Terms like sustainability and Total Waste Management/Environmental Management Plan are becoming more common among small business and industry. While the big, Fortune 500 companies have been engaging in sustaining practices and total waste management for some time now, it is being practiced within small business and industry more than ever. Companies are realizing that these practices are good for business and while they may not be able to staff/resource an in-house environmental health & safety (EHS) team like the big players, there are many options available to outsource it to environmental professionals saving both time and money while increasing overall sustainability.
Sustainability is not strictly limited to environmental issues, but encompasses social and economic factors. It can apply to public/private sectors as well as families, or neighborhoods. Sustainability is the way we use technology, the environment, education, business, etc., to insure that resources are not only available now, but will also be available for future generations. The Environmental Protection Agency refers to it as the principle of sustainability: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.
One way a company, or organization can immediately impact sustainability is to have a Total Waste Management Plan (TWMP) in place. This is much more intentional than just setting out recycling containers for plastic, paper, and aluminum. Think of the TWMP as an audit done by environmental experts who understand things like water flow, power usage, waste disposal (hazardous/non-hazardous) and the details and government regulations involving the handling and removal, and transport of each kind of waste, etc.
Environmental and industrial engineers are trained to meet with the company owner(s), or person responsible for operations and go through a wide variety of topics all aimed at reducing overall waste, conserving energy, being a cleaner and greener corporate citizen with an eye on the future.
A Total Waste Management plan is really a partnership between the company and the environmental service provider. A strong firm will sit down and listen to your story, ask questions and evaluate the current situation, needs and desires. They will also note what you are doing well that may even be improved upon. The idea is not to sell a small, medium, or large package, but to personally develop a plan that is custom tailored to your company’s unique context and budget.
At Pinnacle Environmental Services we love helping clients design a company specific Total Waste Management Plan and we even provide training for management and production to make sure everyone understands the changes and new procedures and processes. Contact us today and let us help you discover how you can not only be successful, but be a good steward of resources and meet federal, state and local regulations as necessary.
Mike Watts, President
Pinnacle Environmental Services, Inc.