In a Rare NGO Merger, GreenBlue and Metafore Join Strengths

In a Rare NGO Merger, GreenBlue and Metafore Join Strengths

The nonprofit GreenBlue, which focuses on facilitating sustainable product design and materials sourcing, has acquired another nonprofit, Metafore, which provides tools and information on paper product purchasing decisions. The combined group, which will retain the GreenBlue brand, hopes to have greater potential and opportunities to influence sustainable design and procurement.

Both GreenBlue and Metafore have built strong reputations as organizations that bring scientific rigor to work closely with the private sector on sustainability issues. Metafore, based in Portland, Ore., has developed an Environmental Paper Assessment Tool, or EPAT, a well-regarded software application to support environmental paper specification and procurement. The group also convened the Paper Working Group, a group of leadership companies dedicated to sustainable forestry practices; and an online resource that details the life cycle of paper and wood fiber products.

GreenBlue, for its part, houses the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, an industry working group inspired by cradle to cradle principles working to transforming packaging into more sustainable materials and systems; Cleangredients, an online resource for manufacturers of cleaning product formulations; and Green2Green, a free online resource for building professionals.

According to GreenBlue, the acquisition provides a promising opportunity to tap into Metafore's expertise and partnerships with leading companies.

"In the short term, GreenBlue and Metafore programs will continue to operate independently," Erin Malec, GreenBlue's Director of External Relations told "Over the next six months we will be speaking with Metafore stakeholders to assess the feasibility of using GreenBlue's Sustainable Packaging Coalition as a model for integrating some of Metafore's existing projects under the unifiying umbrella of a coalition."

She added, "With the acquisition of Metafore, we now look forward to identifying improved chemical alternatives for paper-based products in order to eliminate potential environmental and human health pollutants from the paper waste stream. For instance, CleanGredients could provide an approach for identifying alternatives to the endocrine disruptor, Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is currently used widely in the thermal paper used in credit card machines and cash registers."

The two groups will eventually be housed in GreenBlue's headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia.