Submitted by: Maryland-Asia Environmental Partnership
Posted: Jun 06, 2008 – 03:15 PM EST
Jun. 06 /CSRwire/ - BALTIMORE, MD - June 6, 2008 - Over two hundred business leaders came to hear U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and leading multinational corporations including General Motors, Johnson Controls, Baxter International and Steelcase provide insights on the green supply chain movement.
The Maryland-Asia Environmental Partnership (MD-AEP) helped to organize the timely forum to highlight the importance greening corporate supply chains. Pressures are mounting from global manufacturing leaders as they are increasingly de-selecting suppliers when they fail to meet sustainability objectives. "The greening the supply chain initiative is a key element of corporate strategies to become more wholly sustainable," said Peter Gourlay, President of MD-AEP. "This initiative is gaining momentum in the U.S. and now in countries like China," said Gourlay. Throughout Asia, a great majority of industrial pollution is coming from small-to medium- sized industry.
"The percentage of manufacturers that will deselect vendors or suppliers that do not meet their green supply chain standards has climbed from 12% in 2002 to 32% last year and is projected to rise to 76% in the near future," said Tom Murray, EPA co-director for the Green Suppliers Network (GSN), the co-host for the event. The GSN is an innovative, voluntary program sponsored by industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Commerce that works with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their suppliers to provide the on-site technical assistance needed to remain profitable, environmentally sound and competitive.
"MD-AEP is looking to bring this model to Asian countries, in cooperation with the Green Suppliers Network, to help multinationals engage their local supply chains," said Gourlay. "The good news about this initiative is that companies like GM, Baxter, Steelcase and Johnson Controls have demonstrated that they are increasing their profitability while also lessoning their carbon footprint," said Gourlay.
MD-AEP helped to organize the forum in cooperation with the Regional Manufacturing Institute and the U.S. EPA's Green Suppliers Network. The forum provided a platform for both elected officials and business executives to engage in a public-private dialogue on pending climate change legislation and for global manufacturers to share their insights on how they are pushing for cleaner production from the manufacturing supply chain. "The partnerships that we've developed through this process will be instrumental in carrying this model to Asia," said Gourlay.
"We were very pleased with the feedback from this exchange," said Dr. Michael Galiazzo, Executive Director of the Regional Manufacturing Institute. "Our small and medium-sized manufacturers really need these business models to help them develop their sustainability strategies and they need public resources to help defray the cost of climbing the sustainability ladder," he said.
To read testimonials and view presentations from the event click here: http://marylandmanufacturing.info/cms/node/242
About The Maryland-Asia Environmental Partnership
The Maryland-Asia Environmental Partnership (MD-AEP) is a newly formed, private sector initiative which is mobilizing resources and expertise from corporations, Maryland universities, U.S. and Asian government agencies and multilateral banks to address Asia's massive energy and water resource needs. Throughout Asia, government officials are grappling with major environmental management and resource concerns at the national and local level. What is often lacking is a holistic approach to address the gamut of lessons learned and appropriate resources for future sustainable development planning needs. We provide a unique catalyst for sustainable environmental solutions. MD-AEP functions as an environmental research, technology and services hub to connect Maryland's lessons learned, know-how and resources to countries in Asia. MD-AEP takes a sophisticated approach to its business engagement as we look to bridge Maryland-Asia public-private partnerships from a local country standpoint and solve environmental problems with sustainable business outcomes.