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Participation in a state-sponsored voluntary environmental leadership initiative produced big results for a number of Georgia companies, who reported substantial reductions in energy and water use, major cuts in solid waste and air emissions, and significant increases in the use of recycled materials in their facilities.
During the first year of involvement in the P2AD Partnership Program, top-tier members reported reducing energy use by 13.5 billion BTUs, enough to power nearly 124 homes in Georgia for a full year. Water use fell by 27 million gallons, enough to fill the Olympic swimming pool at Georgia Tech 27 times. Solid waste reductions totaled 1779 tons, more than 11 times the weight of the Statue of Liberty. The companies also reported reducing emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx) by 17.7 tons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 137 tons. At the same time, they increased by 2.4 million pounds the amount of recycled materials they used. The P2AD Partnership Program is run by the Department of Natural Resources' Pollution Prevention Assistance Division (P2AD).
"We are very proud of our Georgia companies for leading the way in environmental stewardship," said Bob Donaghue, director of P2AD. "They are improving their processes and, at the same time, they are cutting costs - a win-win for both businesses and the environment. The Partnership Program provides the perfect vehicle for making this happen."
When companies join the Partnership Program, they commit to making specific environmental improvements. By the end of their third year in the program, partners collectively are expected to reduce water use by 229 million gallons and cut energy use by 100 billion BTUs.
The program currently has 76 partners throughout the state. Members represent a cross-section of businesses and organizations, from a convention center on Jekyll Island to a prison in Sparta to a major automotive manufacturer in Atlanta. The majority of partners are manufacturers, but the program also includes many nongovernmental organizations, local government facilities, consulting firms and state agencies.
"As the Partnership Program grows, we expect to see our partners make even greater strides toward meeting their environmental goals," said Donaghue.
Established in 2004, the P2AD Partnership Program fosters environmental leadership and recognizes superior environmental performance. Free and open to any business or organization in Georgia, it includes four partnership levels to fit the changing goals and environmental initiatives of the participants.
The Pollution Prevention Assistance Division is a non-regulatory division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Since 1993, P2AD has provided free, confidential environmental technical assistance in the areas of pollution prevention, resource conservation, waste reduction, by-product reuse and recycling. For more information about P2AD and the P2AD Partnership Program, visit www.p2ad.org.