Category Archives: Sustainability
In this business environment, the need for sustainable practices goes beyond basic pollution prevention. Many businesses find minimizing their environmental footprint keeps them competitive. To help EHS managers be shining stars with their customers and in their industry and community, these articles highlight activities, from the very simple to the more complicated—to help make your business more sustainable.
"According to EPA, the average American household uses about 24 electronic devices, including personal computers, cell phones, televisions, and e-readers. When these devices become obsolete, what do we usually do? We often throw them in the trash."
"The U.S. EPA compiled a list of ideas that businesses have used for reducing waste. Here are some that can be adapted for reducing waste at your facility or office."
- Establish a companywide double-sided copying policy, and be sure future copiers purchased by your company have double-sided capability.
- Reuse envelopes or use two-way (send-’n-return) envelopes.
- Keep mailing lists current to avoid duplication.
- Make scratch pads from used paper.
- Circulate (rather than copy) memos, documents, periodicals, and reports.
- Use outdated letterhead for in-house memos.
- Put company bulletins on voice or electronic mail or post on a central bulletin board.
- Save documents on hard drives or CD instead of making paper copies.
- Use central files to reduce the number of hard copies your company retains.
- Proof documents on the computer screen before printing.
- Eliminate unnecessary reports.
- Donate old magazines and journals to hospitals, clinics, or libraries.
"As we all sat at home in climate-controlled comfort on the hot days and nights of mid-summer, enjoying the competition of the Olympics as our energy bills swelled, EPA was kicking-off a competition of its own."
"There has been some discussion lately that there may be a large outpouring of EHS consulting work as companies acknowledge the need to spend money to upgrade systems and to better ensure compliance to avoid negative public relations (i.e., BP) as the recession ends."
"Yesterday we gave you some startling facts about paper consumption that you can use in your training to encourage workers to cut back on paper use in your workplace. It’s a no-brainer--investing in paperless office training can help your company cut costs. But many companies miss this opportunity to save money because they don’t train workers to reduce paper use."
"Going paperless-- fact or fiction? The paperless office concept is not new; it has existed since the 1960s and ’70s with the introduction of personal computers. The idea was that automation would make paper redundant. But contrary to predictions of paperless offices, with inexpensive personal computers, printers, copiers, and the Internet, paper use increased. In fact, worldwide office paper use more than doubled from 1980 to 2000."
"In its first assessment of progress by 600 companies in meeting the goals of its 2010 roadmap to business sustainability, Ceres expressed disappointment that too many companies are not doing enough."
Ceres describes itself as an organization that “mobilizes a powerful network of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices.”
According to Ceres, the 2010 roadmap defined what a sustainable corporation should look like by outlining the necessary governance structures; the types of engagement companies should be pursuing with stakeholders; and the standards and scope of public disclosure and transparency that are essential to the sustainable corporation.
"In the past, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been treated as a collection of unrelated, often nonstrategic, initiatives in various functional areas, such as human resources, environmental, public affairs, and finance. But nowadays, it is trending as a fundamental and integrated management action, cutting across functions and business processes."
"Corporate social responsibility (CSR)—customers like it, employees like it, and, quite often, executives like it—that’s why so many companies are spending time and money on this business initiative."
"If your facility is covered under an industrial stormwater permit, you know the challenges of complying with monitoring and sampling requirements. Before you start sampling and monitoring, be prepared with an idea of what your industrial stormwater permit requires, and what materials are necessary to meet those regulatory requirements. What types of monitoring are required?"