Barriers, Figures, CleanGredients Program, Greenlist Program
Below are some of the barriers opposing of the broader use of biobased products, as well as strategies for overcoming these obstacles.
Barriers for Buyers
- Lack of awareness about biobased products
- Naysayers and other detractors
- Lack of funds
- Difficulty in sourcing biobased products
- Lack of support from senior management
Barriers for Biobased Manufacturers and Dealers
- Inexperience marketing products to federal government
- Inexperience finding contracts that contain biobased products
- Lack of preparation for competition
- Overpricing of products
Ways to Overcome Barriers
- Identify types of procurements that could easily utilize biobased products
- Include biobased opportunities in procurement forecasts
- Provide information on sourcing identified biobased products
- Most important, get senior management's support
The biorefinery is a facility that integrates conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, and chemicals from biomass. The concept is analogous to today's petroleum refineries, which produce multiple fuels and products from petroleum. Industrial biorefineries have been identified as the most promising route to the creation of a new domestic biobased industry.
GreenBlue Institute's "CleanGredients™" Database
Created by the GreenBlue Institute, "CleanGredients™" is an online database of institutional and industrial cleaning ingredients. Officially launched at the ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2006 tradeshow in Chicago, the project's goal is to help formulators of green cleaning chemicals and products select environmentally preferable ingredients. In doing so, it aligns broad environmental and human health goals with the cleaning product industry's business objectives. Currently sponsored by the EPA, ISSA, and Eco-Logo, the program is designed specifically to help formulators identify ingredients with potential environmental and human health/safety benefits, and to let manufacturers and producers of cleaning ingredients showcase these ingredients.
CleanGredients™ currently comprises only surfactants for hard surface and carpet cleaning, as well as laundry and hand dish soap. Solvent and chelator/builder modules are in development, and additional ingredient classes such as fragrances and colorants will be added as their attributes and criteria for their inclusion are established. Surfactants listed in CleanGredients™ are, at a minimum, ultimately biodegradable. Data for aquatic toxicity, biodegradability, and ingredient formulation are reviewed by a third party (NSF International) using the DfE Screen for Surfactants, a set of criteria defined by the U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) program that identifies surfactants with especially positive environmental characteristics. NSF's reviews are carried out confidentially, providing verification of claims for the key ingredient attributes for surfactants without compromising proprietary formulations.
For more information about the CleanGredients database, visit the CleanGredients homepage.
SC Johnson's "Greenlist" Program
The SC Johnson Company created the environmental classification system called "Greenlist" in 2001 to transform the way the company measures, tracks, and improves its products, furthering the company's commitment to environmentally responsible practices. Greenlist works by formalizing a classification system of raw materials based on their impact on the environment and human health. Raw materials are given a rating from "3" to "0," in which "3" is considered "best," "2" is "better," "1" is "acceptable," and materials rated "0" are used only on a limited, approved basis.
Whenever SC Johnson scientists create a new product or reformulate an old one, they strive to select raw materials rated "better" or "best." Reformulations must include ingredients that have ratings equal to or higher than the original formula. This system also allows them to make easily quantified goals, both for individual products and for the company as a whole. Currently, the rating system applies to more than 95% of the raw materials used for products such as surfactants, solvents, propellants, insecticides, resins, chelants, preservatives, waxes, fragrances, inorganic acids and bases, non-woven fabrics, and packaging.
SC Johnson has shared its Greenlist process with the U.S. EPA, China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, Environment Canada, industry associations, universities, corporations, and others. These agencies and organizations have gained insights from Greenlist to partner with suppliers in order to identify and develop ingredients that are more environmentally sustainable. In addition, SC Johnson has a licensing agreement with Five Winds International to make the classification process available to other companies royalty-free, provided they agree to Five Winds' terms.
For more information about the Greenlist program, check out:
- SC Johnson's page on "Doing What's Right"
- This piece on SC Johnson's partnership with Alliance for Environmental Innovation