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RE: Assistance for promoting P2 assessments



 

You've received lots of good advice.  I wanted to share that when we
started doing this back in the mid-1980's, we had a very hard time
getting on site.  Two strategies led to breakthroughs.  One was to
select a city with businesses faced with environmental regulatory
compliance issues and ask for help in getting to them from the Mayor,
the Chamber of Commerce, and the local economic development (also the
regional planning) agency.  This led to several invitations to speak to
the trade association (metal finishing, in this case) about our offered
services, and at other meetings attended by those businesses, and a
chance to stress that we were confidential - that was key and it was
repeated over and over again, that we were not the enforcement people.
It was necessary to go to evening meetings of all kinds of associations,
even if just to speak up from the crowd, or to say a few words.
Nevertheless they still didn't see why they should have us onsite
because what did we know about their business?  And of course they had
already done all they could do.  

So now that they knew us, we arranged for regulatory updates and we
hosted talks by regulators and environmental experts on how to comply
with the regulations with which they were having the most trouble.  Thus
they came to see us as a source of assistance. We followed talks on
compliance - which drew them - with information on pollution prevention
technologies.  

And we offered to come on site and review operations partly with the
pitch that maybe we'd find something they could benefit from, but also
as a research project.  Let us come on site so we can learn.  Some
companies then did this as a public service.  It made them feel
magnanimous.  The result was we got on site at about twenty
electroplaters and wrote up a study that showed they were all doing the
same basic operations but doing it twenty different ways.  The impact of
this was much greater than the specific P2 and recycling opportunities
we identified.  The impact of this was that it showed that didn't have
to be doing their production the way they'd always done it. They
realized the process was not inviolable and they could learn from
others.

Then, as a result of visiting many companies, we started to learn how to
ask questions about costs.  Because the companies had allocated their
environmental costs to overhead and had not really thought about how
much a particular toxic waste contributed to their overhead, they had
not recognized that a line using that toxic was not actually profitable.
Secondly, we got many into compliance without having to do expensive
add-on treatment devices.  Word started to spread about us.  The passage
of time is important - it is one thing to say you are confidential and
another to demonstrate, over time, that you really are.

Then, as a result of visiting these companies we gained the expertise
needed to make good suggestions.  This involved learning never to give
commands, but to always just present options in a way that respects that
it is the role and responsibility of the business to decide - not the
advising agency.  It also involved really knowing your stuff and being
extremely responsive and service-oriented.  If someone calls you with a
regulatory question you don't refer them to someone at the regulatory
agency. You say I will call them for you.  That way you learn the answer
and make the point that you are there to serve.  You go to their
meetings and talk so they see you as a person to trust.  If several
people from your agency go to a conference, they should not eat lunch
together - but should be networking.  

At some point, if you're lucky, you'll visit a company that is out of
compliance or in some kind of trouble, and you'll give them an idea that
works.  Then they will tout you to others.  Have fun!

Quoting "EATON, BRIAN" <BEATON@idem.IN.gov>:

> Dear P2 Tech Subscribers,
>
>
>
> My office is in the infant stage of offering free, confidential 
> pollution prevention assessments (on-site).  The large hurdle we have
> encountered is getting in the door of businesses.   Therefore, I wish
to
> ask for advice and suggestions on how to market our services (limited 
> to no budget) and tips on how to assuage businesses' fears of our 
> free, confidential pollution prevention on-site audits.
>
>
>
> Thank You,
>
>
>
> Brian
>
>
>
> J. Brian Eaton, Sr. Environmental Engineer
>
> IDEM - Office of Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance
>
> (317) 232-8188
>
>
>
>



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P2TECH is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network:
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with the command 'unsubscribe p2tech' in the body of your message. No
quotes or subject line are required.
About : http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/p2tech/p2tech.info.
A map of P2TECH subscribers can be viewed at
http://www.frappr.com/p2tech.

This list is managed by the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention
Roundtable (http://www.glrppr.org), part of the P2Rx national network of
regional P2 information centers (http://www.p2rx.org ).




* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
P2TECH is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network:
http://www.great-lakes.net
To unsubscribe from this list: send mail to majordomo@great-lakes.net
with the command 'unsubscribe p2tech' in the body of your message. No
quotes or subject line are required.
About : http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/p2tech/p2tech.info.
A map of P2TECH subscribers can be viewed at http://www.frappr.com/p2tech.

This list is managed by the Great Lakes Regional Pollution
Prevention Roundtable (http://www.glrppr.org), part of the
P2Rx national network of regional P2 information centers
(http://www.p2rx.org ).