United States
 Environmental Pi
March 2001
                                                                     Pollution Prevention and Toxics (7406)
                                                        The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's
                                                        Design  for the
                                                        Environment  Program

                                                        Partnerships for a Cleaner Future
                                                                                                                                                  Why Design  for the

  Publications and materials produced by each of
 the industry partnerships are available on the DIE
  Web site at www.epa.gov/dfe. Contact DIE at
        202-260-1678, dfe@epa.gov, or:

  Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse
      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
      1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. (7409)
            Washington, DC 20460
           Telephone: 202-260-1023
              Fax: 202-260-0178
             E-mail: ppic@epa.gov
    National Service Center for Environmental
            Publications (NSCEP)
           Telephone: 513-489-8190

Printed on paper that contains at least 30 percent postconsumer fiber.
^    Off ice of P
Prevention and Toxics

                                                                                    Businesses today face a variety of challenges—maintaining
                                                                                    high-quality goods and services at low cost, staying com-
                                                                                    petitive in a global marketplace, and meeting consumer
                                                                              preferences for more environmentally friendly products. To help
                                                                              businesses meet these challenges, EPA is building on the design for
                                                                              the environment concept pioneered by industry and encourages
                                                                              businesses to incorporate environmental considerations into the
                                                                              design and redesign of products and processes.
                                                                                                                                                                  Benefits include:
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cost savings
                                                                                                                                                                  • Reduced business and environmental risks
                                                                                                                                                                  • Expanded business and market opportunities

                                               What is  RPAs
                                  DfE  Program?

                               he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's
                               (EPA's) Design for the Environment (DfE)
                               Program is a voluntary partnership program that
                          orks directly with industries to integrate health and
                         environmental considerations into their business deci-
                         sions. A DfE partnership helps businesses design or
                         redesign products, processes, and management systems
                         that are cleaner, more cost-effective, and safer for work-
                         ers and the public. The DfE Program usually works
                         with industry sectors to compare the human health and
                         environmental risks, performance, and costs associated
                         with existing and alternative technologies or processes.
                           DfE solution may entail the redesign of a formula-
                         tion, a manufacturing or service-sector process, or a
                         management practice.

                                                                                                               Pollution prevention—the reduction or elimination
                                                                                                               of pollution at the source—is given preference to
                                                                                                               recycling, treatment, or disposal.
                                                                                How does  a  business	
                                                                                    "design  for the environment?3
By evaluating the human health and environmental
impacts of its processes and products.
By identifying what information is needed to make
human health and environmental  decisions.
By conducting an assessment of alternatives.
By considering cross-media impacts and the benefits
of substituting chemicals.
By reducing the use and release of toxic chemicals
through the innovation of cleaner technologies that
use safer chemicals.
By implementing pollution prevention, energy effi-
ciency, and other resource conservation measures.
By making  products that can be reused, refurbished,
remanufactured, or recycled.
By monitoring the environmental impacts and costs
associated with each product or process.
By recognizing that although change can be rapid, in
many cases a cycle of evaluation and continuous
improvement is needed.

  How does OfF, partner with
                                     DfE forms volun-
                                     tary partnerships
                                     with industry sec-
                             tors, usually through
                             industry leaders and trade
                             or technical associations.
                             These partnerships also
  can include public interest groups, universities, research
  institutions, and other government agencies at the fed-
  eral, state, and local level.

  For each partnership, DfE ensures that information  on
  traditional and alternative technologies reaches the peo-
  ple who make the decisions—such as managers, engi-
  neers, purchasers,  and end users. DfE provides these
  decision makers with a variety of materials, such as
  technical reports, fact sheets, bulletins, case studies,  soft-
  ware, videos, and training manuals. These materials  are
  distributed throughout the industry so that companies
  can make more informed decisions that reduce risks to
  workers and the environment and even boost their bot-
  tom line. DfE's Web site (www.epa.gov/dfe) keeps part-
  ners and other customers informed of new
How does a  business start	

    designing for the environment?

A       business can initiate a DfE project on its own or
       with the assistance of its industry trade or tech-
       nical association. Associations can provide finan-
cial resources and share information, including
incentives to making changes and the recognition of
businesses that have overcome obstacles. If a particular
company believes that its industry can benefit from a
DfE project, it should bring this to the attention of an
appropriate association to see if broader industry interest
exist. Associations are encouraged to  contact EPA's DfE
Program for information on how to either propose a
partnership with EPA or initiate projects on their own.
Businesses also can design for the environment on their
own by using the models and templates developed by
the DfE Program.
On all  RPA DfR partnerships  take  the
                 same  approach?
A  •  ^here are six different approaches to designing for the
       environment. To achieve its goals, a DfE partnership
       may use one or more of the following approaches:
JL  m

   Technology Assessments: A Cleaner Technologies
   Substitutes Assessment (CTSA) offers a DfE partnership
   a methodology to evaluate traditional and alternative
   technologies for the potential risks they pose to human
   health and the environment, as well as for performance
   and cost. The CTSA provides detailed information so
   that businesses can make their own decisions. In under-
   taking a CTSA approach, partners agree to identify the
   component chemicals  of alternative products and
   processes, test, or summarize the performance of these
   alternatives, and  analyze their costs, as well as an analysis
   of natural resources usage (water and energy use). The
   DfE Program has completed several successful partner-
   ships and is working with several other industries using a
   CTSA approach. These industry partnerships include
   commercial printing, garment and textile care, printed
   wiring boards used in computers and other electronics,
   and adhesives used in foam furniture and sleep
   products. (See the DfE Web site for
   the CTSA Methodology and Resource

   Formulator Approach: The DfE
   Program is helping companies that
   formulate chemicals or produce
   formulated products, such as
   detergents, for commercial use
make more informed choices by considering the charac-
teristics and environmental impacts of alternative ingre-
dients. Depending on the industry, the DfE Program
either works with a trade association or directly with
individual companies. DfE encourages participation by
recognizing companies that succeed in improving the
chemical profile of their products. The first DfE partners
to take this approach were formulators of industrial and
institutional laundry detergents. They are replacing con-
ventional,  hazardous ingredients with alternative ingredi-
ents (and byproducts) that are less toxic and more
biodegradable. Building on its success with detergent
formulations, DfE is entering into partnerships with the
formulators of industrial and institutional cleaning

Best Practices Approach: This approach focuses on lim-
iting exposures to toxic chemicals as much as possible
in the workplace and surrounding community. By
interacting with shops onsite, the DfE Program gains a
real-wo rid perspective on the full range of practices and
equipment in an industry—from the hazardous to the
 best available for ensuring safety and protecting
  human health. With this perspective and a knowl-
    edge of chemical risks and protective measures,
    DfE tests its strategy for promoting best shop
        ,^^  practices within a limited geographic
         ^          area. This strategy employs a
                       combination of techniques,
                       such as shop visits from safety
                       equipment suppliers, indus-
                       trial hygienists, and experi-
                 ^jfr  enced tradesmen, and
           ^^^^^^  collaboration with trade
             ^i^^  groups, schools, and raw mate-
              I^T rials suppliers and their networks.
                 \  A partnership with the auto refin-
t r AS  UTt  r cirtriBrSnipS • Garment and textile care • Printed wiring boards used in computers and other electronics
Commercial printing (screen printing, lithography, and flexography) • Industrial and institutional cleaning formulations • Auto refinishing •
Adhesives used in foam furniture and sleep products • Computer displays • Automobile suppliers
ishing industry in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, identi-
fied best practices for reducing exposure to volatile
organic chemicals and hazardous air pollutants.

Greening the Supply Chain: Manufacturers of complex
products, such as automobiles, appliances, ships, and air-
craft, depend on a broad network of suppliers for parts
and assemblies. Many of the suppliers in these supply
chains (or tiers) are small- and medium-size companies.
By applying various approaches to manufacturing and
purchasing decisions throughout a network of suppliers,
DfE is promoting pollution prevention and the reduc-
tion of exposures and risks in these small facilities. A
pilot project is under way with the Saturn Corporation
to "green" its suppliers of automobile parts.

Integrated Environmental Management Systems: The
DfE Program developed an Integrated Environmental
Management System (IEMS) that emphasizes reduc-
ing risk to the public and the environment, pollution
prevention, and wise resource management. DfE's
IEMS Implementation Guide walks businesses through
the standard EMS components and also provides
"how to" insights and worksheets for process map-
ping, substitutes assessments, and risk evaluation.
Pilot projects with several screen printing companies
demonstrated that even a small company can develop
a sophisticated, action-oriented IEMS.

Life-cycle Assessments: Life-cycle assessments (LCAs)
examine the environmental impacts of products over
their entire life-cycle, from materials acquisition to
manufacturing, use, and disposition. LCAs evaluate
impacts on human health, atmospheric resources/air
quality, water quality, ecological systems, and natural
resource consumption. In the DfE Computer Display
Project, project partners have used the LCA and
CTSA (technology assessment) methodologies to
evaluate the life-cycle environmental impacts, per-
formance,  and cost of liquid crystal  displays (LCDs)
and cathode-ray tubes  (CRTs). DfE expects that the
information generated will allow the electronics
industry to perform improvement assessments, which
will allow them to design products and processes  that
reduce the release and use of toxic chemicals and  risks
to human health and the environment.