Sustainable Industrial Protection Equipment — Occupational Health & Safety


Sustainable Industrial Protection Equipment

Sustainable Industrial Protection Equipment

Sustainability is a hot topic, but does it have any real meaning for industrial PPE?

Total sales of sustainable products are expected to pass $150 billion this year. Sustainable product sales have increased 40 percent since 2014 representing a gain of $43 billion USD, and the demand for sustainable products is only expected to continue. Sustainable product growth is not limited to just one market sector. A wide range of companies are claiming added profits from sustainable products and offerings. It is important to note that sustainable product growth is not just limited to consumer products. There is also strong sustainable product growth in diverse, core industrial sectors such as industrial goods, energy and utilities, chemicals, and automobiles. An increased focus on sustainability for core industrial markets puts a spotlight on PPE.

An increasing number of companies are making and publicizing sustainability goals. Many of these sustainability goals are aggressive. Traditional ‘green’ initiatives (e.g., reducing paper, internal recycling programs, etc.) will be necessary but not sufficient to meet sustainability targets. Achieving these sustainability targets will take significant effort and expense. It will require action across every organizational function. On the input side of the organization, purchases of sustainable supplies like PPE will be necessary. At the same time, companies are expected to trim operating costs. This means end-users are looking for sustainability wins that will not bust their budgets.

There is a tremendous opportunity to turn PPE purchases into sustainability wins. Emerging technologies may do just that. Many manufacturers are already working hard to address the environmental impact of PPE with sustainable PPE offerings. The industrial glove industry is leading the way with innovative technologies that offer recycled content and materials with enhanced biodegradability to both reduce landfill waste and create biofuel that can be harnessed for clean energy production.

Post-Consumer Recycled content


This article originally appeared in the May 1, 2021 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.



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