Episode 40 – Joel Makower Discusses UL Environment Standards for Organizations
November 19, 2011
In Episode 40 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on November 12, 2011 on Green 960 AM radio), Joel Makower, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz.com, joins show host Dick Lyons to discuss sustainability standards for organizations.
Joel explains that while there is a lot of activity for the greening of companies of all types, it has been challenging to identify shared definitions that allow for meaningful standards in the marketplace. What does it mean to be good enough? So Joel, along with the team of like-minded folks have been working on a strategy to build a comprehensive, company level (not just product level), global, third party standard for organizations to follow. The outcome of this work has resulted in the Underwriters Laboratories Environment (UL Environment or ULE) 880 for manufacturing and 881 for service providers (pending). UL is a 117 year old organization historically known for their work developing product safety standards.
Forum listeners may also remember the interview Dick did with Rory Bakke in Episode 30 of The Wendel Forum on September 3, in which we discussed the development of these standards.
ULE 880 Sustainability for Manufacturing Organizations has been released, and the working group is now turning its attention to the matter of finishing ULE 881, which will cover service providers. Joel says that 881 should be expected to emerge in about a year.
So, how do companies get rated? You can find more information at www.ULEnviornment.com. There are some costs associated with obtaining third party verification of the data companies provide.
What’s interesting is that this is not designed as one more consumer facing label. This has been developed as a business to business or business to government standard. The group imagines that companies with long supply chains will begin to use this standard, much as ISO-14000 or ISO-9000 standards are used in some industries to verify standards between business partners. A registry and verification logo will be available to companies achieving the standards.
Here is one more tool to help sustainably-minded companies get that much closer to meaningful transparency and accountability.
Listen to the interview with Joel Makower: Episode 40 of The Wendel Forum (27+ min, mp3)
GreenBiz website: www.Greenbizgroup.com
Underwriters Lab Environment website: http://www.ulenvironment.com/ulenvironment/eng/pages/
Dick Lyons website bio: www.wendel.com/rlyons
Green 960 AM radio website: www.green960.com