With an eye on the global economy, anxious businesses will likely be tempted to pull back the reins on sustainability. Here is reason number 4 why sustainability initiatives should continue uninterrupted.
Anyone with facilities outside of the United States can tell you that global regulatory requirements are very real and growing. In Europe, where some rather rigid regulations are already in place, lawmakers continue to push for even tighter sustainability legislation to ensure the widespread adoption of a full lifecycle approach to packaging and select product categories. Manufacturers across the continent will soon be held to the highest standards and legally responsible for all landfilled recyclable and recoverable post-consumer waste. This mentality is shifting globally from waste management to material management.
As the movement for material stewardship and sustainability spreads beyond Europe’s boarders, the writing on the wall is clear for North American manufacturers. Required sustainability is no longer a question of “if” but “when”. Manufacturers must clearly understand all of the different substances and chemicals used either directly or indirectly in their products. Additionally these companies must design for better end-of-life scenarios for their products.
- Using materials that are easily recycled
- Using assembly components that can be easily dismantled
- Using materials that do not negatively impact the recyclability of other materials
- Understanding the risk of long-term environmental damage to their global operations
Next: You don’t have to do it alone