Writing a Descriptive TRI P2 Report, Like Our Teachers Taught Us
Using descriptive language was something that was hammered into my brain in English class. My teacher told us that it would be important not only in school, but in our futures as well. The farthest thing from a 12-year-old English student’s mind is the annual EPA-mandated TRI P2 reports. If only we could go back in time and tell our younger self that all those English classes of persuasive and descriptive writing would come in handy later in life as EHS professionals writing the story of pollution prevention.
I imagine that the EHS team working at Xerox didn’t know in middle school that their writing skills would become a gateway to sharing important industry and community information. In its Webster, NY manufacturing facility, Xerox implemented a new solvent recovery system a few years ago, and reported its success in their annual TRI P2 report. Before they started this recovery system, they were shipping methyl isobutyl ketone waste offsite to be combusted for energy. With the new process, they reclaim and reuse much of it and even save money.
At age 12, we already knew that recycling, reducing and reusing was the goal. In these TRI P2 reports, Xerox is letting its accomplishments shine, and others took notice! This pollution solution affected the bottom line by reducing the volume of virgin solvent used and reducing the amount spent on solvents by 50%. That’s a big deal.
The EPA makes this information public on their website so that interested parties can jump on the pollution prevention bandwagon with these innovative processes! Other companies in the industry might also want to save money using this process. There’s also the gleaming prospect of gaining positive publicity points for reducing the amount of waste a facility sends off site.
Outside the scope of industrial solvents, community groups would be interested to know what chemicals are and aren’t being released in their surroundings. Researchers in academia also mine this big database to find trends and correlations. There are interesting hypotheses under investigation about whether exposure to certain materials causes bodily harm. Of course, if we know that this is true for a certain material, then it is likely to be included on the TRI reporting chemicals list already.
Those of you looking at the bottom line for a research facility have been known to scour every resource for time-saving, energy-saving and money-saving modifications to your site. The EPA features a section of the TRI P2 reports to highlight these advantages and encourage others participate.
The P2 reports tell a story, and this is where our middle school English teacher would pipe up and tell us to use descriptive words and give specific examples. The more information on the P2 reports, the happier the EPA will be. Of course, reports run the spectrum from a single phrase like “continuous improvement of waste reduction on site” to a long and stirring tale of the efforts to empower workers, prevent pollution and save money.
All of the advancements that are made in industrial facilities are made easier when inventory is accounted for and tracked over time. This way, problem solvers can look at real, accurate data to find where to reduce waste in the processes on site. With a best practices chemical inventory solution, every chemical container is bar coded upon receipt, tracked as it moves to different departments in the facility and the real-time list is accessible in the cloud. Welcome to the future.
ChemSW offers the best-in-breed inventory management system, CISPro(R) that tracks chemicals in real-time and enables turnkey reporting of hazardous and nonhazardous materials. Please visit our site to find out more today.