Industry is increasingly aware that sustainability combines environmental, societal, and economic considerations in product development and that this linkage, while driving improved performance, can pose both a business opportunity and a challenge. On the one hand, innovations make good business sense by bringing new products to supply a growing market demand for sustainable goods. On the other hand, new regulatory standards, such as REACH and RoHS, demand cleaner, less-toxic products which can be difficult to develop economically, and in addition require an agreed upon infrastructure to demonstrate compliance that can also be difficult and expensive. In this paper, we discuss ways in which measurements, standards and data, being developed and deployed worldwide by national measurement institutes (NMIs) and standards development organizations (SDOs), are helping industry to meet the challenges of developing and using sustainable materials. In particular, measurement research and established standards are helping industry make use of alternative, more sustainable materials in the manufacture of a variety of goods, including bio-based polymers, lightweight automobiles and lead-free solders. In addition, we discuss how measurements, standards and data are easing industries compliance with new and emerging regulations, including those that demand decreased CO2 emissions, higher energy efficiency and less toxic components.
Journal of the Materials Research Society
standards, sustainable materials, bio-based polymers, lightweight automobiles, lead-free solders, photovoltaics, SDOs, NMIs, solid-state lighting