After a summer of discontent, with legislative deals to make drastic cuts in federal and state budgets and the promise of continued forays to roll back or restrict climate change regulations, it might be tempting to think that clean tech and sustainability don’t have much of a future. But if you look at what’s been happening in the private sector, clean tech and sustainability are anything but dead. Indeed, more and more businesses large and small have been adopting those practices to save costs and to benefit the bottom line. It also happens to be a good way, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, for businesses to establish their green credentials with customers. Much of that credibility and cost savings can be easily lost if a company overstates or misstates the environmental benefits and exposes itself to claims of “green washing.”
Even as economic conditions have presented challenges for businesses, companies such as Walmart and Procter & Gamble have been paying greater attention to sustainability. For instance, Walmart’s Supplier Sustainability Assessment and Procter & Gamble’s Supplier Environmental Sustainability Scorecard, to name just two, are transforming supply chains by requiring vendors and suppliers to compile data and report on energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste disposal, purchasing guidelines and raw material sources. This year, Walmart also encouraged its 100,000 suppliers to report their carbon footprint data to the Carbon Disclosure Project, an independent voluntary registry for carbon and sustainability data.
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