It’s not (always) easy being green.

This is especially true for companies that decide to invest in environmentally-friendly processes because it’s the right thing to do – for employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, community – not because they have to.

For example, many deep draw manufacturers continue to use chlorinated lubricants and solvents to produce their products. Others, like Hudson Technologies, have eliminated hazardous waste from their deep drawn manufacturing process by fully converting to water-based lubricants and an aqueous cleaning system. Currently there are no industry or government standards requiring this transformation.

We all have choices when it comes to purchases. Most people, if asked, would probably agree that trying to be green is important. However, the real question may be, “How willing or able are you to vote with your wallet when it comes to being green?”

For example, when you walk down the grocery store aisle lined with cleaning products do you select a detergent based on ingredients? Brand? Performance? Cost? In truth, the answer is probably a combination of these factors, with some weighing in more than others.

So are companies really any different than consumers? While a significant percentage of our U.S. customers tell us in surveys that greening their supply chain is important, far fewer say that they require suppliers to have an ISO-certified Environmental Management System (ISO 140001:2004).

When we shared this information with a group of international students visiting our facility as part of a college exchange program, their reaction was very interesting. They were of the opinion that companies in their market (Northern Europe) consider ISO 14001 to be a requirement of doing business.

In the future, new regulations may effect change in more markets. Until then, buyers have a choice. It’s up to each of us to make to the best buying decisions we can based on quality, value, brand and budget. It’s up to companies in the market to offer quality products at a fair price.

When companies can be competitive AND green… it’s the right thing to do.

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