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Growth which entails heavy costs to society inthe form of environmental degradation is notsustainableThe challenge for the future is tocreate systems which make environmental pro-tection a natural part of growth Growth willneed to be based on careful use of materials andenergy at all stages combined with a largercomponent of services and knowledge Informa-tion technology will have an important part toplayJust as a policy to achieve growth musttake account of the environment soenvironmental policy must pay due regardto growth says Stefan Nystrm at theSwedish Environmental ProtectionAgencyEnvironmental regulations andtaxes must be designed in such a way as toencourage growth rather than hinder itThe days when promoting sustainabledevelopment was a job for the environ-mental authorities alone are goneWe allshare a responsibility for the future gov-ernment agencies industry organizationsand individualsWhat is more protectionof the environment is becoming more andmore important as a factor for growth andas a means of increasing market share re-ducing costs and improving profitsAccording to the OECD the environ-ment sector is growing at a rate of 5 ayear in the organizations member statessecond only to the IT industry which canboast growth of 8 a yearOn the one hand there are companiesworking specifically with environmentaltechnologies - what could be calledpure environmental technology compa-nies - and on the other firms for whichenvironmental issues are an importantdriving force in process and product de-velopment - environmentally drivencompaniesSome businesses are forward-lookingand are asking themselves where they willbe say 20 years from now Shell and BPfor example - keen to stay in the runningon the energy market of the future - areinvesting heavily in the development ofsolar energy technologyAnother trend is an endeavour bycompanies to reduce their consumptionof raw materials while increasing the ser-vice content of their products Many arebeginning to sell systems and functionsrather than individual productsAs far as developing sustainable com-munities is concerned a Danish projectknown as Green City Denmark in whichbusinesses are collaborating with local au-thorities offers an interesting approachPROMOTING MARKET FOR GREEN TECHNOLOGYAlthough environmental technology of-ten entails economic
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