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Environmental Stewardship Guidance: Keys to Qualifying for Recognition Updated 12/17/08 Question #1 ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP ACTIVITIES - Do any site activities "go beyond" the minimum regulatory requirements and serve as examples of Environmental Stewardship or Sustainability? Question #1

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Environmental Stewardship Guidance:Keys to Qualifying for Recognition

Updated 12/17/08


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Question #1

  • ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP ACTIVITIES - Do any site activities "go beyond" the minimum regulatory requirements and serve as examples of Environmental Stewardship or Sustainability?


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Question #1

You’ll need to understand the categories and qualifications in order to answer.

If you’re not sure, review our guide and be prepared at the next inspection.

If the site isn’t currently qualifying, consider suggestions to your management on changing practices to qualify.


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Question #2

  • UPDATES – Are any updates required to reflect additions or subtractions of qualifying Environmental Stewardship activities based on previous survey results for the site? (Y/N)


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Guidance to Inspectors for Question #2 Updates

  • If program is successful we expect many updates/additions over time

  • Need to acknowledge when activities stop or expand

  • Expect qualifications to get more difficult over time– in some cases because of new rules.

    • for example: possible Greenhouse gas legislation


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General Rules (A)Compliance distinct from Stewardship

  • Violations don’t automatically disqualify stewardship

  • DEP documents good (stewardship) and bad (violations)

  • Reports will reflect and publicize both

    • public can make judgments on full site results and history

  • Stewardship not recognized for egregious violators

    • history of disregarding regulation

    • major court cases

    • DEP seeking shutdown


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General Rules (B)Voluntary actions only

  • beware of things that may be required

  • Activities NOT allowed when triggered by:

    • orders, settlements, SEPs, etc.

    • requirements from other programs of DEP

      • SRP, Water Allocation, etc.

    • requirements from other Agencies

      • EPA, Agriculture, Soil Conservation

    • a requirement imposed as a condition of approval

  • Generally Allowed

    • An innovative action “beyond compliance” even if a permit is required to carry it out

    • better than “state of the art”

    • clean-up or restoration well beyond minimum standards

    • actions ahead of regulatory compliance deadlines


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General Rules (C)Time Aspect of Activities

  • Activities being recognized must be ongoing or have occurred within a year

  • Anything older than a year must produce ongoing benefit*

    • Acquired natural land more than 1 year ago – still providing habitat, recharge - Yes

    • Outreach more than 1 year ago – one time benefit – No

      * One exception – 5 year time limit for energy saving steps

    • Energy efficiency improvements are expected

    • Improvements continuously driven by costs

    • Affects three questions

      • Green building Implementation - question #12

      • Process Energy – question #18

      • Transportation Energy – question #19


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Question #3

  • ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY - Is the site operated under a comprehensive written environmental policy, signed by the current senior officer of the organization addressing more than just compliance?


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#3. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY Keys to Qualifying

  • Written document – Inspector must see it!

  • Defined and executed by management

    • Ideally signed , but ok if obviously endorsed/promoted

  • Employees aware of policy

    • posted or obviously shared at site

  • Commitment to environmental performance beyond just regulatory/legal compliance


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Question #4

  • ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - Is the site operated utilizing an Environmental Management System (EMS)? If yes, describe system employed, list any certifications


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#4 - ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Keys to Qualifying

  • Environmental Policy (Yes to Question #3)

  • Site should have a Comprehensive EMS document or plan

    • more than just compliance

  • Performance Evaluation

    • written report

    • at least annually


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Question #5

  • ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT -Does the site publish an Annual Environmental Report?


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#5 – ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT Keys to Qualifying

  • Measures improvements or elements beyond just compliance

  • Public document that must be available online

    • Online report must be within one year

  • Very small organizations may qualify with less formal reporting

    • Think gas stations, dry cleaner, mom & pop, etc.


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Question #6

  • CARBON FOOTPRINT ANALYSIS - Has the site accounted for all greenhouse gases? If yes describe method used.


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#6- CARBON FOOTPRINT ANALYSIS CALCULATION Keys to Qualifying

  • Site should have documentation/report of all greenhouse gases, including off-site contributions.

  • Must explain methodology/standard used

    • Greenhouse Gas Protocol; or others

    • must note method in comments

  • Disclosure to public

    • voluntary, but encouraged.

    • if publicized, note in comments and record any links


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Question #7

  • ENVIRONMENTAL PURCHASE POLICY- Has the site implemented an "Environmental Purchasing Policy" resulting in the purchase of products and office supplies that are recognized as environmentally responsible? If yes, describe.


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#7 ENVIRONMENTAL PURCHASE POLICY- Keys to Qualifying

  • A site must provide one of the following:

    - A written policy

    - Documentation of preferred products

    purchased and presence of substantial

    environmentally preferred products onsite.

  • In all cases environmental aspect should be obvious or easily explained by site rep.


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Question #8

  • VENDOR/SUPPLY CHAIN REQUIREMENTS - Does the site require that businesses in their supply chain subscribe to environmentally sound business practices? If yes, explain method i.e. contract with vendors.


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#8VENDOR/SUPPLY CHAIN REQUIREMENTS -Keys to Qualifying

  • Written policy agreement with vendors

  • Specify environmental criteria for vendors

    - manufacturing with non-toxic materials

    - conservation of resources during manufacture

    - minimal packaging of products

    - environmentally sound product design

  • Establish a vendor auditing system

    • How do they know what suppliers are doing?


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Question #9

  • MENTORING TO OTHER BUSINESSES - Does the site offer mentoring of an environmental nature to other businesses? If yes, describe mentoring program and any available contact information the site can provide.


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#9 MENTORING TO OTHER BUSINESSES Keys to Qualifying

  • Must be environmentally based

  • Be able to describe:

    • who they are mentoring or willing to mentor (generally)

    • how others can contact them or participate

      • direct – providing contact to DEP for publication

      • through association membership

  • Must not be profiting

    - Not a paid consultant

    • Not sales/marketing


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Question #10

  • OUTREACH PROGRAM - Does the site have an outreach program that offers assistance to community leaders, local schools, neighborhood groups, etc. to address, educate, and collaborate on environmental issues within the community. If yes, explain program.


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#10 COMMUNITY OUTREACH Keys to Qualifying

  • Must be environmentally educational or beneficial.

  • Must have occurred within past year

  • Not sales/marketing


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Question #11

  • GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION - Has the site registered or received certification for any new construction or major building renovation project from a recognized green building organization such as LEED or Green Globes? If yes, describe registered or certified green building construction projects at the site.


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#11 GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATIONKeys to Qualifying

  • Must be listed as registered site working toward achieving certification

    or

  • Actual certification document or award recipient

    - LEED rating from accredited 3rd party

    - Green Globes – from EC3 Global

  • If answer to this question is “yes”, the facility will automatically receive a “yes” for the next question (#12 Green Building Implementation).


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Question #12

  • GREEN BUILDING IMPLEMENTATION - Has the site undertaken any projects supportive of green design concepts or does the site incorporate green building design criteria for new construction/ renovation projects? If yes, describe projects or provide written policy.


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#12 GREEN BUILDING IMPLEMENTATION Keys to Qualifying

  • Follow green building principles

  • No certification required

  • Can be small and narrowly focused, provided that:

    - obvious or demonstrable environmental benefit

    - took thought, effort or cost beyond standard practice

  • Applies to facilities, buildings and grounds not manufacturing processes or transportation (see questions #18 & 19)

  • Automatic credit if building is certified (#11 Green Building Certification)


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Question #13

  • LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENTS - Has the site conducted a Life Cycle Assessment of any products or services, and based on findings implemented actions to reduce the environmental impacts? If yes, describe.


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What is a Life Cycle Assessment?

The systematic evaluation of the environmental impacts of a given product or service throughout its life span.

  • Focus on environmental aspects only

  • Not a Cost or Performance (QA)

    evaluation of a Product or Service.


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#13 LIFE CYCLE ASSESMENTKeys to Qualifying

  • An environmental assessment using specific standards

    - EPA LCA 101

    - ISO 14040

  • Must be able to elaborate on the product, environmental assessment findings and outcome

    - What changes took place?

    - What decisions were made?

  • LCA is not a product quality assurance evaluation nor a economic evaluation.


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Question # 14

  • HAZARDOUS MATERIALS REDUCTION - Has the site implemented a change in operations and/or product formulation resulting in reduction or elimination of hazardous materials used/disposed of at the site? If yes, describe.


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#14 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS REDUCTION Keys to Qualifying

  • Applies to hazardous materials

  • Site should be able to back up reductions with data or demonstrations

    • Manifests

    • Observable process change

    • Goal tracked in EMS and found in annual report

  • Production adjusted reduction (not from slow business cycle)

  • Reduced risk with same volume or amount can qualify (swap high hazard for low hazard)


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Question #15

  • WATER USE REDUCTION - Has the site employed a program to substantially reduce or reuse water? If yes, describe.


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#15 WATER USE REDUCTION Keys to Qualifying

  • Site should be able to back up reductions with data or demonstrations

    • Water bill or other monitoring

    • Obvious process change observed

    • Goal tracked in EMS and found in annual reporting

  • Production adjusted reduction (not from slow business cycle)

  • No credit for drought restriction steps


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Question #16

  • MATERIAL CONSERVATION - Has the site taken actions to reduce total material usage or disposal? If yes, describe.


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#16 Materials ConservationKeys to Qualifying

  • Site should be able to document type and quantity of materials exchanged/reuse/recycled.

  • Exchanges or one-time events must have occurred within one year

  • Process, product or formulation changes from anytime in the past must exceed current common practice for recognition.

  • Recycling must exceed mandatory requirements

    - Beyond County Plan

    - Beyond Municipal Ordinance

  • Durable goods and capital investment “life cycles” will not be considered

  • Combustion of waste or recycling into a fuel will not be recognized


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Question #17

  • EMPLOYEE TRIP REDUCTION - Has the site implemented a successful employee trip reduction program? If yes, describe program and results or participation.


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#17 TRIP REDUCTIONKeys to Qualifying

  • Site should be able to show

    • Policy or program summary/rules

    • Records of participation or trip reduction


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Question #18

  • PROCESS/OPERATIONS ENERGY USE REDUCTION - Has the site substantially improved its energy efficiency by implementing changes in production/manufacturing operations? If yes, describe what was done, date initiated and impact on energy use.


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#18PROCESS/OPERATIONS ENERGY USE REDUCTION Keys to Qualifying

  • Changes in manufacturing or site operations should be observable or documented

  • These should be changes with potential to noticeably reduce a site’s carbon footprint

  • Reduction within last 5 years. Efficiency is expected to steadily increase and carries automatic economic savings, therefore, improvements should be within last 5 years despite their ongoing contribution.


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Question #19

  • TRANSPORTATION ENERGY USE REDUCTION – Excluding employee trip reduction, has the site substantially improved its energy efficiency by implementing changes in transportation utilized? If yes, describe what was done, date initiated and impact on energy use.


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#19 TRANSPORTATION ENERGY USE REDUCTION Keys to Qualifying

  • Changes should be observable or documented

  • These should be changes with potential to noticeably reduce a site’s carbon footprint

  • Because efficiency is expected to steadily increase and carries automatic economic savings, improvements should be within last 5 years despite their ongoing contribution.


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Question #20

  • RENEWABLE ENERGY USE – Does the site use renewable energy sources? If yes, identify the direct source (solar, wind, bio, etc.) or name the CleanPower supplier and characterize the amount.


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#20 RENEWABLE ENERGY USE Keys to Qualifying

  • Any installations should be functional

  • CleanPower purchases should be clearly shown in energy bills

  • Provide a general statement of type and quantity

    • “supply shed is solar powered”

    • “boiler #1 runs only on 100% bio-diesel”

    • “wind turbine supplies half of office energy needs”

  • No time limit on renewable installations


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Question #21

  • ENVIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS - Has the site undertaken an Environmental Enhancement Project that has resulted in the reclamation or improvement of land at the site or within the community? If yes, identify the project and the resulting improvement to the environment.


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#21 ENVIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS Keys to Qualifying

  • Site should be able to demonstrate project is current/maintained

  • Project must be completed or underway

  • Enhancement or mitigation required by permit or settlement action do not qualify


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Question #22

  • INNOVATIVE PROGRAM - Has the site adopted/developed any innovative programs not captured in previous questions that improve/reduce the site's environmental impact and promotes environmental excellence within its organization? If yes, describe initiative.


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#22 INNOVATIVE PROGRAM Keys to Qualifying

  • Any voluntary activity or program that results in a benefit to the environment but does not easily qualify for recognition under the previous environmental stewardship checklist questions.

  • Describe the benefit/positive environmental result.


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Question #23

  • EPA VOLUNTARY PROGRAMS - Is the site participating in an EPA sponsored voluntary program? If yes, identify EPA program.


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#23 EPA VOLUNTARY PROGRAMS Keys to Qualifying

  • Site should be able to clearly identify any formal EPA program and describe their participation


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