Green concepts are now gathering momentum in the mainstream and are a recognized and very big emerging global market. The reason for this movement is as much economic as environmental. Everything in production, from commercial carpet to kids toys, food and clothing is going Green as fast as it can.
The consumer markets are reacting very positively to Green products and very negatively to the junk food and human-hostile toxic products which have created so many medical and economic problems.
The Green rationale and sustainability
The original Green concept was based on saving the environment. That concept has now extended to environmental repair and operational conservation. With it has come “Sustainability”, a working principle for ensuring both continuity of supply and fully spectrum product life cycles, which are far more efficiently costed and maintained than the mainstream sourcing methodologies.
- A product is assessed for sustainability from the ground up, quite literally, to the waste management process.
- A good Green sustainable product is
- Fully sustainable in production, not going to run out
- Non toxic, safe for both the natural and human environments.
- Actively or passively beneficial to the environment
- 100% recyclable, with any waste reusable either to make more products or as components of other products.
- Fully and accurately costed at all stages of product cycles.
- Economic at all stages in terms of power and water usage, preferably having no carbon footprint.
- Sustainable products should replace toxic products.
- They should be cheaper for producers and consumers.
- They should have good product lives.
- In the case of consumables like foods, they should contain no preservatives or other potentially harmful compounds, which reduces food economics toxicity, a significant health issue around the world.
The days of placards have been replaced by spreadsheets costing Green products and showing positive values to business. The initial resistance to Green concepts by manufacturers was based partly on lack of clear evidence of benefits. Corporate management has to justify production costs, and that, interestingly, is where the Green economic perspectives have been making the greatest inroads. New technology is also bearing out basic Green principles in seemingly endless ways. Biological sources of products are extremely cost efficient. If you can grow a pharmaceutical in a plant’s tissues, it’s a massive cost cutting option.
With a few notable exceptions, the corporate world, particularly the marketing area, has got the Green message loud and clear. A previously unlikely combination of CEOs, CFOs, and Green activists are now showing up on the same conceptual pages quite regularly. What used to be a purely environmental concept is now a working business option, and nobody minds a bit.
One of the original versions of Green production was the sustainable carpet. Old style carpets were petrochemical products, virtual toxic waste when thrown out. Sustainable carpets are cheaper, recyclable, and they’ve saved one major US manufacturer half a billion dollars in tens years in water usage alone.
These are the economics which will change the world. Green products are cheaper at all economic levels, and renewable. Future generations will wonder why the Green lifestyle wasn’t adopted sooner.
Guest Post by Paul Wallis;Paul is a professional freelance writer, working in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. He’s specialized in writing about the green and sustainable lifestyle movement.