If Products Could Speak Feb 23 2009


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regulations and government's role in green product and service design

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If Products Could Speak Feb 23 2009

  2. 2. RECALLED 2_12_2009
  3. 3. RECALLED 2_17_2009
  6. 6. TODAY’S FOCUS: THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT + REGULATORS ON GREEN PRODUCT + SERVICE DESIGN _Shift in power from US to EU _Precautionary Principal _Sex and plastic _Eco-Nomics
  7. 7. REFRESHER: WEEK 1: Creators of products and services have a responsibility to know what’s in the stuff that we make.
  8. 8. REFRESHER: WEEK 2: The greatest environmental impact, in terms of product life cycle, is often in the hands of the end consumer – use and disposal of products and services. To improve environmental impact, give consumers the tools to be better owners/operators of their stuff. Challenge: Create Spimes.
  9. 9. REFRESHER: WEEK 3: Environmental advocates and activists have a role to play in alerting us to the green agenda, but often focus on campaigns that isolate a specific effect, or toxin, rather than a comprehensive, holistic view. Consumers feel they are being politically active when they change their buying behavior. Challenge: Design for the role of citizen/consumer
  10. 10. HOMEWORK Example of a campaign lead by an NGO/Activist organization using technology-enabled tools.
  11. 11. RISE OF EU, DECLINE OF US America used to lead the world in protecting its citizens from environmental harm. Over the last 15+ years, the EU began to lead the way in establishing stronger environmental standards. Other countries are banning toxic chemicals that Americans still use.
  12. 12. WHY THE SHIFT IN POWER? 1989: Montreal Protocol– led by the US – to ban ozone-depleting chemicals. 2001: POPS convention: Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Bush signed just after he took office in 2001, but it was never ratified. President’s legal team took issue with the fact that the international agreement could supersede US law, and introduce new chemicals to ban without the US’s direct authority. Lack of cooperation leads to a lack of power.
  13. 13. PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE EU adopts the precautionary principle: acting to avoid serious or irreversible potential harm, despite lack of scientific certainty as to the likelihood, magnitude, or causation of that harm. Look for patterns, act in anticipation of risk. Particularly when children are involved. US principle: do not act until scientific consensus on causation has been established. Greater risk is in tempering economic growth for uncertain environmental outcome.
  14. 14. ARGUMENT VS. PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE Stifles innovation. Stops progress. Anti-business. Embedded in the Precautionary Principle is the notion that we can anticipate all of the ramifications of a technology in advance and can tell whether on balance it will be a net benefit or cost to humanity and the environment.
  15. 15. What’s the harm in these ducks?
  16. 16. Learning from rats: effect of phthalates on hormonal development in male rats and baby boy humans
  17. 17. ANO-GENITAL DISTANCE Dr. Shanna Swan: studied pregnant mothers and their infant sons. Certain phthalates serve as endocrine disruptors – potentially leading to the “feminization of infant boys.” Chemical industry response: this is “rat syndrome.”
  18. 18. US has become a “dumping ground” for Chemicals not sold in the ROW
  19. 19. EFFECT OF BAN ON BUSINESS OF PHTHALATES Danisco and BASF developed alternatives, no change to the European toy market in the years after the ban. Mattel, Hasbro, Toys R Us developed their own ban on levels of phthalates in children’s toys. Dr. Swan: “Substitutes are working. Why take the risk? Why put this into kids bodies if we don’t have to?”
  20. 20. PHTHALATES TODAY in the US 2006 California state senator – Wilma Chan – launched a bill to ban 6 types of phthalates that were already banned in the EU. Heavy lobby by Toy industry to halt the ban. 90% of toys are made in China, but the fear was that the ban would affect small-medium sized toy makers. Banned first in San Francisco 2007.
  21. 21. PHTHALATES NOW BANNED IN TEETHERS Then in 2008, in response to a crisis in consumer confidence, the CPSIA was passed. Starting on February 10, 2009, certain children’s toys and child care articles can no longer be sold, offered for sale, manufactured or imported for sale in the United States if they contain more than 0.1% of specified phthalates. In addition, CPSC staff will sample teethers, rattles and pacifiers to confirm that manufacturers continue their practice of not using prohibited phthalates. Major conflict and confusion pits environmental activists against small business owners, ETSY and Ebay sellers, who are now facing significant testing costs to comply with the ban. Major toy companies that already adopted their own bans are ahead of the curve.
  22. 22. BIG BUSINESS BENEFITS Major toy companies that already adopted their own bans are ahead of the curve in terms of testing: Mattel, Hasbro, Toys R Us.
  23. 23. http://heatherknitzdesigns.blogspot.com
  24. 24. SHIFT IN LOCUS OF INNOVATION US’s refusal to sign Kyoto accord is shifted business opportunities from the US to the EU and China – investments in renewable energy, clean development, and updating of old factories. Hot Flat and Crowded: proposes that an ambitious national strategy —which Friedman calls quot;Geo-Greenismquot;—is not only what we need to save the planet from overheating; it is what we need to make America healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure.
  25. 25. TWEAKED TO TELL THE TRUTH We already had a market that subsidizes fossil fuel at the expense of renewable energy. In a world that's hot, flat and crowded, clean tech has to be the next great global industry and therefore the country that takes the lead in clean power and clean tech is going to, by definition, be an economic and strategic leader in the 21st century; and that's why there's absolutely no contradiction not only between going green and being patriotic, geopolitical and geostrategic. They actually go together. The free market will be fine, he says, so long as it’s tweaked to start telling the truth, reflecting the true cost to the earth of all that we consume.
  26. 26. ECO-NOMICS
  28. 28. GREEN JOBS
  30. 30. NEXT CLASS: Readings: Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power. Chapter 1: Soft Power, Hard Edge. Chapter 4: Two Houses of Risk, pp. 1-19, 67-82. Assignment due next class: Develop initial ideas of product or service systems you would like to explore, to present in class.