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July 29, 2005
New Report Links Industrial Business Performance, Environmental Compliance
    by GreenBiz.com

Report finds industrial competitiveness can be improved by boosting waste management capabilities that also make it easier for companies to comply with environmental regulations.


Local economies benefit when manufacturers efficiently manage their energy use and their industrial waste, according to a new report by the Environment and Business Roundtable, a group of South Carolina government, business, and academic leaders organized by the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) and Clemson University.

Environmental Strategies for Industrial Development asserts that industrial competitiveness can be improved by boosting waste management capabilities that also make it easier for companies to comply with environmental regulations. When applied at the state level, as the report recommends, this strategy becomes a foundation for economic development.

The Roundtable's report is in direct response to a 2004 U.S. Department of Commerce document titled Manufacturing in America, which summarized business leaders' concerns about the lackluster performance of the U.S. manufacturing sector. According to that report, "Fostering a competitive manufacturing sector... requires a different way of looking at government policy," including easing the financial burden on industry of environmental monitoring and reporting.

"Environmental regulations are a fact of life in the U.S.," noted ASE director of industrial programs Christopher Russell. "But that doesn't mean industry and government can't collaborate by 'working smarter' to reduce the cost of complying with environmental laws. After all, manufacturers use cutting-edge management techniques to reduce their operational inefficiencies and costs. So it's a small step to apply those same techniques to waste management and regulatory compliance."

Although developed in South Carolina, the Roundtable's economic development strategy can be applied in any state, with potential benefits for a wide variety of stakeholders including manufacturers, their suppliers, related businesses, regulatory agencies, energy and water distribution utilities, and taxpayers. A state or region that implements the Roundtable's waste management discipline, according to the report, should be better able to retain, attract, and expand industries that contribute to local economic growth.



Copyright The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

 

 
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