Going green lowers costs, drives innovation

11 October 2010 20:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Moving toward environmental sustainability lowers costs and will become a driver for innovation, the keynote speaker said on Monday at the Polyurethanes Technical Conference.

Current innovation in sustainability is being driven by companies taking additional steps to reduce their carbon footprint, said Andrew Winston, founder of Winston Eco-Strategies.

Local governments are also supporting industry efforts toward "greening" through stimulus funds, tax incentives, special permits and utility hookups, Winston said.

However, industry is frequently taking the lead by placing more stringent requirements on sustainability than local governments, according to Winston.

Walmart was a perfect example of the greening trend among private business, as it continued to demand that suppliers place strict limits on lead in toys, while providing reducing the carbon footprint for products offered. Companies are now even deselecting suppliers based on carbon-compliance, Winston said.

“There is no alternative” is the driving thought behind innovation, Winston said. Business is concerned over missing the green wave and is beginning to include a sustainable portfolio.

The keys to creating green value, according to Winston, are get smart, get engaged, get lean and get creative.

As a notable example of reducing the carbon footprint, Winston pointed to the retrofitting taking place at the landmark Empire State Building in New York City, which would result in a significant reduction in energy consumption.

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By: Ron Coifman
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