'In 1999 If You Worried about Green Issues You Were Seen as a Bit of a Nerd' the Past 10 Years Have Seen Massive Changes, Technologically and Economically. Years of Boom Were Followed by One of the Deepest Recessions in History. Here Executives from a Range of Sectors in Welsh Industry Give Their Verdict on the First Decade of the 21st Century

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Dr Andrew Lyons, chief technical officer of Atraverda One of the major developments over the decade has been the growing concern over environmental issues such as climate change.

Allied with this, the focus continues to be on recycling, waste reduction and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

With the Government's targets to cut carbon emissions and the growth of road users across the globe, hybrid electrical vehicles (HEV) have also had increasing prevalence in the last couple of years.

Technological developments in general over the past 10 years have been astounding, particularly information technology and the growth of broadband networks and mobile communication.

We have certainly seen the growing importance of these areas in our line of business, with innovative battery technology needed to fuel growing IT applications and the emerging "green" markets.

At Atraverda, we have developed a bi-polar lead-acid battery which can reduce carbon footprint by using less lead and CO[sup.2] during the manufacturing process, as well as being lighter, smaller and recyclable.

One area of concern that has arisen since the turn of the millennium is the increasing competition to the UK from the growth of manufacturing in the Far East, particularly China, and the subsequent transfer of production to these regions with the loss of jobs and skills here.

As we deal with these threats, the knowledge economy is more and more important for Wales and the UK to make sure that we continue to compete in the manufacturing sector.

Simon Oldroyd, director of Beacons Business Interiors It seems fitting that the Copenhagen summit brought environmental issues to the fore at the end of a decade where being green has developed into a mainstream concern.

In 1999 if you were concerned about green issues in business you were seen as a bit of a nerd. Ten years ago clients weren't asking us about sustainability.

Tenders included questions on environmental policies, but they were included more as a box ticking exercise than as a genuine concern.

Now, our track record and method of working sustainably can make the difference between winning a contract or not.

Over the past decade we have worked with our manufacturing partners to produce more sustainable products, and further reduce packaging.

Governments of the next decade need to make going green an attractive option for businesses so they make the changes to a really sustainable way of working themselves, rather than being forced into action.

Developing the ECA (Enhanced Capital Allowance) scheme would certainly encourage this, but with the Government now in a situation where they need to tax more rather than less, this seems unlikely.

Jason Fitzgerald, sales and marketing director, at Certus The most significant IT development in the Noughties is the explosive growth of the internet.

Back in 2000, the internet was only just becoming mainstream.

For many businesses, it was a case of having a modem connected to one stand-alone PC in the corner of an IT department.

Ten years ago businesses were aware of internet security, but, at that time, viruses were much slower at circulating from network to network, and usually spread via floppy disks.

Since then we have seen the internet evolve from the use of e-mail, to surfing, to social networking sites, to wireless technology.

Now we have reached an age where the internet is an essential part of business.

Although it has allowed faster communication than ever before, the internet today, and its incredible popularity and speed, means that the risk of viruses and data and identity theft has risen dramatically.

Businesses today must be aware of the online risks that they face every day and back-up their data regularly as well as using the latest anti-virus software. …