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ERM business guide makes the case for product stewardship

16 June 2009

The product of the future will be low carbon, low energy, low waste – but high value. These are arguably some of the goals set out for all types of company in a new ERM business guide Adding value with sustainable products.

The illustrated booklet is designed to be an accessible, practical and non technical introduction to the topic of product sustainability. As such, it walks the reader through such widely established approaches as Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and carbon footprinting, introducing the need for technical rigor as part of the drive to develop sustainable, saleable products in a competitive global economy.

“Adding value with sustainable products is the latest in an ERM series of ‘how to’ guides and, as with previous publications, we are seeking to demonstrate the need for a close alignment between business priorities and technical understanding,” commented ERM partner Tom Woollard. “In the case of product stewardship, this applies whether we are talking about a new generation of cars or cartons.”

LCA, for example, is singled out as a process to enhance the environmental and social performance of a product but also to drive innovation and help a company to better understand emerging market requirements. Carbon footprinting can be the catalyst for carbon reduction but also for product differentiation in the market place.

In addition to introducing the techniques and approaches which can contribute to more effective product stewardship, the guide is sprinkled with case study examples of corporate initiatives and progress in this area – not to mention independent bodies such as Fairtrade and the Marine Stewardship Council which are giving credence to those achievements.

Previous guides in the series cover such topics as responsible development, environment, health and safety risk and carbon footprinting.

Download the booklet Adding value with sustainable products (pdf, 2.19MB)

 

Adding value with sustainable products

This booklet is designed to be a non technical introduction to the topic of product sustainability.