Current and future eco-friendly buying behaviors in the Polyurethane Industry

In a recent consumer study to support the marketing of natural-oil polyols (NOPs) created by Dow via RENUVA™ Renewable Resource Technology, consumers in North America and Europe revealed several important insights into their current and future eco-friendly buying behaviors- 68% said they expected to do more over the next 3 years to make their home more environmentally friendly. While they expect to purchase more "green" products in the categories of household cleaning and personal care, 18-20% were most interested in buying environmentally friendly furniture and mattresses. Dow is working with industry leaders to create a universal metric to measure the true renewable content in finished polyurethane products. In his technical paper presentation, Research and Development leader for Dow Polyurethanes, advocated a two-part solution: adopting a newly defined method for testing renewable content in end-use products, and reemphasizing the connection between final product performance properties and renewable content. Defining "green" in common terms will benefit all players in the polyurethane value chain - from formulators and producers to manufacturers of end products, and ultimately the consumer. Using a standard measurement will help make it simpler for producers and manufacturers to determine what level of renewable content is possible in their product, verify the content level in the final product, and then be able to promote the 'greenness' of the product to their customers with confidence. Dow is proposing to the entire spectrum of the polyurethane industry including formulators, manufacturers, retailers and regulatory bodies, the use of their new testing method as the standard process to determine bio-based content in finished urethane products. Furthermore, Dow is stressing the importance of requesting and providing performance properties of the finished product, along with the bio-based content, when evaluating or making "green" claims for foams manufactured with NOPs.
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