The demand for resources is rising — financial crisis or not — while supplies are becoming increasingly scarce. The global population is set to rise from 6.3 billion at present to eight billion by 2030. Consumption of resources in today’s developing countries is rising unchecked and can be expected to account for two thirds of international energy consumption by 2030.
This change will force the world’s population to implement sustainable solutions and to think with the future in mind. Longer term, it means switching to alternative energies. In parallel, it is vital to make more efficient use of existing resources. Increasing efficiency means handling resources with greater awareness in terms of consumption and utilization. Credit Suisse distinguishes between five basic areas in which the efficient use of resources can be enhanced.
New lighting, heating and cooling technologies could achieve energy savings of up to 60%. New aircraft engines could cut kerosene consumption by 15-30% and hybrid vehicle technologies offer a fuel reduction potential of 30-50%.
To overcome the waste problem, the volume generated needs to be drastically reduced. Numerous technologies for waste recycling are already available, but they could still be implemented more consistently.
Instead of tapping new water reserves, it is essential to improve the consumption cycle so that water can be treated for re-use. Innovative technologies could reduce consumption in households and industries.
Raw materials efficiency
Many raw materials are not recycled, but instead are disposed in landfill sites once they have been used. The introduction of a global recycling process could improve matters in this area. New technologies also make it possible to work with smaller quantities of improved materials.
Controlling air pollution
Healthcare costs caused by air pollution account for 5-20% of total international GDP. There is definitely room for better filter technologies to be deployed worldwide, as well as for tighter control systems to be established.
Fady Eid is the chairman and general manager of Credit Suisse (Lebanon Finance) S.A.L.