The Main Sources Of Noise Pollution And Sustainability
Noise/noise pollution could be divided by using just “noise” or noise pollution. It is basically the unwanted, the unpleasant or the disagreeable sound that causes discomfort to all living beings on earth, and the intensity of the sound is measured in decibels. It has been proved that noise more than 85 decibels can cause hearing impairment or damage your ears and does not meet the standards set for healthy working environment . Furthermore, it is harmful to the society when companies produce noise.
The main cause of noise pollution comes from industrial activity. It is produced by the machines from industries, mills, and factories. The noise caused by the machine’s mechanical pneumatic drills, saws, and rotating belts creates intolerable sounds and are a nuisance to the public . The agricultural machinery is the cause of many noises in the countryside, especially in underdeveloped countries, such as India. Workers from these types of jobs need to protect themselves from these noises. The transportation of products produces sounds that are a common cause of noise pollution, especially in cities, huge roads and highways. In addition, the private and public transportation can increase the noises a lot in the cities. Construction companies are another cause of noise pollution due to the continuous remodeling in the towns. The sound of jackhammers chipping away at concrete is enough to upset nearby workers and residents .
Humans and Wildlife
Noise pollution caused by companies results in many problems to humans and to the wildlife. People who are usually exposed to such noises could suffer hearing problems due to machines that make loud sounds for our hearing range. The noises in the workplace influence the psychological health with for instance aggressive behavior, disturbance of sleep, constant stress, fatigue, and hypertension, but also sleeping problems. Blood pressure levels, cardiovascular disease, and stress-related heart problems can be related with this type of pollution, because high level of noises increase blood pressure and the heartbeat rate as it disrupts the normal blood flow. Constant sharp noises can also give people headaches and disturb their emotional balance. The wildlife experiences more problems than humans. For instance, the animals develop a better sense of hearing. The ill effects of excessive noise begin at home when they live in noisy cities. The illnesses are more serious in animals, such as aggressive behavior or hearing loss. It also affects the balance of the ecosystem, due to the problems that the noises cause to animals when they need to hunt or reproduce .
There are already laws and employment contracts that deal with exposure to noise, but they are poorly policed, so civil litigation is the best way to punish a business for a failure to have a clear and adequate policy on noise pollution. A good way to avoid the noises from the traffic caused by companies is using acoustical barriers that eliminate the sounds. There are some possibilities to reduce the noises that come from the machines, but they need an effort from the companies such as controlling the sources, isolating the machines, protecting the receptors or oiling the machines.
The government can also prevent the problems that they can cause. For example, they can ban industries in some places where it could be harmful or make EU laws that force authorities to inform the public about the impacts of noise pollution and consult them on the measures they are planning to take to tackle noise pollution.
Businesses and industries can also cut down on their environmental risks towards society by looking at ways towards being more sustainable. The word sustainability means meeting the needs of the present when looking at the environment, but without undermining the possibility for next generations to meet their needs. With the term sustainability, businesses try to achieve goals not in the immediate future, but instead focus on the longer term. Usually companies try to meet this sustainability by cutting their emissions, having lower energy usage and ensuring that the wastes produced by the company are at a minimum and additionally properly disposed.
To move to be a more sustainable organization, is not easy at all and there are some things which businesses should consider. First of all, they will need to make huge investments, they have to change the current way in which they are offering the products, and in many times, being sustainable means also having more indirect costs and having more developed machines. Processes are more elaborate and need more attention. If it does not happen, the quality of the final product will not be as expected. As said before, the expected returns especially at the beginning will not make the investors really happy, and so may disappoint the ones seeking for a short-term profit. However, looking at the long run, it is key to be competitive and sooner or later, not only for economic reasons, but especially for environment’s sake there are going to be more and more companies facing this aspect in their company. Another important aspect is that especially in the case of big companies, if they want to be totally sustainable, also the other members of their supply chain should respect and adapt to this vision of working, otherwise the final product or service sustainability will not be guaranteed. It must be sustainable in all its aspects before it is sold to the end customers; if not the sustainability will end in a failure .
Nowadays most of the businesses are focused on the sustainability by saving energy, developing green products, and retaining and motivating employees. All these situations should bring growth and return on capital invested. Today it can be seen for different reasons, there are some sectors, especially the ones dealing with energy which are more developed in this sense. But generally, it can be said that the companies have seen in sustainability a key for the long-term success. With cuts in wastes and in energy used in operations they are wishing to face less costs in the future. Other companies instead are thinking sustainable for other reasons, for instance their reputation, in a world where emissions and wastes are one of the main issues of the humanity. Offering a product in a sustainable way can be seen really well by the customers and so give a good reputation, meaning a competitive advantage .
If the company contributes to a more sustainable environment, then it is part of the different processes and procedures which are used by the companies. It can be found in the mission and vision, and it is in external and internal communications, in the culture, etc. Hence, when talking about a sustainable company, it is meant that this is spread over all the main operations and processes of the company. Whatever companies do and in whatever way they act, they take into consideration the sustainable aspect. In addition, on a survey made about the leaders of the different companies from different sectors, it has shown that they care about sustainability in their strategic plans as a key for the future instead just few of them saying that they have adopted “green” procedures just to respect regulations and rules imposed by governments and institutions . So, sustainability is not just recycling, but is the key to compete in modern business. Even the new investors seeking appetible businesses are looking for those businesses concerned with this concept in order to achieve it.
As said before, sustainability must be a part the company, and must be involved in all the different procedures and processes activated by the company. By the way, there are some practical situations which have been used by the companies and which have been accepted in order to develop this mentality. First, there is the carbon footprint, where the company tries to reduce the amount of carbon emitted. Here there are different ways in which this can be exploited. Other situations might be the research of suppliers which have sustainable behaviors as well, such as the use of renewable technologies to produce energy. Another situation might be the effort in avoiding the employees to travel for joining meetings and to go to their workplace, made possible with the support of technology. If going to the workplace or meeting is necessary, try to make them use public transports or at least electric cars, or cars trying to respect the environment. Then it can be considered “going paperless”, it means reducing the usage of paper as much as possible, trying to replace it with electronic supports where it is possible, avoiding sending letters, and preferring electronic ways. When it is not possible to avoid the use of paper, it is good to make sure that at least that it is recycled .
To recycle means that everything used in the office and by the company should be recycled, from the smallest things, to the biggest. For instance, the offices should be supplied with trash bins which contain each kind of material to recycle, and employees should be aware of respecting these few easy rules. This must be applied to all kind of wastes produced by the company, especially machines and pieces of machines that many times are difficult to dispose. In the end, a smart energy preservation; all lights and electronic supports should burn the least energy possible; in the buildings sensors that feel the presence of people should be adopted so that they are switched on only if necessary; last but not least, people should pay more attention to this issue and remember to switch off lights when leaving a room to respect energy and water and do not waste it. It is important that all these principles are acquired by the employees because if not and if they do not respect these points, every strategy and any time spent in this sense is worthless.
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