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Fwd: Re: How much $ do firms borrow for P2?

I am in agreement with Kelly.  The Systems Approach to P2 helps to clearly
identify the "quick wins" or "low hanging fruit" that everyone missed.
These items can be found in every organization and can be used to move the
P2 program further.  Feasibility studies for the more capitally intensive
P2 alternatives will take time since the barriers to implementation are
greater (customer approvals, operations buy-in, accounting approavals,
maintenance and life-cycle costs analysis, etc.).  Sometimes the quick wins
postpone the requirements for the technological fix.  Because the capital
justification program is long-term in nature, most organizations are
content to work within this system which varies widely from organization to
organization.  Organizations will make process improvements if the capital
justification is warrented.  The only time I have seen a need for a loan is
when a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) forces a P2 fix to be in
place in a short time.  This is not the way P2 is accomplished in most
organizations.  Organizations should not be badgered with "right answers."
They need to institute a systematic approach to process improvement using
quality tools and methods.  "Employees never resist their own ideas."
Using this approach, most organizations can make P2 work without outside
"experts."  The operative intervention is "facilitation" NOT "do I have a
deal for you."  I would love to see a follow-up survey on the Ohio
experience to see if the loans were considered to be financially beneficial
after the detailed environmental accounting was completed after say one
year.  I would also like to have the time to see if similar financial gains
could have been made following less capitally-intensive alternatives that
were ignored in the haste to implement the capitally-intensive alternative.
 Pollution prevention is not a race.  It is a process of continuous
improvement broken only by the breakthroughs that come from careful
consideration of the "lessons learned."

BOB Pojasek
Harvard University

>When I worked for the City of Palo Alto, we looked into setting up a P2
>loan program with the relatively narrow purpose of assisting metal

>finishers with implementing P2 projects for copper and nickel.  A
>Stanford University graduate student interviewed senior managers at
>about a dozen metal finishing and printed circuit board manufacturing
>firms (on our behalf) and found, much to our surprise, that there was no
>interest in receiving low-interest loans, as the metal finishers only
>wanted to pursue loan financing for large projects that they perceived
>would have significantly greater financial benefits for their
>businesses.  For the most part, they told us that they thought they
>could self-finance low-cost P2 improvements (e.g., drag out tanks, spray
>rinse, flow controls, drip boards).  They were interested in grants for
>demonstrating expensive new technologies costing $100,000 or more to
>implement.  We found that even our smallest metal finisher was able to
>install an amazing number of P2 measures without loan financing (using
>parts purchased primarily at a local hardware store--we were very
>impressed at their ingenuity).  Around the same time (mid-1990s), the
>City of San Jose set up a low-interest loan program, which (the last
>I've heard) did not find any takers.  My conclusion is that loans are
>not great motivators or facilitators for P2.
>Kelly Moran
>TDC Environmental
>Burt Hamner wrote:
>> Hi P2 techsters and ONE-L folks
>> Bill Narotski of the Ohio EPA was kind to send me details of their
>> Prevention Loan Program.  I have analyzed the loans they made to firms for
>> various P2 process improvements.  The doc I got reports 27 loans made.
>> were real process/tech improvements and not pollution control.  The average
>> amt was  $175,112, the median amt was  $150,000, min =  $25,050, max =
>> $350,000.  The doc does not report the total investment by the firms, just
>> the amount they borrowed.  It is reasonable to assume that firms probably
>> put in additional funds or in-kind labor to make these work, so I think it
>> is reasonable to assume that the average P2 investment is closer to
>> $200,000.


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