Per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), preventing pollution isn’t just a lofty corporate value – it’s a responsibility. By actively working to prevent pollution, your company can protect your neighborhood, your community, and the environment as a whole. Pollution prevention is also an excellent way to establish your organization as a good corporate citizen, boosting your reputation among eco-conscious customers. But where to begin? Read on for a list of pollution prevention techniques and resources for companies of all sizes.
Pollution Prevention Techniques and Resources
What Is Pollution Prevention?
First, what does pollution prevention entail? The EPA defines pollution prevention, colloquially known as P2, as “any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source before it is created.” Also known as “source reduction” this practice stops waste in its tracks, minimizing the need for recycling or waste treatment. Think of it this way: If your factory produces wastewater, you can spend money to dispose of that wastewater safely – or you can devise a way to eliminate the wastewater entirely. Overall, reducing and preventing pollution is a proactive, not reactive, approach to environmental responsibility.
Why Prevention Matters
As mentioned above, reducing and preventing pollution is an important way for companies to take responsibility for their environmental impact. Taking a proactive approach to pollution benefits organizations in a number of ways. First, pollution prevention can reduce waste management and cleanup costs for your organization, creating a more efficient business model. However, minimizing waste also has lasting effects that go far beyond your bottom line. Preventing pollution reduces your organization’s impact on human health and the environment, creating a safer, healthier future for individuals in your community.
Examples of Corporate Pollution Management Techniques
If you work in a small business, you might think: “Waste minimization techniques don’t apply to my business.” Think again: Pollution prevention includes businesses of all sizes across industries, including those in the consumer, energy, and agriculture spheres. If your business has the potential to produce waste – even on a small scale, like failing to recycle printer paper – you need a prevention plan. Prevention techniques include the following:
- Prioritizing energy efficiency (for example, using solar power in industrial facilities or office buildings)
- Reducing water usage whenever possible
- Working with less environmentally harmful pesticides in the agricultural sector
- Evaluating existing production processes to prioritize waste reduction
- Seeking out non-toxic chemical cleaning agents in an office environment
Resources to Minimize and Prevent Pollution
The techniques listed above are just a few options. Ultimately, the world of pollution prevention is as wide and diverse as the corporate sector. If you’re not sure where to start, consider the following pollution prevention resources from the EPA:
- P2 Cost Calculator: This tool assesses cost savings associated with pollution prevention techniques.
- The Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx): This national network of information centers works to “advance pollution prevention as a cornerstone of sustainability.” The resource exchange applies to a wide variety of industries.
The EPA has other resources listed under its P2 database.
Reducing and preventing pollution isn’t just a profitability measure; it’s a corporate responsibility with far-reaching implications for your business. Fortunately, the EPA has outlined a number of techniques and resources to help businesses of all sizes reduce their environmental impact. The experts at EWI can also help guide your organization’s approach.
Do you have questions about your organization’s approach to pollution management techniques? When you’re ready, you can contact EWI online or call 877-827-9500 for more information. We have in-house experts ready to help walk you through the specifics of your organization’s planning needs. Our team can work with you to ensure ongoing environmental responsibility and compliance, particularly as it pertains to best practices surrounding pollution management techniques and resources.