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Design for the Environment

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  1. Design for the Environment Improving Health & Environmental Decision Making

  2. What Design for the Environment (DfE) Does • Partner with industry to assess, design, and adopt products, processes, and management systems that are • Cleaner • Cost-effective • Safer • Since 1990, partnered with 14 sectors • Affecting more than 140,000 companies and 2 million workers nationwide

  3. DfE Spurs Risk Reduction & Environmental Improvement • By providing critical toxicity, exposure, and risk information, • DfE guides private sector innovation • DfE helps companies better understand and manage their chemicals

  4. Why was DfE Created? • Regulations are essential but limited to clear cut risks • Regulations partition problems and can often promote avoidance rather than best practices • Public demand for participation, information

  5. Why was DfE Created? • Sector-based approach rather than traditional chemical-by-chemical approach • Encourage pollution prevention, risk reduction, and continuous environmental improvement

  6. Adhesives Auto refinishing Auto supply chain Electronics Dry cleaning Industrial laundry detergents Marinas Printing DfE Sectors

  7. Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment Formulation Improvement Best Practices Life-Cycle Assessment Greening the Supply Chain Integrated Environmental Management Systems DfE Approaches

  8. Partnership Criteria • Important, unresolved environmental or human health risk • DfE approaches are applicable • Interested, strong partners • Commitment to measure results

  9. DfE Achieves Environmental Improvement • Screen printing • Half of the screen printers interviewed switched to a cleaner reclamation product and several supplier indicated the project affected their R&D strategy • Printed wiring boards • From 1995 to 1997, the percent of manufacturers using cleaner “making holes conductive” technologies doubled, from 15% to 30% • Each year, this saves 400 million gallons of water and 15 billion BTUs of energy, and reduces use of formaldehyde by 240,000 lbs

  10. DfE Achieves Environmental Improvement • Auto-Refinishing • Increased use of more efficient spray guns and control technology • Material cost savings of 29% on average ($4,000/shop/yr); offsets capital costs • Lower diisocyanate exposure to workers and neighboring community • Reduced VOC emissions of 31% (281 lbs/yr/shop)

  11. DfE Achieves Environmental Improvement • Dry cleaning • Use of perchloroethylene dropped 37% from 1997 through 2001 • Adhesives in foam furniture • Use of methylene chloride dropped 83% from 1997 through 2001

  12. DfE Achieves Environmental Improvement • Integrated EMS • Increased chemical risk management focus in EMSs • Increased use of cleaner technologies, improved compliance, increased resource efficiencies, reduced waste, increased recycling, and improved worker safety

  13. DfE Achieves Environmental Improvement • Industrial & Institutional Laundry • Formulators learn to ask their suppliers key EH&S questions on chemicals • 14 new eco-friendly detergents have entered the market. Annual benefits from just one of these include • 100+ million gallons of water saved along with the energy to heat it • 340,000+ gallons of toxic chemicals eliminated from use

  14. “…It has been encouraging to see how much a ‘cooperative spirit’ can accomplish.” Leif Anderson, Vice-President, Anderson Chemical Company

  15. For More Information • Visit our website at www.epa.gov/dfe or call us at 202-564-8780. • Order publications through the Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse • Email: ppic@epa.gov • Telephone: 202-566-0799