Online Program

An emerging role for market transformation strategies in environmental health

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Angana Roy, MPH, Public Health Communications and Policy Practice, The Cadmus Group, Inc., Santa Monica, CA
Diana Degen, MSPH, Public Health Communications and Policy, The Cadmus Group, Inc., Arlington, VA
Richard Krop, PhD, Public Health Communications and Policy Practice, The Cadmus Group, Inc., Santa Monica, CA
Market transformation is a promising strategy for reducing environmental health hazards at the federal level. The strategy encourages adoption of healthy behavior through the free market, for example increasing consumer demand for safer home appliances or better indoor air quality in new houses. Voluntary federal programs aimed at reducing environmental health hazards have historically relied on compliance with non-regulatory standards to drive hazard reduction. Recently, however, market transformation strategies have been employed with great success.

Federal programs that encourage voluntary pledges, or offer regulatory flexibility in exchange for industry commitments to reducing environmental hazards, such as Project XL and 33/50, often coincide temporally with overall trends in hazard reduction, but the data do not show a causal link. By contrast, voluntary environmental hazard reduction programs that rely on market transformation, such as Indoor airPLUS and ENERGY STAR, have demonstrated consistent market penetration and reductions in environmental hazard exposure risk as a result.

While market transformation programs can improve public health, they are underutilized because they often do not have explicit public health goals. For example, ENERGY STAR’s primary objective is energy conservation, but the program also promotes mold reduction and indoor air quality protections. Understanding the success of market transformation strategies and their relationship to environmental health is an important step in moving towards more effective federal public health initiatives.

Using both environmental and market data, this session compares two programs driven by non-regulatory standards and two programs driven by market transformation. The results show that market transformation strategies can lead to environmental hazard reduction. These findings offer insight into how public health objectives can be achieved at the federal level through voluntary environmental programs.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Define the role of market transformation strategy in environmental health. Evaluate the effectiveness of market transformation as a strategy for reducing environmental health hazards in voluntary federal programs. Compare voluntary federal environmental health programs based on their strategic approach.

Keyword(s): Environmental Health, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health policy analyst with a specialty in federal environmental health policy. I provide research support for several public health initiatives across U.S. federal agencies, including EPA, HUD, and NIH. My public health background and my experience in the field qualify me to explain and evaluate the different strategic approaches used in federal environmental programs and discuss the impact these strategies could have on public health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.