Smarter Business: Greening Advisor

 

Ozone-friendly products

Beneficial atmospheric ozone—as opposed to harmful ground-level ozone—filters out the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which can cause cancer. Many products, such as refrigerants and aerosols, were once made with compounds that destroyed ozone when they were released into the atmosphere. In 1985, scientists discovered that concentrations of ozone in the atmosphere were falling rapidly, especially near the poles. This drop has since been attributed to ozone-depleting substances such as CFCs and HCFCs. Although the Montreal Protocol treaty has greatly reduced the use of CFCs, some products in some countries are still made with these harmful chemicals. You should check to make sure that the products you are using are not damaging the ozone layer. Consider consulting your suppliers about the ozone-depleting potential of the products they provide. The product specifications listed below should serve as a useful guide on how to avoid these chemicals.

Green Seal’s Certified Products List offers less-harmful options for a range of product categories. You may also want to consult EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Database, which contains product specifications and contract language for a wide variety of additional products. The Oikos Green Product Database is another resource.

Product Specifications

Many products contain chemicals that can destroy the protective layer of ozone that surrounds our planet. You should try to avoid products with the following kinds of chemicals:

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Halons
  • Carbon tetrachloride
  • Methyl chloroform
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

Sample Letter to Current Suppliers

Dear _______,

Our company has initiated an effort to improve its environmental performance in all aspects of its operations. Because you are one of our suppliers, we would like to meet with you to discuss this objective in more detail. We would also like to discuss ways to cost-effectively switch, within the next few years, to products that do not deplete the ozone layer.

Many common products, such as refrigerants, solvents, and aerosols, contain compounds that destroy beneficial ozone when they are released into the atmosphere. We would like to reduce as much as possible the harmful effects on the ozone layer associated with our operations, and we would like to speak with you to ensure that the products we are purchasing do not contribute to this problem.

We look forward to discussing this with you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Additional Resources

Greening Advisor

The Business Plan

The Opportunities

Quick Tip

Try to avoid products that contain the following ozone-depleting chemicals:

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Halons
  • Carbon tetrachloride
  • Methyl chloroform
  • Hydrochlorofluoro-
    carbons (HCFCs)

Suggestions?
Let us know.

Ozone in the atmosphere filters out cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Many common products, such as refrigerants, solvents, and aerosols, contain compounds that destroy beneficial ozone when they are released into the atmosphere.
 

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