With the rapid growth in the global "Green Marketplace", UL (Underwriters Laboratories) hosted a national conference to analyze and discuss elements of sustainability at The Trident Oberoi, Mumbai on February 19. The conference was held in the context of "Greenwashing", the increasingly prevalent practice of making unsubstantiated or misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product. Greenwashing is leading to a lack of trust in green product claims by manufacturers.
Designed around the theme of "Sustainable Approaches to Sustainability", the conference highlighted issues, best practices and methods to reduce environmental footprint, analyzed goals for organizations and individuals to develop a sustainable methodology that is environmentally, fiscally and economically sound, within and outside the built environment.
The global Green Marketplace for sustainable products and services has seen rapid and sustained growth over the last decade. Two recent studies in North America and Europe have shown that: 36% of US consumers claim to regularly buy green products. 43% EU consumers strongly agree that companies should be mindful of the environmental impact of their products and processes. There is a significant gap between the projected demand and current sales of green products. The conference discussed approaches to bridge the gap and instil trust in consumers on the environmental benefits of a product. It brought out aspects of sustainability for products and organizations, and methods to attain market leadership.
The conference chief guest Dr. Prem C Jain, Chairman, IGBC, highlighted Indian approach to Sustainable Growth and the keynote speaker Dr. Prasad Modak, Executive President, Environmental Management Center, pointed the strategic approach for Greening of Procurement (GP) as well as lined up speaker representatives from Infosys who highlighted sustainability in the services sector and representatives from Godrej who covered sustainability in the manufacturing sector. Spokespeople from UL included R A Venkitachalam, VP and MD, UL Emerging Markets, and Scot Case, Director, Market Development, UL Environment.