Green matters



Most feel no green guilt


An independent study commmissioned by consumer shopping website Retrevo has found that out of 1,000 people in the US, only 16 percent of shoppers feel guilty if they don’t buy a green gadget with 60 percent feeling no guilt at all.


In fact most of the respondents indicated that they didn’t care whether or not the gadget was green – placing the majority of Americans firmly in the ostrich category when it comes to the e-waste, pollution and carbon footprint associated with modern electronics. Nearly 40 percent said they do consider greener choices when shopping for gadgets, and 80 percent of those surveyed said they trusted Energy Star ratings, but less than half the number of those shoppers under 25 used them to make purchasing decisions (as opposed to 55 percent over 25).


These numbers seem to indicate that so-called ‘Millennials’ actually care less about green in this category than their elders. A surprising result considering the amount of technology they are likely to be purchasing over the next decade. When asked what it would take to help them make greener decisions with regard to their gadgets, survey respondents called for tax and rebate incentives, as well as more access to recycling.


Green day, green jobs


The US celebrates Earth Day on 22 April and it also marks the official launch date of an initiative to raise US competitiveness in the global green economy.


The Clean Technology Trade Alliance (CTTA) is an IRS-designated, non-profit trade alliance that seeks to drive the expansion of the global clean technology market by providing the necessary leadership and services to promote the growth of profitable clean technology businesses and foster relationships between technology innovators and the resources that can swiftly and effectively bring them to market.


Headquartered in Seattle, CTTA will focus on identifying US clean technology companies, profiling their products and services and provide a global sales force to identify and qualify business opportunities for its member companies.


The US is said to be behind Europe and Asia in terms of developing green technologies and the CTTA will focus on business development and business growth through market access and the promotion of inherent synergies between members and markets to achieve clean technology development.


The performance-based CTTA was set up to measure success for its members and itself, creating metrics at every level utilising the developing toolset to collect and share information. CTTA Board member Jim Craswell stated that: "it is far better, cheaper and more effective to identify clean technology companies the already exist and promote them than to recruit or incubate them. It is time for clean technology to move from a predominantly social/public focus to a business focus."


CTTA is using partnerships, business analysis, traditional relationship sales and a developing tool set of information technology, analysts and customer specialists to deliver opportunities for business and profitability to CTTA members.


Bekaert looking for no impact


Bekaert launched Ecobind, a 100 percent natural, C02 neutral coating for book binding wire in March.


The coloured eco-friendly coating is made from the so-called ‘green polymer’, which means it is completely derived from natural resources, compostable and CO2 neutral.


With Ecobind, Bekaert has created a coating for book binding wire with the same properties as regular polymer coating. The amount of CO2 emitted when decomposing green polymers is the same amount as that absorbed by the plant from which the raw product was originally derived, making it part of a closed natural cycle.


Marcelo Xavier, Bekaert’s Global Segment Manager for Book Binding Wires, comments: "Ecobind is the result of years of research and development at Bekaert’s technology centres. In times when we all need to make a big effort to save our world’s natural resources, innovations like these are particularly welcome."


"It’s very rewarding to come up with a renewable, environmentally friendly alternative to polymers derived from petrochemical products," said Xavier.


IP launches green site


International Paper has launched a company website covering important environmental issues and trends in the paper and printing industries.


The site – – features information from the company’s Down to Earth series of educational brochures.


One of the goals of the site is to address "many myths and misperceptions" surrounding paper and the environment and to show that "paper communications can often be the more responsible choice".


"Our customers and the public deserve to know the truth about paper products. They are bombarded with misleading and false information every day," said Teri Shanahan, IP’s VP, Commercial Printing.


"Our goal is to provide facts so people can feel great about their environmentally friendly choices, especially paper. The Down to Earth website was created as a companion to the printed series to make it easier to share this valuable information, and to give readers the facts to support when and why it’s worth printing."


Paradigm targets green fraternity


Facilities products manufacturer and distributor Paradigm says that environmentally-savvy students are boosting demand for its products at university campuses.


"The demand for environmental consumables is fast becoming the buzz on college campuses," said Ralph Bianculli, Director for Business Development at Paradigm.


Bianculli noted that an increasing number of university students were becoming involved in the decision process on what they are using in the disposable category.


"Students are fast becoming knowledgeable on what they can do to change the environment. Paradigm group can deliver that solution at no extra cost to the budget," he added.


Paradigm says that its proprietary ‘Eco-calculator’ helps universities and corporations measure the impact they could have when converting to eco products.


United released 2010 green catalogue


United Stationers has released its new green catalogue for 2010. The catalogue offers more products across more categories than ever before – 2,700 – representing an 8 percent increase on last year’s green product offering. The US wholesaler claims this is one of the broadest selections in the business products industry of items that contain recycled content.


"Every item included as been verified for its green attributes by the manufacturers, who have also sought certification by third-party sustainability organisations," said Carol O’Hern, Director of Marketing Research, Analytics and Sustainability at United Stationers.


The 2010 Green Catalog includes larger selections of products than last year’s edition. It includes paper SKUs with recycled content, sustainable binders and writing instruments, light bulbs – including more compact fluorescents – recycling receptacles, ink and toner cartridges, and fully biodegradable and compostable food service items.


It also offers tips for sustainable purchasing, a guide to greener offices, and a glossary of sustainable terminology.


Green news in brief…


‘Max bins contracts


OfficeMax is launching a reusable shipping bin programme for its contract customers in an effort to cut down on waste.


The programme is available to contract business customers located in metropolitan areas that place orders more than once a week and all pick-ups and deliveries of the bins will be handled by OfficeMax’s own trucks.


The bins are made of lightweight polypropylene and are bar coded for tracking.


"Many of our contract business customers are seeking to adopt ‘greener’ business practices, and we’re proud to meet their needs with this highly efficient, sustainable shipping programme that enables these companies to significantly reduce waste," said Reuben Slone, EVP of Supply Chain at OfficeMax.


New green-only site


Green Office Products has launched a new website offering visitors, business owners and green keen purchasers the chance to purchase products, online, which have been made with the environment in mind.


Green My Office ( only sells products that are eco friendly or made from recycled products.


UK to get tough on energy


The UK government has announced proposals that it says will ensure that energy-using products meet performance standards and the claims made by their efficiency label.


The consultation would give increased power to the National Measurement Office (NMO), which monitors the energy efficiency of appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, TVs and fridges and their energy labelling.


The NMO would be able to take civil sanctions against manufacturers and importers that fail to comply with energy efficiency standards or provide incorrect information. Taking civil sanctions, which could include monetary penalties or voluntary agreements to amend labels or reimburse customers.