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RE: Industry environmental initiative waning?

Kevin, Karen, et al.,

All very relevant and good points.  I have 2 experiential indicators of the 
interest of industry in P2.  One is applications for our annual Governors 
Pollution Prevention awards.  We are going in to our 17th year.  the number 
and quality of the applications remains pretty steady despite more (and 
hopefully better) marketing of the awards program.  Relatively few small 
companies apply.  There are probably several reasons why.  So that 
indicator is O.K. but not great.

The second is demand for technical assistance.  That indicator is very high 
and increasing.  We see no overall decrease in industry interest.  Industry 
is willing to pay for our services and our back log of requests for 
assistance is longer than it's probably ever been.  We specialize in market 
failure technologies so as not to compete with the private sector.  With 
our current hiring freeze on the state side and reduced grant funding (MEP 
$s, USEPA and others) our resources are stretched.  so we are having great 
difficulty keeping up with demands.  And there are so many great P2 

Much of this discussion has diverted to the effectiveness of various 
programs.  That is a closely related topic.  And I'm sure regulatory 
pressures are an important motivator.  when we get a referral from an 
inspector the company is usually pretty interested in working with us.

So our experience is that the interest of industry in P2, overall, is 
high.  They don't always call it that.  Demand is perhaps the highest we 
have ever seen.  But industry resources are also stretched and their 
attention is being pulled in many directions.

Kevin said one thing especially well, "They don't
want to spend the rest of their careers measuring and reporting how
successful it was."  That remains a big challenge.

Merry Christmas

Gary Miller

the At 10:16 AM 12/18/2002 -0800, Kevin Dick wrote:
>Karen notes that participation in voluntary programs has been disappointing.
>Voluntarily programs typically appeal to large corporations seeking
>recognition.  However, most business are small businesses (about 96% in
>Nevada).  Government environmental agencies are viewed negatively by the
>business community as imposing additional operating costs on their
>businesses.  Voluntary programs require businesses to expend additional
>resources to monitor their performance and report it to these agencies
>(small businesses already spend much more money per employee for compliance
>than large businesses).  Most businesses believe that any information they
>provide (particularly to USEPA) can and will be used against them.  Most
>incentives for volunteering do not seem to offset the downside of additional
>monitoring/reporting and the perceived greater exposure of negative
>consequences from providing this information to the environmental agencies.
>Our experience in Nevada has been that most businesses want to comply and be
>good members of the community and will implement P2 projects that make good
>business sense and/or reduce their regulatory exposure.  They need
>information and assistance to do this, and they want that assistance
>provided with "no strings attached."   They do not want to be the guy that
>raises his hand and steps forward out of the line.  After implementing a
>successful project they want to move on and do something else.  They don't
>want to spend the rest of their careers measuring and reporting how
>successful it was.
>One anomaly may be the energy star program.  However, this program has two
>advantages.  It relies on a competitive advantage for product manufacturers
>that manufacture energy star equipment and the brand development of energy
>star as an industry standard.  The other advantage is that EPA does not play
>the role of the Energy Police, and they do not already impose additional
>regulatory requirements for how a facility uses, monitors, and reports their
>energy consumption.
>Kevin Dick
>Business Environmental Program
>Nevada Small Business Development Center
>University of Nevada, Reno
>(775) 689-6677
>(775) 689-6689 fax
>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net]On
>Behalf Of Karen Shapiro
>Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 1:28 PM
>To: P2Tech@great-lakes.net; NPPR@great-lakes.net
>Subject: RE: Industry environmental initiative waning?
>Like many of the prior responders, I too believe that integrated approaches
>work best.  Voluntary programs (VPs), by themselves, are not apt to lead to
>significant aggregate environmental gains.  Thus, in my view, the best
>"carrot" is backed by a "stick." The size and variety of the stick can be
>tailored to industry/business sectors along with many other factors (e.g.,
>is the facility a good or poor environmental actor).
>Another reason why voluntary programs are not always effective is that their
>success hinges on the participation of many facilities/companies -- it is
>unlikely that a small number of participating facilities will yield
>significant aggregate environmental improvements.  To date, there have been
>many voluntary programs at the federal and state level.  However,
>participation in many of these programs has been disappointing.
>Why don't more firms participate in VPs?  A few years ago Tellus conducted a
>study for the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund entitled, "Do Voluntary
>Mechanisms Work? An Evaluation of Current and Future Program Performance."
>This study examined why firms participate in voluntary programs and what is
>needed to sustain their participation.  In a focus group comprised of
>industry representatives, several people noted that the uncertainty of VPs
>versus the certainty of regulations is one driver for not participating.
>Because participation in a VP incurs costs (including time), firms want to
>know that the VP is not ephemeral.  By comparison, focus group participants
>noted that regulations have greater staying power and therefore warrant
>greater resources.
>Lastly, the efficacy of VPs is typically difficult to measure and many of
>these programs are  designed without giving prior consideration to
>performance measures needed for gauging success.  Even the success of the
>33/50 program (referred to by another responder) has been debated -- while
>chemical releases during the program's lifetime decreased, it is difficult
>to know to what extent reductions should be attributed to the program versus
>to pending regulations, or to what extent these reductions were in fact due
>to P2 activities.  (For a further discussion of the efficacy of VPs see
>Thank you Todd for initiating this dialogue!
>Karen Shapiro
>Senior Scientist
>Tellus Institute
>11 Arlington Street
>Boston, MA 02116-3411
>phone: 617-266-5400   fax: 617-266-8303
>email: kshapiro@tellus.org
>web: http://www.tellus.org
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Rudy Moehrbach [mailto:Rudy_Moehrbach@p2pays.org]
>Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 1:31 PM
>To: 'Terry Foecke'; Katz.John@epamail.epa.gov; Minicucci, Bob
>Cc: NPPR@great-lakes.net; P2Tech@great-lakes.net
>Subject: RE: Industry environmental initiative waning?
>As a P2Tech member I would like to state this has been a very interesting
>thread. I disagree with Jim Walsh that we should not reply to all. Deleting
>some messages that may not interest you at this time is not that big a deal,
>Mr. Walsh. Many of us are being served well by this discussion.
>Terry Foecke, if memory serves my right, the last time I saw Bill Bilkovich
>was at a plating shop in Virginia and you were there also.
>Rudy Moehrbach
>Staff Engineer
>Waste Reduction Resource Center
>Phone 800-476-8686
>Web http://wrrc.p2pays.org
>Check out DPPEA marketplace for waste material: www.ncwastetrader.org
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Gary D. Miller, Ph. D.
Assistant Director
Illinois Waste Management and Research Center
Department of Natural Resources
One East Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, IL  61820-7456
217/333-8942 phone
217/333-8944 fax

www.pneac.org (Printers' National Environmental Assistance Center)
www.glrppr.org (Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable)
www.p2rx.org (Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange)
www.elsevier.nl/locate/issn/0959-6526 (Journal of Cleaner Production)


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