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Re: Measuring pollution prevention performance: metrics

The Baldrige Model does NOT ASSUME the product.  It looks at all your
systems and rates them according to "best in class."  One of those systems
is the design of new products and processes.  You say you "cannot conceive
of a means of measuring such changes across different industries," but that
is what the Baldrige model does - and does so quite effectively.  I'll send
you a copy of a paper that appears in this current issue of ENVIRONMENTAL
QUALITY MANAGEMENT (a John Wiley & Sons journal).

BOB Pojasek

At 09:07 PM 3/16/00 -0600, you wrote:
>My concern is that all of the discussion has assumed the product.  Real
>pollution prevention may involve changing the product mix -- that is,
>choosing to make a different product.  Borden did this in the early 1980s --
>eliminating heavy metals from their flexographic inks -- providing a
>functionally equivalent product that polluted less in their manufacturing of
>it and in their customers use of it.
>Sometimes, however, changing the product may require more lead time and more
>effort in working with the clients to find alternatives.  Most of the
>examples of product change have occurred for reasons other than the
>pollution prevention value of the change.  Examples include electronic
>cameras -- no development chemicals to manage -- most important in the
>medical industry, and the disappearance of most of the auto industry
>chrome -- for design and weight reasons, rather than to not have to use the
>chrome plating process.
>As one who has studied measurement as a research methodologist and
>epistemologist [earlier career :-)], I cannot conceive of a means of
>measuring such changes across different industries.  Yet, that is where the
>ultimate in pollution prevention must be achieved -- changing what we buy
>and consume so that we cause the creation of less pollution.
>Ralph E. Cooper, Ph.D., J.D.
>14139 Woodstream
>San Antonio, TX 78231
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Kirsten Sinclair Rosselot" <rosselot@ix.netcom.com>
>To: "Jenna Latt" <LATTJ@state.mi.us>; <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
>Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2000 7:33 PM
>Subject: Re: Measuring pollution prevention performance: metrics
>> There's a big difference between measuring environmental performance and
>> measuring environmental progress.
>> I've compared the environmental performance of chemical plants that have
>> similar product slates by looking at potency-weighted releases on a per
>> of production basis.  What we saw was that there are vast differences from
>> one facility to the next not only in how much waste was generated on a
>> per-unit-of-production basis but in how the wastes were managed.  Some
>> facilities were clearly ahead of others on the pollution prevention curve.
>> This is very useful and interesting information, and comparing a facility
>> other like facilities in this manner is an excellent way to evaluate
>> environmental *performance*.  As time goes on, it's becoming clear that
>> environmental performance is linked to shareholder value and I expect more
>> of these types of studies to be done.  However, this is a really
>> and expensive type of analysis, requiring a knowledge of what compounds
>> emitted during the production of each product, what production quantities
>> are, etc.
>> Even within the chemical industry, it would be misleading to adopt any one
>> indicator of production (sales, man-hours, cost-of-production,
>> pounds-of-production, etc.) across the board and measure environmental
>> performance using that single metric.  Using a single metric across many
>> industries would be even less meaningful.

>> Evaluating environmental *progress* for a facility is simpler.  For
>> potency-weighted releases, summed by facility over time and adjusted for
>> production, give a quantitative measure of environmental progress and are
>> fairly easy to develop.  However, a facility can make a tremendous amount
>> environmental progress and still not have good environmental performance,
>> and that distinction must be made.
>> ===============================
>> Kirsten Sinclair Rosselot, P.E.
>> Process Profiles
>> P.O. Box 8264
>> Calabasas, CA 91372-8264
>> rosselot@ix.netcom.com
>> http://home.netcom.com/~rosselot
>> (818) 878-0454
>> ===============================
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Jenna Latt <LATTJ@state.mi.us>
>> To: <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2000 8:35 AM
>> Subject: Measuring pollution prevention performance: metrics
>> > I was wondering whether anyone have information on corporate or state
>> programs that are measuring pollution prevention progress or performance.
>> Usually this is referred to as environmental performance indicators or
>> metrics and goes beyond the traditional SARA TRI data reporting, "pounds
>> released" or emissions reporting. For example, measurements used can be
>> "amount of constituent reduced per amount of product produced," or some
>> other similar metrics. I am particularly interested in what state programs
>> are doing in this area.
>> >
>> > Are there any websites or reports (specifically report names) I can be
>> referred to? I have already checked www.epa.gov and the EPA P2 site but I
>> may have missed a particular report.
>> >
>> > Thanks,
>> >
>> > Jenna Latt
>> > Pollution Prevention Section
>> > Environmental Assistance Division
>> > Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality
>> >

Dr. Robert B. Pojasek 
Pojasek & Associates 
P.O. Box 1333 
E. Arlington, MA 02474-0071
(781) 641-2422 
(617) 788-0288 (FAX)