NIST Prototypes Framework for Evaluating Sustainability Standards
by GSI Staff June 06, 2011
As manufacturers and other businesses step up efforts to cut waste, reduce energy use and improve the overall sustainability of their products and processes, the number of planet-friendly standards and regulations also is increasing at a rapid clip, creating a sometimes-confusing array of options for “going green.” National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers have prototyped a framework to help organizations of all types sort through the welter of choices and evaluate and implement sustainability standards most appropriate for their operations and interests.
The NIST team unveiled its framework for analyzing sustainability standards on May 4 at the 18th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering in Braunschweig, Germany.
Many incentives—some are carrots, others are sticks—motivate businesses to improve their sustainability performance. These range from bottom-line concerns, like cutting costs and reducing scrap, to compliance with regulatory and customer requirements to good corporate citizenship. Whatever the drivers, businesses are boosting their sustainability efforts. In a recent international survey of more than 3,000 business executives and managers, nearly 70 percent said their organizations would increase their investments in sustainability this year.
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