Identifying Systemic Pollution Prevention Opportunities

The next phase of pollution prevention is to focus on more systemic changes. These may involve more capital investment and a major cultural change on the part of an organization—none of which can happen without the support of senior management.

This is one reason why many companies are making sure that their innovative programs are integrated into their core business decisions. The lone environmental officer who focuses a company on complying with regulations still exists, but he or she is in many cases more actively involved in the daily business decisions being made by that company. This is crucial if serious process and operational changes are going to be adopted to help reduce pollution.

Companies are investigating the use of pollution prevention equipment and comprehensive process changes that are less toxic and generate less waste. Utilizing equipment that is more efficient in its use of materials is a common pollution prevention practice.

As stated, effective prevention will not occur without the backing of senior management, whether it be in the public or private sector. Many organizations create an official policy document, or expand their mission statement to incorporate innovative and cleaner production initiatives. Some organizations go as far as making a senior budget officer responsible for their company's P2 efforts. That way, there is a commitment from top management, particularly those who control the company's purse strings.

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