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Typically, a little groundwork is required before jumping into P2 implementation projects. In some cases, simple research on off-the-shelf technology is enough get a project going. In other cases, significantly more attention, including cost justification, evaluation of alternatives, and actual testing is required to ensure a P2 solution is going to work for the application.
Often a dedicated program provides greater return with an ability to get buy-in, set P2 goals, establish and promote P2 company policy, and research and justify opportunities.
How Do You Get Started with P2?
1. Evaluate company policy and culture. Incorporate goals, controls and policy/culture changes to empower and enable source reduction. Remember that change isn't always easy - so be aggressive and help to justify changes with cost savings potential and reasons that provide wins for everyone involved.
2. Characterize and document waste streams, including process wastes, hazardous wastes, non-hazardous wastes, solid wastes, and wasted energy or water.
Process mapping, waste analysis tools, and simulation and other systems related/industrial engineering tools may also be helpful.
3. Set measurable goals. An example goal might be to reduce waste hauling and disposal costs by $5,000 annually, or reduce water consumption and process water effluent by 10%. Dow Chemical has a publicly available goal program from which you can glean some good ideas. Also, some environmental award programs and voluntary programs have ready-made goals you can evaluate.
4. Use Environmental Tools and Avail Environmental Resources to identify the opportunities P2 Environmental Tools/Aids
5. Prioritize waste prevention opportunities By considering cost, ease of implementation, payback (and cost savings or cost avoidance), and other criteria deemed important by the organization, such as increased employee safety.
6. Get Going Start off small and easy and cheap—target one or two materials or pollution sources for reduction. Focus first on projects that require minimal capital investment and/or reduce large volumes of waste. Small successes and the resulting cost savings will result in buy-in and a green light for more P2 implementation.
Promote P2 Teach and train employees how to prevent waste. Describe your waste prevention policies and goals, and provide training to employees who must change how they handle materials. Encourage employee involvement by asking for new suggestions and offering incentives.
7. Measure Progress and Tout Successes Quantify and track reductions and cost savings in:
Qualitatively, claim the less tangible benefits such as improved public image, improving or expanding production processes, employee morale and safety, etc. Seek an award for your successful efforts from a recognition/award program such as those listed at Greenbiz.com.
For technical assistant providers, use the P2Rx measurement modules to compile and account for regional successes. http://www.p2rx.org/services/measurement.cfm
8. Reevaluate efforts on a regular basis Conduct regular assessments to identify additional waste prevention opportunities. As long as you continue to generate waste, there are opportunities to reduce it.
The web holds several collections of P2 case studies about specific P2 success stories. You can begin your search at any of the following:
EPA Pollution Prevention Case Studies
Cleaner Production Resources: Case Study Collections
Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange Case Studies
P2 Gems (TURI) Case Study Database Links and Individual Case Studies
Industrial Assessment Center Case Studies
Joint Service Pollution Prevention Technical Library
The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)
The Pollution Prevention (P2) Topic Hub™ was developed by:
Hub Last Updated: 7/10/2009