Terms like sustainability and Total
Management Plan are becoming
more common among small
business and industry. While the
big, Fortune 500 companies have
been engaging in sustainable
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.m, 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.