.

Discussion on whether climate change is true is no longer needed

I remember the tone in which climate change was still being discussed during my studies. At the time, the reality of global warming was questioned and there was controversy over the role of humanity and whether all the studies were true. There was a lot of discussion about the extent and nature of the problem facing us in general.

I majored in Energy Economics, Energy Engineering and Environmental Protection. My interest in environmental issues has grown along with my job assignments.

At the beginning of my career, I worked in energy economics as a Project Analyst, but learning and experiencing new things has always interested me. When I had the opportunity to apply for the position of Adven’s Environmental Manager, I decided to seize the opportunity. I have been in Adven since the beginning and worked with a variety of tasks related to environmental issues and sustainability, and there is always more to learn.

From speculating about global warming to a solution-oriented debate

From the speculative years of the past, we’ve come to a point where, when talking about emissions or environmental issues, the main topic today is climate change and the utilization of solutions to mitigate it. So, the environmental debate has changed a great deal over the years and has taken a more positive perspective. Much has been said about the choices and responsibilities of individuals regarding climate issues, the focus in recent years shifting to companies and the sustainability of products and services.

As a result, companies think more about environmental issues, take responsibility for their own products and services, and genuinely strive to make them better and more environmentally sustainable and thus also create business benefits for themselves. I believe that companies and products will continue to be looked at in terms of sustainability. If before we talked about value for money as a quality-price ratio, now it’s rather a quality-sustainability-price ratio.

In the future, the focus is not likely to be solely on climate change, but more broadly on a circular economy. For example, how are we considering resource efficiency in our operations? How can we all play a part in conserving natural resources and biodiversity? These themes are becoming even more involved in the debate, so they are worth considering now.

Katja Baumgartner, Environmental Manager

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