Manufacturers are leading the way in implementing successful sustainability programs, according to testimony from several witnesses at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Subcommittee hearing on “Growing Long-Term Value: Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Innovation.” Executives from four companies – Intel Corporation, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Eastman Chemical Company, and FedEx Corporation – testified before Subcommittee Chair Tom Udall (D-NM) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on the ways in which each company is fostering innovation, reducing waste and air emissions, and creating more sustainable products through voluntary initiatives.
All four witnesses noted that the programs have helped improve their company’s bottom line, even though many of the projects require up-front investment. For example,
- Intel has invested $100 million in water conservation initiatives that have yielded over 40 billion gallons of water savings;
- Procter & Gamble stated in its written testimony that its energy savings will be greater than the per-site energy consumption at 80% of its facilities worldwide;
- Eastman has utilized a Department of Energy (DOE) program called Save Energy Now and has found $3 million in savings opportunities so far; and,
- FedEx has significantly reduced its greenhouse gas emissions and improved the mileage of its FedEx vehicles. It recently purchased six solar energy facilities as well.
Dr. Len Sauers, Vice President of Global Sustainability at Procter & Gamble, testifies at the hearing.
Sen. Alexander expressed concern that some costly and overly-burdensome federal regulations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Boiler MACT proposal, can often hurt manufacturers’ sustainability efforts by diverting resources towards unnecessary equipment retrofits. Sen. Udall (D-NM) stressed the importance of public-private partnerships between the federal government and businesses in continuing to drive innovation and environmental responsibility. Manufacturers are encouraged by the Senate Subcommittee’s focus on sustainability and acknowledgement that many companies are making significant environmental improvements through voluntary initiatives.
More information on the hearing and the written testimony can be found here.