Population growth, improved life expectancy and a mounting need for food and shelter represent the three major factors affecting our planet’s resources. Sustainable development can help stem the growing demand on our resources by introducing solutions that ease the burden on these precious reserves over time, while increasing our quality of life and maintaining a viable economy.
This section explains how polyurethanes offer tangible solutions for the future and how their durable and lightweight characteristics can enhance resource efficiency.
Polyurethanes are based on oil, a finite resource. However, the product qualities of polyurethanes are such that they help to conserve many resources, while at the same time safeguarding high and ever increasing standards of living.
Through both direct and indirect activities, the polyurethanes industry represents tens of thousands of companies and millions of jobs the world over. It is however important to stress that its growth is sustainable, as polyurethanes make a considerable contribution to resource conservation.
In addition to the valuable contribution they make to the environment and the general economy, polyurethanes also bring greater levels of comfort and ease to everyday life.
Polyurethanes and energy efficiency
Probably the greatest environmental challenge we face today is climate change. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a significant increase in the consumption of natural resources, particularly in terms of non-renewable energy sources. As a result of our thirst for fossil fuels for transportation and for heating and cooling of buildings, increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are causing climate change, with a knock-on effect of disasters affecting the environment, economy and human well-being.
Buildings and the Passive house
Three critical issues that our world faces today are energy conservation, global warming and the need for more quality housing. The solutions to these issues, however, do not always seem to fall neatly in line: How can we decrease carbon dioxide emissions and reduce energy use in existing homes, whilst simultaneously dealing with increased energy demand and emissions due to the growing overall number of homes?
Cold food chain
From insulating animal sheds to distribution of refrigerated containers via storage in cold stores, to local storage in supermarkets, and ending in domestic refrigerators, freezers or portable coolers, polyurethane insulating foam plays its role.