Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing

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The recommendations of specifications, standards, and ecolabels are intended to help federal purchasers identify and procure environmentally sustainable products and services. The recommendations are based on an independent assessment of private sector environmental performance standards and ecolabels against the multi-stakeholder developed EPA Guidelines for Environmental Performance Standards and Ecolabels.

Webinar: Climate Friendly Purchasing for Professional Services

Tue, Dec 20, 2016 11:30 AM-1:00 PM CST
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The West Coast Climate & Materials Management Forum will be showcasing the Professional Services toolkit to assist stakeholders in reducing their GHG impact.

Modern life is rubbish: we don’t need all this packaging

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Companies and individuals have a duty to recycle everything possible and to create and use more sustainable packaging.

What Walmart is Doing to Increase the Recyclability and Sustainability of Product Packaging

Read the full story at Waste360.

While Walmart Stores Inc. has been working toward a zero waste goal for at least a decade, the company is now hoping to motivate its suppliers to consider sustainability and recyclability in product packaging. By targeting three main areas—packaging optimization, sustainable sourcing and increased recycling—Walmart is looking to help make packaging more sustainable, while continuing to keep product prices low.

Last week, at a Sustainable Packaging Summit, Walmart released its Sustainable Packaging Playbook, a guidebook for suppliers to improve packaging sustainability. Hundreds of Walmart suppliers and merchants attended the meeting and viewed the playbook, which gave suppliers a clearer picture on what the leading retailer is looking for in terms of packaging sustainability.

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 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.