Regional Highlights Pacific Northwest
Pollution Prevention Roundtable
June 27-28, 2000 in Portland, Oregon; Roundtable Report Digest

The following information is summarized from the June 2000 Northwest Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable meeting. A full meeting report is also available.

 

dot Tuesday, June 27, 2000

dot Welcome and Introductions

Attendees were asked to describe a vision of environmental changes they want to see happen in the next 10 years. Answers included reducing our ecological footprint, moving to a circular, "cradle to cradle" economy, educating young people about sustainability, implementation of green purchasing policies, and integration of environmental concerns into corporate management.

 

dot The Big 'Greening the Supply Chain' Picture: What's Possible and Why

Speaker:
Larry Chalfan, Zero Waste Alliance
     503-279-9383,
lchalfan@zerowaste.org

Systemic pressures on the environment are increasing as population and consumption grow. Future generations will face fewer resources, more pollution, and more competition from greater numbers of people. Ultimately, a transition must be made to a sustainable, "cradle to cradle" industrial economy that complements natural environmental cycles. Companies can progress in their environmental management from simple compliance to integrating The Natural Step (TNS) sustainability principles. Oki Semiconductor, which operated a semiconductor plant in Tualatin, Oregon until 1998, adopted The Natural Step. All employees received TNS training. The plant worked with its suppliers and its parent company to reduce waste and use of toxics. Greening the supply chain is best accomplished by integrating environmental criteria into traditional supply chain management structures. Drivers include achieving corporate environmental goals, increased efficiency, securing stable supply sources, avoiding problem suppliers, and improving stakeholder relations.
     Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Greening the Supply Chain via Outside Supplier Networks

Speaker:
Phil Berry, Nike
     503-671-2841,
phil.berry@nike.com

Nike has adopted The Natural Step to pursue the triple bottom line: economy, environment, and social equity. Nike's goal is to profitably produce footwear as a service with zero waste and zero toxics. Nike, in many ways, is a supply chain that brings in-house designers, vendors, and contract manufacturers together. Companies, including Nike, use energy, water and materials inefficiently. There is no sustainable business in operation anywhere. Nike is driving toward sustainability by working with vendors and contract manufacturers. Vendor requirements include takeback and chemical blacklists. Contract manufacturers are required to sign a code of conduct setting environmental standards. Nike's environmental achievements include reduction in VOC emissions, introduction of water-based footwear adhesives, reuse of rubber waste, and reduction in shoebox packaging.
     Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Peer Learning Groups and Greening In-House Operations

Speaker:
Leta Winston, Nike
     503-532-0319,
leta.winston@nike.com

The Oregon Natural Step Supply Chain Working Group is a network of Portland-area business and government agencies that shares information on the environmental impacts of purchasing decisions. Nike has undertaken a number of internal initiatives to drive toward sustainability. In 1993, the company created an environmental action team to work with internal business units and educate employees. An environmental management system was developed for contract manufacturers. Sustainability is being incorporated into all company operations through 65 "captains" who were extensively educated in sustainability concepts. One team is developing a policy to buy paper products only from sustainably managed forests, when price and availability are equivalent. Internal green teams work on self-directed projects.
     Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Public-Private Partnership Examples in the Northwest

Speakers:
Viccy Salazar, EPA Region 10
     206-553-1060,
salazar.viccy@epa.gov

Kinley Deller, King County Solid Waste Division
     206-296-4434, kinley.deller@metrokc.gov

Viccy Salazar: The Northwest Product Stewardship Council has undertaken waste reduction projects with the grocery, apparel retailing, electronic equipment, and hospital sectors. Grocery issues include PVC plastics, paper vs. plastic, used medicines, and pharmacy packaging. Apparel retailing issues include reuse and recycling of store fixtures, PVC plastics, fabric reuse, and takeback. The focus of the electronics workgroup is designing products for disassembly and recycling. A pressing issue is the growing quantities of unwanted electronic equipment containing hazardous waste, which is building up as computers become obsolete more quickly. Lessons learned so far include: 1) different sectors have different supply chain issues, 2) timing is critical, 3) an advocate within the industry is critical to success, 4) flexibility is important, and 5) collaboration can be difficult but is essential.

Kinley Deller: The medical workgroup is developing a pilot project to reuse "blue wrap," a plastic used for wrapping surgical instruments. The manufacturer, hospitals, processors, haulers, and a consolidator are involved. Recovered blue wrap will be used to manufacture plastic siding.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot General Announcements

Candidates are needed to serve as the Region 10 representative on the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable board. For more information, contact Marianne Fitzgerald at Oregon DEQ, 503-229-5946 or fitzgerald.marianne@deq.state.or.us

EPA has announced a Performance Track program to reward businesses that achieve high levels of environmental performance. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/performancetrack.

Idaho DEQ has been elevated from division to departmental status. For more information, contact Charley Rains at 208-373-0112 or crains@deq.state.id.us.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Sustainable Portland: Greening City Government

Speakers:
Margaret Nover, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
     503-823-7623,
margaret@bes.ci.portland.or.us

Matt Emlen, Sustainable Portland Commission
     503-823-7224, mattemlen@ci.portland.or.us

Margaret Nover: The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services is seeking to integrate sustainability into its operations. A total of 73 recommendations were developed in three categories: design and planning, operations, and business items. Twenty-eight of the recommendations will be implemented in fiscal year 2000-01. Barriers to carrying out the plan include regulations, resource needs, organizational culture, and "directives overload." Four messages to keep in mind are walking the talk, painting a vision and acting to make it real, measuring against a goal, and involving others and maintaining communications.

Matt Emlen: The Sustainable Portland Commission (http://www.ci.portland.or.us/energy/spc.html) recommends solutions to sustainability questions. The commission has explored reducing the environmental impacts of the city's internal activities. The commission recommends building sustainability into the city's management structure, focusing on design, seeking third-party certification, and selecting signature projects that will resonate with the public.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Developing Multi-Party Green Purchasing and Performance Criteria

Speaker:
Patricia Jatczak, Washington Department of Ecology
     360-407-6358,
pjat461@ecy.wa.gov

Mark Benedict, Washington Department of Ecology
     509-575-2803, mben461@ecy.wa.gov

Patricia Jatczak: The Washington Department of Ecology worked with the Office of State Procurement to develop environmental standards for cleaning products. The standards, for use by state agencies that have voluntarily adopted green purchasing programs, will help state agency buyers sort through product claims. Products were required to meet a set of mandatory standards. Ranked attributes influenced each product's final standing. Price, environmental criteria, and performance were equally weighted. Bids were awarded in March 2000. Lessons learned include: start small and educate partners, keep good records and communicate, clearly communicate procedures and deadlines to vendors, understand the end goal, strive to find replacement products, learn from others, piggyback when possible, pioneer if necessary.

Mark Benedict: The Washington Department of Ecology is serving on a technology verification panel examining evaluating erosion control and soil stabilization products used in road construction. The purpose of the project is to create a credential that can be used to evaluate products for their environmental and performance characteristics. Tools for evaluating product chemistries are not necessarily easy to use. MSDS's often are not directly comparable.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Top-Down Support for Sustainability

Speakers:
Paul Burnet, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
     503-229-5776,
burnet.paul@deq.state.or.us

Tim Honadel, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
     503-229-5766, honadel.tim@deq.state.or.us

Paul Burnet: Governor John Kitzhaber has issued an executive order directing state government to develop programs that will help Oregon achieve sustainability by 2025. The first step is for the state to improve internal operations through green purchasing, green building, and buying electricity from renewable sources. A broad-based sustainability working group will be established. The state will build partnerships with business, communities, state and local agencies to promote sustainability through education, training and case studies. Sustainability includes environment, economy and social equity, making the concept "safe" for public conversation. It also balances sweeping change with incrementalism, relies on Natural Step principles, and is voluntary for most agencies.

Tim Honadel: Oregon DEQ has started an Inner Green project to reduce DEQ's environmental footprint in the office and in employees' personal choices. Four directions will be taken: 1) minimizing discharge of toxics, 2) minimizing climate impacts, 3) minimizing habitat impacts, especially on forests, and 4) using resources efficiently.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Tuesday, June 28, 2000

dot Welcome and Introductions

Attendees were asked to briefly describe environmental progress made in the past 10 years. Answers included growing awareness that a healthy environment and economy are complementary, increased levels of cooperation in finding environmental solutions, emergence of industrial ecology, and development of new technologies.

 

dot Market Transformation Through Energy Efficiency

Speakers:
Andy Ekman, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
     503-827-8416, x223,
aekman@nwalliance.org

Marty Stipe, Oregon Office of Energy
     503-378-4926, marty.stipe@state.or.us

Andy Ekman: The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, a non-profit organization, is building expanded markets for energy-efficient products and practices, by funding promotions, rebates, technology demonstrations, training, and technical assistance. The alliance is funded by utilities serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. In its marketing, the alliance often emphasizes non-energy benefits that are of strong interest to target audiences. Among the alliance's projects are outreach to local governments through local government associations, and a wastewater treatment technology demonstration.

Marty Stipe: The Oregon Office of Energy works to ensure that the state's energy portfolio is made up of a mix of efficiency, renewables, and conventional energy sources that minimize both economic and environmental costs. The office offers tax credits and loans for efficiency and renewables. Tax credits are available for solid waste recycling projects. The office is developing rules to implement SB 1149, a law enacted last year which opens Oregon's retail electricity markets to limited competition and provides for funding of energy efficiency, renewables, and weatherization of low-income housing.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Improving Insurance Risks Through Pollution Prevention

Speakers:

Becky Accardo, AIG Insurance Company
     206-344-3207,
rebecca.accardo@aig.com

Jeff Andrilenas, AIG Insurance Company
     206-344-3235, jeff.andrilenas@aig.com

Bill Prenger, Durham & Bates Insurance Brokers & Agents
     503-796-1645, billp@dbates.com

Bill Prenger: Insurance is a tool used to spread risks, so unplanned events do not drive businesses into bankruptcy. Insurance companies have a strong interest in their customers' risk management practices. Commercial liability policies today are sold with an absolute pollution exclusion, although buyers typically may not be aware of the exclusion. Special policies can be purchased to cover pollution-related liabilities. Companies that sell these policies, AIG among them, employ technical specialists to assess risks and help customers reduce potential liabilities.

Becky Accardo: Pollution liability insurance products cover fixed facilities, transportation-related risks, and disposal site risks. Site cleanup cost cap insurance can be purchased.

Jeff Andrilenas: AIG is interested in using pollution prevention as a risk management tool. There are a number of advantages to using insurance as a driver to get companies interested in P2. Technical assistance providers can get the ear of senior management, build positive relationships with clients, broaden their industry outreach, show how P2 can deliver tangible savings, and deliver focused, long-term solutions. By working with P2 assistance providers, insurers can broaden the pool of insurable customers.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Investing in a Conservation Economy

Speaker:
Stuart Cowan, Ecotrust
     503-227-6225,
stuart@ecotrust.org

Ecotrust is a non-government organization working to build a conservation economy in western North America's coastal temperate rain forest region. Ecotrust has established financial arms to inject capital into sustainable businesses, work with them in reducing waste and inefficiency, help them find markets, and assist them in developing environmental management systems. Ecotrust is renovating an old warehouse in downtown Portland to advance ecological design, help restore an urban ecosystem, and strengthen rural-urban links. Ecotrust also offers on-line information services. The organization is exploring the specifics of how a conservation economy will emerge and develop, by creating templates describing the critical components of such an economy. Financing a conservation economy must address social equity questions concerning the employees of obsolete industries.
     Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.

 

dot Update on Outcome Measurement

Speakers:
Carolyn Gangmark, EPA Region 10
     206-553-4072,
gangmark.carolyn@epa.gov

Marianne Fitzgerald, Oregon DEQ
     503-229-5946, fitzgerald.marianne@deq.state.or.us

Cathy Buller, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
     206-223-1151, cbuller@pprc.org

David Livengood, Oregon DEQ
     541-440-3338, x230, livengood.david@deq.state.or.us

Carolyn Gangmark: EPA is preparing a GIS-based database that will enable P2 assistance providers to map the outcomes of their outreach projects.

Marianne Fitzgerald: States have varying approaches to P2 definition and measurement, making data collection, comparison and tracking difficult. Oregon's Progress Board has 92 sustainability indicators. Through a contract with the Tellus Institute, Ohio EPA prepared a report on measuring the results of P2 regulatory integration. The Northeast Waste Management Officials Association (NEWMOA) has developed a menu of 40 basic P2 activity and outcome measures that seven states have accepted.

Cathy Buller: In researching the outcomes of a P2 and compliance project, PPRC found that data is collected inconsistently and not categorized by SIC codes.

David Livengood: Oregon DEQ conducted a focused technical assistance project in a rural watershed in southern Oregon. The project planned carefully to understand community concerns and build positive relationships with businesses. Out of 127 businesses contacted, 126 agreed to technical assistance visits. Results will be reported later this year.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


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