Click for next page ( 186


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 185
Appendix I Prioritization and Decision Making In Environmental Technology Development at DuPont In the early 1990s, the A. DuPont De Nemours and Company (DuPont) adopted several goals to improve the environmental performance of its facilities. One such goal was a 60 percent reduction in air emissions of toxic substances (i.e., to reduce the poundage of toxic effluents released to the air to 60 percent of the early 1990's baseline level) from its domestic facilities by 1993 (DuPont, 1993). To achieve these environmental goals, a coordinated effort at technology development was initiated. This process is overviewed briefly here to highlight key features and characteristics and to illustrate the roles and decisions of various personnel. This appendix summarizes information learned by committee member Michael Menke during an October 30, 1997, visit to the DuPont corporate headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, where the Manager of Environmental Effectiveness, H. Dale Martin, was interviewed. The following description comes from this interview and from relevant publications (DuPont, 1993; Martin, 1994, 1997). DUPONT CORPORATE STRUCTURE DuPont's corporate structure is similar to that of GRI, in that although centralized planning and management offices exist, the individual business units are, to a large degree, autonomous in their responsibilities to the company for profit and loss, overall performance, growth, and issues of safety, health, and environment (SHE). The business units have the budget authority for funding any environmental R&D work they choose to perform. DUPONT CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN Major steps in DuPont's annual planning cycle are described here. Top-Level Goals Imposed on Business Units A corporate environmental improvement plan was drafted by top-level executives, due to concerns about potential regulatory penalties, a potential negative public image of the company, and the desire to be competitive in a global economy, all of which dictate sound environmental stewardship. This plan stated corporate environmental goals in general terms, such as the reduction of air toxics by 60 percent. Details of how the goals would be met ere not specified, but the goals were stated in well-defined and measurable terms, such that programs of work could be crafted to meet them. The following steps of the environmental technology development activities are described using this goal as an example. ~5

OCR for page 185
186 Decision Making in the DOE-OST Bottom-up Initiatives Proposed to Meet Goals The individual business units within DuPont were then tasked with evaluating the performance of their Plants. facilities. and operations with respect to environmental releases (to lance ~ air, and water), to identify opportunities for reductions. For instance, all air emissions at transfer points and processing facilities were measured to establish a benchmark level, and methods (called "initiatives" within DuPont) to reduce these emissions were identified and costed within each business unit. Role of Central Environmental Planning Office The data for all initiatives were gathered by the central environmental planning office. initiatives were sorted into broad areas such as wastewater treatment, ground water protection, thermal oxidation, and chemical engineering, and further subdivided into subcategories within these four areas. Central planning personnel were then able to identify those proposed technology development projects that could provide the maximum environmental benefit at the least cost (i.e., those proposed technology development projects that would impact the greatest number of initiatives). For example, this environmental improvement exercise identified the greatest number of business unit initiatives (146) in the subcategory of"spill containment diking," with the implication that a coordinated technology development project in this area could have multiple applications across the DuPont complex (Martin, 1994~. The next step was to identify and remove from further consideration any initiatives that did not contribute to corporate environmental goals. These were left to the individual business units to fund at their discretion and for their own purposes, presumably to help meet other goals and expectations of the business units. The remaining initiatives were prioritized according to two measures: their implementation cost and the implied cost per unit pollutant (e.g., the initiative's cost divided by the pounds of air tonics that were prevented from being released into the environment). The results of this exercise can be displayed graphically (see Figure I.1) (Martin, 19971. A sufficient number of these initiatives (specifically, the ones that scored most favorably against these two measures, representing the lowest-cost approach to achieving the desired goal) were funded to meet the overall goal of a 60 percent reduction in air toxins. Not all of the funded initiatives were large-scale R&D projects; some were simply procedural or process modifications, or minor modifications that the plant's local "area technical operator" could engineer and implement. Managers were held accountable for results that is, for successful implementation of the technologies and techniques represented in the suite of funded initiatives. A DuPont "Best Practices" manual was developed as a resource to the business units, to catalog how DuPont facilities would construct and implement environmental technologies (e.g., a common design for such technologies as scrubbers, air strippers, and soil vapor extraction techniques). This manual establishes a technology baseline to define DuPont methods for preventing, minimizing, or remediating environmental releases. Commonality of practice also helped ensure that a technology development project resulting in an improvement to a process or practice would be applied straightforwardly to multiple, identical systems. This manual was the major method for achieving leverage across business units, in that the implementation of the appropriate best practicers) would be the preferred way for a business unit to meet its environmental stewardship objectives, rather than have the business unit inaugurate any new technology development project. Initiatives that were selected and funded to completion would be added to the Best Practices manual. .

OCR for page 185
187 1 ,000.00 1 00.00 3 i: 10.00 - - a, o ._ - Q E 1.00 0.10 100 90 80 70 o ._ a) city cat 60 50 40 30 20 10 o a. Air Toxics ~ n ~ ~ _ oo ....... o i, 0 6' CS90 CaSS) ~1 1 1 0 2 4 6 ID ... ... . up, ............... 8 10 12 14 Cumulative implementation cost (in dollar units) b. Waste Reduction Cost/Benefit Performance 16 18 20 = t? ~ 't[t' 1~ I ~ ~ ~ ................... .................. ~9 ................... .................................................................................................. ~ ~ 80/20 Point (Environmental Index = 1.0) 6>sy .................................................................................................. ................... .................................................................................................. . ~ .................................................................................................. any ................................................................................................... . .................................................................................................. Efficient Marginal .................. ................................................................................................. .................. .................................................................................................. l l l l l l l l l o 2 10 12 Cumulative implementation cost fin dollar units) 14 16 18 20 FIGURE I. ~ (a) Prioritization of Initiatives to reduce air toxins. Each initiative is represented by a circle and riced by the cost per pound of effluent saved (vertical axis). If Initiatives are implemented In the order ~ which they are ranked, the honzontal axis shows the summed cost to DuPont to implement all initiatives up to the current one, as a cumulative Implementation cost, on a scale proportional to dollars. (b) Reduction in amount of waste generated as a function of cumulative implementation cost for all Initiatives designed to reduce air emissions of toxic substances. This curve enables DuPont planners to select the suite of initiatives that represent We least-cost approach to achieve Me greatest reductions in air emissions and to identify which initiatives are of marginal utility in meeting this corporate environmental goal. SOURCE: Martin, 1997.

OCR for page 185
188 Decision Making in the DOE-OST Significant Characteristics of the DuPont Process Two major attributes of the DuPont process are the following: I. Integration with business plans. The environmental planning work was integrated with the business plans. Business units supplied the SHE office with their projected operations, detailing the facilities and the amount of chemical products to be generated in a future timeline. These plans established a baseline of operations from which opportunities for environmental improvements could be derived. Further integration with business practices comes from company practice of making worker safety and health considerations integral to the way DuPont does business. Because environmental considerations are often related to these of safety and health, SHE people working to make those connections explicit enabled the environmental improvement program to receive visibility within the company. 2. Cost-benefit analysis of environmental initiatives. The prioritization of environmental initiatives according to cost and cost per unit effluent saved was a convenient way for DuPont business units to achieve top-level goals of upper-level corporate management, such as the 60 percent reduction of air toxics. The businesslike approach was convenient to the efficient implementation of the requisite activity to meet these goals (at minimal cost). Implementation of the DuPont corporate environmental plan created a heightened awareness of environmental issues in business planning. Among other benefits, environmental releases were cast in business terms. That is, a pound of material released represents a pound of raw material or intermediate or final product that is wasted, making environmental cleanliness commensurate with improved cost- benefit efficiency of plant operations. The result of such awareness was to convert environmental remediation and prevention measures into business terminology and to treat them as efficiency improvements. Other Findings A Convenient Quantitative Figure of Merit Useful for Planning Purposes In remediation of existing environmental releases, a quick figure of merit was derived to help identify the worst of the problems. This information helped in the decisions of which environmental R&D proposals to fund. The figure of merit was a "hazard score," the sum of three scores given based on the toxicity of the contaminant, distance to ground water (perhaps this would be better cast as a travel time, since then it would account for the permeability of the subsurface media), and distance to the border of the company property (again, this might be better cast as a travel time for the same reason). Of course, a rigorous site risk assessment calculation would consider these factors in an integrated manner, but in the absence of such a calculation, a quick numerical rating of this kind was found to be a useful planning aid.

OCR for page 185
Appendix ~ DuPont Technology Development as a Business Venture ~9 A separate DuPont business unit was engaged in environmental remediation technology as a business opportunity, but this business unit was sold off in the mid to late ~990s due to the lack of a global market for such services. As a result, DuPont's environmental technology development is directed toward internal improvements only.