EPA Encourages Sustainability for Employers, Public on Earth Day

As U.S. citizens celebrate Earth Day by taking small steps to minimize their carbon footprints, EPA offers some resources that can help both the public and employers become sustainable partners.

In a special Web page devoted to Earth Day, EPA recounts the event's history, which started in the United States on April 22, 1970 and has since expanded into a global event. According to EPA, over 300 million Americans currently engage in environmentally friendly practices. By equipping this growing army of environmental stewards with the tools they need to meet today’s challenges, America can shift into a greener culture, the agency said.

"Environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility,” said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. “So this Earth Day, make protecting our planet an every day commitment, and together we can create a cleaner, healthier world."

EPA's Earth Day Web page offers ways in which the public can become environmental stewards, and also includes a special page with resources for employers. EPA answers some of the commonly asked questions posed by employees who strive to promote sustainability and efficiency within their companies.

  • How can my employer be more energy efficient? EPA suggests choosing office products (computers, faxes, etc.) that have earned an Energy Star label. This also can help your organization become more aware of opportunities for increased efficiency.
  • How can my company promote environmental stewardship? EPA has voluntary programs that can help companies large and small reduce their environmental impact while also saving energy and resources. Lean manufacturing, which is a collection of methods that help eliminate waste while delivering quality products on time and at least cost, is one business model to consider.
  • How can I reduce the environmental impacts of commuting? Encourage your employer to join Best Workplaces for Commuters, an EPA program that offers recognition for innovative solutions to the commuting challenges faced by employers and employees. This new public-private sector voluntary program offers advocates employer-provided commuter benefits.
  • How do I manage electronic equipment replacement? The Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) is a voluntary partnership program that encourages federal facilities and agencies to produce greener electronic products, reduce impacts of electronic products during use and manage obsolete electronics in an environmentally safe way.
  • What is an Environmental Management System and how can my company adopt it? An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency. EPA implements EMS at its offices to reduce the agency’s environmental footprint by acknowledging the environmental aspects of its day-to-day activities and management. EPA’s federal headquarters reduces the impact of its energy and water use, waste generation, natural resource depletion and pollution associated with commuting and operating its facilities while tracking the progress with its new EMS.

For more tips and resources, visit EPA's Earth Day Web site at http://www.epa.gov/earthday/index.htm.

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