Tool brands have been taking steps to decrease waste and increase sustainability.
In 2021, Dewalt launched their new ToughSeries tape measures with eco-friendly packaging. They said the goal was to make all of their packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
I regularly receive press releases and fact sheets about sustainability and other changes companies are making to become more environmentally-friendly.
While looking for something on Amazon, I came across a listing for 3M’s ScotchBlue painter’s tape – I’m sure you know the stuff.
There’s an image slide that talks about its sustainability.
- Tape made with 45% renewable resources
- Solvent-free adhesive
- Tape made in a zero-landfill site
- Tape made in a site certified for energy management
For a product that’s inherently disposable, any attention to sustainability is a good thing.
But will this influence your purchasing decisions?
Would you buy Scotch painter’s tape over a brand such as Frogtape (also on Amazon), which doesn’t mention anything about sustianability?
I should note that Frogtape’s manufacturer did put out a report on their website where they talk about their “getting greener” initiatives in 2021. Frogtape is taking steps to move their premium painter’s tapes to “more sustainable paper and adhesive solutions.”
Some brands have tied their efforts into their marketing language, such as with the Scotch tapes mentioned above. Others share their messaging more with investors.
Stanley Black & Decker, on their corporate site, mentions a 2030 target for going “beyond carbon neutral, achieving zero waste to landfill, and ensuring sustainable water use” across their operations.
Less environmental impact – in general – is better. When hiking or camping, and really anywhere there’s no public trash collection, it’s best to not leave a trace. You’re supposed to leave the environment as you found it – or better, and it seems brands are starting to do this.
ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance – seems to be a hot topic these days, but I’m not interested in politics.
Does it matter to you, what companies are doing to improve sustainability, whether it’s sharing about their factory-level initiatives, or launching products in new packaging?
Personally, I like the direction I’m seeing, but I can’t say it has steered any of my purchasing decisions yet.
I am happy that Stanley Black & Decker moved to using cardboard packaging for their ToughSeries tape measures, rather than a plastic-lined card. But if there’s a product I prefer better, the nature of the packaging won’t sway me.
Clamshell packaging is the worst. (Right?) It’s tough to open and then sits in a landfill forever. I’d pay a few cents more for cardboard or compostable plastic packaging. But would I avoid a product just because that’s how it’s packaged? No.
I received an email yesterday, about how an established European hand tool brand is “constantly investing in processes and new technologies to further reduce the ecological footprint.”
Dewalt sent out an email last month, discussing how they and a partner are launching an AI-based solution and sensors to reduce carbon emissions from concrete.
I have been emailed in recent weeks about sustainable plywood, brand efforts to create sustainable infrastructure, sustainable value chains, energy recovery operations, lower carbon cement, sustainable power and automation, a shuttering robot that uses more sustainable recyclable aluminum side forms, more sustainable work boots, and more.
This is a topic I am constantly peppered with in the context of news stories, but it looks like it’s making its way into product marketing as well.
Politics aside, I want to know if sustainability efforts have steered your purchasing decisions, and how.
I’m probably opening a can of worms here.
Readers have complained about the poor sustainability of tools with built-in batteries, as well as those with proprietary battery packs.
The “Right to Repair” has been a hot topic as well.
If there are two identical products, one in plastic clamshell packaging, and one with fully recyclable cardboard, would you pick one over the other?
Do things such as renewable resources, zero-landfill waste management, energy recovery, and emissions controls factor into your purchasing decisions?
As a reminder, please be polite and civil in comments.