Novozymes On Track With Environmental Performance

EPA has added Novozymes North America Inc. to a list of companies in the National Performance Track Program.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 has added Novozymes North America Inc. to the list of companies in the National Environmental Performance Track Program.

Performance Track is a government program that recognizes and rewards businesses for exceeding environmental protection standards. Novozymes joins 251 current members nationwide, including small businesses and large corporations in both the manufacturing and service sectors, as well as public agencies. In North Carolina, Novozymes joins fellow Performance Track facilities Blue Ridge Paper Products Inc. of Canton, IBM of Research Triangle Park and Swift-Eckrich Inc. of Wallace.

Companies in EPA's Performance Track Program have demonstrated superior environmental performance in the past, and as a requirement of membership, pledge to go even further in the future. Novozymes North America Inc. has promised to reduce solid waste by an additional 15 percent, increase recycling beyond what is now in place, and reduce the land application of process residuals by 25 percent. EPA and state authorities plan to study these innovations and pass the process information on to others, taking environmental protection to levels unattainable through existing regulations.

Successful applicants to Performance Track must further demonstrate involvement in the local community. Novozymes has been involved in government, academic and civic organizations such as the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. The company supports the local community college's biotech training facility with annual donations and company expertise.

The company's slogan is "Unlocking the Magic of Nature's Own Technology." Starting with starches and vegetable oils, simple acids and bases, the enzymes produced at the facility are used as catalysts to improve the manufacturing processes of customers. Enzymes allow customers to use less energy and fewer materials, especially hazardous material, in their operations.

Novozymes North America Inc. became a member of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance (DPPEA) Environmental Management Systems (EMS) pilot program in 1998.

As a member of the pilot program, Novozymes provided data on its environmental performance, compliance, pollution prevention, environmental conditions, costs/benefits of EMS implementation, and stakeholder involvement/confidence as part of a national database maintained by UNC-Chapel Hill. The pilot program was supported from a grant from EPA.

An EMS is a tool that provides organizations with a method to systematically manage their environmental activities, provides structure, and helps them to achieve environmental obligations and performance goals. An EMS follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and can be used by a wide range of organizations - from manufacturing facilities to service industries, agribusiness, and government agencies. Since implementing its EMS, Novozymes has shared its experiences with other North Carolina industries that are considering implementation of an EMS.

Novozymes North America Inc. is an industrial enzyme manufacturing facility located in rural Franklin County, North Carolina. The plant serves as the North American headquarters for the company, which is based in Denmark. Besides production, the North Carolina facility houses sales and marketing, research and development, technical services and other support functions. Approximately 350 persons are employed at the facility.

For additional information regarding EPA's Performance Track Program, contact William (Bill) Patton, Regional Program Manager, at 404-562-9610.

edited by Sandy Smith

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