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id 00256626.00350112 ; Wed, 17 Jun 1998 09:38:56 +0000
Subject: P2 measurements for sectors - the summary
A while ago I posted a request for info on Pollution Prevention (P2)
metrics that work across industry sectors. Thanks to those who responded,
a digest is included below. In summary, it is as one would guess, there
are no projects that have developed a p2 progress measurement approach
BASED ON MATERIAL FLOWS that works across industry sectors, but there are a
few publications that talk about how it might be done. There are some
working metrics for progress WITHIN sectors, and of course metrics for
progress within plants or processes. The digest of responses is below -
thanks to all who responded!
Several of us have been chatting about the alternative to metrics on
materials, namely simple indicators of management behavior. It's like
this: P2 is hard to define but you know it when you see it. (yes I know
this is stealing a cliche). The most important things you see are:
a) They measure waste creation and management costs (so they know what's
the costs/problems are)
b) They have a functioning EMS focused on improvement, not just compliance
(so they are consciously doing something about the P2 problem)
c) They participation in P2 networks, workshops and meetings (so they get
the best info about what to do)
d) They reduce toxics [as well as pollution and waste] in at least one
area (so they know they can do it)
Rob Guillemin of NEWMOA has just pointed out to me that "these four metrics
fall into three classic P2 measurement tracks:
>1) costs (a)
>2) corporate behavioral (b and c)
>3) waste reduction (d)"
Simpler is better! Thanks Rob. I would therefore propose that, given we
need some ways of determining whether a sector is advancing in P2 as a
result of programmatic efforts by agencies, we could much more easily
measure progress through such behavioral rather than materials indicators.
After all the point of metrics is to learn where to apply the next effort,
and if a company has these behaviors in place then agencies should move on
to other problem areas.
Well that's my opinion anyway. Further discussions are invited!
By the way, I am moving from Manila Philippines and the Asian Institute of
Management back to Seattle Washington this summer, and I have a new email
address: bhamner@hotmail com. I will keep teaching and consulting on P2
and Sustainable Business around Asia, and hopefully the US too.
Here's the digest of comments.:
>Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 16:02:35 EDT
>Subject: Comments on P2 Metrics
>......I liked the four P2 metic categories that you outlined. They do
seem like a
>good way to measure all firms from "auto body shops to IBM."
>>.....From my brief examination of P2 Program measurement efforts, the
>attention is place on costs and waste reduction with few effort aimed
>tracking corporate behavioral changes.
>Also, I'd like to impart a perspective I've gained from a recent
>with Dr. Alexander Ross from Rad Tech. As I outline below, use of
>flow indicators face limitations due to different P2 approaches. As Dr.
>explained, P2 occurs on three levels....
>On level 1, companies gather the "low hanging fruit" with housekeeping
>techniques and accounting practices that improve efficiency without
>traditional production methods. These P2 efforts are inherently difficult
>measure because they represent a jumble of seemingly unrelated activities.
>On level 2, minor process and input changes "tweak" the production process
>achieve source reduction. For example, changing to water-based or
>paint to reduce VOC emissions.
>On level 3, new technologies and processes are introduced that eliminate
>entire pollution problem at the source. For example, the introduction of
>While it is possible to measure the amounts of pollution reduced
>conserved) on levels 2 and 3, this is cannot be as easily accomplished for
>level 1. Furthermore, as mentioned above, corporate behavioral greatly
>P2 success, a topic that lies beyond the scope of materials accounting.
>129 Portland Street, 6th Floor
>Boston, MA 02114
>(617) 367-8558 ext. 309
I have been using a measure of the reduction in the activity-based cost of
operations. This works great in sectors. Companies would look at the
that were eliminated or minimized significantly. What activities are
as a result of not having the waste? What savings are there by not buying
materials that you are throwing away in the waste? What is the cost of
regulations avoided? It is best to draw a "before" and "after" process map
the major innovations in the industry. A focus group can be used to
the activities that are avoided in the "after" process map. This measure
both at the facility and at the sector level. My paper entitled
"Activity-Based Costing for EHS Improvement" in the Winter 1998 issue of
Pollution Prevention Review addresses this subject. I am hoping to have
Systems Approach reprints on my web site in a few weeks. Might want to
it out. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/courses/eh270cd
There is a good way to get around the "not waste reduction concern."
maps of the "before" case need to be tied to specific expenditures
orders) to DEMONSTRATE what changes were made to get to the "present" map
cases. We are using this in the metal finishing category here in the U.S.
They have to go back and establish a base year in 1991 with few records to
so. We are helping them recontruct a process map for that time, and then
having them provide proof (purchase orders, etc.) that the changes made to
reach the current configuration were in fact prevention and not recycle or
treatment. It is amazing how many financial records are kept forever in
storage bins. This is being done for an EPA Common Sense Initiative.
Pojasek & Associates
P.O. Box 1333
E. Arlington, MA 02174-0021 USA
In Portland, Oregon, the P2 Program does not focus on a sector basis;
we focus on environmentally sensitive areas within our community.
Perhaps the group you are looking at might want to consider this
Since we are hoping to write gainshare
agreements with future manufacturing clients when we can, we have struggled
mightily with this problem of measurement. To answer your first question,
I hesitate to point you to an article, since everything that I have read
assumes far more more control of variables than I have ever seen in an
industrial facility. If it takes a single counterexample to disprove a
theoretical construct, these things are dead meat.
I will offer a study that we did for USEPA on applications of
"environmental cost accounting" to electroplating for the purposes of
identifying and analyzing process improvement opportunities. I offer this
not because it showed ECA to be useful; it did not. Rather, I think the
specifics of how we analyzed things like data quality and availability
might give you the ammo you need to back your requesters down.
I think the only progress worth measuring would be on substitution of more
benign inputs in place of toxic nasties. Then it becomes a simple matter
of saying what the substituion was and why it was done. I also with
trepidation offer the possibility of measuring change in input quantities,
--inputs are already being allocated to sources
--inputs can be adjusted for production volume
--the change was a no-brainer, e.g., using too much water to rinse or cool
Wander too far from these constraints and I think the posibilities of
double- and triple-counting the same "progress" multiply like small
>Tim Greiner and I did a report for EPA which examined production-adjusted
>measures of P2 for processes in electronics, pharmecuticals, metal plating
>and paper recycling. Our work focused in on identifying accurate
>units-of-product for the process P2 measure.
>The official way to get a copy is through EPA Office of Research and
>Development Publications Office. Phone USA (513) 569-7562. Fax USA (513)
>569-7566. Ask for document number EPA/600/R-97/048. (free document).
>You can probably also get a copy from Terri Hoagland at EPA's Risk
>Research Lab. Her email is: HOAGLAND.THERESA@EPAMAIL.EPA.GOV
another message ......
>.......we looked at how an individual facility can assess its own
>measurement. Based on my experience, I'd say that its possible to develop
>unit-of-product that's appropriate for a class of industry. E.g., if a
>agency wants to put funding into sector technical assistance, and then
>measure the overall results, I think that's a good way to do it. The
>is, that the unit-of-prioduct measure that's useful for a sector-wide
>measure, may not be accurate at an individual facility level. THis isn't a
>probelm if the measure is used as an aggregate, but if its applied for
>public reporting about specific firms, then they may resist it.
another message from melissa...
>I like the 4 points approach -- from a P2-practitioner standpoint, your
assessment is right on point. I'd like to combine it, however, with some
more specific indictors of P2 progress, because there is a lot of
"wiggle room" in those 4 points, and you don't want to see companies
adopting half-hearted P2 measures and getting full public relations
credit for their work. Or maybe we don't care what kind of PR benefit
they get, as long as they start down the P2 road....
In any case, the the US regulatory context, there is still a strong need
for quantitativeP2 measures that policy-makers & enviro groups can use
to get a sense of how a particular industry sector is doing overall. EPA
is very intersted in "numerical progress" (largely driven by the
Government Performance and Review Act -- or whatever GPRA stands for).
On a related topic, we're developing a software tool that helps
companies evaluate whether their EMS is P2-oriented and whether it has
all the components in it that are likely to lead to environmental
>Research Triangle Institute, Pollution Prevention Program
>Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194
>voice: (919) 541-6154 fax (919) 541 7155
>From: Tim Greiner <TGreiner@kgaainc.com>
>Subject: RE: good reports on P2 measurement?
>My thoughts on the issue are as follows:
>1. Its possible to get a good normalizing factor for specific processes
>a manufacturing plant. Continuous processes are easiest, batch are more
>2. For many processses, finding a well correlated factor is difficult and
>3. "Classes of Industry" or "Industrial Sectors" encompass an array of
>firms running (often) quite different processes. Within any sector, your
>overlap in terms of processes and products the facility could be as low as
>10% or as high as 90% but rarely if ever is it 100%. Another way of
>this is that there are relatively few firms that are direct competitors in
>any market within a geographic area.
>4. Based on 1-3 above, I think it would be possible but difficult to
>develop a sector measurement tool -- the fact is is that no one has tried
>to my knowlege!
>The Northeast Waste Management Officials Association (NEWMOA) just
>study of P2 Progress in the Northeast (the draft was recently sent out for
>review). The report documents state and local P2 program activity in
>states (New England, New Jersey and New York). In addition to providing
>overview of P2 program funding, the report describes and quantifies P2
>activities in the following areas:
> - Technical assistance
> - Site visits
> - Workshops and conferences
> - Clearinghouses and publications
> - Financial assistance
> - Compliance assistance
> - Regulatory integration
> - Multi-media inspections
> - Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)
> - Facility planning
> - Innovative and voluntary programs
> - Governor Award programs
> - Clean State programs
> - P2 partnerships
> - P2 program Funding
>To write the report NEWMOA conducted a survey and examined numerous
>and reports that measured P2 program activities, outputs and outcomes.
>Because P2 metric practices are not standardized, measurement approaches
>followed the same theme but vary on most of the details. Also, I did not
>an industry specific approach to P2 metrics. For example, a P2 programs
>measured source reduction achievements by metal finishers, printers,
>mills, etc., with the same set of metrics.
>I'm sure that industry specific P2 metrics could be designed but I haven't
>seen any examples. Some issues to be considered would include emission
>pollution measurement units (e.g., pounds, gallons), production units, and
>If you are looking for a comprehensive study of a single P2 program, I
>you look at the 1997 publication "Evaluating Progress: A Report on the
>Findings of the Massachusetts Toxic Use Reduction Program Evaluation."
>Jersey has also completed an evaluation of their facility planning
>I also suggest that you look at the 1996 TURI report "Measuring Progress
>Toxics Use Reduction and Pollution Prevention." It discusses many key P2
>metric issues. Contact the Toxic Use Reduction Institute (TURI) for
>If you want to design a P2 metrics program, the book "Pollution
>Practical Guide for State and Local Government," has a chapter called
>"Measuring Pollution Prevention Progress" (Edited by David Wigglesworth,
>that outlines some basic principles that P2 programs and companies should
>129 Portland Street, 6th Floor
>Boston, MA 02114
>(617) 367-8558 ext. 309
>From: Ed Cohen-Rosenthal <email@example.com>
>Organization: Work and Environment Initiative
>Subject: Re: Help needed on organizational practices for waste
>We actually have done the analysis on this early 90's TRI data and it is
>available under the employee participation section of the Work and
>Initiative website at www.cfe.cornell.edu/wei. Hope you find it helpful.
>Mark K Atlas wrote:
>> Excerpts from mail: 20-May-98 Help needed on organization.. by Peter
>> > I'm currently writing a paper in which I want to discuss the ways in
>> > companies went about waste reduction and emissions reduction in the
>> > 1990's.
>> > My presumption is that the majority of firms did it with a mix of:
>> > 1) Task forces (possibly engineer-dominated) directed at emissions
>> > 2) Problem-solving groups (possibly worker-dominated) directed at
>> > continuous improvement.
>> > If this is the case, I'd like to demonstrate it. If it is not the
>> > I'd like to understand what did go on.
>> > It's relatively easy to show that there was a normative consensus
>> > industry that TQM/TQEM techniques represented "best practice". The
>> > question is, what did firms actually do.
>> > Does anyone know of any studies which would let me get at these
>> > Ideally I'm looking for large-scale cross sectional studies within an
>> > industry.
>> A source of data that may be of some use in answering your question
>> is the U.S. Toxics Release Inventory ("TRI"). Manufacturing facilities
>> using certain chemicals above certain amounts must annually report
>> certain information about their management of such chemicals. Since
>> 1991, facilities must indicate whether they engaged in source reduction
>> activities (broken down into dozens of categories) for those chemicals
>> and, if so, the methods by which they identified those source reduction
>> opportunities. The methods reported are the following:
>> - Internal pollution prevention opportunity audit(s)
>> - External pollution prevention opportunity audit(s)
>> - Materials balance audits
>> - Participative team management
>> - Employee recommendation (independent of a formal company program)
>> - Employee recommendation (under a formal company program)
>> - State government technical assistance program
>> - Federal government technical assistance program
>> - Trade association/industry technical assistance program
>> - Vendor assistance
>> - Other
>> Thus, you may be able to use at least some of these cateogries to
>> explore your organizational theories. For 1991 to 1995 (the most recent
>> year for which TRI data are currently available), there are about
>> 160,000 reports of source reduction activities and the corresponding
>> method(s) by which they were identified. This information is linked to
>> specific chemicals at specific facilities during specific years. TRI
>> facilities are not representative of all U.S. waste-generating
>> facilities and, because most TRI facilities only report information on
>> one or two chemicals each, a facility's TRI information is not
>> exhaustive or representative of all of its chemicals, wastes, or
>> pollution prevention activities. Keeping these limitations in mind,
>> however, you may still find the data useful (and with 160,000
>> observations, you are likely to find something statistically
>> There is another database which lists the source reduction actions
>> of large U.S. hazardous waste generation facilities, though not the
>> methods that they used to identify those opportunities. Over 80,000
>> source reduction actions from 1989 to 1995 (the most recent year for
>> which the data are currently available) are reported there and, like the
>> TRI data, are linked to specific waste streams at specific facilities
>> during specific years.
>> All of these data are easily and freely retrievable from a telnet
>> site. If you would like more information on how to do so, just let me
>Director, Work and Environment Initiative
>School of Industrial and Labor Relations
>Ithaca NY 14853
>phone: 607-255-8160 fax: 607-255-8207
I would encourage you
>to access the EPA's Design for the Environment Printed Wiring Board
>home page (http://es.inel.gov/dfe) which has surveyed the PWB industry
>the last few years.
>It may give you a feel as to which metrics are being used to measure the
>performance of the PWB industry. The survey results document is
I*m in EPA*s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program. In case you*re not
familiar with it, DfE is a sector-based partnership program that promotes
P2 through incorporating environmental considerations into the design of
products, processes, and technical and management systems. Although DfE
currently doesn*t have any publications on P2 measurement, I wanted to
refer you to a report I found helpful and pass along some things to
consider when deciding how to measure P2.
As a starting point, I recommend you look at EPA*s recent report entitled,
*Pollution Prevention 1997 - A National Progress Report.* Chapter 7 is
devoted to measuring P2. The rest of the book gives a solid overview of P2
and its complexities. The book is also a great reference of *who*s who* in
P2. You should be able to find contact names in organizations and
companies who are involved in P2 in the sectors in which you are most
interested. You can order this book by calling EPA*s P2 Information
Clearinghouse at 202-260-1023. Ask for document # EPA 742-R-97-00.
Off the top of my head, here are some things to consider when developing P2
measures for industry sectors:
1) P2 is multi-faceted. Therefore, use multiple measures that capture
2) Many commonly used measures reflect the amount of pollution reduced, as
opposed to the amount prevented. *Reduced pollution* measures include the
actual change or percent change in the quantity released of a specific
substance. To make such measures more reflective of the amount prevented,
one should adjust them to reflect the level of activity or output. Two
ways to do this are through indexing and using ratios (emissions/volume of
output). Then compare these adjusted measures before and after the P2
3) Try to develop a multi-media measure that captures pollution prevented
through all media (air, land, and water). As you know, reduced water
emissions may mean increased air emissions and not P2.
4) Similarly, one could develop multi-chemical measures. Such measures
could take into account the relative hazard of each chemical. The Indiana
Pollution Prevention and Safe Materials Institute has developed a P2
measurement that incorporates hazard rankings for chemicals.
5) Use input or technology change measures. For sectors where there is
little pollution information available, or if the particular P2 program you
are evaluating addresses a relatively small part of the sector*s overall
activity, input and tech change measures may be not only easiest to use,
but also very appropriate. One example of an input measure is the percent
increase in use of a cleaner solvent. This could be tracked by unit sales
of that technology (adjusted for overall growth of that technology
6) Finally, evaluate each particular P2 effort. Were the right people
reached? Was the information provided effective? If p2 practices were not
implemented, why not?
I hope this helps!
Design for the Environment
401 M Street, SW (7406)
Washington, DC 20460
>From: Janet Clark <Clarkjan@turi.org>
>Subject: Re: good reports on P2 measurement?
>Would you like the reports generated during our program evaluation;
>"Measuring Progress in P2" (A data analysis including discussion about
>to use data); two industry surveys; and a cost benefit analysis? These
>really quite interesting, but I can only think of one sector table. Is
>there time for snail mail? You might also ask Monica Becker -- who
>the project but is now in Syracuse. Her address is
>Tellus is doing a fair amount of work on the topic of corporate
>environmental performance metrics and reporting. We are the advisors to
>CERES on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which will have a
>sector-by-sector focus at some point, and I am getting ready to write a
>framing paper on Corporate Environmental Performance Measurement for US
>AID's AEP. We have other relevant projects ongoing also, including
>developing metrics and report forms for specific industry sectors.
>One caveat - some of the metrics/reporting info could be used to
>interpret P2 progress, others not. You would probably have to sort
>through general work on metrics/reporting to pull out the P2 component of
>I can give you some refs if you can clarify what you are working on.
>Deborah E. Savage, Ph.D.
>11 Arlington Street
>Boston, MA 02116-3411
>tel: 617-266-5400 xt 281
TH TH TH TH THAT'S ALL FOLKS!