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Companies that did pursue proactive environmental framework development and  implementation did so for one or more of the 

following reasons:

  • The company was proactive or socially responsible.
  • The parent company set a goal of implementing a proactive framework at all of its facilities.
  • An environmental program was in place that could be converted easily to a proactive framework.
  • The company wanted to gain recognition for its proactive efforts and for its leadership in the industry.

Success Story

  • A rubber company located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is a good example of a company that implemented a proactive environmental framework.
  • The company custom-molds rubber and elastomeric products, employs 1,100 people, and has $100 million in annual sales.
  • The director of environmental compliance for the company explained that they implemented a proactive environmental framework to anticipate customer demand, save money and reduce potential compliance issues.
  • It also intended its proactive environmental framework implementation to be useful as a marketing tool. As a result, the company obtained more business from European customers and won the EPA's Environmental Merit Award, and the environmental compliance director has given approximately 25 presentations showcasing the company’s proactive efforts.


Success Story

  • Another leader is a company located in Newport News, Virginia. The company primarily manufactures laser-beam printers, copiers and related components.
  • To maximize the effectiveness of the company's proactive environmental framework, emphasis was placed on the framework's contributions to the bottom line as well as on its environmental benefits.
  • During its proactive environmental framework's aspect identification phase, the division identified manufacturing waste as having a significant effect on business.
  • A goal was set to emphasize preventive maintenance and reduce reactive maintenance by 50 percent.
  • The percentage of work orders sent to the maintenance department due to equipment failures on the manufacturing lines decreased from 85 percent to 28 percent.
  • During this same period, the percentage of work orders for preventive maintenance increased from 2 percent to 20 percent.
  • The percentage of work orders for process improvements, an even more important activity, increased from 4 percent to 35 percent.
  • This change in thinking from reactive to preventive caused an already low defect rate to drop by more than 60 percent from the first half to the second half of that year. It dropped another 10 percent in the first quarter of the following year. The increase in manufacturing equipment reliability resulted in significant reduction of the division's environmental impact and also produced substantial cost savings.


Success Story

  • A utility company that provides natural gas and electricity to much of Northern California has shown thought leadership in the energy industry by drafting and implementing its Environmental Justice Policy.
  • The policy establishes clear guidelines on how the company can work cooperatively with communities.
  • The policy is designed to ensure that the company is transparent, accountable, responsible, and consistently working to address the concerns of communities.
  • The company employs a full-time Environmental Justice Program Manager, trains and educates employees about environmental justice and the company’s policy, manages operations and facilities to minimize impacts on nearby communities, integrates environmental justice considerations into reviews of potential new sources of power generation, invests in alternative fuels and renewable energy to improve air quality in the communities that they serve, and takes responsibility for impacts related to historic operations.
  • Beyond its environmental justice policy, the company is a leader in corporate social responsibility and environmental reporting. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) named the company to the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index – recognizing the company for the quality of its reporting on greenhouse gas emissions and the business risks and opportunities from climate change.  

Success Story

  • This international manufacturer of transportation fuels, petrochemical products, and power, is among one of the first energy companies to adopt a formal environmental justice policy and initiate a robust outreach effort to fence-line communities.​
  • The company operated a refinery in a low-income community, where 97% of the community is African American.
  • After the State environmental agency placed the community on its Air Pollutant Watch List regarding benzene, residents in the community began to worry about related health effects.
  • Recognizing the community’s concerns as well as the lack of access to affordable health care, the company and an environmental activist convinced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to allow the company to divert one million dollars to fund a community health clinic, as part of the company’s satisfaction of a consent decree.
  • The company also performed construction oversight of the clinic.
  • In addition to building the health clinic, the company sponsored several other projects in the community as part of the Environmental Justice Showcase community project, including providing information to residents on how to make homes healthier; hosting emergency response training to residents; and supporting community revitalization through cleanup assessment grants. 
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