The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mid-Atlantic region welcomed two new members into its Sustainability Partnership Program in two signing ceremonies held on Dec. 4. Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. at its Buffalo, W. Va., facility, and Dow West Virginia at its South Charleston facilities were recognized by EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin.
The Sustainability Partnership creates a one-stop shopping approach for organizations that use large quantities of energy, water, and natural resources and want to "go green." Instead of dealing with each of EPA's voluntary programs individually, EPA staff will work out a comprehensive 'green' plan for organizations that often saves money and makes good business sense.
In 2000 Toyotas Buffalo, W.Va. facility began implementing an environmental management system (EMS). Three years later, it had become, and remains, a zero landfill contributor -- reusing or recycling materials that otherwise would have been sent to landfills. By implementing the EMS and setting long-term goals, Toyota is already addressing ways to reduce waste, water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous materials usage and wastewater discharge.
At Dow West Virginia Operation's South Charleston facility, the company has been working to reduce energy, water use, waste generation and has increased the facilitys land and habitat conservation. During a three-year demolition project, Dow saved 49,939 tons of concrete/masonry from going to the landfill by reusing the material. During 2007-2008, Dow recovered 3,726 tons of ferrous and non-ferrous metals for reuse; developed a 10-acre wildlife habitat certified by Wildlife Habitat Council; worked with South Charleston Middle School students to install birdhouses, plant native wildflowers and prairie grasses. Dow continues to work on the implementation of a wildlife management plan and is exploring collaborative opportunities with EPA and WVDEP to help schools remove hazardous materials and waste.
Additionally, Dow West Virginia's South Charleston facility is implementing the American Chemistry Councils Responsible Care Program, which requires CEO-level commitments to measure and publicly report environmental performance and to obtain independent certification that the companys environmental management plan functions according to professional standards.
For more information about EPA mid-Atlantic's Sustainable Partnership, visit http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/spp/index.html