Magazine article National Defense

EPA Recognizes and Rewards Environmental Performance

Magazine article National Defense

EPA Recognizes and Rewards Environmental Performance

Article excerpt

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Performance Track Program recognizes and rewards top environmental performers. More than 300 U.S. manufacturers and other businesses, including a number of facilities in the defense industry, have earned the Performance Track distinction since 2000.

In exchange for top environmental performance, Performance Track rewards participating facilities by making them eligible for reduced record-keeping for reporting requirements, putting them at a lower priority for routine inspections, and providing other regulatory and administrative benefits.

For federal facilities, including military installations, membership in Performance Track also helps fulfill the spirit and intent of Executive Order 13148 (Greening the Government Through Leadership in Environmental Management). This important mandate requires federal agencies to provide leadership in the development and implementation of environmental management systems that help organizations sustain or exceed compliance with environmental regulations.

Performance Track members receive public recognition through venues such as feature articles and the EPA website, as well as use of the Performance Track logo. Other benefits include information sessions with senior EPA officials, bi-monthly telephone seminars and special-invitation conferences.

Continual improvements in energy efficiency, reductions in materials and water use, and reductions in solid and hazardous waste all can produce significant, direct cost savings in the aggregates industry or any other. For example, Performance Track member Johnson & Johnson has saved more than $800 million since 1991 by reducing its product packaging. "It's a classic win-win," says Karl F. Schmidt, the company's vice president for worldwide environmental affairs. "What's good for the environment actually can improve our competitiveness."

Lockheed Martin also is a participant. "We're not doing anything new in the performance Track program that we wouldn't have done on our own already," says David Gunnarson, the company's environmental program manager. "The difference is that being in the program allows us to take advantage of the benefits and recognition that come with Performance Track."

Building a stronger relationship with EPA and other regulators is another factor that motivates some facilities to apply for membership in the program. "In the two years that we've been members of Performance Track, we've noticed a tremendous increase in the working relationship with folks at [EPA]," says Gary Weinrick, environmental services manager at BMW Manufacturing Corp.

Performance Track is open to facilities of all types, sizes, and complexity, public or private, manufacturing or service-oriented. …

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