EPA: Industry Makes Green While Going Green

Oct. 14, 2008
A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that major manufacturing and business sectors are improving environmental performance to cut waste, improve economic competitiveness and gain other important benefits.

Steel recycling in the United States reached an all-time high in 2005. Chemical manufacturers cut air emissions in half from 1995 to 2006. During the same decade, cement manufacturers reduced their waste per unit of production by one quarter. These environmental trends are highlighted in a new EPA report released Oct. 7 on some of the nation’s most important economic sectors.

“America’s leading industries are not just making beverages and manufacturing chemicals – today they are also producing real environmental results,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “They are proving that smart environmental performance is smart business.”

EPA’s 2008 Sector Performance Report provides environmental profiles of 12 major sectors of the U.S. economy: cement manufacturing, construction, ports, chemical manufacturing, colleges and universities, food and beverage manufacturing, forest products, iron and steel, metal casting, oil and gas, paint and coatings, shipbuilding and ship repair. The third in a series of sector-based environmental performance reports, this update shows the location and concentration of sector facilities across the country, and provides expanded analyses of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The report shows each sector’s environmental impact, including air emissions, water discharges and waste disposal. It also gives a 10-year portrait of performance trends for the nine industrial sectors. For example, air emissions per unit of production fell from 4 percent to 67 percent from 1996 to 2005, representing more than 300 million pounds fewer air emissions each year. Using government and industry data and case studies, the report also shows areas of progress and highlights where targeted efforts are still needed.

The 12 sectors represent more than 856,000 entities employing more than 12.6 million people, and contributing more than $3.5 trillion annually to the U.S. economy. These sectors also represent nearly 15 percent of total domestic energy consumption, more than a quarter of U.S. air pollutant emissions and more than 75 percent of the hazardous waste generated in this country.

To view the report and learn more about EPA’s work with business and manufacturing sectors, visit http://www.epa.gov/sectors.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

10 Facts About the State of Workplace Safety in the U.S.

July 12, 2024
Workplace safety in the U.S. has improved over the past 50 years, but progress has recently stalled. This report from the AFL-CIO highlights key challenges.

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!