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By Benita Mehta,

ISHN Chief Editor

What does sustainability mean to you?  

Innovative solutions are developing as PPE manufacturers consider their environmental impact


         s humans turn to more sustainable way of utilizing resources to protect the earth, those in the occupational safety and health sphere are taking notice. More companies are turning to more sustainable PPE options, and many companies are responding with various strategies to make their PPE more sustainable.
    At this year’s A + A Safety Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany, one of the major focal topics is on sustainability. They have hosted a few expert talks so far this year to discuss global sustainability solutions and practices. They have a free whitepaper available to everyone detailing their most recent talk from June 20, 2023. Download it here.

PPE and sustainability
The following is an excerpt from A + A’s research on sustainability and PPE.
    By definition, PPE serves to protect people wearing it from health hazards. The word sustainability, on the other hand, is not a standardized technical term, but combines many characteristics — for example, the emissions caused during production, the recyclability of a product, or the social responsibility of the company. So where do you start if you want to buy or produce sustainable PPE?
    “There are numerous ways and approaches to make protective clothing more sustainable. The company uvex, for example, has developed a workwear collection that is completely compostable. This includes not only the fabric, but also the dyes, yarns and buttons — everything decomposes after 400 days. The company promises that this can be achieved in an industrial composting plant as well as on the compost at home. The collection is Cradle to Cradle gold certified. During this certification process, the criteria of material health, recyclability, clean air and climate protection are confirmed. Responsible use of soil and water as well as social justice are also closely examined and subsequently evaluated.
    Digitalization can also offer approaches for improving the traceability of a product's sustainability. The European Commission has been planning the introduction of a digital product passport since March 2022. It could be a big step towards obliging manufacturers to incorporate more sustainability on different levels and is envisioned to record data generated from the production of a product until its end of life. The reason for the development of the digital product passport is the European Green Deal, with which the European Commission wants to create the transition to a resource-efficient and competitive economy. In the course of this, sustainable products are to become the standard in Europe, circular business models promoted and the green transformation advanced.
    For manufacturers and companies, this means developing and implementing new norms and standards. This includes, among other things, the proposal for an eco-design regulation for sustainable products. It is intended to make products recyclable, repairable, easier to maintain and refurbished.”

Photo: Sakorn Sukkasemsakorn/ iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images.

Leviton’s Sustainability Report
Leviton released its first Sustainability Report highlighting progress through fiscal year 2022 toward the company’s goal of achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2030. This goal serves as the central focus of Leviton’s unified sustainability program, developed in 2022 and termed CN2030. The program is comprised of five action categories in which the company is poised to make the greatest impact across all business units. Carbon and Energy Reduction, Innovation, Reducing Jobsite Waste, Maximizing Recycling, and Water Stewardship. The report details commitments and progress made, including the following highlights:
    • Leviton realized an 11% drop in overall CO2e emissions across Scopes 1, 2, and selected Scope 3 from 2021 to 2022.
    • Leviton Manufacturing of Canada ULC operation achieved carbon neutrality, more than two years ahead of schedule.
    • Leviton’s Lighting and Controls business unit enabled customers to reduce an estimated two million metric tons of CO2e emissions per year*
    • The company instituted Sustainably Smart Packaging to reduce jobsite waste
    • Leviton appointed its first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)
    • To read the full report, click here.


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VOL. 57  NO. 7