Posted on 2/7/2012 3:46 PM by Debbie Designer

So we’ve been promising you a Greenbuild reckoning for quite some time now. After a few weeks of research, one week of getting over the worst New Year’s Eve hangover I’ve ever experienced and another spent getting over the worst design hangover I’ve ever experienced after watching the “gowns” that paraded down the red carpet for the Golden Globes, I’m finally ready to stick it to the manufacturing man.

It’s been a long time coming, but good things come to those who wait.

Good things also come to those who don’t discriminate. That’s why I’ve decided not to reserve this experiment to just Greenbuild exhibitors. High flying claims of save-the-world sustainability happen at all times in all places—not just some tradeshow floor once a year.

So here I present the official kick-off to Green-Gate, all manufacturers welcome.

Below are 9 questions we are opening up to any manufacturer who’d like to take the challenge of answering them. Submit them back to us and we’re going to have a resident sustainability expert review and respond to them. You might recognize him as the author of January’s Environdesign Notebook: Peter Syrett, AIA, LEED AP and the New York K-12 education market leader for Perkins + Will. His expertise focuses on sustainable institutional projects, specifically K-12 and healthcare work. Syrett lectures regularly on green institutional design and is a recognized expert in the field.

He is also a recognized expert at calling out your bull. No wait, that’s me. I’m going to infuse my straight-shooting spirit right into his body and make sure he isn’t easy on you. Buster and Pebbles will be there too, claws out, ready to scratch away at any marketing spin that might be covering up the truth.

Peter’s going to tell you what areas he thinks you should work on and how better to serve your eco-minded customers. The whole point of this is, of course, to expose any greenwashing that you might not even be aware that your own company is hocking. It’ll force you to take a cold, hard look in the mirror, and there’s absolutely no one out there who can’t benefit from one of those.  

So are you brave enough? Think you can stand up against your competitors in the field and make a real case for your eco-conscious product lines?

If you decide to participate, be fair warned we reserve the right to publish any and all responses, as well as Peter’s criticism and/or praise for them. And I’ll be analyzing it all for any general emerging trends.

Filled out survey responses can be sent to me, at debbiethedesigner@gmail.com. Game on.

1.      Do you have a "green" product offering? Explain these products and their sustainable components (recycled/recyclable content, energy savings, environmentally responsible material sourcing, etc.). 

2.      What percentage of your product line has a sustainable component? 

3.      How does this compare to the percentage of sustainable products offered in 2002? 

4.      Of the products that are sustainable, have they become more sustainable than they were in the past? In other words, how are you continuing to improve your products from an environmental standpoint? 

5.      Have you modified your production process for environmental reasons? How so?

6.      Do you have a Sustainability Officer or someone with a similar title and role focused solely on sustainable practices within your company? 

7.      Have you instituted company-wide programs to lessen your environmental impact beyond the manufacturing process? What are some of those programs, how are they being implemented, and what has been the result? 

8.      Do you have benchmarked goals for reducing your environmental impact in the future? What are they and how are you achieving them? 

9.      What green ratings systems do you use to measure your success? Have you submitted any products for certification or won any awards?