Monday, March 2, 2009

Are green mandates a good idea?

Throughout the European Union, there are green mandates in effect for a variety of products and services from store packaging to home construction. Israeli new home construction must incorporate solar power sources, among other sustainable construction mandates.

So far only a few municipalities in the U.S. have enacted similar measures to ensure compliance with new, more environmentally friendly goals. And a few states have enacted piece-meal legislation to address certain industries. But we're nowhere near the level of our European or Israeli cousins.

In fact, earlier, voluntary shifts into greener building standards here have been largely abandoned as the economy has worsened.

So my question for today is...

Should the U.S. mandate green manufacturing, packaging, processing and building standards or will industries move in that direction voluntarily because of consumer demand?