14 Reasons Green Chemistry Works for Companies
<p> The new Safer by Design report looks at how 14 companies have benefitted from using green chemistry in making products and manufacturing processes.</p>
Fabric maker True Textiles saves some $300,000 a year by making its Terratex product out of recycled plastic and corn, which makes the material resistant to stains, odors and fire, meaning the company doesn't need to use harsh chemicals to impart those properties.
True Textiles is one of 14 companies covered in Environment America Research and Policy Center's new Safer by Design report, which lists companies' successes in adopting green chemistry practices in facilities, manufacturing processes and products.
True Textiles, though, started making Terratex in the '90s when it was still part of Interface, a company radically transformed by founder Ray Anderson. Not all companies have a Ray Anderson leading them, and they need more encouragement to move to greener chemical practices.
As the report points out, the companies and their efforts listed are exceptions in the business world, and Environment America adds its voice to the many who have been calling for policy reforms that would advance green chemistry efforts.
The example of True Textiles shows how green chemistry can lead to other positive impacts. By making material that is by itself stain-resistant and durable, the company doesn't need to use hazardous chemicals and also uses less water and energy during manufacturing.
The report also covers the different approaches BASF and Procter & Gamble took to reduce volatile organic compounds emissions from paint, various companies' screening programs to weed out unwanted chemicals, and what Apple, HP and Seagate are doing to take chemicals out of electronics.
Environment America concludes with calling for a number of policy measures: Require manufacturers to share more information on the potential hazards of the chemicals they use, require the phase-out of hazardous chemicals to ensure a market for safer alternatives, and make companies pay for the full health and environmental impacts of their pollution.
Image - CC license by maveric2003 (Flickr)