Questions Businesses Must Answer to Advance Toward Sustainability

The following questions can test any business’ approach to becoming a sustainable organization:

How can we increase use of recycled and bio-based materials?

  • Evaluating material alternatives through compatibility and footprint analysis is one of the best ways to help answer this question.

How can we prevent our products from ending up in landfill?

  • Understand the full lifecycle of products from raw materials to production, distribution, use and end.
  • Consider the best way to take back products from customers and extract further value from them.

How can we reduce greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time increase our use of renewable energies?

  • Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that cannot be absorbed by vegetation are causes of increased global temperatures, acidification in oceans, and dangerous climate change, according to WWF’s 2012 Living Planet Report.

How can we reduce water consumption?

  • Excessive water consumption by businesses and households threatens freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Finding ways to conserve water use in manufacturing processes is essential for lessening environmental impacts.

How can customers make decisions about our products based upon trustworthy environmental facts?

  • Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are methods for consumers and businesses to make comparisons when purchasing products.
  • EPDs follow standardized product category guidelines that are verified by third parties to provide full disclosure and are based on life cycle assessment, which details the resource use and environmental impacts of products.