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By: Jeff Falk
Posted: March 8, 2011, from the March 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 6 of 6

A global survey of senior chemical purchasing managers, conducted by an international research firm on behalf of Dow Corning, showed agreement on the importance of sustainability and environmental stewardship, but it revealed significant differences across geographies when it came to specifics. For example, Americans and Europeans named reducing waste as the most important environmental consideration, while developing environment-friendly products was most managers in China, Korea and India for example, consider the development of green (environmentally friendly) products as a more important driver than CO2 emissions, use of clean/renewable energy sources or waste reduction.

What's clear from these results is that, while there are differences in emphasis around the world, the priority for companies both big and small is to reduce their own environmental footprints.

In the future there will be even more emphasis on reducing CO2 emissions and use of renewable energy sources, as costs for solar energy becomes more affordable and climate change gets more attention in all geographies.

Navigating such differences will be a major challenge, as purchasing decisions by suppliers and customers will be increasingly influenced by sustainability goals and programs. For innovative companies, sustainability (encompassing environmental, social and economic aspects) also can present attractive business opportunities.