Environmentalism makes a stand

BY Ken Clark

As building product companies prepare to celebrate Earth Day, and at a time when U.S. environmental policy is under increased scrutiny, a survey of American consumers shows a willingness among them to pay more for green products.

More than half (56%) of consumers here still say they are willing to pay more to use environment-friendly ( or “green”) products – an uptick of three percentage points from the 2010 level (53%), according to findings from GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer.

The data also show that half (50%) of adults say (agree “somewhat” or “mostly”) that they are willing to give up convenience in return for a product that is environmentally safe – an increase of three points from 2010 (47%).

Consumer interest in a company’s “green” scorecard has held steady in recent years. According to the latest GfK MRI research, 49% agree at least partly with the statement, “A company’s environmental record is important to me in my purchasing decisions.”

That represents a one-point increase versus 2010 (48%). GfK MRI’s studies show that almost seven in 10 (69%) US consumers agree “somewhat” or “completely” with the statement, “Global warming is a serious threat,” a jump of five points from the 2010 level (64%).

Meanwhile, companies are taking part in the Earth Day celebration in a variety of ways.

AZEK Building Products, maker of decking, railing, trim, moulding, porch and pavers, is celebrating what it calls its “year-round commitment to sustainability” by supporting the National Forest Foundation.  The goal is collect $5,000 to plant 5,000 trees.

During the month of April, AZEK Building Products will donate one dollar for every Facebook share it receives on special Earth Dayposts. The objective is to reach up to 5,000 shares, or the equivalent of a $5,000 donation to the National Forest Foundation.

At  DaVinci Roofscapes, a manufacturer of synthetic slate and shake roofing tiles, the Earth Day story is conservation.

Says Bryan Ward, vice president of operations at DaVinci Roofscapes in Lenexa, Kan.:  "We view Earth Day as a time to evaluate the progress of our recycling operations and share the good news about our enhanced efforts," says Ward.

The company has kept more than 1.2 million pounds of polymer scrap out of landfills in 2016. The record-setting recycling effort includes the remolding of more than 696,000 pounds of grinded scrap into starter tiles and the transfer of 567,000 pounds of scrap to an end-user who makes pallets, crates and totes.

"Our goal is zero percentage of scrap going into a landfill," Ward said. "We are always looking for ways to recycle and reuse every single piece of waste in our planet.”


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