A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

New AT&T Eco-Rating System Helps Consumers Learn About Environmental Features of Mobile Devices

March 09, 2012 | No Comments →

Communications conglomerate AT&T, in collaboration with global sustainability consultancy Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), is continuing its march on environmentally-conscious business practices with the release of a new eco-rating system for its products.

In just a few months, consumers will find AT&T eco-ratings on simple, easy-to-read-and-understand labels included with AT&T-branded mobile devices.

As a recent Deloitte study showed, sustainability is becoming increasingly important for consumer purchasing decisions. In fact, more than half (54 percent) of surveyed shoppers said they consider sustainability to be one of their top decision-making factors.

To provide consumers with information so they can make more educated and environmental decisions, AT&T’s new eco-rating system will cover attributes such as: (more…)

UL Study Reveals Food Safety is Top of Mind for Manufacturers and Consumers

February 20, 2012 | No Comments →

Food supply chains are now global and enormously complex. And food recalls are more commonplace than ever before. (See earlier posts about problems with honey, beef, eggs, cookie dough . . .)

As a result, it’s no surprise that food safety is an increasing concern worldwide.

Food safety regulations have increased, and food manufacturers say they’ve fine-tuned processes. But, do consumers have faith in these stepped-up efforts? Do we really feel confident that the food we eat is safe?

To gain some insight into this intriguing manufacturer-consumer dynamic, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), conducted a study exploring the perceptions of consumers and food manufacturers regarding safety, innovation, performance and sustainability issues.

The study, Navigating the Product Mindset, collected opinions from consumers and manufacturers in China, India, Germany and the US across the high tech, food, building materials and household chemicals industries.

The results of the study show that: (more…)

New SC Johnson Report Examines 360 Degrees of Greener Choices

January 09, 2012 | No Comments →

Last month, SC Johnson released its 2011 annual public report, 360 Degrees of Greener Choices.

This year’s report marks the 20th year SC Johnson has publicly shared information about its goals, efforts and progress, and it also reflects the company’s “360-degree” framework and commitment.

The 360-degree approach involves understanding the entire product lifecycle from beginning to end. It starts with reducing impacts within the company’s supply chain, continues through manufacturing, reducing packaging and making products more recyclable. The circle is completed by helping drive greener choices for consumers through education and engagement.

In the 2011 SC Johnson report, the company says it has met –and in many cases, far exceeded –all of its sustainability objectives for 2011. Highlights include: (more…)

Light Green Consumers Affected by Recession

December 21, 2011 | No Comments →

The green consumer product market continues to evolve.

Today, store shelves are stocked with more eco-friendly products than ever before, and there’s increasing competition for marketshare. Plus, manufacturers are responding to a growing sophistication among consumers who want accurate brand information presented in a way that’s easy to understand.

But even so, recent survey results from Grail Research indicate that the recession has had a significant impact on consumer behavior in this market. For example, the new study shows that:

  • Since 2009, the “dark green” consumer segment has grown slightly, but the total number of green consumers has declined.
  • Four in ten (43 percent) of “light green” consumers reduced their use of green products or switched to conventional ones.
  • The percentage of “non-green” consumers increased from 15 percent to 22 percent.
  • Both green and non-green consumers alike cited price as the number one deterrent preventing them from buying green.
  • While certifications matter, most US consumers are confused about how to interpret green credentials, and most don’t actively look for green information about the products they’re buying. Only 11 percent said they seek information about green products and practices on a regular basis.

Interestingly, Grail Research also found that companies are often perceived by consumers as green, even if they do not exclusively manufacture green products. For instance, here’s the 2011 list of the five companies that are top of mind for consumers when they think of a green company: (more…)

Reusing Discarded Electronics Can Reduce Waste, Generate Revenue

December 19, 2011 | Comments (6)

The EPA estimates that Americans generate almost 2.5 million tons of used electronics each year. But, are we throwing away equipment that’s in perfect working order?

New research from the UK suggests that in many cases, we are.

A recent study conducted by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) revealed that nearly one-quarter of the electrical and electronic equipment routinely thrown away by consumers could be reused. What’s more, the researchers found that there is the potential to generate significant resale value from the repair, refurbishment and open market resale of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

WRAP estimates that each year consumers in the UK take 348,000 tonnes of WEEE to recycling sites, while another 149,000 tonnes gather in bulky waste collections. WRAP’s research found that: (more…)