Regional Highlights Pacific Northwest
Pollution Prevention Roundtable
October 11-12, 2000 in Seattle, Washington — Full Report

Table of Contents

October 11 Session:

Goals and Audiences
Welcome and Introductions
General Announcements
Total Cost Assessment and Process Mapping Tools
PPRC Review: "How Are We Doing"
Product Stewardship
Salmon Economics: Innovative Business Leadership to Save Resources and Save Money

October 12 Session:

Welcome and Introductions
Small Business Development Centers and P2 TAP's
Think Tank Session
How to Set Up and Replicate Information Networks
List of Attendees


Full Report


Summary of Goals

  1. Day One: Build understanding of ways to broaden the scope and impacts of technical assistance, through tools that reach "beyond waste reduction" to address life-cycle impacts on ecosystems.
  2. Day Two: Explore opportunities to expand technical assistance networks, and to promote lasting change through award and incentive programs.


P2 technical assistance providers, P2 program managers, energy assistance providers, consultants, business and institutional environmental managers


Wednesday, October 11, 2000


dot Welcome and Introductions

To open the roundtable, facilitator Cathy Buller from the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center asked each attendee to describe favorite projects they're working on. Below is a summary:

• Environmental management systems
• Expansion of the Business and Industry Resource Venture (BIRV)
• Working with Environment Canada on sustainable communities projects in the Georgia Basin
• Simplified life-cycle assessment for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe
• Chemical management systems for wastewater treatment plants
• Stormwater technical assistance
• Environmental education for schools and businesses
• Green purchasing
• EPA Evergreen Awards
• P2 for vehicle maintenance
• GEMStars Awards
• Rangeland sustainability
• Climate change
• Sustainable tourism, with food service as a platform for environmental change
• EPA compliance database
• Incorporating P2 into water quality permitting


dot General Announcements

PPRC: PPRC has moved its offices, to 513 1st Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98119. New phone numbers are 206-352-2050 voice and 206-352-2049 fax. The office has green features, including energy-efficient lighting, recycled carpeting, and reused furniture.

PPRC has published a green purchasing topical report, which includes a compendium of purchasing guides, product databases, case study collections, and other resources. The report is on line at

BIRV: The Business and Industry Resource Venture (BIRV) received a three-year contract from the City of Seattle to broaden its assistance services to include water efficiency, stormwater, green building, energy efficiency, and hazardous waste management. The expanded services will be offered beginning in January 2001. (Visit BIRV at

Northwest Product Stewardship Council: A Guide to Environmentally Preferable Purchasing of Computer Equipment has been produced by Seattle Public Utilities and King County Solid Waste, both members of the council. (Visit

EPA: EPA plans to publish a set of case studies detailing the green purchasing experiences of local governments. A collection of federal pilot projects is on line at Also, EPA has published an on-line green purchasing training tool, on line at Topics include an overview, green purchasing mandates, guiding principles, environmental performance characteristics, procurement policies, and federal green purchasing programs. Case studies are included.

To find out more, visit Contact is Eun-Sook Goidel at 206-553-1855 or


dot Total Cost Assessment and Process Mapping Tools

  Rob Reuter
    Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology)

The Bottom Line
Total cost assessment is a tool for informing businesses about all the costs of their production processes, so they can implement effective strategies for reducing waste and improving resource efficiency. Technical assistance providers working with businesses must be strategic about identifying audiences within businesses and crafting effective messages.

Handouts Available
"Seminar Notes for Total Cost Assessment"
Washington Department of Ecology Publication No. 00-04-008


Preface: Evolution of Regulatory Philosophy
The approaches that regulatory agencies have taken continue to evolve. Following the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, laws setting enforceable anti-pollution standards, segmented by environmental medium, were enacted. Those laws include the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

In the early 1990s, agencies realized that media-based environmental regulation fails to address systemic issues. To begin remedying this deficiency, the Pollution Prevention Act was enacted in 1990.

Attention turned to environmental management systems (EMS), which provide a framework for organizations to integrate environmental performance into core activities, as a tool for improving environmental performance. In 2000, Executive Order 13148 was signed, requiring all federal agencies to adopt EMS's. Through the Multi-State Working Group, the federal government, states, business, academia, and non-government organizations are evaluating the effectiveness of EMS's. (Find out more at

Sustainable management systems must make economic sense before businesses will embrace them. It is up to technical assistance providers to show businesses the economic benefits of improving their environmental performance.

Business Audiences
Total cost assessment (TCA) and process mapping are tools to help assistance providers make arguments to clients in favor of sustainable business practices. It's important for technical assistance providers to tailor their messages for their audiences - communicating the right message to the right person. Understanding the psychology of clients is essential for crafting the right messages.

People within a business will have differing characteristics, such as bean counters, internal champions, bureaucrats, skeptics, and operations people. There are three general tiers of employees: top management, middle management, and staff and production people. Messages must be crafted differently for the three groups.

Top managers talk in terms of costs. Shop floor people talk in terms of things. Middle managers must be "bilingual" and understand the concerns of both. Technical assistance providers must use the language most appropriate for the audience.

What are good messages for top managers? They should discuss benefits in terms of supply and delivery chain management, productivity improvement, cost reduction, risk and liability reduction, customer satisfaction, and business partner relationships. Top managers want to see benchmarks that enable them to compare their companies with competitors.

The concerns of middle managers are focused on employee training and turnover, meeting production deadlines, hourly production costs, product reject rates, and waste loops. Costs are typically considered in per-unit terms.

Top managers and middle managers generally have different concerns about employee morale, for example. Top managers are most concerned about costs and productivity. Middle managers who have more contact with line employees are more concerned with keeping employees happy and reducing absenteeism.

Purchasing and accounting concerns should be brought to the attention of financial managers and staff.

Staff and production employees need specific information that will help them improve the production process. It's important to obtain their buy-in, recruit them as champions, and eliminate skepticism by asking the right questions.

Don't be afraid to ask why companies do things a certain way. Organizations can be heavily invested in fixed ways of conducting business. At Canyon Creek Cabinet Co., for example, the firm had typically discarded paint purged from spray coating lines. Technical assistance providers asked them why they didn't save the paint for production. After getting concurrence from its product quality people, the company implemented the change, and is saving $55,000 per year in disposal costs.

David Allaway from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said safety concerns can be a strong driver for change. At a Northfield, Minn., manufacturing plant, for example, a union discovered that workers were exposed to high levels of methylene chloride, a carcinogen. That discovery led to elimination of the chemical from the production process.

In response, Reuter said health and safety concerns are not a primary driver for change, but can be cited in cases where the benefits of change are difficult to quantify.

Mike Ruby from Envirometrics said the world views of workers needs to be taken into account as well. In one case, workers resisted switching from methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) to acetone for cleaning. The hazards of MEK did not concern them, because they were young men who gave little thought to personal risk. They were also concerned that switching to the slower acetone would drive down production rates and reflect badly upon them. They did not accept the solvent change until the production manager assured them that production reductions resulting from the change would not be held against them.

Management Concerns
It's important to get top management's blessing before talking to other company personnel. Get top management's approval with the right message by convincing them that P2 is the best application among competing uses of capital, then move forward.

Assistance providers have to be knowledgeable and push the right buttons. Be flexible, be dynamic, listen and adjust accordingly. Assistance providers will have a limited amount of time to make their case to top managers and get invited back to meet with other managers and employees.

A change in management is a good opportunity to get a foot in the door.

Margaret Nover from the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services said it's important to design an approach that fits with company cultures.

Allaway said some business owners are concerned about environmental impacts and are interested in hearing about the environmental benefits of P2 projects. Don't assume that the only thing businesses care about is economic benefits.

Measurement is vital as a basis for informed decision-making. Metrics must apply broadly, be subject to uniform interpretation, meet an organization's information needs, and be compatible with existing data collection systems. Data collection must be implementable, correctable, and repeatable. It is important to understand the value of quality, such as the economic benefits of low product reject rates.

(Attendees broke into groups to discuss which people in the company ought to conduct measurement and monitoring activities. The groups voted and the top three were the shop manager, the controller, and the environmental, health and safety [EHS] director. Reuter said it's important also to work with the person responsible for managing company information systems.)

The EHS director can serve as an internal champion; the vice president for production will know the capital hurdle rate a P2 investment must surmount; and the shop manager will understand productivity ratios.

Determining Costs
An important goal of a Total Cost Assessment (TCA) is to disaggregate costs that typically may be lumped into a general "overhead" or "administrative" category. Failure to break out these costs and assign them to a specific business process will result in underestimating the economic benefits of implementing P2.

Examples of costs that may be lumped into "overhead" are spill response equipment, right-to-know training, labeling, permit preparation and fees, sampling and testing, and disposal management.

To start developing a TCA, it is important to estimate production costs per unit of product. Some companies measure by weight or by raw materials used. Another common metric is sales per machine hours. For plating and coating operations, a useful metric is cost per square foot or square meter finished.

The next step is to measure the quantity of waste generated per unit of product over time. Such "run time" graphs can disaggregate data and tease out waste trends that can help spotlight the causes of waste.

Process flow diagrams can help businesses understand bottlenecks - points where waste is generated and steps taken that don't add value. It's important to let the company's process people draw the diagrams and discover the problem areas themselves. A "fishbone" diagram is a similar technique for helping businesses understand the points in production processes that generate waste. Disaggregating the production process through process flow or fishbone diagrams enables businesses to disaggregate costs normally assigned to "overhead" and assign them to specific business processes.

Trade associations can be a useful source of data that will enable businesses to benchmark waste generation against their competitors. Technical assistance providers should understand benchmarks.

There are resources available that technical assistance providers can consult for benchmarking data. The Department of Ecology has Top 10 lists of P2 opportunities for selected industrial sectors. The World Bank has developed a P2 and abatement handbook that details benchmarks for about 40 industrial sectors. EPA has developed sector workbooks.

Benchmarking and Waste Reduction Resources

Ecology's P2 Home Page (scroll down for pull-down menu of sector resources.)

EPA Sector Notebooks

Calculating Costs
There are different ways to calculate the cost-effectiveness of P2 investments. Two alternatives are simple payback and net present value. Payback is easy to use and is suitable as a first-cut screening analysis. However, it neglects the time value of money and should be avoided for long-term projects in which a significant portion of costs or revenues occur in later years. Net present value (NPV), on the other hand, considers the time value of money and recognizes that timing of cash flows is relevant to the economics of a P2 project. P2 Finance is a software tool that can help businesses compare the costs and benefits of P2 projects. Ecology provides training in the use of P2 Finance. (To find out more about this program, visit

Risks, such as fire, pollution emissions, property damage, or offsite liability, are not easily quantified but should not be discounted. The seriousness of risks can be rated on a 1-10 scale. All else being equal, if current practices are riskier than P2 alternatives, then it may be wise to implement the alternatives. If the P2 investment is costlier to implement than current practices, but will reduce risks, then managers must make a judgment call on whether the investment is worthwhile.

For example, how would the relative risks of MEK versus acetone for cleaning applications be rated? Both are flammable. However, MEK is carcinogenic and emissions are reportable under the Toxics Release Inventory. MEK also is regulated as a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

Assistance providers should take care to avoid denigrating individual products and discuss them objectively.

TCA Resources

TCA Implementation Toolbox
International Institute for Sustainable Development

Toolbook for Financing Energy Efficiency and Pollution Prevention Technologies
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Industrial Technologies

TCA Methodology
American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Analysis of P2 Investments Using TCA: A Case Study in the Metal Finishing Industry

dot PPRC Review: "How Are We Doing"

A brown bag session was held to assess PPRC services and hear suggestions for improvements and new services.

A summary of ideas is listed below

• More resources for commercial sectors. There are few places that small commercial businesses can turn for case studies and P2 assistance. Examples could include speaker's bureaus, seminars, and investor relations assistance.
• Resources for fostering organizational change
• Resources for promoting behavioral change: the basics, how to inspire people, tips on risk communications
• Articles that can be reproduced for trade magazines, credible sources to which industries can.
• A series of "101" resources providing introductory information helping non-specialists understand finance, environmental issues, and labor, for example.
• How-to-use page for the web site
• Web frames to hold users on the PPRC site
• A send-this-to-a-friend electronic forwarding feature to speed sharing of information resources.


dot Product Stewardship

  David Stitzhal
    Full Circle Environmental

  Chris Luboff
    Seattle Public Utilities

The Bottom Line
Product stewardship is a framework for reducing environmental impacts across product life cycles. The Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC) is working on projects in key Northwest sectors, including computers, apparel, retail, health care, and tires. Product stewardship strategies include design for disassembly and recycling, product takeback, green purchasing, and selling services delivered by products rather than the products themselves. Purchasing specifications can drive takeback. Ultimately, product stewardship will require structural economic changes that create reverse supply chains, which would bring discarded products back to companies for remanufacturing or recycling.

Northwest Product Stewardship Council
Product stewardship, also known as extended product or producer responsibility, is a framework for reducing the environmental footprint of products across their life cycles, from extraction of raw materials to end of product life. The key is to shift price signals so that environmental costs, or "externalities," are internalized across a product's "value chain." An important goal is to avoid shifting all of a product's environmental costs to the end users or to the public at large. Techniques for implementing product stewardship including designing products for easy disassembly and recycling, green purchasing, takeback, and "servicizing," which means using products as platforms to sell services.

The Northwest Product Stewardship Council ( was founded by public agencies, businesses and non-government organizations to integrate product stewardship into the region's policy and economic structures.

The effort is timely, especially in the area of electronic equipment. Rapid product cycles in computers are resulting in a buildup of obsolete and unwanted equipment containing hazardous constituents such as lead, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants. The buildup will accelerate dramatically when digital television becomes widespread and renders analog TV sets obsolete.

The council has produced a guide to help computer buyers purchase environmentally preferred computers. The brochure addresses computer leasing, packaging, hazardous materials, energy efficiency, and certified products. The brochure includes a list of Internet resources. (To download, visit

Some industries have taken an interest in product stewardship. The Midwestern Working Group on Carpet Recycling is working to develop a takeback program to divert carpeting from landfills. The group, covering Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, includes carpet manufacturers, producers of resins used to make carpet fiber, retailers, recyclers, and non-government organizations. The group is working on a "takeback" program in which manufacturers will take responsibility for collecting and processing discarded carpeting. The workgroup also will set reuse and recycling goals over the next decade. Model procurement guidelines will be developed also. (To find out more about the Midwestern Working Group on Carpet Recycling, visit

A question was raised on whether there is a link between product stewardship and green building.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria is a tool for reducing the life-cycle costs of buildings, which can be thought of as an integrated bundle of products. How a building is constructed has implications for the ease with which it can be "deconstructed" and materials reused. For example, siting is one element of the building product with implications for its environmental impacts.

The owners of green buildings can reap insurance and mortgage cost reduction benefits.

Charles Lee of the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence said the northern California communities of Emeryville and Santa Clara are experimenting with one-stop building permitting. The idea is to integrate green building practices into construction and demolition projects.

Product Stewardship Projects
The Northwest Product Stewardship Council is working with apparel retailers based in the region to develop projects. For example, Eddie Bauer is looking into increasing the recycled content of product bags and shifting to reusable shipping pallets. Eddie Bauer's parent company is Spiegel, a German company. European companies are paying a great deal of attention to product stewardship because of government-mandated takeback requirements. Germany, for example, has implemented the "Green Dot" requirement for taking back packaging.

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is exploring product stewardship projects. The company's garment product designer is looking into the use of polylactide polymers for clothing fibers. Polylactide is made from crop-derived sugars. Another possibility is a garment that can be transformed into another product at the end of its life.

Nike is phasing out polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from footwear components.

Albertsons, the Boise-based retail grocery chain, worked with its supply chain to develop a recyclable box that can transport fruits and vegetables from farm field to supermarket produce display. An important goal is to minimize produce damage, or "shrink," caused by repeated handling of perishables. Albertsons is working with produce suppliers to substitute the new box for waxed cardboard boxes, which are difficult to recycle.

The Medical Industry Waste Prevention Roundtable helps medical professionals network and exchange information on ways to reduce waste from hospitals, labs, and other health care facilities. Key medical waste issues include mercury in thermometers and other instruments, and phthalate softeners in medical plastics, such as IV bags. The roundtable is exploring a recycling and reuse project for "blue wrap," a polypropylene sterilization material which can be reused to manufacture building products.

The medical waste roundtable is sponsored by King County Solid Waste, with support from the Business and Industry Resource Venture, Washington Department of Ecology and EPA Region 10. The roundtable has held seminars for health care professionals about chemicals management, medical plastics, green purchasing, and durable and reusable products. (To find out more, visit the Medical Industry Waste Prevention Roundtable at

Product Takeback
The Northwest Product Stewardship Council is exploring takeback for discarded tires. Washington is one of the few states in the U.S. that does not restrict dumping of tires into landfills. Tire piles, which attract vermin and can ignite into long-lasting, polluting fires, are problems in some areas of the state.

A possible model for building tire reuse markets has been developed in Alberta. There, an industry cooperative manages tire recycling and building markets for recycled tires. Washington tire dealers are receptive to this idea. In Alberta, shredded tires are used for road and embankment stabilization. Also, they can be processed into crumb rubber, useful for sports surfaces, mats, and as an asphalt additive. The program is funded by a $4 surcharge on tire purchases. (To find out more, visit the Tire Recycling Management Association of Alberta at

A U.S. example of product takeback is the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, which was established by the nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) rechargeable battery industry to head off a patchwork of state-by-state takeback legislation. One way to stimulate industry interest in takeback cooperatives is for local and state governments to begin "stirring the pot" with talk of takeback requirements. (To find out more about rechargeable battery takeback, visit

A question was raised about automobile recycling. Allaway from Oregon DEQ said Ford is buying up junkyards and plans to establish a subsidiary to funnel reusable parts from junkyards to the automaker. Stitzhal said auto takeback would encourage automakers to simplify vehicle designs, in order to make disassembly easier. As a result of takeback, BMW, for instance, reduced the number of thermoset resins in its vehicles.

A question was raised about lessons that can be learned from Europe. Three observations about Europe's experience are: 1) Mandates work, 2) European mandates have gotten the attention of U.S. companies that sell in European markets, and 3) the European Union (EU) is developing an "integrated product policy" to green up products continuously across their life cycles. There may be elements of Europe's initiative that could be replicated in the U.S., such as disclosure of environmental impacts. (To find out more about Europe's discussions of integrated product policy, visit

Purchasing specifications can drive takeback. Purchasers can require vendors to take back packaging and can specify products that meet environmental criteria.

A question was raised as to whether WTO requirements will impede product stewardship tools such as takeback and green purchasing. Stitzhal said electronics manufacturing industries and the U.S. Office of Trade Representative are fighting a proposed EU directive requiring manufacturers of electronic products to take back discards and end the use of lead, mercury, cadmium and two brominated flame retardants in computers. (See a draft of the proposed directive at

Eun-Sook Goidel of EPA Region 10 said an Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) analysis found nothing inherent in environmentally preferred purchasing that would violate trade rules, but if industries raise the issue, there could be a chilling effect.

Stitzhal said that ultimately, making product stewardship work will require structural changes in the global economy. Today, products are manufactured with multiple supply chains snaking around the world. There is no economic incentive today to create a reverse supply chain - with takeback serving as a vehicle to deliver discarded products back to manufacturers for remanufacturing, and/or recycling into other products.

Product Stewardship Resources


Inform, Inc.

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Servicizing: The Quiet Transition to Extended Product Responsibility

Pathway to Product Stewardship: Life-Cycle Design as a Business Decision Support Tool (scroll down to title)


dot Salmon Economics: Innovative Business Leadership to Save Resources and Save Money

  Karin Sable
    University of Puget Sound

The Bottom Line
Efficiency and waste reduction measures that protect and restore salmon habitat also can deliver economic benefits to businesses. The Center for Watershed and Community Health has undertaken a series of research projects to document those benefits and provide case studies.


Advantages of Salmon Recovery Investments
The Center for Watershed and Community Health has undertaken a Salmon Economics Project to develop accurate, objective, and easily understood information about the benefits of salmon restoration. A series of reports has been prepared for decision-makers and for the general public. (To view the reports, visit and click on "Publications.")

The reports have several objectives. One is to temper concerns precipitated by "sky is falling" rhetoric about salmon recovery requirements. A related objective is to provide an alternative perspective about salmon recovery efforts - they are not unrecoverable, sunk costs, but investments that will enhance business productivity and promote stewardship of the Northwest's natural capital.

For example, the center's January 2000 report "Saving Salmon, Saving Money: Innovative Business Leadership in the Pacific Northwest" pulled together information on waste reduction and efficiency measures that both saved money for businesses and were beneficial to salmon. Researchers gathered 375 examples of businesses in 34 industries. The information was taken from government recognition programs in Washington and Oregon, such as the EnviroStars program in western Washington and the Portland Water Bureau's BIG program. Of the 375 examples, 137 had quantified cost savings, which totaled $42 million in gross savings over seven years. For example, a Boeing facility in Portland cut its compressor energy use in half, a project with a two-year payback which will deliver $92,000 in cost savings annually.

In further analysis, researchers examined examples from nine sectors, and calculated that if 25 percent of the firms in those sectors implemented waste reduction and efficiency measures, savings would total $1.1 billion over five years. Anecdotal evidence suggests that such achievements would be doable. The estimate was based on extrapolation.

The report was not a comprehensive, rigorous analysis. Data was not always consistent, nor were some sectors covered, one example being federal facilities. While resource efficiency can offset the costs of salmon restoration, a larger question was not addressed: resource efficiencies are being overwhelmed by population growth, increased consumption and resource throughput. (For more information about this broader issue, see the World Resources Institute's report, "World Resources 2000-2001 - People and Ecosystems: The Fraying Web of Life," on line at

Three conclusions can be drawn from the center's report: 1) Innovative companies can realize financial gains from eco-efficiency, 2) Environmental restoration may not be as costly as conventional wisdom would have us believe, and 3) Restoring environmental quality may spur innovations that will deliver lasting benefits.

Other salmon reports published by the center and available on its web site include the following:

• "Increasing Stream Flows to Sustain Salmon in the Pacific Northwest: An Economic and Policy Assessment"
• "Green Building, Saving Salmon, the Environment and Money on the Path to Sustainability: Opportunities for the Pacific Northwest"
• "Saving Salmon, Sustaining Agriculture: Opportunities to Conserve the Environment While Improving the Economic Well-Being of Farms in the Northwest"

Policy Implications
Government agencies can use information in the "Saving Salmon, Saving Money" report to encourage desirable behavior change, through information, technical assistance, and financial incentives that will help companies overcome resistance to change. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is experimenting with farm insurance programs designed to encourage growers to switch to integrated pest management (IPM) and to retire cropland in riparian areas.

A policy framework that rewards innovative firms can take a two-track approach. Agencies would set environmental performance targets. Companies that don't reach the targets would risk future regulation and the attendant costs. Companies that meet or exceed targets would get something in return, such as a regulatory "safe harbor" that creates regulatory certainty.

A question was raised as to how the center's information may be useful for property development, a sector that will be significantly affected by the National Marine Fisheries Service's 4-D rule. Green building and development methods can reduce the impacts of construction and land use on salmon habitat. (To find our more about the 4-D rule, which protects threatened runs of West Coast salmon and steelhead, visit

Salmon Restoration Resources

P2 & Salmon Recovery
PPRC newsletters

Salmon Information Center

Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds

Center for Watershed Protection


Wednesday, June 28, 2000


dot Welcome and Introductions

To open the roundtable, facilitator Cathy Buller from the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center asked each attendee to identify new audiences they would like to reach. A summary of answers is below:

• Business champions
• Land use planning agencies
• Purchasing agents and bid specification writers
• Enforcement personnel
• Curriculum writers
• Republicans
• Insurance underwriters
• Small business
• Tribes
• Media and product marketers


dot Small Business Development Centers and P2 TAP's

  Katie Sewell
    Idaho Small Business Development Center

The Bottom Line
Small business development centers (SBDC's) provide management assistance to thousands of businesses with one-on-one consultations and trainings. SBDC's could be an effective conduit for delivering P2 information to businesses, because SBDC's have high credibility in the business community. In 1999, a proposal was developed for SBDC's and assistance providers to work together to deliver P2 information.


Small business development centers (SBDC) were established by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in 1980 to provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. SBDC services are available to businesses with 500 or fewer employees, but usually SBDC's work with businesses having 20 or fewer employees. In Idaho, 98 percent of all businesses are small.

Nationwide, there are 1,100 SBDC offices that serve more than 670,000 clients annually. SBDC's have helped businesses create more than 65,000 jobs. Funding is provided by SBA, state governments, chambers of commerce, economic development corporations, foundations, colleges and universities. Idaho's Small Business Development Center has an annual budget of $1.1 million, including $500,000 from SBA, $252,000 from the state, and $381,000 from educational institutions.

Idaho's Small Business Development Center is a network of six university-based offices employing 28 people. The offices provide free one-on-one consulting, put on training workshops, and conduct market research. Assistance is provided by consultants with small business experience, volunteers and students. Volunteers may include attorneys, human resources experts, and strategic planners. Clients are surveyed one year after receiving services to assess the value of services they received.

In 1999, Idaho's SBDC assisted 1,605 entrepreneurs, provided 18,000 hours of confidential consulting services, and put on 225 seminars. About 40 percent of businesses served were service firms. The remainder included retail, wholesale, manufacturing, and construction businesses. SBDC's measure their impacts with outcome-based metrics. Sales growth of SBDC clients was 24 percent in 1999, compared to 2 percent for Idaho businesses as a whole. Likewise, employment growth for SBDC clients was 28 percent in 1999, compared to 2.6 percent for Idaho as a whole.

SBDC's have high credibility among their clients. Ninety-two percent of Idaho's SBDC clients would recommend its services to other businesses. SBDC's use Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to measure management performance.

A downside of SBDC's is that SBA oversight can be overbearing.

Idaho Tech Help, a manufacturing extension partnership, is co-located with the SBDC. Manufacturing extension partnerships (MEP's) provide technical assistance to manufacturers. (To find out more about MEP's or to contact them, visit

The Idaho SBDC has put up a business solutions web site, The purpose is to help businesses navigate through the government requirements they face, including taxes, licenses, and insurance. The site includes a Business Wizard to help businesses develop customized checklists of relevant regulations.

Issues facing Idaho businesses include hiring and retention, regulations, e-commerce, and drugs in the workplace. Regulations that draw complaints include labor, business registration rules, and environmental standards.

How TAP's Can Work with SBDC's
SBDC's reach many businesses through their training programs and could serve as a delivery mechanism to transfer P2 information directly to small businesses. P2 technical assistance providers and SBDC's could co-sponsor workshops, cross-market each other's services, and help each other meet funding match requirements.

Currently, there is no uniform program of delivering environmental assistance to businesses through SBDC's. There are a number of examples of providing businesses with environmental assistance through SBDC's, however. For example, in an agreement with the SBA, EPA provided seven states with Solid Waste Disposal Act grants to develop environmental assistance through SBDC's. In Nevada, P2 technical assistance is delivered through an SBDC housed at the University of Nevada at Reno.

Legislation to provide delivery of environmental assistance through SBDC's has not fared well, because bills were seen as political theater aimed at conveying congressional unhappiness about EPA. In 1997, HR 96 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Gerald Solomon of New York. The bill, which failed, would have shifted funds from EPA, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to SBDC's for compliance assistance services. The same bill, HR 296, was introduced in 1999 by Rep. John Sweeney of New York, but died in committee.

HR 4946, introduced by Sweeney in 2000, would have provided compliance assistance through SBDC's but with no funding. SBDC's opposed HR 4946 because of the lack of funds, while P2 programs viewed it unfavorably as a "turf raid." The bill passed the House but died in the Senate. (The texts of these bills are available at Thomas,

At a 1999 meeting in Dallas, EPA, states and organizations such as compliance assistance centers, the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, and the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange expressed interest in coordinated delivery of environmental assistance to small businesses. Following the meeting, an Enhanced Environmental Partnership Proposal providing for coordinated assistance via SBDC's, EPA-funded programs (Small Business Assistance Programs and P2Rx for example), and manufacturing extension partnerships was put forward. The approach would be piloted in 10 states, one of which is Alaska. There are four goals:

• Improve access and use of assistance services by small businesses
• Inform businesses of compliance obligations, how to comply, and ways to move beyond compliance.
• Promote adoption of pollution prevention measures and environmental management systems by clients.
• Assist clients in implementing changes.

Under the proposal, the parties would have to develop a cooperative working agreement for delivery of services. The proposal does not recommend shifting funds from existing programs. Instead, it recommends full Pollution Prevention Incentives to States (PPIS) grants, with $2 million to fund the coordinated assistance and the balance remaining for current PPIS recipients.

Eun-Sook Goidel said EPA has some concerns about funding for the partnership proposal, but in general likes the idea of integrating business assistance services and using SBDC's as a delivery mechanism.

Tom Turner of the Alaska DEC said the Alaska SBDC has long had a close working relationship with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. However, good working relationships are not necessarily the case in other states. There is concern that SBDC's would take money from existing P2 technical assistance programs. New money to fund the partnership, rather than fund shifting, would make for smoother relationships between P2 programs and SBDC's.

SBDC Resources in the Northwest

Alaska -
Idaho -
Oregon -
Washington -

Other SBDC Resources

SBA Small Business Development Centers

Association of Small Business Development Centers


dot Think Tank Session

The purpose of the session was for roundtable attendees to network and brainstorm project ideas. Attendees broke into four topic groups: 1) P2, salmon and climate, 2) Working with financial sectors, 3) Purchasing and contracting, and 4) Information management.

Salmon and Climate
Climate change is caused largely by carbon emissions that are not currently regulated. These emissions can be reduced through use of non-carbon energy sources.

Climate change could affect salmon in a number of ways: reductions in summer stream flows, higher stream water temperatures, disruption of juvenile salmon's spring migration, and increased winter flooding that could destroy overwintering salmon eggs. Additionally, climate change could alter oceanic temperature cycles that play a role in food availability. Climate change would be an additional stress on salmon runs already declining as a result of habitat damage, harvest pressure, and hatchery management practices.

Carolyn Gangmark of EPA Region 10 suggested energy efficiency could engage businesses in salmon restoration, because efficiency measures would benefit their bottom lines as well as salmon. Reducing solid waste also would be beneficial for heading off climate change, by reducing energy expended to produce wasted materials, timber cutting, and landfill methane emissions.

Curtis Durrant from the Washington Department of Ecology said plenty of information is available. The issue is how to sell it. Blair Henry of the Northwest Council on Climate Change said the key is packaging information skillfully in ways that will appeal to target audiences. Learning sales and marketing skills for conveying the value of P2 measures could be a training session at a future regional roundtable.

Climate and Salmon Resources

Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington

Climate Change, Fishing Alter Salmon Abundance - Alaska Sea Grant

Washington State Senate Workshop

Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council

Financial Sectors
Banks and insurance companies are potential leverage points for getting businesses to adopt P2 practices as a risk reduction strategy. Commercial loans could be conditioned, for example, on companies adopting P2 practices as a way to protect the assets supporting repayment of the loan.

A barrier, however, is the differing world views of financial sectors and P2 technical assistance providers. Tom Turner of Alaska DEC said that P2 people and financial sectors speak different languages. P2 people talk about the environment, while bankers and insurers talk about money. Both sides need to learn each other's languages.

Carolyn Gangmark said there is a bankers organization that meets regularly in Seattle, which may be a contact point for developing relationships with financial sectors. EPA Region 10 has developed an Enforcement and Compliance On-Line database to provide information on permits, inspections, compliance records, and Toxics Release Inventory data for 20,000 facilities in the four-state region. This information could help bankers and insurance companies make informed decisions about the risks posed by companies with which they do business. (To find out more about the database, visit

Financial Sectors Resources

Insurance and Pollution Prevention
Washington Department of Ecology Fact Sheets

Uncovering Value: Integrating Environmental & Financial Performance
The Aspen Institute

Procurement and Contracting
Before green purchasing can be carried out routinely, a number of barriers must be overcome. Discussion revealed several examples:

• In Portland, the Bureau of Environmental Services switched to billing envelopes with 100 percent post-consumer content and produced in an elemental chlorine-free process by a mill with a good compliance record. It was not easy for the city to identify a mill that met the desired criteria.
• Combined purchasing could drive down the prices of environmentally preferred products, but logistics issues must be resolved - namely, delivering products to the parties in a buying group. Delivery costs may be higher for some parties than others. Preferred products may only be available from distant vendors, so there would be impacts of trucking them to the Northwest.
• Lobbying for environmental criteria in public agency purchasing specifications has not met with much success.

Resources are available to help overcome some of these barriers. EPA, for example has developed a suite of tools on contract specifications. The resource includes 16 case studies detailing how federal agencies have incorporated environmental criteria into their purchasing processes. (To find out more, visit

Green Purchasing Resources

Environmental Purchasing Topical Report

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

King County

Green Seal

Information Management
The primary issue is sorting through the mass of available information in order to find what businesses need without overloading them. There are resources, such as PPRC, that can help technical assistance providers find what they need.

P2 Info Resources

PPRC Resources

Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange

EPA Pollution Prevention Technical Assistance

Small Business Environmental Home Page



dot How to Set Up and Replicate Information Networks

  Tom Watson
    National Waste Prevention Coalition and King County

  Steve Joyce
    King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program/Response Network/Interagency Regulatory Analysis Committee

  Josh Chaitin
    King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program

The Bottom Line
Listserves must fill an unmet information need and be kept fresh in order to remain useful. Local information networks are in place to help different agencies network, share information, and resolve problems.


Tom Watson
The National Waste Prevention Coalition operates a listserve on waste reduction and reuse for a subscriber list of about 320. The listserve is managed with Outlook software.

Listserves are a dime a dozen these days. How do you make a listserve stand out from the crowd and attract consistent readership? The waste prevention coalition puts out news items on reduction and reuse. The key is to find items that will generate response and discussion. A few months ago, for example, a small item on collection of old suitcases for foster children stirred up listserve subscribers. The controversy encouraged people to read the listserve and use the information it presents. Listserves can build a community.

When planning a listserve, a few principles should be kept in mind:

• Before starting a listserve, see if there is an existing one that will fill the need.
• Don't start a listserve unless you plan to maintain it and keep it fresh.
• Respect your readers' time. Check all web links in news items before transmitting.

Steve Joyce
The Response Network is for regulatory agencies dealing with water quality, air quality, wastewater, and land use. The purposes are to deal with complaints about small businesses and hazardous waste management, and provide support to local agencies that provide technical assistance to small businesses.

The network is promoted with good service, communications, and respect for local jurisdictions. The subscriber list is maintained on an Access database.

The Interagency Regulatory Analysis Committee is a forum for agencies to resolve regulatory conflicts, contradictions and gaps. IRAC conducts business through workgroups established to deal with specific issues. IRAC works with diverse agencies working in King County, including the county itself, fire departments, the state Labor & Industries Department, and the state Department of Ecology, for example.

IRAC is promoted through newsletters and a web site. Currently, there are about 275 members. Workgroup communications are managed through meetings and e-mail lists

Two lessons have been learned: workgroups must deliver a product and it never hurts to provide refreshments at workgroup meetings.

Josh Chaitin
The Waste Information Network (WIN) brings together assistance providers in the Puget Sound region who develop information resources for business. The network includes representatives of public agencies, the private sector, and non-government organizations which provide P2 and waste reduction services.

WIN used to put on an annual expo that was an opportunity for businesses to learn about waste reduction practices and network with vendors. Over time, however, attendance dwindled. Exhibitors were spread thinly trying to attend too many similar events, plus businesses said that attending took too much time out of their work days. As a result, the expo was discontinued. WIN regrouped and is now focused on providing resources for assistance providers who work directly with businesses.

Instead of a large annual event, WIN has turned to smaller events. For example, a workshop (held Oct. 26, 2000) was organized to educate lighting contractors about regulations governing fluorescent lamp disposal and lamp recycling options. The workshop was scheduled early in the morning so that attendees would not lose a lot of work time.

WIN works closely with PPRC to facilitate the network and host a web site. WIN also works closely with IRAC, which prepared a white paper on fluorescent lamp recycling regulations.

A question was raised about WIN's relationships with trade associations. Chaitin said the network has worked with the local Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the Autobody Craftsman Association. Trade associations can be an effective channel for delivering information to businesses.

Burt Hamner of suggested using the Puget Sound Business Journal's environmental section as a communications vehicle.

Tom Watson was asked how King County justifies supporting a communications vehicle that serves a national audience. He said that waste enters King County from many sources, so it's appropriate to address waste nationally. About 70-80 of the 320 subscribers are from King County, while 120-130 are from the Northwest.

A question was raised about other useful listserves and communications vehicles. Suggestions made by attendees included:
• PR Wire and Bizwire are channels for distributing press releases (see and
• ENN Direct is a service of Environmental News Network (, which allows users to post press releases immediately on the ENN Direct web site.
• is a useful listserve covering the environmental purchasing topic (Find out more at
• What's New in P2 is an informative e-mail bulletin distributed monthly by PPRC. (For more information about What's New in P2, or to subscribe, contact Jim DiPeso at 206-352-2050 or Archive copies are on line at
• Egroups can be used to create workgroup sites and message archives. (To find out more, visit

Each speaker was asked where they would like their networks to be in five years.
Joyce: For IRAC to continue to be a network that resolves regulatory conflicts and fills in regulatory gaps. To replicate IRAC in Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties. For the Response Network to continue serving regulatory agencies. Watson: For the listserve to be still operating if it's useful, discontinued if it is not. Chaitin: For WIN to grow as a technical assistance resource and cover additional counties.


dot Awards and Incentives Programs

  Carolyn Gangmark
    EPA Region 10
    Evergreen Award (

  Curt Nichols
    Portland Office of Sustainable Development
    Businesses for a Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) (

  Joanne Phillipson
    Washington Department of Ecology
    Governor's P2 Awards

  Alexandra Scott
    King County Solid Waste
    Green Works (

  Laurel Tomchick
    Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
    EnviroStars (

The Bottom Line
By delivering recognition, awards and incentives programs deliver a valued service to businesses that are good environmental performers. Participants in the programs can serve as credible peers who educate other businesses.

The speakers spoke in a conversational format in response to key questions, rather than provide formal presentations.

Differences Between Award and Incentive Programs
Tomchick said awards highlight models of achievement in a one-time celebration. Incentive programs develop an ongoing relationship with businesses. Gangmark and Nichols said the public sees little distinction between the two. It's all recognition. Phillipson said that in awards programs, the sponsors pick and choose to determine the winners. Recognition in incentive programs goes to all that meet the program's criteria.

Audiences Served
Nichols said BEST is targeted to businesses in the Portland metropolitan area. Program leaders discussed developing a certification program, but realized that finding the right balance in criteria - strong enough to mean something, loose enough to be attainable - would be too difficult. BEST awards are given to the very best. Green Works is open to all King County businesses and organizations that recycle, reduce waste, and use recycled products. EnviroStars focuses on small quantity hazardous waste generators.

Business Motivations
Tangible symbols of recognition have great value to businesses. For BEST recipients, it's a plaque signed by Portland's mayor. Businesses like to fly the flag that is given to all winners of EPA's Evergreen Award. In small towns, especially, the Evergreen Award is big news. Ceremonies are important to recipients because they fulfill a human need for recognition.

The King County Department of Natural Resources gives a Green Globe award to businesses whose environmental performance is exceptional. Businesses like the idea of receiving the award and a handshake from the county executive. (Find out more about the Green Globe award at Awards and incentive programs can be a resource drain for agencies, but Tomchick said businesses love awards programs, and the more, the merrier.

According to a business survey, Green Works members joined because they feel it's the right thing to do. Members receive a certificate signed by the King County executive.

When BEST was established, the city of Portland had to hype the program, but now the interest is self-perpetuating. Case studies generate interest. The Office of Sustainable Development sends out two notices inviting applications, then advertises the awards breakfast, held every April. The Portland Business Journal is a BEST sponsor, and the newspaper's environmental reporter serves on the applications review panel. Winners are not announced ahead of time.

Sector Awards
A question was raised on the scarcity of awards differentiated by business sector. Nichols said that some trade associations set benchmarks and give awards, but only association members are eligible. The city of Portland tried to foster cross-sector information transfer on energy efficiency, but found that different sectors seldom communicated with each other.

Gangmark said EPA tried giving awards in the metal coating and dry cleaning sectors, but had mixed results. There are hundreds of sectors. How do you decide which ones to focus on for awards?

New Awards
Gangmark said EPA has 27 voluntary programs, all of which have an awards program. She is working to pull together a large-scale and prestigious program to give awards in multiple categories, somewhat like the Oscars. Only the best of the best would qualify. The idea is to show the public what environmental excellence looks like.

Nichols said too many national awards diminish their value. BEST's philosophy is to limit the number of awards, by giving only one in each of four categories.

A question was raised on whether new awards have to be established to keep businesses interested in them. Tom Turner of the Alaska DEC said the Greenstar awards program discussed that question. The program is developing multiple awards, for solid waste, air quality, and other categories, to get businesses to think of more than one way to improve their environmental performance. (To find out more about Greenstar, visit

Nichols suggested integrating recognition into a hierarchy of interactions with businesses. First, you start with information, which is the foundation. Next up is technical assistance, then financial assistance. Highest on the hierarchy is recognition.

Awards as Education
BEST prepares case studies for award winners. Representatives of winning companies are asked to speak to their business peers, because they are more credible than government representatives. BEST also tracks the composite achievements of BEST winners in energy consumption reduced, water saved, waste eliminated, and vehicle miles reduced.

EPA asks award winners to expand their success by joining another EPA voluntary program, as well as speak to their peers about their accomplishments.

Awards Criteria
Nichols said BEST doesn't use fixed awards criteria from year to year. Just because a company won an award five years ago doesn't necessarily mean it would make the cut today. The bar is raised periodically.

Value of Recognition
Portland publicizes BEST awards in the media and posts case studies on the BEST web site. In Alaska, the Greenstar program runs advertisements on the local public radio stations and provides stickers for businesses to put on their windows.

EnviroStars has purchased transit bus ads. Also, EnviroStars members are listed in a Green Pages directory sent to all new King County residents and to libraries. Some EnviroStars qualify to have King County buy them Yellow Pages ads. King County businesses also can qualify for a $500 voucher that will pay for hazardous materials management. EnviroStars can qualify for a $200 reduction in air quality permit fees, as part of a program King County runs with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. For some businesses, the $200 rebate is a big deal, but for others it doesn't matter much.

Setting of Benchmarks
Past winners of the Evergreen Award are asked to comment on applicants in subsequent years. EnviroStars is developing criteria for landscape lawn maintenance companies, focusing on how extensively they employ integrated pest management. Green Works has strong numerical criteria for solid waste reduction. The program is considering movement toward a WasteWise model, in which technical assistance is the main goal.

Re-Focusing Programs
BEST is tweaked annually. For EnviroStars, applications are starting to drop. More outreach to the business community is needed.

Future of Programs
BEST is being replicated elsewhere. For example, Spokane has established a BEST program. Nichols said he would like to see eligibility expanded to government agencies, perhaps with chambers of commerce judging and awarding the agencies.

Nichols said a Nobel Prize for pollution prevention and resource efficiency should be established. The Nobels are a good model for giving awards. They are rolled out day after day for a time, building media and public interest.

Gangmark said she would like to see a high-profile Oscar-type award for green businesses.

Tomchick said she wants to have a database documenting the environmental impacts of EnviroStars. Also, she wants to see more of a community relations emphasis, with EnviroStars members sponsoring habitat restoration projects, for example. Another wish is working with Small Business Development Centers to get information out.

Phillipson said she hopes the Governor's Award still exists in the future, with a large number of very good applications. Other wishes are a more rigorous application review process and more creative publicity about the awards.

Burt Hamner said green companies have higher financial ratings because they're managed better. That story should be told to financial sectors. (For a bibliography about the relationship between environmental and financial performance, visit



NameOrganization TelephoneE-mail
David AllawayOregon
Rogerio AssuncadBrazil
Mary Bell AustinEPA Region 10
Shirli AxelrodSeattle Public Utilities
Cynthia BaloghKing County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
Tom BoucherWA Dept. of Ecology
Pamela Brody-HeinePort of Portland
Cathy BullerPPRC
Ray CarvethKing County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
Josh ChaitinKing County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
Alice ChapmanKing County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
David Christensen Seattle-King County Public Health206-296-3977
Dave DaviesWA Dept. of Ecology
Kinley Deller King County Solid Waste Division
Jim DiPesoPPRC
Elise DownerCity of Seattle Executive Services
Bob DrakeEPA Region 10
Curtis DurrantWA Dept. of Ecology
John EricksonWA Dept. of Ecology
Matt FikejsBusiness and Industry Resource Venture
Anita FrankelEPA Region 10
Carolyn Gangmark EPA Region 10
Eun-Sook GoidelEPA Region 10
Terry GosneyU.S. Navy
Andrew GreenEnvironment Canada
Karen HamiltonKing County Procurement Services
Burton HamnerCleaner Production
Blair HenryPPRC and Northwest Council on Climate Change
Susanne HindleWatermark Communications
Paul HokansonConcurrent Technologies Corp.
Patrick HoermannKing County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
Jeff HuntEPA Region 10
Alan JonesLance Environmental Services, LLC
Kathleen KaynorWA Dept. of Ecology
Judy KennedyWA Dept. of Ecology
Charles LeeAir Force Center for Environmental Excellence
Gregory LevcunNational Underwater Warfare Center
Chris LuboffSeattle Public Utilities
Doug MartaneNational Underwater Warfare Center
Kellie MarzecCascadia Consulting Group
David McDonaldSeattle Public Utilities
Eric NelsonKing County Purchasing
Neuza NevesBrazil
Curt NicholsPortland Office of Sustainable Development
Alice NorthWA Dept. of Ecology
Margaret NoverPortland Bureau of Environmental Services
Mark PattersonU.S. Navy
Lisa PerleWA Dept. of Ecology
Joanne PhillipsonWA Dept. of Ecology
Charley RainsID Division of Environmental Quality
Rob ReuterWA Dept. of Ecology
Helen RiggIdaho DEQ
David RobersonSCS Engineers
Jonathan RogalskyNaval Facilities Engineering Command
Mike RubyEnvirometrics
Karin SableUniversity of Puget Sound
Viccy SalazarEPA Region 10
Jack ScannelEnvironmental Coalition of South Seattle
Alexandra ScottKing County Solid Waste
Katie SewellIdaho SBDC
Kevin ShupeWA Dept. of Ecology
Heidi SiegelbaumO'Neill & Siegelbaum
Paul StaschWA Dept. of Ecology
Madeline StenPPRC
David StitzhalFull Circle Environmental
Dave TettaEPA Region 10
Erin ToelkePort of Portland
Laurel TomchickKing County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
Tom TurnerAlaska DEC
Tom WatsonKing County Solid Waste
Sara WazewskiKitsap County 360-337-4988
Chris WileyPPRC
Linda WordenKitsap County Public Works 360-337-5783
Jenny YooWA Dept. of Ecology

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