Archive for October, 2009

Green Your Supply Chain: 7 Questions and 7 Tips

painting by: Peter Seidel

7 Questions to Ask When Considering Purchasing a Product or Material for Your Business:

1. Apply life-cycle thinking. This includes:

a. Does the product contain toxic materials?
b. Where do the raw materials come from and where is the product manufactured?
c. How much energy is used to extract and ship components or parts of a product?
d. How much energy, water and resources are used to create and package the product?
e. How can it be disposed of or recycled at the end of its useful life?
f. Are there any environmental or health impacts of its use?

2. Do you even need to purchase the product new? Sometimes a used item is just as good.

3. Exactly how much of it do you need? Don’t buy more than you need; this wastes money and resources.

4. What type of packaging does it come with? Environmentally-conscious companies are doing all sorts of creative things to green their packaging. This addresses the materials that packaging is made from, as well as the amount of it.

5. Is the product well-designed for its intended purpose? Often, cheaply made goods fall apart and are thrown away within 3 months of purchase.

6. Does the use of this product require special ventilation? If so, don’t buy it! There are plenty of alternatives for low- and no-VOC cleaning products, paints, and adhesives.

7. Depending on how far you want to take it, ask about labor practices. Does the manufacturer pay a living wage, do they give their employees benefits, do they have a diverse workforce? Do they contribute to their community? The social aspects of sustainability / green are sometimes overlooked, but have huge potential payoffs.

7 Tips:

1. Look for locally-produced and sourced products. This helps support your local economy, and reduces transportation-related environmental costs. Continued

4 Success Secrets of Becoming Green-Blooded

photo by: julie

I’m so excited about this Special Report , I can hardly sit still. Twenty years ago, as a young architect, when my eyes were opened to the tremendously negative impact my profession was having on the environment, I was shocked! Buildings use (and waste) a great deal of energy, water, and materials. My highly-competitive industry contributes substantially to climate change, environmental degradation , and even poor human health from sick building syndrome.

Rather than pack it all in, I saw these dismal statistics as a challenge . Surely, with intelligence, creativity , and determination, we can do better. I began to educate myself, to learn all I could about how nature really works, to study sustainability frameworks, to teach others about green design, to assemble and lead diverse project teams.

I am thrilled to be able to share what I’ve learned with you. Having negotiated my way through this maze over many years, I fully understand the challenges that come from your struggle. Being green-blooded involves your whole being: heart, head and hands. As with any creative endeavor, it is intuitive and rational, visionary and practical. There are plenty of challenges and nay-sayers along the way.

Download the "Four Success Secrets of Becoming Green-Blooded " now. We invite you to bookmark and share this post far and wide — let’s start a movement! Use the buttons at the bottom of the post.

And. . . .after you have gone through some of the questions and taken the suggested actions in the report, please post here with your answers, observations, and results. Get the conversation going — share your questions, concerns and successes.