Technology forces at work: profiles of environmental by Susan Resetar, Beth Lachman, Robert Lempert, Monica Pinto

By Susan Resetar, Beth Lachman, Robert Lempert, Monica Pinto

This document beneficial properties case reviews of 4 leaders and discusses how those businesses view enviromental know-how investments.

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The intermediate chemicals, such as polyester films or fibers, begin with commodity chemicals to create chemicals used to manufacture other products, such as electronics, automobiles, furniture, and appliances. Specialty chemicals are often final products, such as paints, fertilizers, and fibers. These products as well as their manufacture can be toxic or hazardous to human health and the environment. 8 Environmental regulations cover materials-handling in general; emissions of toxic or hazardous materials to the air, water, land; and remediation of previous disposal sites.

5 percent, respectively). 4 Federal environmental technology strategy, presented in Bridge to a Sustainable Future (NSTC, 1995), recognized the importance of the industrial sector and sought to improve public- and private-sector relationships to stimulate the development of environmental technologies and to increase their diffusion. Yet, unfortunately federal policy is developed with little systematically collected information on what industry is doing. Study Objectives To better structure its environmental R&D priorities and policies, the federal government must develop a clear understanding of how research-intensive industries are rethinking investments in environmental technologies; altering their environmental management processes; where these industries are likely to invest, where they will not invest, and where there are opportunities for public-private sector partnerships; and how existing and future competitive pressures are likely to affect industrial environmental R&D strategies.

The concept of sustainability is important. The world's population is increasing; its material and energy resource base is not. If the United States is to continue its growth and other nations are to enjoy their own as well, new techniques are needed that provide development without increased demand for those resources. 2 While sustainability is entering industry's lexiconmany corporate environmental, health, and safety reports use the term; the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD) is sharing ideas about sustainable business concepts;3 and all the companies interviewed for this study use the termtranslating it into day-to-day operations is still problematic because the concept remains relatively ill-defined and ambiguous.

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