Clean Technologies

The term clean technology first emerged in widespread use in the late 1980s to describe a group of emerging technologies and industries, based on principles of biology, resource efficiency, and second-generation production concepts in basic industries. Examples include: energy efficiency, selective catalytic reduction, non-toxic materials, water purification, and new paradigms in energy conservation.

Since the 1990s, interest in these technologies has increased with two trends: a decline in the relative cost of these technologies and a growing understanding of the link between industrial design used in the 19th century and early 20th century and an emerging understanding of human-caused impact on earth systems resulting from their use.

While there is no standard definition of "clean technology," it has been described as;

  • …a diverse range of products, services, and processes that harness renewable materials and energy sources, dramatically reduce the use of natural resources, and cut or eliminate emissions and waste…
  • …any product, service, or process that delivers value using limited or zero non-renewable resources and/or creates significantly less waste than conventional offerings…

Clean technology is used to describe products or services that improve operational performance, productivity, or efficiency while reducing costs, inputs, energy consumption, waste, or environmental pollution. Its origin is the increased consumer, regulatory, and industry interest in and awareness of global warming, climate change, and the impact on the natural environment from the burning of fossil fuels.