Sustain Your Business with Pollution Prevention

Sustain Your Business with Pollution Prevention

Are you looking for savings at the top-line and the bottom-line? Consider becoming more sustainable by implementing pollution prevention strategies.

“Companies that implement pollution prevention measures often save money because efficiency is gained in their manufacturing processes, raw materials are saved, and less waste is generated,” said Rick Bossingham, assistant commissioner for the Office of Compliance Support at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

The potential benefits of pollution prevention are numerous. Pollution prevention is good for the environment, saving natural resources and preventing discharges to the air, land and water. Pollution prevention is also good for business, offering the financial benefits of increased efficiencies in the use of raw materials, energy, water and other resources, as well as improving public image and market share. Pollution prevention can decrease corporate liability and regulatory burden, as well as reduce health risks for employees and customers.

Companies are looking past the next quarter’s financials to more long-term thinking. They are moving past simple paybacks or return on investments when making decisions on capital improvements to a more life-cycle cost over the life of the investment. They are looking at the soft benefits such as a more pleasing work setting, leading to less employee stress and increased productivity, and better lighting, leading to improved quality control and reduced work place accidents.

From low hanging fruit such as capitalizing on daylight harvesting, installing motion sensors, and programmable thermostats, to large investments such as complete lighting retrofits or modifications to manufacturing lines, companies across Indiana are seeing the paybacks of their pollution prevention activities. Many Indiana companies have success stories to share.

In 2010, Metaldyne BSM in Fremont switched lighting from T12 to T8’s and added insulating window film. This resulted in an energy consumption reduction of 757,512 kWh and a cost savings of $38,484. In 2014, Metaldyne started a glove laundering program saving $4,500 while reusing 3,339 pairs of gloves.

Quality Machine and Tool Works, Inc., in Columbus, worked with suppliers to return packaging materials for reuse instead of disposing of them at the plant. Overall the company was able to reduce the amount of pieces landfilled from 32 to 1.7 percent and saved $113,964 in landfill fees, which is expected to continue.

Camcar LLC in Rochester is saving an estimated $113,333 dollars per year just by switching out pre-1980 toilets that used, on average, five to seven gallons per flush to new toilets that use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush.

IDEM’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance (OPPTA) supports pollution prevention! By offering voluntary recognition and technical assistance programs, IDEM promotes pollution prevention and other environmental stewardship activities in businesses and communities throughout the state. Activities such as recycling and waste management help ensure that Indiana’s environment and economy are sustainable for future generations.

The following are OPPTA programs and the benefits of participation

The Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention is an organization comprised of Hoosier industries, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governmental entities interested in pollution prevention (P2), as well as the financial and environmental benefits P2 projects can bring. Commonly referred to as “Partners” and “P4P2,” this organization provides a forum where businesses network and exchange ideas, share P2 experiences, and discuss how P2 fits into IDEM’s regulatory programs.

The Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) is a voluntary, performance-based leadership program designed to recognize and reward Indiana businesses for going above and beyond current environmental regulatory requirements. Businesses are recognized as ESP members after implementing an Environmental Management System and committing to continual environmental improvement through pollution prevention and source reduction activities. In return for exemplary environmental performance, members are eligible for incentives, including regulatory flexibility, public recognition, and networking opportunities.

The CLEAN Community Challenge is a voluntary recognition program rewarding cities, towns, and counties for proactively managing environmental impacts associated with the community’s operations. CLEAN members develop and implement a Quality of Life Plan (QLP) and select environmental priorities to focus on during a designation period. CLEAN can potentially help communities cut operating costs while improving the quality of life for residents. Making small, positive changes encouraged by the program benefits the environment and can reap valuable rewards, including decreased costs, increased efficiencies, state-wide recognition, improved relationships with regulators, and financial and regulatory incentives from IDEM and its state agency partners.

DEM’s Compliance and Technical Assistance Program (CTAP) is a non-regulatory program offering free, confidential compliance assistance designed to help Hoosier businesses understand and meet their environmental responsibilities. CTAP staff members are highly-skilled environmental professionals who provide guidance at no charge on environmental regulations and requirements. More specifically, CTAP staff can assist via telephone and email; on-site consultations, training and workshops; and online resources.

IDEM understands the ongoing challenges businesses and communities face in meeting regulatory requirements while still trying to efficiently and effectively operate. That is why we offer our pollution prevention and technical assistance programs to ease concerns, coordinate efforts, create an atmosphere of networking and education, and incentivize thoughtful actions that improve both the environment and the economy

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