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ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH AND SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS ENTER THE MAINSTREAM

Professor Andrea Larson and students from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business
April 2007

Six mini-case studies cosponsored by IEHN offer examples of innovation and efficency that save money, eliminate chemical hazard and toxicity, differentiate products and services, increase profits and revenues, and enhance brands

Synopsis

Mini-case studies of innovations at new and existing companies describe and measure the business benefits of reducing and eliminating chemical hazards from existing products, and launching new low-toxicity products. For example, SC Johnson and Son, Inc. developed its patented Greenlist process to systematically reduce the toxicity of its product lines. In the case of Windex Blue Glass cleaner, Greenlist increased revenue and market share while lowering volatile organic compounds and producing a 30% increase in cleaning performance. Coastwide Labs’ 35% growth in new customers in 2005 was largely attributable to its new line of “Sustainable Earth” cleaning products. These realized a gross margin more than 40% higher than on the company’s conventional cleaners. Coastwide was acquired by another company in 2006. Other mini-cases discuss The Method Company, Shaw Industries, Nike, and Rohner textiles.
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