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Energy efficiency through integrated environmental management

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Abstract

Integrated environmental management became an economic necessity after industrial development proved to be unsustainable without consideration of environmental direct and indirect impacts. Energy dependency and air pollution along with climate change grew into major challenges facing developed and developing countries alike. Thus, a new global market structure emerged and changed the way we do trade. The search intensified for alternatives to petroleum. However, scientists, policy makers, and environmental activists agreed to focus on strategic conservation and optimization of energy use. Environmental concerns will remain partially unaddressed with the current pace of consumption because greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise with economic growth. This paper discusses energy efficiency, steady integration of alternative sources, and increased use of best available technologies. Energy criteria developed for environmental labeling certification are presented. Our intention is to encourage manufacturers and service providers to supply consumers with less polluting and energy-consuming goods and services, inform consumers of the environmental and energy impacts, and thereby instill sustainable and responsible consumption. As several programs were initiated in developed countries, environmental labeling requirements created barriers to many exports manufactured in developing countries, affecting current world trade and putting more pressure on countries to meet those requirements. Defining an institutional and legal framework of environmental labeling is a key challenge in implementing such programs for critical economic sectors like tourism, textiles, and food production where energy needs are the most important aspect to control. A case study of Tunisia and its experience with eco-labeling is presented.

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Notes

  1. Costs are generally calculated in two terms: short and long terms. While it may be costly to make changes by adopting new and improved technologies, in the long term, savings in cost will be greater because of reduction in energy use or use of alternative energy that is less polluting and will result in less control.

  2. More detailed information can be found under the Canadian office of energy efficiency, Improving Energy Performance in Canada—Report to Parliament Under the Energy Efficiency Act For the Fiscal Year 2010–2011 at this link: http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/statistics/parliament10-11/chapter1.cfm?attr%3D0.

  3. More information on lodging and other sectors’ energy consumption is available through Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) at this link: http://www.eia.gov/consumption/commercial/reports/2012/preliminary/index.cfm.

  4. The Alliance to Save Energy website: www.ase.org.

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Disclaimer

This work was conducted independently by the author and not sponsored by the USEPA. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the US government.

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Correspondence to Souad Ahmed Benromdhane.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Benromdhane, S.A. Energy efficiency through integrated environmental management. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 7973–7979 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-4424-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-4424-8

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