Making “Being Green” Easier for Consumers

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“Environmentally-friendly,” “recyclable,” “biodegradeable,” “Energy Star,” “FSC Certified”?  With over 100 different “green” seals or labels (often called “eco-labels”) in the global market today, it’s easy to understand why we struggle with knowing what “green” really means.  But, help is on the way to assist consumers in making more informed sustainable product choices via development of a sustainable product assessment based on research developed by the Sustainability Consortium

Dell recently became a founding member in the Sustainability Consortium – a multi-stakeholder group, led by academia, whose goal is establish an agreed-upon set of criteria for “green” consumer products. This criteria is intended to help consumers more easily identify environmentally and socially responsible goods.  This would encompass the full lifecycle of products, from raw material consumption to manufacturing, consumer use and eventually end of life aspects such as reuse and/or recycle.  The Consortium will release results of its initial electronics sector study in the third quarter of 2010. The early focus is on laptops, desktops and monitors; the findings will later be applied to a broader set of electronic goods.  Current members include Best Buy, Dell, HP, Intel, Toshiba and Wal-Mart and we expect additional members to join later this year.   

At the end of the day, the group aims to make it easier for consumers to choose more sustainable products, including electronics – something we all would like to see! 

About the Author: Scott O'Connell

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