Working with the Purpose of “Raising the Green Bar”

by Juliette Baumann

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of attending “Raise The Green Bar” 2018. Good Housekeeping and Made Safe teamed up to host this eco-conscious event, which showcased a wide variety of industry leaders and panelists, such as Danone North America, P&G, Walgreensand Citibank, who shared the initiatives their companies are taking to promote higher levels of sustainability, or ‘raise their green bar.’ With recent reports concerning the desperate need for environmental change, it was great to hear first-hand that many corporations and companies are stepping up their game and taking proactive measures to promote a greener, more sustainable world.


Industry leaders, ranging from those in food, beauty, fashion, media, home products and hygiene, were invited to present the initiatives that they have taken to reduce their carbon footprint. This was extremely interesting to learn about, as each approach was unique to its brand. We learned about Eileen Fisher’simplementation of an efficient procedure that limits textile waste, how LOLI, a natural beauty brand, uses food-grade beauty products in addition to practicing ingredient transparency, and how P&Ghas devoted time to developing a plant-based detergent.


Additionally,Danone North America is working to have 100% reusable packaging by 2025 by implementing a circular approach to packaging through practices of recycling, and Citibank has taken a variety of measures to promote sustainability, including initiating a $100 billion Environmental Finance goal that is devoted to activities that reduce climate change and create environmental solutions.


One of the most educational and intriguing parts of the day was when award-winning author of Whitewash, Carey Gillam andBest –Selling Author & Director of the Global Public Health Program at Boston College, Dr. Philip Landrigan, presented on the truth behind pesticides and how they are causing severe damage on our health and the environment, citing research exposing that these toxins are causing a multitude of health issues, including respiratory, neurodevelopmental, reproductive problems, and more. As scary as this may be, it’s imperative to understand the impact these toxins are having on our lives, giving a greater incentive to fight back against pesticide-based initiatives and incite real environmental change.


Another great presentation was given by Kevin P. Eckerle, PHD and Director of Corporate Research and Engagement at NYU’s Stern Center for Sustainable Business, who spoke about a very interesting approach to sustainability. Eckerle discussed “Why Sustainability Makes Dollars and Sense,” highlighting that when a company includes sustainability in their strategy and practice, it helps improve their efficiency, brand reputation, employee engagement, profitability and stock price performance. This raised important insight into the side of sustainability people don’t think of right away – analyzing how taking sustainable action not only protects our environment, but can also bolster profitability and higher levels of consumer engagement – providing greater incentives for companies to take higher sustainable action.


In recent years, companies with massive audiences are helping to lead a movement that can promote environmental change. At the event, Good Housekeeping announced the launch of their own Sustainability Awards, which will be awarded to companies that take a minimalistic approach to product packaging, in addition to using recycled or recyclable components.


With reports saying that we only have 12 years to create real environmental change, it is crucial that we work together to make a difference! With companies, big and small, setting a positive example and bringing their visions and purpose into the consumer market, there is hope that we can set higher standards for sustainable practices everywhere and save our environment.

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