UL Introduces SPOT™ Online Database – The Largest Credible Product Sustainability Information Tool

Read the full story from UL.

UL today introduced SPOT™, a web-based product sustainability information tool that will facilitate the selection of credible green products and enable the design community to apply that information into the Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow. Currently featuring more than 40,000 products, SPOT database will be a first of its kind tool for architects, designers and specifiers to identify products by sustainable attributes, MasterFormat product codes and building rating system credits such as LEED v4 and the WELL Building Standard™. To enhance the mobile experience, UL’s SPOT app is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Willingness to Pay for Eco-Certified Refurbished Products: The Effects of Environmental Attitudes and Knowledge

Harms, R. and Linton, J. D. (2016), Willingness to Pay for Eco-Certified Refurbished Products: The Effects of Environmental Attitudes and Knowledge. Journal of Industrial Ecology 20: 893–904. doi:10.1111/jiec.12301.

Abstract: Refurbishing products, which are increasingly sold in business-to-consumer markets, is a key strategy to reduce waste. Nevertheless, research finds that consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for refurbished products is low. Strategies for a higher WTP are needed in order to grow consumer markets for refurbished products. Eco-certification of refurbished products may be a key strategy here. Drawing on the consumer WTP literature concerning “green” products, we investigate the impact of independent eco-certificates. Our analysis is based on a survey of 231 potential customers. The results suggest that, across various product categories, the WTP for products with refurbished components is significantly lower. Adding an eco-certificate tends to return the WTP toward the virgin product level. We show that consumers with proenvironmental attitudes particularly exhibit green buying behavior. Our findings indicate that eco-certification is often worthwhile because it enhances the business rationale for producing products with refurbished components.

The Impact of Sustainability Information on Consumer Decision Making

O’Rourke, D. and Ringer, A. (2016), “The Impact of Sustainability Information on Consumer Decision Making”. Journal of Industrial Ecology 20: 882–892. doi:10.1111/jiec.12310.

Abstract: This article presents an empirical analysis of the impact of sustainability information on consumer purchase intentions and how this influence varies by issue (health, environment, and social responsibility), product category, type of consumer, and type of information. We assess over 40,000 online purchase interactions on the website GoodGuide.com and find a significant impact of certain types of sustainability information on purchase intentions, varying across different types of consumers, issues, and product categories. Health ratings in particular showed the strongest effects. Direct users—those who intentionally sought out sustainability information—were most strongly influenced by sustainability information, with an average purchase intention rate increase of 1.15 percentage points for each point increase in overall product score, reported on a zero to ten scale. However, sustainability information had, on average, no impact on nondirect users, demonstrating that simply providing more or better information on sustainability issues will likely have limited impact on changing mainstream consumer behavior unless it is designed to connect into existing decision-making processes.

Sustainable Procurement Standard Coming Soon

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Purchasing represents a significant piece of a company’s budget. In the public sector alone, procurement accounts for around 12 percent of GDP and 29 percent of government expenditure in OECD member countries.

So it makes sense that when considering sustainability initiatives, executives should take purchasing decisions into account.

An ISO standard in the final stages of development aims to help companies with sustainable procurement, and can be applied to all purchases from office supplies to energy providers, caterers and building materials.

ISO 20400, Sustainable procurement – Guidance, has just reached a second draft international standard stage, meaning interested parties can submit feedback via their ISO member on the draft before final publication in 2017.

People would buy green products – if only e-commerce showed them how

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Given the choice to go green when making purchases online, a lot of people would follow through, new research suggests. They just need companies to provide them with enough information to do so.

The new study, just out on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that Internet-based companies (which include the likes of Amazon and Airbnb) have the opportunity to slash their products’ carbon footprints by providing customers with environmentally friendly choices to cut down on greenhouse gases and other ills. The researchers tested the idea out using mock versions of four types of industries — online retail, video streaming, ride shares and housing shares — and found that consumers are willing to make climate-friendly selections when the options are available to them, whether it means purchasing carbon offsets or just choosing the product with the lowest carbon output.

Providers, environmental groups launch green purchasing co-op

Read the full story in Modern Healthcare.

Four major health systems have partnered with two environmental organizations to launch a purchasing cooperative focused on “green” products that could compete with traditional group purchasing organizations.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Dignity Health, Gundersen Health System and Partners HealthCare want supplies and services that are environmentally friendly, so they’ve teamed up with Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth to launch a sustainable marketplace. The for-profit Greenhealth Exchange will offer an online catalog backed by a network of suppliers.