When it comes to product sourcing to make sure Canada is as green as possible for 2010 Olympics the world is watching us. I found out just how closely a few months ago.
It seems like ages ago that we did a sales call (St-FXU Sodexo- June 2009) and blogged about losing sales to a cutlery circulating in North America with the word ‘compostable’ on it and the Din Certco logo for compostable. We tracked down the source of this cutlery to a Toronto company called Gallimore. Understandably we were a bit bent out of shape losing sales to Gallimore and Sysco (who sold Gallimore cutlery to Sodexo) under false pretense. Products marked with the Galligreen logo (and later those marked with the Sysco logo) turned up to have so much plastic that they could not be deemed ‘compostable’ (see certification results in previous blogs). Or worst that Din Certco had no record of certifying either Gallimore or Sysco for using their logo on the products( certificate_holder_compostable_products.html ).
But it was particularly embarassing when an Italian company EcoZema, informed us that they were turned down to supply the 2010 Olympics with ‘compostable’ cutlery AND that Gallimore was going to. EcoZema showed us their actually certificate from OK Compost for their cutlery. (ecozema-cutlery-ok-compost)
Our first thought: did Gallimore use the same cutlery we tested to convince the Olympics that their cutlery was compostable? If so that would fly in the face of Canadian Competition Bureau laws. It would be more than just mis-leading.
So, we sent our results to contacts within the Olympics in the fall of 2009. We spoke with CBC. We informed the Composting Council we needed standards in Canada and endorsement of the BPI compostable standard. It was unlikely that the Olympics would change who they were going to get their cutlery from. Perhaps though we could influence the Olympics and Gallimore to ensure that a different cutlery would end up at the Olympics, one that was more like the Ecozema cutlery than the one we tested. Imagine the fiasco if the compost facilities after the Olympics had a bunch of ‘plastic’ cutlery marked compostable ? Not green Canada. No gold medal there. Sometimes you wonder if your efforts have an impact.
Sources tell us that in fact Gallimore did change his cutlery. Just in time for the Olympics.
It’s sad really that a company like Ecozema did not get its cutlery into the 2010 Olympics. They use the Mater-bi resin and did all their due diligence before hand to ensure their compostability claims are verifiable and authentic.
Is this the future of going green? The companies that do due diligence before hand lose the race ? Or maybe they win the marathon…
We recently launched BTP Solutions, www.blessthisplanet.net, to assist businesses in understanding the nuances of being green. It’s a complicated IF you want to do it properly. There are better ways for us to help other businesses, including potential competitors, then this way. Ideally we want all green businesses to go for gold before they start racing. As the famous quote states:
“There are no short cuts to anywhere worth going.” Beverley Sills
CBC Manitoba did a story on this Friday February 26th, 2010. Hopefully more companies claiming to be green will realize our generation is watching green claims carefully. See: CBC NEWS STORY 2010 Olympic Cutlery and Greenwashing