The Nobel Prize is just one of many awards given, in the past year, to people working in the environmental field. If some decades ago, global warming was considered a myth, today it is clear that this phenomenon is a reality that must be dealt with immediately. In the past, many industries and companies failed to embrace this environmental idea, as many held the strong, yet misguided, opinion that ecology and economy could not work together. As we are seeing today, this is not true. Industries and companies that address the problem of global warming are now well placed in the market. If we look, for example, at the automotive industry, we can see that automobiles that meet high ecological standards are not any expensive to build, nor do they not lack in performance.
Building structures themselves significantly contribute to green gas emissions, and the glass industry has successfully reacted to environmental issues by offering a variety of applications to make buildings more energy efficient and ecologically friendly. Today's glass can be practically custom-made to fit into any environmental conditions and offer specific appearances and performance. The latest development in the industry has been the introduction of self-cleaning glass. While progress in the glass industry continues, we can expect glass in the near future that will react to external stimuli, the so-called "smart glasses", offering maximum comfort and excellent energy efficiency inside buildings. Some glass applications also use alternative natural resources to preserve the environment in which we live. Some states have begun to regulate or even stimulate the introduction of such energy-preserving applications.
Although the glass sector has contributed enormously through development and the introduction of new energy-efficient glass products and applications, some issues in glass manufacturing and processing still must be addressed in the future. The question the entire industry sector should ask themselves is this: “How can the glass industry do more for the environment?”
Al Gore Nobel Peace Prize Press Conference