2014 Sustainability Trends (2 of 10)

I finally spent some time reading the “State of Green Business 2014” which is published each year by www.greenbiz.com  and sustainability metrics and indicators is the major story line and I’ve read that in many reports and articles.  About two years ago I started using a Sustainability Dashboard and so far that has served us well.  www.green2sustainable.com

The report introduces ten key trends for 2014 and I will briefly comment on two of them every few days this week:

1.  Collaboration Becomes An Accelerator: We have a great example here in West Michigan where competing manufacturers joined forces voluntarily to drive the supply chain and created BIFMA’s (Business + Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) e3 Sustainability Standard (http://www.bifma.org/?page=sustainability)  Another example: the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef involving members of the entire beef value chain along with leading nonprofits setting the principles and criteria for sustainable beef.

2.  Chemical Transparency: Did you know there were more than 85,000 chemicals in commerce in the U.S. alone?  About 2,000 new chemicals are introduced into commerce annually in the U.S. – that is about six new chemicals every day.  Research everyday is discovering the dangers to humans and the environment from many of these chemicals.  Walmart and Target have been driving the retail market to approach these issues head-on.  In 2014 ten priority chemicals will be named with a requirement to disclose ingredients and remove priority hazardous chemicals.  In California, the Department of Toxic Substances Control by April will select up to five “priority products” for manufacturers to reformulate into safer products using green chemistry and I’ve heard that if a manufacturer refuses to do this, they will not be allowed to sell their products in California.  I am keeping a close eye on this one as the commercial cleaning industry has manufacturers that won’t go with the 3rd party green certification path because they don’t want to expose their list of ingredients for trade secret reasons, so this will all be very interesting.  If manufacturers refuse, opportunities will be created for others.

Next post I will talk about the next two:

3.  Water as a Risk Factor

4.  Shadow Pricing

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