PROACTIVE INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL
Many companies are taking more-integrated approaches to environmental issues, both across facilities and across entire companies. Having established integrated environmental management strategies and policies, many are starting to implement them. These companies are taking such approaches for a variety of reasons. In part, this is due to the changing policy climate, but there are also sound business reasons, such as cost savings, regulatory concerns, company image, and operational flexibility.
Integrated facility approaches address environmental issues by looking at the entire operating system as comprehensively and proactively as possible. Such approaches analyze, compare, prioritize, and address environmental concerns across traditional boundaries—such as different media and issues (air, water, land, hazardous waste, species, etc.)—and across the various functions (processes, products, business units, etc.) and activities (industrial, commercial, residential, natural resource, facility support, etc.) of the organization and/or facility. Such approaches integrate environmental issues into other business and operational concerns as much as possible. These approaches try to examine the various environmental issues across an entire facility and the potential interrelationships among the issues, then to implement actions that minimize the facility's environmental impact.
Such approaches are often difficult to implement because they cross traditional organizational structures, disciplines, ways of thinking, and other boundaries. Also, the complexity of analyzing and addressing such issues increases significantly across different types of functions, media, and activities. For example, comparing invest-