2012 Green and Sustainable Trends

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By Robert Kravitz, The Ashkin Group

Stephen Ashkin, CEO of Sustainable Dashboard Tools, LLC and President of The Ashkin Group, announced his “Annual Trends and Directions” on green and sustainability issues.

“One prediction I am most proud of is when I stated about three years ago that I did not think the green/sustainable movement would suffer significantly due to the economy,” he says. “And so far, that has proved to be the case.”

So what does Ashkin foresee for 2012? Below are his ten predictions for the coming year:

1. It’s the economy. The economy will continue to be the focus, but many organizations will slowly start hiring and expanding. While conditions won’t return to pre-recession levels, it will be a good year for jan/san companies.

2. LEED shakes up the market. The new LEED revisions will be introduced in early 2012 and the improvements will accelerate its adoption. As facilities seek help understanding the changes, many jan/san companies will find this as a competitive opportunity and grow customers.

3. Energy is king. The cost of energy will increase in 2012. Jan/san distributors and service providers will develop strategies to help facilities reduce energy consumption.

4. Water conservation. Water will emerge as a critical issue that we must address and take seriously.

5. Green as a given. Facility managers/cleaning professionals will select green cleaning products first and conventional cleaning products only if green ones are not available.

6. Measuring sustainability. As facilities and businesses increasingly operate in a more sustainable manner, they will turn to “dashboard” systems to help measure, manage and report progress.

7. Proof of sustainability. Purchasing departments requiring vendors to document how they address sustainability issues within their own businesses will become more commonplace.

8. Ingredient disclosure. Chemical manufacturers will provide more information on the ingredients used to manufacture their products as more purchasers and consumers demand this information.

9. Collaboration. Instead of doing it alone more jan/san distributors and service providers will collaborate, creating solutions for environmental issues that will eventually help the entire industry.

10. Showing how. More facilities and businesses will establish green and sustainability policies, but will have trouble putting them into practice. Jan/san distributors and service providers will play a key role in showing them how.