Preserving Resources,

   Waste Wise Update
    The   Sustainability

A                    textile maker in rural Georgia
                    ships cotton fabric trimmings to a
                    furniture manufacturer in Atlanta,
                    who processes the trimmings for use
                    in office chairs. The manufacturer
    takes the chairs back when customers are finished with
    them,  reuses all the serviceable parts, recycles all the
   parts that cannot be reused, and shreds the damaged
    upholstery, uncontaminated with hazardous constituents, for
    composting. The  compost is sold to a nearby farmer, who uses
    material as fertilizer for his organic cotton crop.
      This 'closed loop' industrial system can become a reality
   when businesses, institutions, governments, and consumers
   join hands to reject the currently predominant take-use-dis-
   pose system of materials consumption. Under this system, too
   many resources flow in one direction: from the earth, into
   products, and finally into landfills and incinerators, from
   which the original materials are, in most cases, unrecoverable.
   Many products are not designed with reuse or recycling in
   mind, often making these activities difficult  and expensive.
   This linear or cmdle-to-gmve model is inherently wasteful.
"if there is to be prosperity in the future,
   society must make its use of resources
   vastly more productive—deriving 4, 10,
   or even 100 times as much benefit from
   each unit of energy, water, materials, or
   anything else borrowed from the planet
   and consumed. "
     —Paul Hawken and Amory and L. Hunter Lovins
               in Natura/ Capitalism: Creating the

  In the emerging circular or cradle-to-cradle model, the
concept of waste eventually becomes obsolete. Waste from
producers and consumers becomes input for other producers
and consumers, or for the earth itself, and resources are
cycled through the system to sustain future generations.
  The transition from a linear to a sustainable, cradle-to-
cradle system of materials use will not happen overnight.
Rather, it involves an evolution of approaches, each more
ambitious than the last one. This Update looks at the con-
tinuum of sustainability approaches, beginning with those
that examine material flows within an organization. Next,
we discuss approaches that explore the flow of material
resources among a. network of organizations. Finally, we dis-
cuss the ultimate  goal of sustainability, a socioeconomic sys-
tem that protects  and enhances, rather than degrades, the
human and natural resources needed by future generations
to enjoy a quality of life equal to or greater than our own.
   The sustainability continuum represents a gradual widen-
   ing of organizational perspective and responsibility from an
    immediate group of facilities, suppliers, and customers to
    society as a whole. This Update is designed to inspire
     your organization to use WasteWise to help set your
      organization on the road to sustainability. Doing so
      will help keep your organization competitive in the
      new paradigm of interaction among society, the  econo-
     my, and the environment. Ray Anderson, chairman
    and chief executive officer of Interface, Inc., has cap-
    tured the necessity of this transformation: "In the 21st

                                                                                                 WasteWise Update
century, as the [next industrial revolution] gathers speed, I
believe the winners will be the resource efficient. At whose
expense will they win? At the expense of the resource ineffi-
cient. Technology at its best, emulating nature, will eliminate
the inefficient adapters." Make sure your organization adapts.

Early Environmental  Responses
   The first responses to environmental challenges involved
'end-of-pipe' thinking. Citizens, scientists, industry, and
policymakers looked at the effects of pollution after it exited
a drain pipe or a smokestack and demanded that producers
better manage the pollution they created. This meant clean-
ing waste water, installing air filters on smokestacks, and
building cleaner and safer landfills and incinerators.
   Over the last two decades, forward-thinking leaders from
government and industry have begun to realize that it makes
more sense (both environmentally and economically) to pre-
vent pollution rather than manage it after  it is generated.
Rather than, for example, having to clean  waste water before
discharging it into nearby rivers, responsible companies have
begun to find ways to alter their industrial processes to
reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals. For solid
waste, this means  designing more efficient processes and
products so that less solid waste is generated or identifying
ways to recycle or reuse waste materials. Pollution prevention
remains a leading  environmental strategy for organizations
today. Waste prevention, a subset of pollution prevention,
has been the cornerstone of the WasteWise program.

Improving  Resource Efficiency

Within the Organization
   While pollution prevention often involves a process-by-
process analysis, it has inspired some organizations to look at
the manner in which natural resources flow through their entire
systems. Material flow analyses look at where an organization's
resources come from, how they are used, and where they end
up. Such analyses, for example, could help a company or insti-
tution discover that a majority of its environmental problems—
and some of its costs—come from its use of one particular
substance. Switching to a more environmentally friendly alter-
native, therefore, could make a big difference for this organiza-
tion, both environmentally and financially. Material flow
analyses can also be used to improve resource productivity—
getting more value out of every unit of a resource—while
simultaneously reducing the ecological impact of one's activities.
Put simply, the goal is to produce more with less.
   ^co-efficiency is a comprehensive new approach to this goal.
It involves a range of interrelated business and environmental
goals such as cutting costs, delivering higher quality products,
reducing materials consumption and waste, and eliminating
    WasteWise and World Business
    Council for Sustainable Development
    In addition to participating in WasteWise, the following
    partners are also WBCSD members:
    BASF Corp.
    Dow Chemical Company
    Eastman Kodak Company
    Ford Motor Company
    General Motors Corp.
    International Paper Company
           Johnson & Johnson
           Monsanto Company
           The Procter & Gamble
           S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
           Weyerhauser Company
           Xerox Corp.
toxic releases into the environment. According to the World
Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD),
eco-efficiency is a "management philosophy that encourages
businesses to simultaneously become more competitive, more
innovative, and more environmentally responsible." 1

Identifying Opportunities for Resource Efficiency
   WasteWise has always focused on resource efficiency. The
ultimate goal of preventing or recycling waste is the efficient
(nonwasteful) use of natural resources—such as trees, minerals,
and petroleum—and financial resources. Organizations leading
the movement toward greater sustainability evaluate how their
overall systems can become more resource efficient throughout
every stage of operation and use. Tools to do so include lifecycle
assessment (LCA) and Design for the Environment (DfE).

   LCA is an analytical tool to holistically evaluate the envi-
ronmental consequences of a product or process. Using
LCA, an  organization can examine a product's environmen-
tal impact as it moves from raw materials extraction through
manufacturing and use to  final disposal—from cradle to grave.
and data-inten-
sive, LCA eval-
uates whether
materials and
products are
tally preferable
for the uses to
which they
are put.
  n 1996, Dell Computer Corporation
 w"nd ° ."^'a-to-cradle" design schem-
 tor i s OptiPlex line of computers. The new
 modular design allows easy upgrading, dis-
 assembly, recycling, and reuse. The product's
 chassis is fully recyclable. This environmental-
 ly sound design has since been introduced in
 all non-portable Dell-branded computers
 ror more examples like this, see the
 WasteWise Update: Extended Product
 Responsibility (October 1 998).
1  World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Eco-Efficient Leadership
  for Improved Economic and Environmental Performance. 1 996. p. 4.
               J  '  i ' ' i n
              i1 *•*,*.'  »  *  i
                                                                                        9 i r t j
                                                                                        .i.i  «  I
                   i I
                   t *
r t i

    Waste Wise Update
      DfE is a strategy organizations can use to design products
    with reduced environmental burden over the course of a
    product's life cycle. DfE focuses on adding environmental
    attributes to products to reduce material and energy inten-
    siveness during production. Some DfE strategies implement-
    ed by WasteWise partners include lightweighting products
    or product packaging, designing them to be more durable,
    making them out of recyclable materials, or  designing them
    for easy disassembly to facilitate repair and remanufacture.
      DfE looks beyond the product itself and addresses mini-
    mizing the environmental consequences associated with each
    component ofthe product system.  A product system expands
    the boundaries of the "product" to include the business
    transactions surrounding the production process, such as
    distribution and management. Organizations can take this
    approach a step further by involving their suppliers and cus-
    tomers.  Some companies, for example, have established pro-
    grams to take back the packaging used to transport products
    to their customers or even  the products  themselves after
    their useful lives. These materials  are then reused or recy-
    cled. Product takeback programs are becoming more and
    more common among producers  of electronic products.
      Organizations with the foresight to improve environmental
    performance and resource efficiency before being mandated to
    do so by regulations will avoid  delays and higher costs later.
    Furthermore, those that give priority to resource productivity,
    process change, and product innovation will achieve significant
    performance gains at a lower cost and gain a competitive
    advantage in the marketplace. These actions minimize pollu-
    tion and resource depletion while helping to build a sustain-
    able environment, economy, and society.
    Eco-efficiency is an essential step, a
    bridge, on the road to sustainability...
    Intellectually and physically, you cannot
    go from [the idea of] pollution control to
    sustainability. You must  go through a
    sequence  of learning. 55
                         —Professor Andrea Larson,
      Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
                   at a presentation during the 1998
                        WasteWise National Forum.

at a Wider Network
   According to author Robert Ayres, "10 tons of active mass
raw materials (not including construction materials) per per-
son [are] extracted from U.S. territory by the economy...
6 percent of the total is embodied in durable products. The
other 94 percent is converted into waste residuals as fast as
it is extracted..."2 These statistics demonstrate that today's
organizations need to go beyond the simplest steps of waste
reduction in order to make facilities and industries sustain-
able. Organizations that have recognized  this need are mov-
ing further along on the sustainability continuum, looking
beyond their own walls to transform their relationships with
a wider network of organizations.
   The study of material and energy flows and their trans-
formations into products, byproducts, and wastes through-
out industrial and ecological systems is a primary concept of
the movement often referred to  as industrial ecology.

   Material flow analyses can help organizations redirect their
own materials to flow in more circular patterns, that is, pro-
viding their wastes as inputs for  other industries and vice-
versa. Under this model, organizations no longer view the life
cycles of the materials and energy they consume as finite,
ultimately ending in a landfill or in the environment. Rather,
they seek opportunities for the continual reuse and recycling
of materials through a cooperative industrial system  in which
processes are designed to consume available waste streams
  and to produce only usable waste. In an October 1998 arti-
   cle in The Atlantic Monthly, William McDonough and
    Michael Braungart elaborate on this  vision: "If people
     are to prosper within the natural world, all the products
     and materials manufactured by industry must after
      each useful life provide nourishment for something
                                                                      2 Ayres, Robert U. "Externalities: Economics and Thermo-
                                                                       dynamics." Archibugi and Nijkamp, ed. Economy and
                                                                       Ecology. 1989. Cited in Lowe, Ernest, John Warren, and
                                                                       Stephen Moran. The Source of Value: An Executive Briefing
                                                                       and Sourcebook on Industrial Ecology. 1 996. p. 1.1.

                                                                                                WasteWise Update
   new. Since many of the things people make are not natural,
   they are not safe 'food' for biological systems. Products com-
   posed of materials that do not biodegrade should be designed
   [to] continually circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles."
   Ideally, this closed cycle would approximate the dynamic
   equilibrium that exists in nature, "...where energy and wastes
   are constantly recycled and reused by other organisms and
   processes within the system... In a totally closed industrial
   system, only solar energy would come from outside, while all
   byproducts would be constantly reused and recycled within."3

   Creating Industrial Ecosystems
     As organizations pursue opportunities to create cradle-to-
   cradle materials systems, they begin to forge cooperative,
   resource-sharing relationships with otherwise unrelated busi-
   nesses and institutions and the surrounding community.
   Individual processes and products become part of an inter-
   connected industrial system in which new products or
   processes evolve out of or consume available waste streams,
                                                       water, and energy; in turn, processes are developed to pro-
                                                       duce usable resources. This systemic model of integrated
                                                       processes and materials, called an industrial ecosystem, is typi-
                                                       cally characterized by resource-efficient relationships among
                                                       organizations, including the use of recycled materials in pro-
                                                       duction, minimum waste generation, and, most importantly,
                                                       the reassessment and exchange of byproduct materials, water,
                                                       and/or energy as raw material for other companies' processes.
                                                          In their efforts to become sustainable, entire business
                                                       communities have forged cooperative environmental partner-
                                                       ships to establish eco-industrial parks. In The Source of Value:
                                                       An Executive Briefing and Sourcebook on Industrial Ecology,
                                                       Ernest Lowe, John Warren, and  Stephen Moran define an
                                                       eco-industrial park as "a community of manufacturing and
                                                       service businesses seeking enhanced environmental and eco-
                                                       nomic performance through collaboration in managing envi-
                                                       ronmental and resource issues including energy, water, and
                                                       materials. By working together, the community of businesses
   3 Garner, Andy and Gregory Keoleian. Industrial Ecology: An Introduction. November 1 995. p. 1 2.

One Manufacturer

 Life Cycle
                                      Moving  Toward  Sustainability
                           Sustainable Development
                                   Industrial Ecology
       Lifecycle Design
Design for the Environment
 Environmentally Conscious
  Design & Manufacturing
                                          Product Lifetime
                                                  Scope of Temporal Concern
                                            Source: Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

WasteWise Update
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        WasteWise Update
 [ike's Reuse-A-Shoe program collects and grinds up old sneak-
ers, yielding three materials: rubber, fabric, and foam. Nike uses
the rubber and foam to make soccer fields, running tracks, tennis
courts, basketball courts, and climbing wall decking. The granu-
lated fabric from the shoe uppers is recycled into carpet padding.
Nike's ultimate goal is to close the recycling loop—to make new
Nike  products out of old ones. Currently, Nike is working on
designing athletic footwear to be disassembled and reused.
seeks a collective benefit that is greater than the sum of the
individual benefits each company would [otherwise] real-
ize." The establishment of these networks of businesses and
organizations committed to sharing resources and using one
another's byproducts represents a big step toward the ulti-
mate goal of reaching a sustainable ecological and economic
state. Two such networks, the Kalundborg, Denmark, eco-
industrial park and the Red Hills Ecoplex in Mississippi, are
discussed on page 10.

Striving Toward Sustainability
  The end goal of the sustainability continuum is to adopt
strategies and activities that meet the needs of society while
protecting, sustaining, and enhancing the human and natur-
al resources that will be needed by future generations to
enjoy a quality of life equal to or greater than our own. In
practice, this means questioning and reworking our entire
institutional and industrial system so that organizations
examine their relationships not just to other organizations,
but to present and future society.
  Much of what this really implies remains uncertain because
of the numerous, interrelated factors that influence society,
the environment, and the economy in complex ways. What is
certain, however, is that attainment of sustainability will
require more than facile changes in organizations' opera-
tions—it will require restructuring our socio-economic system
according to an entirely new paradigm. Author Paul Wilson
in the article "Changing Direction Toward Sustainable
Culture" in the Northwest Area Foundation's periodical The
Northwest Report, explains how a sustainable system would
differ from society's current mode of operating: "A sustainable
society would not undermine its resource base, the assimila-
tive capacity of its surroundings, or the bio tic stocks on which
its future prosperity depends. Sustainability means living on
interest, not drawing down capital."
  The remainder of this Update presents a sample of
selected accomplishments and examples of organizations
that are putting sustainability theories into action.
    The mention of any company, product, or process in this
           publication does not constitute or imply
   endorsement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Interview  With   AT&T
                rad Allenby is the environment, health and safety vice president for AT&T and an adjunct professor at Columbia
                University's School of International and Public Affairs. He is a coauthor of the first three engineering textbooks on
                industrial ecology (Industrial Ecology, Industrial Ecology and the Automobile, and Design for Environment^, and
                the author of the first policy textbook on industrial ecology (Industrial Ecology: Policy Framework and implementation)
                WasteWise staff spoke to Dr. Allenby about the sustainability concept and its application at AT&T.
WasteWise: How did you first get involved with indus-
trial ecology and sustainability issues?
Allenby: How I came into the role is probably indicative
of how I think our understanding of the environment has
shifted in the last 10
years. Ten years ago, I
was a senior environmen-
tal attorney for AT&T
working the usual
TSCA, RCRA—and it
was to some degree increasingly dissatisfying. The regula-
tions addressed a small subset of the issues that were
becoming apparent as potential concerns.
  The thinking was  that the environment is only affected
by end-of-pipe manufacturing impacts, so we had our
problems beat. But environmental issues involve more
than that. They arise from the fundamental interaction of
6 billion people, their economic system, and their tech-
nologies with the natural system. Within this framework,
I realized we didn't have a clue. Because it was  becoming
more apparent that it was the latter and not the former
framework in which we would need to work, I began to
get into design for the environment, industrial ecology,
and related  areas.
WasteWise: How are companies like AT&T  adapting to
address the  latter framework—that environmental issues
involve more complex interactions than end-of-pipe fixes?
Allenby: Some companies,  society as a whole, and
individuals  started shifting away from viewing the envi-
ronment as an overhead function—that is, you take care
of the environmental impacts only as an afterthought,
only after what you've intended to  do  has already affect-
ed it. Now  they are viewing  the environment as a strate-
gic function and are realizing that concern about
impacts on  natural systems has to be built  into the
processes that underlie the very existence of the institu-
tion, whether it's the government or AT&T. In addition,
there is now the concept of the triple bottom line, where
companies are evaluated by stakeholders not just on eco-
nomic performance, but also on environmental and social
WasteWise: Many companies use the word "sustainability"
to describe the direction their business practices are heading.
Where does AT&T stand on the road to sustainability?
Allenby: I will tell you honestly that I don't think there's a
company in the world that is anywhere near sustainability;
moreover, I don't think there's a company in the world that
truly understands sustainability.
WasteWise: Are there some common steps or stages that
companies need to go through to start heading in the gen-
eral direction of sustainability?
Allenby: To attain sustainability, there are at least three
dimensions along which evolution has to occur:
  •  Institutional. We simply don't have the insti-
     tutions to manage the environment strategi-
     cally. For example, institutional
     inadequacy is a big part of the dispute
     over the Kyoto Protocol.
  •  Ethical. What kind of world do we
     really want and who's to decide?
  •  Scientific. Industrial ecology is
     the science and technology
     base that underlies sus-
     tainability. We have a lot
     of gaps right now in
     our understanding
     of sustainability
     from a scientific
WasteWise: Do
you think that more research and scientific exploration is
the key to moving forward on the road to sustainability?
Allenby: Yes and no. One of the unfor-
tunate things about the way that people
throw around the phrase 'sustainable
development' is that it hides the fact
that none of us really know anything
about it along any dimension.
  If you try to establish policy with-
out any science behind it, that's not a
good thing, so I think we need to do a
lot of scientific research. But similarly, if
you have a lot of data but the institutions and the eth-
ical structure haven't been developed, you don't get any-
where either. It all needs to happen in unison.
  It's complicated by the fact that previously all a firm had
to do was talk to the national and state governments to
find out what it had to do. But now the dialogue is not
only between a firm and the federal government, but also
  includes nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), other
    stakeholders, communities, and other firms; it's a far
      more complex operating environment than we had
       in the past.
          WasteWise: What are some of AT&T's
              Allenby: The most important thing to
                understand is that the traditional envi-
                  ronmental approach, which tends to
                   focus on manufacturing and manu-
                     facturing waste, breaks down for a
                       service company like AT&T. The
                         traditional  environmental
                           assessment, which only asks,
                            "What are the bad things
                              that you do?", ignores
                                the fact that AT&T's
                                 greatest environmen-
tal impact is to enable improvements in environmental effi-
ciency across the economy as a whole.

Waste Wise Update
   Of course, for AT&T as for every firm, the bottom line
has got to be compliance and meeting all the safety and envi
ronmental requirements. Waste minimization activities also
should be standard business practice. For example, over the
past year or so, we have kept more than 5,000 of AT&T's
used personal computers out of landfills. We refurbished
them and gave them to schools, or we recycled and refur-
bished them inside for AT&T's use. Moving to e-commerce
technology with just one major supplier saved about
1.5 million sheets of paper per year.
   The next  level is: what are
you doing as a company to
support the development
of industrial ecology
and broader  options
for society? There,
the AT&T
Foundation supports
Industrial Ecology
faculty fellowships.
We award about six per
year. We work with the
National Environmental
Education and Training
Foundation to develop an industrial
ecology curriculum for community colleges.
   Then you go to the top level, where AT&T as a broad-
band service provider can enable improvements in environ-
mental and social efficiency across the economy. This is the
most important environmental performance level for many
service firms. Take something as simple as "telework."
WasteWise: "Telework" meaning  telecommuting?
Allenby: Telecommuting, or  virtual offices, or working
from a satellite office. Telework offers not just the primary
benefits for the environment (the emissions prevented from
the cars that are not on the road),  but also the secondary
one: every car you take off the road reduces congestion by a
small amount and therefore reduces  the emissions of all the
other cars on the road by a small amount. Additionally, we
have saved over half-a-billion dollars from 1992 to 1998
because of office space reductions we've been able to make as
a result of telework. That's less construction material.
WasteWise: What are some of the obstacles to measur-
ing real environmental progress?
Allenby: If I'm doing environment  as overhead, I can iden-
tify it. I know what it is, I know it's  environmental. But if
I'm doing something that truly matters, if it's strategic, then
environment becomes only one dimension of the activity.
Both the analysis, and the technological issues, become far
more complex. Consider the environmental costs and bene-
fits of e-commerce. If I buy a  book from an e-commerce
vendor, is it better or worse for the environment that I
haven't driven down to the bookstore in the mall? Well, I
don't know! And those are the kinds of questions that are
critical, because although they're very complex, they're what's
happening in the  real world and the economy right now.
WasteWise: What advice would you offer to other organi-
zations in the WasteWise program or other Fortune 1000
companies that are striving to increase their sustainability?
                 Allenby: The first comment I'd make is
                       that there is a very strong psycholo-
                           gy built into the environmen-
                              tal movement with NGOs,
                                 with regulators, and
                                  within companies that,
                                   to be done right,
                                    environment has to
                                    cost you. That is not
                                    true, but people still
                                   let that psychology
                                  prevent them from
                                 doing things that are
                              very smart. Again telework-
                           ing is  a good example. From a
                      social point of view, broad-band
                technologies will support new ways of
  commuting and working that can significantly reduce
waste, and that's where you get the bang for the buck. . . the
opportunities are  enormous. But telework as  an environ-
mental technology has yet to be understood by environmen-
talists or  regulators. Many such opportunities exist in every
sector.  It's a question of imagination.
WasteWise: What do you expect will be AT&T's future
impact on industry, society, and the environment?
Allenby: That is  hard to answer because telecommunica-
tions is such a fundamental part of the infrastructure of any
robust economy. I think the industrial revolution started by
focusing  on energy and materials-intensive sectors. That's
where the quality of life came from in the early days of the
industrial revolution: better fiber, better clothing, the cotton
gins, steam engines, then automobiles. I think that the
information sector, including companies like AT&T, has the
potential to generate significant increases in the quality of
life while reducing the environmental impact so that per-
haps we can sustain that quality of life over time. Nobody
knows if it's going to happen but it has that promise. The
question, in part,  is how much imagination, creativity, and
innovation can we bring to the process?
   The more  that AT&T pushes that envelope, the more it
will push other companies to do so as well.  And the more
we do  so, the better off we all will be.
   Dr. Allenby can be reached via e-mail at

                                                                                     WasteWise Update
Herman  Miller  Manufactures
              for   the  Future
  When it comes to sustainability, Herman Miller, Inc.,
isn't just sitting around: as a leading international furniture
manufacturer, Herman Miller's goal is to become a sustain-
able business. Dedicated to preserving natural resources for
future generations, this company understands the signifi-
cance of using environmentally friendly materials and
processes. Herman Miller is consistently being recognized
for its environmental achievements—the company was not
only a 1999 WasteWise Partner of the Year, but also a recipi-
ent of a 1998 Green Award from the U.S. General Service
Administration for product design and business practices
and one of Fortune magazine's "Most Admired" companies.
"Our achievements toward reaching sustainability take a lot
of determination and hard work. We set substantial environ-
mental goals for Herman Miller and do our best to reach
those goals  in a timely manner," says James Gillespie, envi-
ronmental specialist.
  Recognizing that complex rela-
tionships exist among the land,
water, and air, Herman Miller has
developed comprehensive environ-
mental goals that include energy
conservation, air emissions reduc-
tions, transportation impact reduc-
tions, and green buildings. The
company has made some of its most
notable accomplishments with its
solid waste  management program,
mostly by reducing transport pack-
aging. In fact, in 1999 the company
eliminated more than 370 tons of wood pallet waste, nearly
270 tons of corrugated cartons, and nearly 8 tons of poly-
styrene packaging filler through packaging changes. While
not quite reaching its "zero landfill" goal by the end of
1995, Herman Miller was able to reduce its use of landfills
                     by 65 percent, or 5,500 tons less
                      than 1994. This endeavor helped
                      the company realize $500,000 in
                      direct cost savings and avoid-
                       ances. Still striving to  reach the
                           "zero landfill" goal,
                           Herman Miller is working
                            on reducing its solid waste
                            by another 10 percent
                            over the next 3 years.
                              In pursuit of the elu-
                             sive goal of sustainabili-
WasteWise Partners in the
West Michigan Sustainable
Business Forum
• Americcm Electric Power Service Corp.
, ' Georgia-Pacific Corp.
* Herman Miller, Inc.
• Pharmacia & Upjohn Company
• Steelcase Inc.
ty, the company also requires
an environmental lifecycle
assessment (LCA) for all new
products. Herman Miller
has a Design for
Environment Team that will
use the LCA to look at product
life cycles, including all the
processes and materials
involved in the manu-
facture and distribu-
tion of its products.
The LCA will help the com-
pany determine how it can conserve
resources by altering product designs and processes.
   Despite these successes, Herman Miller cannot become a
sustainable business on its own. Some of its processes gener-
                    ate byproducts that Herman Miller
                    itself cannot transform into usable
                    material. To meet its "zero landfill"
                    goal, Herman Miller is working
                    with area businesses and agencies to
                    make sure its byproducts become
                    usable inputs for local industries.
                    The company is a charter member
                    of the West Michigan Sustainable
                    Business Forum (WMSBF), a
                    group of more than 50 companies
                    encouraging the adoption and
                    implementation of sustainable busi-
ness practices. Herman Miller and its peer group of West
Michigan organizations are laying the groundwork for an
interconnected industrial system by developing cooperative
solutions to mutual waste management concerns.
   They are working, for example, to form a marketing
cooperative for recyclables in response to recent consolida-
tions in the Michigan waste management industry. Smaller
waste haulers that used to service niche market recyclables
such as polyurethane foam and low-density polyethylene
shrink wrap have been acquired by larger companies with
more restricted service offerings.
   WMSBF reacted to this dilemma by polling its members
on their interest in pooling recyclables in the hope of find-
ing better prices and collection service. Eighty percent of
the members expressed interest. WMSBF is surveying area
companies to determine the material types and quantities
available for group marketing, collection container needs,
                               (Continued on Page 12)

Waste Wise Update
Eco-Industrial   Parks
The Kalundborg  Industrial Ecosystem
  When it comes to industrial ecology and sustainability,
Kalundborg, Denmark, represents perhaps the best known
example in the world. In Kalundborg, industries are working
together to promote sustainable development by exchanging
wastes and conserving resources. These industries sought to
make economic use of their byproducts and to minimize the
cost of compliance with new, stricter environmental regula-
tions.^ While the symbiotic relationships among the indus-
tries evolved gradually over the past 25 years without any
planning, the Kalundborg industrial ecosystem represents a
closed system within which one facility's waste becomes
another facility's feedstock, ensuring that raw materials are
recycled or disposed of efficiently and safely. Participating
industries each benefit economically from reduced costs of
                   waste disposal, improved efficiencies of resource use, and
                   improved environmental performance.
                     Here's how the Kalundborg industrial ecosystem works.
                   Steam and various raw materials are exchanged within the
                   industrial ecosystem, which includes an oil refinery, a
                   plasterboard factory, a biotechnology production plant, a
                   fish farm, a coal-fired electrical power station, cement pro-
                   ducers, and the municipality of Kalundborg. Gas captured
                   from the oil refinery, for example, is sent to the electrical
                   power station, saving the equivalent of 30,000 tons of coal
                   annually. The town of Kalundborg eliminated the use of
                   3,500 oil-fired residential furnaces by working with the
                   power plant to distribute heat  through a network of
        Industrial Symbiosis: The Eco-Industrial Park at Kalundborg
         /Sulfuric AcidN   sulfur( Oil Refinery )
         V   Producer   J          \^           ^/     \  Factory    J
                                               Gas &
                                        Steam w-rter   Gypsum
                                                             Fly Ash
                                      Power Station
                                             (Cement & Roads]
                                                                    Heat  (  Residential
                                                                              ***rm^m*rmmm •«••
                                                                               Housing   J
                                           Sludge  (   Fish Ponds  J
                           Source: Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
4 Denmark is already establishing regulations that will require virtually all industry discharges to be in the form of products that can serve
 other useful purposes by the year 2000.

                                      WasteWise Update
    Mississippi 'Ecoplex' Puts  Industrial Ecology Into  Practice
    Eco-industrial parks are an emerging reality in several U.S. states as well as in Europe. A small slice of Choctaw
    County, Mississippi, is hosting an industrial complex that will take industrial ecology from the textbooks and put it into
    practice. Mississippi's Red  Hills Ecoplex is one of the few eco-industrial parks in the United States that  has started con-
    struction, and one of about 20 projects currently in the works.  The companies involved in the Red  Hills Ecoplex
    include a power plant (whose lignite deposits are the  energy center for the complex), a brick manufacturer, cement
    and wallboard producers, a greenhouse, and  a fish farm.
    According to Ron Forsythe of the Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Planning's Energy  Division, "the
    original intent of the project was simply to stimulate the local economy by developing a lignite-based  power plant and
    helping potential businesses reduce costs." The developers of the power  plant  had access to deposits of lig-
    nite, a low grade of coal,  located in the  northeast corner of the state. The plant will burn the lignite
    with minimal emissions using Clean Coal technology.  As plans progressed, the developers and
    government officials started to evaluate the environmental impact of the  project. At the same
    time, they considered what other types of facilities might have synergies  with all the waste
    streams from the power plant operation. This coincided with plans to reduce costs by selling
    the byproducts of the power plant, among them  clay,  fly ash, and waste  heat.
    The clay from the lignite mining operation will be used by a brick manufacturer and the fly
    ash from the lignite-burning will  be used for manufacturing cement or wallboard. The waste
    heat will be used in a greenhouse nursery which, in turn, exchanges wastes with a nearby
    fish farm. Any waste water will be filtered through an  artificial marsh and returned  to the
    Project coordinators are ensuring that the Ecoplex businesses do not compete  directly with
    existing businesses in Mississippi. Forsythe added that they will plan and implement the
    project using EPA's Designing Industrial Ecosystems Tool (DIET),  a software application
    designed to aid decision-makers and planners in identifying combinations of industrial
    facilities that exhibit economic and environmental potential for an eco-industrial park at a
    given site. For more information about the Red Hills Ecoplex, contact Ron Forsythe at
    601 359-6600. For more  information on EPA's DIET software, visit
underground pipes. Homeowners pay for the piping, but
receive inexpensive, reliable heat in return. Local fish
ponds also receive heat from the power plant, thereby
increasing the growth rate of fish due to warmer water. In
turn, these fish ponds provide sludge as a fertilizer for local
agriculture. The power plant also delivers process steam to
the biotechnology company and oil refinery, provides a
gypsum-containing feedstock to the plasterboard plant,
and sells fly ash for road building and cement production.
The oil refinery supplies the plasterboard plant with all of
its gas, eliminating the need  to flare waste gases. The
biotechnology company provides a nutrient rich sludge
from harvesting crops for insulin, enzymes,  and penicillin
to local farmers for use as fertilizer.
   The Kalundborg industrial ecosystem is a good example
of how industrial ecology and the development of tech-
nologies  that eliminate waste and maximize resource effi-
ciency will be critical to achieving material and energy
reductions that help attain a sustainable future.
Kalundborg's gradual development of a systematic environ-
mental way of thinking is applicable to many other  indus-
tries and might prove particularly beneficial when planning
future industrial complexes in the United States or abroad.
WasteWise partners should take a close look at Kalundborg
because this may be the face of the future.
   For more information on eco-industrial parks, including
projects currently under way in the United States visit

Waste Wise Update
    , ,992 throu
      design and
Jill lid* (continued from page 9)

     loading dock access, and other cooper-
      ative logistics. The end result of this
       effort will either be a set of contracts
        with existing materials recovery
            facilities (MRFs) in the area or
              the development of a new
               MRF to accommodate all
                the materials. In keeping
                 with WMSBF's broad sus-
                  tainability objectives, any
                  new MRF would be
                   developed by retrofitting
                   an underutilized indus-
                   trial facility.
                     This effort is impor-
                    tant because it sets the
                    stage for more ambi-
                    tious byproduct and
                    resource sharing initia-
                    tives. Presently, inter-
                    mittent waste trading
                     is occurring between
                     WMSBF members
                     for such materials as
  ^\h; WasteWise Update:
   BulldinS Supper Partnerships
   (April 1998).
   plastics and oily waste water. In the future, however, the
   forum hopes to establish a fully functional industrial ecology
   infrastructure. Working with the Grand Rapids Chamber of
   Commerce, WMSBF has developed a proposal to create a
   macro-level "mass balance" analysis of industrial waste gener-
   ation and composition in West Michigan. The organizations
   would then examine the demand for various materials in
   order to establish waste exchange matches and recommend
   ways to develop the infrastructure for recycling high-volume
   waste materials. The research benefits and resulting new
   enterprise development would be concentrated in low-
   income industrial areas called "Michigan renaissance zones,"
   supporting sustainable  economic development goals.
     According to Gillespie, "Herman Miller's membership in
   the WMBSF and actively participating in its efforts has been
   critical to helping the company move forward on the road to
     For more information on Herman Miller's sustainable
   business initiatives, please contact James Gillespie at 616 654-
   5020 or send e-mail to .
   For  more information  about WMSBF, visit
    or contact William Stough
   at 616 459-3737 or .
    If you have received this publication in error or want to be removed from the WasfeWise Update
    mailing list, please call the WasteWise Helpline at 800 EPA-WISE (372-9473) or send a copy of
    this page, with the mailing label, back to WasteWise at the address below. Many WasteWise
    publications, including the WasteWise Update, are available electronically on the WasteWise
    Web site at .
    United States
    Environmental Protection Agency
    Washington, DC 20460

    Official Business
    Penalty for Private Use

                        r      c       e     s
                       for   Susfaina b i Ii fy
The Ecology of Commerce:
A Declaration of
Paul Hawken
HarperBusiness, 1994.
Provides a blueprint for a market-
place where businesses and envi-
ronmentalists work together, show-
ing companies how to redesign and
manufacture  products in innovative
ways, reeducate customers, and
work closely with government
toward  a profitable, productive, and
ecologically sound future.
Industrial Ecology:
An Introduction
University of Michigan's
National  Pollution Prevention
Center for Higher Education
This publication describes the
background of industrial ecology,
defines its main attributes, and
provides an overview of the topic
as an academic discipline. It cov-
ers goals,  key concepts, sustain-
able development, system tools
(such  as life cycle assessment),
and future needs.

"Industrial Ecology and
'Getting the Prices Right"'
Resources for the Future
This article from Resources for the
Future's quarterly newsletter
argues that markets need to be
fundamentally restructured so that
prices reflect the full costs of social
production. This, combined with
proper incentives such as emis-
sions and effluent fees, will per-
suade more firms to act in envi-
ronmentally beneficial ways.

Journal of Industrial
The MIT Press
This international,  multi-discipli-
nary quarterly journal is designed
to foster both understanding and
practice in the emerging field of
industrial ecology.

Mid-Course Correction:
Toward a Sustainable
Enterprise: The Interface
Ray Anderson
Chelsea Green Publishing
Ray Anderson, Founder,
Chairman, and  CEO of a large
interior furnishings company,
recounts his awakening to the
importance of environmental
issues and outlines the steps his
company, Atlanta-based Interface,
Inc., is taking in its quest to
become a  sustainable enterprise.
Natural Capitalism:
Creating the Next
Industrial  Revolution
Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins,
and L. Hunter Lovins
Rocky Mountain Institute, 1999
The authors  describe the four
principles of a  new business
model in which businesses can
properly account for "natural cap-
ital" (natural resources and the
ecological systems that support
life) while increasing profits, pro-
duction, and employment.

The Next Bottom Line:
Making Sustainable
Development Tangible
World Resources Institute
This publication defines the con-
cept of sustainable development
in a business context and
describes the ways businesses can
put sustainability into practice.

"The NEXT Industrial
The Atlantic Monthly
October 1998
In this article, William McDonough
and Michael  Braungart argue that
eco-efficiency slows—but does not
stop—an already environmentally
destructive industrial system. They
instead explain  that it is  possible for
businesses to be "eco-effective"—
changing processes and designs so
that they have no adverse impact
on the environment.

                                International Institute for
                                Sustainable Development
Center of Excellence for
Sustainable Development

This U.S. Department of Energy
Web site is a gateway to the lat-
est news, information, research,
and resources on sustainable
development for businesses and
Cornell University's Work
and Environment Initiative:
Eco-lndustrial Parks

Hosted by Cornell University's
Center for the Environment, this
Web site provides the latest infor-
mation on industrial ecology in
practice. It includes updates and
case studies on eco-industrial
park projects in the United States.

Guide to Sustainable
Design, Development, and
Policy on the Web

Supports the University of
Virginia's Institute for Sustainable
Design by organizing resources
on sustainability, including organi-
zations, publications, and Web
links, into various categories.
The Business and Sustainable
Development section of this
Canadian-based organization
encourages business leaders to
develop a vision of a sustainable
company, translate that vision
into a management action plan,
and turn sustainability into a
competitive advantage. The site
is a comprehensive source on
sustainable development for the
private sector.

President's Council for
Sustainable Development

President Clinton formed this
council in  1993  to advise him on
sustainable development and to
develop bold, new approaches to
achieve the country's economic,
environmental, and equity goals.


This business-oriented Web site
provides the latest news and
research on sustainable business
practices. The online magazine
Sustainable Business Insider fea-
tures in-depth articles, "experts"
columns, and case studies.

Sustainable Business

Promotes the growth and devel-
opment of environmentally and
socially responsible  businesses,
providing the tools and informa-
tion necessary to make sustain-
able business a  prominent global
economic force.
World Business Council for
Sustainable Development
< >
WBCSD is a coalition of interna-
tional companies committed to
economic growth and sustainable
development. The Web site pro-
vides news on the council's activi-
ties and links to all of their busi-
ness-oriented publications, many
of which are viewable online.

This Web site was developed for
the May 1999 National Town
Meeting for a Sustainable
America and continues to provide
valuable information on  sustain-
ability. It contains the meeting
proceedings and listings of sus-
tainability news and events.
Visitors also can view sustainabili-
ty commitments made by other
organizations across the country.
                                                                United Nations Commission
                                                                on Sustainable
                                                                This Web site includes a full ver-
                                                                sion of Agenda 21, the environ-
                                                                mental action plan adopted at the
                                                                1992 United Nations Conference
                                                                on  Environment and Development
                                                                in Rio de Janeiro, as well as topi-
                                                                cal summaries and a linked index
                                                                to the document. The site also
                                                                includes other United Nations
                                                                Commission on Sustainable
                                                                Development publications and