[Post author: Wayne Duke]
When businesses engage in activities that result in improvement of their bottom line and a reduction in their carbon footprint, everybody wins.
Members of the Indiana Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) implemented environmental improvement projects during 2008 and in the process, achieved monumental results. There are 45 ESP business members across the state, each committed to implementing or maintaining measurable environmental improvements, such as reducing water or energy use, decreasing solid or hazardous waste, or reducing air emissions.
ESP members recently reported their 2008 accomplishments to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). During 2008, ESP members implemented pollution prevention initiatives that resulted in the reduction of:
- Water use by 69,413,000 gallons, an amount comparable to 105 Olympic-sized swimming pools;
- Electricity use by 10,939,149 kilowatt hours, a number comparable to the amount of electricity needed to run 4,101 residential air conditioners for one year;
- Miles driven by 243,789 miles, a distance comparable to driving from Terre Haute to Richmond and back 877 times;
- Natural gas consumption by 8,999 therms, which is like eliminating CO2 emissions from 1,875 propane cylinders used for home barbeques;
- Carbon dioxide emissions by 13,099,680 pounds, which is the amount of carbon sequestered annually by 1,350 acres of pine forests;
- Copper discharges to water by 3 pounds;
- Solid waste sent to the landfill by 18,135,195 pounds, which is equivalent to the weight of about 47 Blue Whales;
- Volatile organic compound emissions by 820,800 pounds, an amount comparable to emissions from painting the interiors of 34,200 homes;
- Energy use by 2,325 million British Thermal Units, an amount comparable to the energy needed to operate 7 clothes washers for one year;
- Material use by 2,463,680 pounds, an amount comparable to the weight of 3,079 Monster truck tires; and,
- Hazardous waste by 12,790 pounds, an amount comparable to the weight of one Asian elephant.
“ESP members go beyond environmental requirements that protect Hoosiers and our environment,” said IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly. “Indiana wins when companies use sound business practices to demonstrate their core value of environmental protection.”
To become an ESP member, businesses must maintain an exemplary compliance record, certify that they have adopted and implemented an approved environmental management system, and commit to specific measures for continued improvement in their environmental performance.
ESP members qualify for expedited permit review, flexibility in permitting, reduced reporting frequencies, and coordination of compliance inspections. To maintain ESP membership, companies must report on their environmental initiatives every year and reapply for ESP membership every three years.
Hoosier businesses can submit applications to IDEM for the Environmental Stewardship Program from September 1 through October 31 and April 1 through May 31. For more details, visit IDEM’s Web site at www.idem.IN.gov/prevention/esp or contact IDEM at (800) 988-7901.