Green Specifications Inclusive of CO2 and Energy

The Greening of Industrial Customer Specifications

Green Specifications Expert Lisa Peterson
Lisa Peterson holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering.

Green Specifications have increasingly become a requirement along with traditional specifications like

  • maximum dimensions;
  • maximum weight; and
  • required materials.

Common Green Specifications include:

  • “percent reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions and energy usage compared to previous models”; and
  • similarly, another version sets a cap on a product’s carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions and energy usage.

Green considerations are more than CO2 and energy and include

  • water usage;
  • percent recycled content; and
  • finally, the percentage of recyclable material.

While the above examples are quite common, there are many possible Green Specifications one might encounter.

Green Specifications and Life Cycle Thinking

Green Specifications include Cradle-to-Grave Life Cycle Thinking.  Cradle-to-Grave Thinking requires suppliers to consider the CO2 and energy usage of their suppliers. Supplier considerations include going all the way back to raw materials coming from nature.

On the customer side of Cradle-to-Grave, a supplier must consider the use, maintenance, and end of life of their product.  A supplier must think broadly, both upstream and downstream from their operation, to truly consider a life cycle perspective.

Many Industries and Companies of All Sizes Include Green Specifications

Green Specifications typically align with a company’s sustainability targets, as documented in

However, in smaller companies, these specifications can result from their larger customers’ demands.

Historically, the transportation industry led the way with these specifications to improve gas mileage and reduce emissions. However, today, many more industry sectors like

  • construction;
  • pharmaceutical;
  • food and agriculture;
  • oil and gas; and
  • lastly, tourism demand greener solutions.

Whether it’s the public, the shareholders, or the customers who are driving this transition, companies of all sizes and industries face these new specifications.

Get Ready to Think Green

Sharpen your green pencil to stay competitive whether you’re reacting to your customer’s demands or you’re being proactive. In conclusion, now is the time to think green.

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