Overview

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the number of environmental programs initiated by industry increased sharply, although it is important to note that environmental initiatives had been undertaken by some corporations in earlier years. Programs initiated by industry have included efforts to design processes and products for pollution prevention, waste minimization, and energy efficiency, among others. In general, such programs were not directly related to technical compliance with regulations. As discussed later in this report, these industrial environmental programs are diverse, and reliable methods to determine their effectiveness have not been established or generally accepted.

A variety of nonregulatory programs have been initiated to foster industrial environmental initiatives. They include partnerships between industry and government, national environmental organizations, local community groups, industry consortia with environmental goals, environmental management standards, labeling and certification programs, and state and federal programs for encouraging improved industrial environmental performance. Many industry-initiated environmental programs have been encouraged and aided by government programs, including the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Industrial Technologies programs, the Environmental Protection Agency's 33/50 Program, the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, and other federal and state programs. Recent presidential administrations have advocated cooperative efforts between regulators and regulated parties and have promoted flexibility and innovative approaches in combatting pollution (PCSD 1996). Such supporting activities have provided manufacturers with forums to share experiences, as well as relevant information on technologies and management techniques. They also have provided recognition for exemplary



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