unadulterated contains our unvarnished views on sustainability. Use these insights and musings to inspire and accelerate your journey.
We spend 90% of our time indoors where air pollution is two to five times greater than outdoors. There aren’t any cars driving through the house to pollute the air, so where does the pollution come from? It is probably not surprising that tobacco smoke and mold pollute indoor air, but common household products are another key contributor. The good news is that manufacturers can protect public health and demonstrate their leadership by reducing the contribution their products make in polluting indoor air.
A new report found that companies using business model innovation were more than twice as likely to find that their sustainability initiatives add business value. That is a tremendous argument for investing the time, energy, and creativity in developing new and custom approaches to address difficult challenges.
Water-related power outages in India; over 900 vessels stranded on the Xijiang River in Guangxi, China; industrial projects halted in at least seven U.S. states; closures of the Yangtze due to water shortages - despite carrying 60 percent of the goods transported by river in China….
For most sustainability managers, there comes a time when your program starts to take shape. There is a future direction; there are goals – even some achievements. You’ve moved beyond baby steps with light bulbs and recycled office paper. You’re tackling the big stuff. You’re proud of the program you and your team have created. It may not be perfect but your aim is true and you are making progress.
Do you like green eggs and ham?What makes them green, Sam-I-am? Do they come from a cage? From indoor pens or from free-range? What did they eat at hunger’s peak? Were droppings left to pollute my creek? Were they fed an antibiotic? Or the toxic metal arsenic? Did they come from across the sea? Or did they come from nearby me?It’s not so easy, as you can see, To know what green eggs and ham can be.
As part of a wave of states across the country that are demonstrating leadership in addressing toxins in consumer products, the State of Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection voted last month to expand existing legislation to ban the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby food packaging. BPA, a component of an epoxy resin in the seal on baby food container lids, leaches into the stored food. It poses a concern because of the hormone mimicking and disruption effects that the chemical has on the human body. Young children are the most susceptible because their bodies are still developing; a recent study suggests a link between BPA levels and childhood obesity.
Why do sustainability achievements come naturally for some companies, while others struggle to achieve even modest targets for impact reduction? I wish I could say the difference is some companies hire our sustainability consulting services and others don’t. But the truth is, despite abundant guidance and support, I’ve seen some clients take only faltering steps, while others take the ball and run. So when a company clearly has winning ways, it makes sense to take a closer look.
“The sky is so blue; it looks fake.” That was what most shocked a Chinese graduate student I befriended during his studies in the United States. He had never seen a brilliant blue sky before. His friends back home thought he used a filter for his photographs because surely the sky could not be that color. He didn’t come from a rainy locale but from one of the many polluted cities in China.
When we think of passing Thanksgiving traditions on to our children, it’s not just the recipe for stuffing and the tradition of togetherness, we also usually envision turkey as the centerpiece of the meal. Yet 99% of turkeys in the U.S. food supply come from one breed – the “Broadbreasted White,” famous for its large white breast meat. While high yielding, this breed isn’t able to reproduce naturally and must rely on artificial insemination – without human assistance the breed wouldn’t survive.
If you haven’t looked at the Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Guides”, now is the time. The FTC published an update to the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims on October 1. This was a long awaited change since the last update was in 1998. The Green Guides provide guidance on how to make claims about the green attributes of products and packaging. A significant step forward in the updated Green Guides was made with new details on how to use green seals of approval and certification programs that add strength to their meaning. This is a win for consumers – as well as for companies that have seen a proliferation of competitors’ claims dilute their product’s credible green certification and those looking to add certification claims and seals of approval to their green products.
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