Why would competitors such as the Chemical Manufacturers Association work together to develop sustainability standards? What are the consequences of failing to address sustainability?
What is sustainability? Sustainability measures a nation’s ability to meet its future needs without jeopardizing the planet’s ability to meet its own needs.
Why would competitors such as the Chemical Manufacturers Association work together to develop sustainability standards?
The consequences of failing to address sustainability are: strained natural resources and an increase in production costs, which may lead some companies out of business. These companies would then have trouble providing for themselves, and the communities they serve. It is said that “the poor can do for each other better than we can for them.”
For more than 25 years, the Chemical Manufacturers Association has been working to create a world without pollution. CMA is dedicated to the “advancement of public knowledge on environmental and health subjects that affect human health.” They have partnered with government agencies, universities, professional organizations, and state and local governments to educate the public through media campaigns, conferences and other events.
Their goal is to make an impact at the local level.
In December 1997, as part of their efforts to make a difference in environmental issues at the local level, CMA signed on as a member of The National Association for Sustainable Development (NASD).
The National Association for Sustainable Development (NASD) is an association of the chemical industry and other organizations representing the combined interests of their community. In March 2011, CMA signed on as a partner in The National Sustainable Development Solutions Network (NSDSN).
The NSDSN consists of over 200 members, including many large manufacturing and chemical companies and trade associations. The NSDSN has created a comprehensive, coordinated approach to addressing sustainability issues in America and around the world, compared with CMA’s efforts which are focused on local communities.
The issues that need to be addressed by the NSDSN are stringent, global standards to ensure competitiveness for the chemical industry.
What are the consequences of failing to address sustainability?
Without a standard to follow, chemical companies will be forced to compete on the “lower cost of pollution” alone, and may endanger their own longevity by polluting in a way that could damage their reputation or hurt sales. This is not only bad for the environment, but it could also lead to greater government regulations and lawsuits.
Companies must be willing to make sacrifices and put aside differences in order to meet sustainability goals. In many cases they will ultimately have no choice. However, some believe that if companies are given time it is more likely they will find ways around the obstacles they face and accomplish their goals without harming the environment or competing with one another.