Ahead of the Curve: Designing in Sustainability from the Start

Read the full post at Sustainable Brands.

For companies and brands today, more sustainable production methods are topping lists of things to do. The uncertainty of material and vendor prices, the need to comply with a growing number of regulations and mounting evidence of environmental impacts increasingly drive change. More and more manufacturers are investing time, energy and money to fix infrastructures and further optimize supply and production chains. They have to, after increasingly finding themselves at risk for not putting forth the resources necessary to make their processes more sustainable. This is not to mention the vulnerability they incur by ignoring the growing demands of consumers who now expect transparency and CSR as a baseline.

However, sustainability initiatives by many manufacturers and consumer product companies today are reactive in nature. Brands launch ad hoc initiatives that take a sort of “cause and effect” approach to resource strategy by responding to situations as they occur, perpetuating the system by working within it. What this does is treat symptoms rather than move towards a cure, which does not necessarily help to design out structural inefficiencies that result in waste. Though any authentic steps towards sustainability are steps in the right direction, there is more that companies can do to prepare for the future.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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