A Small Business’ Thought to A Global Issue

While I don’t typically like to talk politics, I was disappointed to see that the likely new leader of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee once compared the Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo.

Sen. James M. Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who has served in the Senate for two decades, is an iconic figure to both environmental and energy lobbyists. He chaired the committee from 2003 to 2008. Inhofe, a former congressman and mayor of Tulsa, came to Washington to do battle with federal bureaucrats; in particular, those at the EPA who he said threatened the energy industry in his home state.

In his 2012 book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” Inhofe describes himself as a lonely crusader against an environmental-liberal conspiracy. “First I stood alone in saying that anthropogenic [man-made] catastrophic global warming is a hoax,” he wrote.

Shortly after becoming chairman of the committee in 2003, Inhofe took issue with the theory that increasing carbon dioxide emissions causes catastrophic disasters. “Actually, global warming can be beneficial to mankind,” he said, leading to improvements in the environment and the economy.

His book lays out his belief that the EPA needed to be constrained. Its regulations, he wrote, have long threatened the U.S. economy.

At DermaMed Solutions, one of our core values as a company is that we believe caring for our planet is a moral obligation.

Do you remember the last time a major U.S. city was shut down by a smog alert? If you are of a certain age, you don’t remember anything like that, but if you are a little bit older, you remember, and aren’t nostalgic for those days to return.

In the 1970s, the United States became very aware of air pollution, roadside litter, and the environment. The world faced some difficult environmental challenges, and in this country, we found ways to solve the problems by working together and cleaning up our air, our water, and our land, and finding other ways to power our cars and our cities.

This was led by government intervention. We could have ignored the issue in favor of greater profits, but instead as a nation we did the right thing for the world.

Today, we face a similar challenge, on a national and a global scale, with global climate change and man-made environmental challenges such as carbon emissions and other forms of pollution.

Some of our political leaders have decried the costs to American businesses from EPA regulations, including the concerns from some scientists about climate change. There are many issues that I am not sure of perhaps these politicians are right. But why not err on the side of caution and continue our efforts to reduce carbon and other environmentally unfriendly substances? As a nation we have done it before, and all of us benefited from it.

I know full well the costs associated with “going green” and finding environmentally-sound ways to do business. There are always things that we need to do that aren’t sustainable or that aren’t green. And sometimes there are things that just cost too much and no one is willing to pay.

At DermaMed we have tried to find ways to become a “greener” company and achieve a level of sustainability, for our company, our products, and our community. As business owners, we realize that we may have to do some things that aren’t earth-friendly, but we can invest in other areas that are, until a cost-effective alternative comes through.

In our business it is hard to be paraben, phthalate, sulfate, gluten, and petroleum-free. It is more expensive and our cost of goods has gone up. However we believe that it is better for our customers so we make the investment, evident in our clean clinical dmSkincare line of products.

We have a program in place where customers can turn in their old Microdermabrasion equipment, so it doesn’t go into landfill. Some of the materials within the equipment are not recyclable, but we find ways to re-purpose functional components.

Last year, we brought in Dr. Diane Phillips, an associate professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, to speak to members of our team to inspire their creative input on how to make the company more “green.” She has been a sustainability expert for more than 20 years and is a certified member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

We are also members of the Carbonfree® Partnership Program. Through this program, DermaMed Solutions is able to neutralize almost 160,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from our annual operations and support Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy, forest preservation and energy efficiency projects.
Businesses no longer have to make the choice between doing what’s right for the environment and doing what’s right for the bottom line. Instead, they can do BOTH and do really well.

That is a free-market principle at work. Consumers want to buy from companies they feel good about. One of the reasons Apple has become a dominant business is that they learned that their customers wouldn’t buy products from them if they didn’t become a “green” company, and begin to promote their corporate environmental responsibilities.

The accounting framework of the “Triple bottom line” has also come into play in business – the three parts are social, environmental, and financial. It’s also known as the three P’s — people, planet, and profit, or the “three pillars of sustainability”.

It is an economic burden, but one that we must all share in, as responsible citizens. We encourage others, either in their business lives or in their personal lives, to find ways to take better care of our planet.

There’s only so much we can do, but we still want to do more.


Written by Mark Pinsley, President of DermaMed Solutions

Published by DermaMed Solutions