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I am conducting a research project at Harvard University on companies that
have publicly-stated ZERO waste goals.  It is surprising that there are a
significant number of firms that have put these goals on their Internet
sites.  I have been trying to find out what they mean by zero (it may not
actually mean zero in the sense that you think) and how these companies are
working to get there.  I am contacting companies in the same industry(s)
that have set "percentage goals" instead of a zero goal.  They will be
questioned about how they selected their goals and why they are not trying
for zero.  In these days of Six Sigma (3.4 defects per million operations)
quality, zero (or very, very small) is not looking as tough for many
companies.  By the way, Dow announced last week that it too will seek Six
Sigma in its operations, including environmental.  Very interesting stuff.

My question is:  Do any of you work with a company or facility where the
environmental "goal" has been set at zero waste?  Many companies have set
zero accidents and incidents goals and zero landfilling goals.  The
Chemical Manufacturers Association has just revised its Responsible Care
program to include "will make continuous progress toward the vision of NO
accidents, injuries, or harm to the environment.."  Many of your facilities
have a zero defects quality goal.  The operative word is ZERO.  I want to
see how it is creeping into the environmental field.  Any leads would be
appreciated.  I'll keep the list advised of my findings.  Thank you.


Dr. Robert B. Pojasek
Adjunct Faculty Lecturer
Harvard School of Public Health
P.O. Box 1333
E. Arlington, MA 02474-0071
(781) 641-2422
(617) 788-0288  fax