Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sustainability: Green ROI - Can It Be Done?

Oil price volatility and supply security concerns, water scarcity, climate change and an ever increasing and consuming population are forming a “perfect storm” of issues, common to all countries around the world, today and for decades to come.

We can either passively wring our hands or we can meet these challenges head on.

For industry, these challenges become opportunities for business growth in applications as broad as buildings, transportation, energy and water infrastructure and general industrial processes.

Our businesses are now uniquely poised to understand the current challenges and opportunities - and to deliver scalable, sustainable solutions for our world.

The business of sustainability is proving, time and time again, to defy our casual intuition as improved methods for determining “what’s best,” as comparative studies of  Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs)  come into common use.

For example, converting traditional materials (like aluminum and steel) to composite applications (using polymers and glass fibers) can enhance energy efficiency and productivity, require less energy and greenhouse gas emissions to produce and use, and also offer additional benefits such as durability, corrosion resistance and added safety – even when traditional materials have impressive single-attribute benefits such as high recycled contents.

We are at a wonderful crossroads in the maturing of the concepts of sustainability, across the economic, environmental and social spectrum, where the scientific methodologies, creativity, innovation and resilience can…and must lead the way!

Submitted by Frank O’Brien-Bernini, who is Chief Sustainability Officer at Owens Corning. You can follow his tweets @FOB_GreenTweets

He will present "Creating Competitive Advantage through Sustainability: Challenges, Opportunities and Rewards of Driving Sustainability in the Corporate Environment" at The Front End of Innovation.

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