CTC has developed considerable expertise in Material, Energy and Water resource efficiency methods and technologies, through a focused combination of research and practical work with companies from many sectors.
CTC has always taken a holistic and integrated approach to environmental issues. Solutions to reduce consumption, increase efficiency and prevent waste can be complex and require consideration of the whole of the company’s or the society’s activities (not just taking a single media approach).
For example, it is often the case that waste reduction is accomplished by the use of energy. This may lead to life cycle effects, whereby the increased material resource efficiency is accompanied by a decreased energy resource efficiency.
Such Life-Cycle considerations must always be borne in mind when advancing any Resource Efficiency measure.
Furthermore, processes do not exist in isolation.
As a very simple example, consider a bakery switching from gas-heated ovens to electrically-heated ovens. Stack emissions from the ovens are eliminated. However, increased electricity demand results in increased emissions from the electricity generating facility elsewhere. Of course, it may well be the case that the latter has better emission controls than the bakery, and hence combined emissions are less. However, it should also be noted that generation and transmission losses will mean greater overall resource consumption – unless the electricity is generated from wind energy, or similar renewable resource.